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HIGH REPS VS. HEAVY WEIGHTS
WTF HAPPENED AT THE O?
OF MD’S 2008 BABES!
BUILD MUSCLE • BURN FAT • NO BULLSHIT!
THE WORLD’S BIGG BODYBUIELSDTIN MAGAZINE! G
Vo l u m e 4 6 , N u m b e r 1 , J a n u a r y 2 0 0 9
318 Muscle Form+Function By Stephen E. Alway, PhD, FACSM 360 Extreme Muscle Enhancement
By Carlon M. Colker, MD, FACN
NUTRITION & PERFORMANCE
Research: Training By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD
122 Research: Supplements By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD 132 Research: Nutrition By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD 176 Nutrition Performance The Latest Research By Robbie Durand, MA 180 Supplement Performance The Latest Research
By Jose Antonio, PhD, FACSM, FISSN
368 The True Victor By Victor Martinez 374 The Predator By Kai Greene 380 Mass With Class By Branch Warren 384 Lee Priest Confirmed! By Lee Priest NEW! 390 Telling It Like It Is By Shawn Ray NEW! 400 Branden Ray: Road To The USAs by Branden Ray 404 The Big Bad Wolf: The People’s Choice
By Dennis Wolf
354 MuscleTech Research Report
102 Research: Fat Loss By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD 166 Fat Attack Brown Fat May Be The Key To Fat Loss
By Dan Gwartney, MD
408 Erik “The House” Fankhouser By Erik Fankhouser 412 National Hero By Evan Centopani 416 The Pro Creator By Hany Rambod 422 Contest Guru By Chad Nicholls 426 Trainer of Champions By Charles Glass
By Dan Gwartney, MD
CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH!
142 Research: Drugs By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD 162 Future Pharmacy By Douglas S. Kalman, PhD, RD, FACN 306 Testosterone Weight Loss Decreases Free Testosterone 324 The “Clear” Chemist By Patrick Arnold 340 Anabolic Research Update By William Llewellyn 344 Anabolic Edge By Jose Antonio, PhD 348 The Anabolic Freak By David Palumbo 364 Busted! Legal Q&A By Rick Collins, JD
HEALTH & PERFORMANCE
112 Research: Health & Performance
By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD
152 Research: Sex By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, EdD 188 Muscle Growth Update By Robbie, Durand, MA NEW!
VICTOR VS. PHIL AND DEXTER! 212
312 Bodybuilding Science Cialis Increases Testosterone
By Robbie Durand, MA
328 No Juice Bodybuilding By Eric Broser 356 Ask The Doc By Victor Prisk, MD NEW!
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
OLYMPIA EVOLUTION 280
OR BEST OF MD’S MAJ88 DISTRACTIONS! 2
MD’S INSIDE STACK
28 30 38 46 56 68 78
Editor’s Letter By Steve Blechman Mail Room Where Our Readers Rave & Rant Who’s Hot! By Mike Yurkovic MD People The Romano Factor By John Romano musculardevelopment.com By Gregg Valentino Flex Critique By Flex Wheeler NEW!
DENNIS WOLF: WTF HAPPENED AT THE O? 196
288 Major Distraction BEST OF 2008!
332 Ramblin’ Freak By Gregg Valentino 436 Hot Shoppe By Angela T. Frizalone 438 Web Directory 440 MD Marketplace By Angela T. Frizalone & Manda Machado 470 The Last Word By John Romano
196 DENNIS WOLF: THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE WHAT THE
F*CK HAPPENED AT THE O? EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY RON HARRIS
212 CYBER WARS VICTOR VS. DEXTER & PHIL HEATH
BY FLEX WHEELER
228 TONEY FREEMAN, THE X-MAN:TRAINING AND DIET
SECRETS (PART 1, UPPER BODY) BY RON HARRIS
242 NEXT YEAR’S VICTOR! THE COMEBACK OF VICTOR
MARTINEZ, PART 2 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY RON HARRIS
256 PRIEST OLYMPIA CONFESSIONAL LEE PRIEST
CRITIQUES THE TOP 10 BY LEE PRIEST
264 UNDER-202 OLYMPIA SHOWDOWN! DAVE HENRY
VS. LEE PRIEST IN 2009: WHO WILL WIN? BY RON HARRIS
NEXT YEAR’S VICTOR 242
280 THE NEW MUTANT NINJA MR. OLYMPIA
DOES DEXTER’S AUSPICIOUS VICTORY INDICATE IT’S OUT WITH FREAKS AND IN WITH THE PHYSIQUES? AN OLYMPIA EVOLUTION…BY JOHN ROMANO January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com
X-MAN TRAINING SECRETS! 228
By Steve Blechman Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
THANK YOU, BEN…
…For What You Have Done For The Sport
I first heard the sad news of Ben Weider’s passing on Friday, October th 17 . At the time, I was with my wife and kids visiting our parents (and their grandparents) in Florida. My 28-year-old daughter also happened to get engaged while we were visiting. In person, Ben was very easy to talk to and always a gentleman with great elegance. Ben lived a full life, with many achievements that touched many people’s lives. He was also a promoter and passionate Ambassador of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB). Ben had an amazing career. What a success story! Ben and his brother Joe were great businessmen and through their vision and hard work, they helped build the Weider Empire. They were also instrumental in launching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career in the United States. Ben’s contributions to bodybuilding are insurmountable! If it were not for Ben and the vision of his brother, Joe (the father of bodybuilding), the sport would not be what it is today. Ben built the best federation in the world, where the best bodybuilders in the world call it home. No one can deny that and he has my utmost respect. Thank you, Ben, for the opportunity and all you have done for us. Rest in peace. Moving on…looking at this cover of Dennis Wolf, you have to ask: “What the fuck happened to him at the O?” Well, if you read the interview on page 196 you will find out, among other things, that he lost 15 pounds of muscle the last two weeks on a zero-carb diet! I’m not a fan of low-carb diets for building muscle. It’s great for fat loss, but at the expense of losing lean muscle mass. “Assisted” bodybuilders have less of a concern, but it’s still an issue for some guys. Low-carb diets lower testosterone, insulin and IGF-1, 3 important anabolic hormones. Low-carb diets also increase cortisol, a catabolic hormone plus increase blood acidity which can also enhance muscle protein breakdown. I think low carbs were a mistake for Dennis. He also had an abdominal hernia, which accounted for his stomach protruding. He is having surgery in a couple of weeks to fix it and will be back training for the Olympia in January. Toney Freeman, on the other hand, seems to do very well on low carbs. He’s also into some other freaky shit. I was speaking to Toney on the phone asking him if he cheats on his low-carb diet and he assured me he doesn’t. He went on to tell me some of his X-Man training secrets (you can check out part one
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
on page 228), which include these crazy weekly colonics and branched-chain amino acid suppositories! I’m telling ya, this guy gives new meaning to the word “freak!” Part two of Victor Martinez’s comeback can be found on page 242. This was shot of course at the ultimate hardcore gym, Metroflex. I know you need heavy weight to build muscle and that was a concern considering Victor’s injury, but I’m happy to see he has kept his size. This is going to finally be Victor’s year. All he has to do is get in shape and he will finally get the Olympia he has been denied for the last two years. Speaking of Victor, check BEN WEIDER ACCEPTS A out page 212 for another LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD installment of Cyber Wars. FROM GOVERNOR ARNOLD This time, Flex Wheeler pits SCHWARZENEGGER AT THE 2008 ARNOLD CLASSIC. Victor against both Phil Heath and Dexter Jackson. Guess who wins? On page 264, the Under 202 Olympia Showdown has David Henry up against Lee Priest in 2009. Who do you think will win? Lee is also featured on page 256 in his Olympia confessional, where he critiques this year’s Olympia. As you can imagine, it is pretty entertaining reading. John Romano rounds out the features this month on page 280, with an interesting look at the future of bodybuilding now that convention has been tossed into the wind, along with the incumbent champ, and Dexter Jackson is Mr. Olympia. Does Dexter’s auspicious victory indicate it’s out with freaks and in with the physiques? Finally, you guys have been after me to put more babes in the magazine, so I’m giving you what you want. On page 288, I’m giving you 13 pages of the best of 2008’s Major Distractions. No words, just sizzling-hot pictures. Enjoy. The rest of the book is packed as always with all the news and information you need to build your best body by the very best experts our industry has to offer. See you next month!
Cover photos of Dennis Wolf And MD’s Major Distractions are by Per Bernal
Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Steve Blechman Senior Editor John Romano Managing Editor Angela T. Frizalone Creative Director Alan Dittrich, Jr. Associate Editor Lana Russo Associate Art Director Stephen Kolbasuk Assistant Editor Alan Golnick Contributing Editors Carlon Colker, M.D.,Thomas Fahey Ph.D. Dan Gwartney, M.D. Executive Assistant Michele Gampel Photographers Chief Photographer: Per Bernal Mike Yurkovic, Dan Ray, Bill Comstock Illustrators Bill Hamilton, Fred Harper, Jerry Beck Advertising Advertising Director—Angela T. Frizalone (239) 495-6899 Corporate Office 800-653-1151, 631-751-9696 Circulation Consultants Irwin Billman & Ralph Pericelli
To Order a Subscription: (888) 841-8007 Customer Service & Subscription Inquiries: (631) 751-9696; 1-800-653-1151
Advanced Research Press, Inc. reserves the right to reject any advertising at its discretion. MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT (ISSN 0047-8415) is published monthly by Advanced Research Press, 690 Route 25A, Setauket, New York, 11733. Copyright ©2008 by Advanced Research Press. All rights reserved. Copyright under the Universal Copyright Convention and the International Copyright Convention. Copyright reserved under the Pan Am Copyright. Rate: $49.97 per year (USA); $79.97 per two years (USA); foreign: $79.97 per year. Nothing appearing in MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT may be reprinted, either wholly or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. Send editorial submissions to: MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT, 690 Route 25A, Setauket, New York, 11733. Stamped, self-addressed envelope must accompany all submissions, and no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited submissions. All letters, photos, manuscripts, etc. sent to MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT will be considered as intended for publication, and MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT reserves the right to edit and/or comment. Periodical postage paid at Setauket, N.Y. 11733, and at Glasgow, KY 42141. Postmaster: Send address changes to MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT, Box 834, East Setauket, NY 11733-9704. Advertising Office Phone: (239) 495-6899. PRINTED IN USA
January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com
I never write in to magazines, but I’ve been reading MD for too many years not to finally let you know how awesome I think it is. I literally take MD to the gym with me so I can read it while doing boring cardio! It helps me get through it. I also think the photos are amazing. Everything looks so real. Thanks again. Scott Martin, e-mail
Enjoyed John Romano’s report on Craig Titus and the interview with the prosecutor who helped put bodybuilding’s top chump behind bars [December 2008]. I’d say that Craig Titus got what he deserved, which is to rot in jail! As a journalism major in college, I’d say that some of Romano’s reporting was a bit skimpy. Too many accusations, too little facts. Titus has a history of wild sex? John, how would you know that? Did you film the video? Or were you part of the action yourself? Your readers want to know! Warren Hargrove, e-mail
Way To Go, Dexter!
Major props to Dexter Jackson for snagging the Mr. Olympia! It’s a long time coming that a more visually pleasing physique was rewarded, instead of mass monsters. Some of the past blocky winners looked just plain gross, and they were about as visually pleasing as a dead horse. Finally, a Mr. Olympia who aspires to the true ideals of bodybuilding. Congratulations, Dexter! Wanda Marcotte, e-mail
Hello. I wanted to write in and say thanks for such a kick-ass magazine. I turn to MD each month for all the news I need about the industry, scientific research, training… everything. It’s what I really look forward to reading every month and I always tear through it. Keep it up! Rodger, e-mail
Cutler’s Last Stand?
I’m glad the Mr. Olympia judges didn’t give it to Jay again. It was bad enough that he won the title last year, when Victor Martinez was clearly the better man onstage. Jay looked almost as bad this year; for him to win again would have been a disgrace. The judges saw the light. And from the looks of Jay, he saw more than his fair share of Twinkies. Magda O’Brien, e-mail
For a while there you guys had a lot on Evan Centopani…now not so much. What happened? I want to read more about Evan’s diet and training and what he has going on. Me and my friends think he’s the best! Mark Aaron, e-mail
The Best Man Won
I’m relieved Jay didn’t win the Olympia. Finally, things are changing and becoming fair. Go, Dexter! Please cover Dexter more, especially now. I think it’s sick that he won and I hope he can hold onto it Jason Korne, e-mail
Photographed by Mike Yurkovic
Claudia Verela Fitness Model, Arizona
Terri Jett NPC Figure athlete, South Carolina
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
Rachelle Richardson IFBB Figure athlete, Holland
Jamie Costa IFBB Pro Figure, Nevada
By TEAM MD
FOR COM CONTEST COPLETE VERAGE!
Team MD brings you more industry sightings from the 2008 Mr. Olympia, Las Vegas, Nevada
Joe and Ben Weider backstage at the 2008 Mr. Olympia. Rest in peace, Ben.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
FOR COM CONTEST COPLETE VERAGE!
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
FOR COM CONTEST COPLETE VERAGE!
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
THE WAY I SEE IT
By John Romano
500-WORD SUBMISSION FROM THE MD ONLINE CREW…
Another month, another winner…and, as I always seem to say, the submissions to this contest keep getting better and better! I’m happy to see more and more submissions— some from women! And more and more members voting. At some point, we need to consider what to do with all these submissions. I’m thinking perhaps a book of the bestof-the-best and donating the profits to a worthwhile cause. But we still have some time to figure that out. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating rhickman for winning this month’s contest. The voting was fierce, but this fairly new member edged out the competition and won by a single, solitary vote with his article “Motivation. ”
BY rhickman For 19 years of my life, I was the fat kid. Or that is who I was constantly told I was by my peers. I spent 19 years of my life pretty much alone. I was known as fatty; chubby; the big guy. Lunchtime would come around and everyone would get into their groups of friends and enjoy the break. Not me. I would end up alone, eating— just waiting for the day to be over with. Guys would just walk by and stare. Girls would just laugh at me. My childhood was not one I care to remember, but it sticks in my memory. And it will forever. After 19 years of constant humiliation and loneliness, I needed to change my life. I had no job. I wasn’t in school. I had nothing. I was just a fat guy living at home with nothing and no one. I was fed up with life. So I turned to fitness. Not alcohol or drugs. I wanted to change my appearance. I was tired of being called the fat guy. I was tired of getting laughed at by a girl when I would muster up the shred of confidence I had in me to ask her out. I was determined to change my life. I had no money, so I couldn’t afford a gym membership or a nutritionist. I quit eating fast food, drinking soda and eating candy. I made up a 1,000-calorie-a-day diet that I religiously followed for the next eight months of my life. The weight started to come off nicely. I ended up taking 110 pounds off and I was a lean 155 pounds. A mere shadow of what I used to be. I had been reading bodybuilding magazines the entire time and wanted to be more than lean and in shape. I began my quest with two dumbbells and push-ups. With these dumbbells, I put on 20 pounds over the next year and wanted more. March 29, 2008 comes around. I am 175 pounds and at 3 percent body fat. I place third in the open men middleweight division. I did it. I am no longer that fat kid everyone picked on. I am now a bodybuilder. That is what motivates me to be the best. I sit here now in the midst of training for the Washington Iron Man show in October. I am in the best shape of my life. I have everything I could want. I have a beautiful fiancée, my family and bodybuilding. Anyone can do anything. It depends on how bad you want it. My main motivation when I’m training is the humiliation and anger I have inside of me from my past. But now when I look in the mirror I’m not that fat kid. I have the physique those losers that made fun of me will never have. So who’s doing the laughing now? THE WAY I SEE IT, rhickman and I have a lot in common! I started out the very same way. I wasn’t as big as he was, but “obese” was definitely an accurate, descriptive word. This essay really hit home for me. I’m thinking off the top of my head that it does the same for a few other guys and girls I’ve come to know. Bodybuilding is the greatest thing to ever come along. It makes lives and it saves lives and it does what no amount of money can. Rhickman, I’m very proud of you! Damn, I’m going back to read this thing again…this is good stuff!!
IN MEMORY OF BEN WEIDER 1924–2008
On Friday, October 17 , our world put the final punctuation on the era that created one of the biggest and best sports federations ever known. We all know that Joe Weider is the father of bodybuilding. He is the guy who first brought bodybuilding to the world through his publishing efforts that started long before any of our fathers were born…under a sheet under his mother’s dining room table in the middle of the night on a rented typewriter with a war chest of $7.00. While Joe toiled away creating our world, it was his younger brother, Ben, who created the venerable federation where we would compete. It was Ben Weider who nearly singlehandedly created the IFBB. It was 1946 and Joe and Ben were going to put on their first bodybuilding show called the Mr. Montreal. At that time, there was no bodybuilding federation to sanction a bodybuilding show. The only organized sanctioning body at the time was the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), which had bodybuilding fall under the auspice of the weightlifting federation, headed then by Bob Hoffman in the U.S. The same Bob Hoffman who used to own York Barbell and Muscular Development magazine. Prior to the show, Ben had secured permission from Hoffman to stage the Mr. Montreal bodybuilding contest. The evening of the show, literally minutes before the show was to start, two of Hoffman’s henchmen delivered a notice from the head of the AAU weightlifting committee to the athletes, telling them that the show was not being sanctioned by the AAU and in order to preserve their amateur status, they needed to leave the theater right away. Ben had no idea why the AAU would all of a sudden come in and pull their sanction, but it was at that January 2009
This month marked the passing of two great members of our community. All the news of the challenges we face and the controversy it represents are going to have to take a backseat to these two great men. “The Weiders are the Medici of bodybuilding. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. What Lorenzo did, I did along with Ben. We brought to our world prosperity, stability, and safety from tyrants who wanted to oppress bodybuilders.” – Joe Weider was not of our ilk. Joe was one of us; Ben wasn’t…but he sure didn’t lack the passion for it. Ben Weider is from another era— a formidable culture. So much so that I often wondered what the hell he’s doing all tangled up in bodybuilding. I was fortunate enough to actually meet Ben. While the guy was all about bodybuilding, he seemed as out of place in our world as a pearl onion on a banana split. Nevertheless, I found him to be the consummate gentleman and natural-born diplomat. As Joe says, Ben went all over the world and “looked kings and presidents and sports ministers straight in the eye and talked them into recognizing and supporting the IFBB.” Remarkably, altogether, Ben sold the idea to 173 countries. The hell with the weights and the sweat and the dieting; if that’s not a passion for something, nothing is. His unique ability to understand the workings of a sports federation were duly noted. It was this understanding that allowed Ben to spread competitive bodybuilding even into places that would normally discriminate against color or religion. Be it Jews and Muslims on the borders of Israel and Palestine or blacks and whites in South Africa during apartheid, Ben Weider stuck to his guns and got everyone to agree that the IFBB would bridge the gap. And, because it did, in 1983, Ben Weider was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace. He was recognized for administering a sports organization that was dedicated to bringing people of all different ethnic backgrounds and religions together in peace and for selfenhancement. Not a whole lot of people can say that about themselves. So what kind of man walks around with a Nobel Prize nomination? A historian, a humanitarian, a philanMD 57
moment, in a hailstorm of fury, that Joe and Ben created the IFBB. They told the bodybuilders not to leave, that now they have their own governing body and that they were going to make bodybuilding bigger and better than ever. While the whole thing happened at the spur of the moment, Ben and Joe were able to convince all the competitors to go with them and defected from the AAU. Other than promoting the very first true bodybuilding shows, Ben literally traveled the earth spreading Joe’s message and uniting bodybuilders under a single federation. Oddly, Ben devoted his life to doing this while never making any claim to ever have been a bodybuilder. I have never read anywhere of Ben uttering a word about picking up a weight. If he ever did, it’s not like he was throwing down. While Joe sure did, clearly Ben
The Way I See It—Romano Factor
thropist with 66 awards and honors he accumulated during his lifetime, including the Order of Canada, l’ordre du Québec and the French Légion d’honneur— Canada’s highest honor— which was established by the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and awarded to Ben for his years of dedication in proving that Bonaparte was murdered. Who is it who would want bodybuilding in the Olympics and toil for 30 years to get it in, all to no avail? Who never lost hope that one day bodybuilding would be in the Olympics? I can only imagine that had the architectural firm to which Ben had applied just before he started working with Joe not been antiSemitic, and he did in fact dedicate his life to architecture rather than to bodybuilding, there would be a mighty strong bridge somewhere with his name on it. Probably more than one. Ben’s life was dedicated to bringing people together. The gentleman aristocrat, medaled and honored with degrees from three prestigious universities, presiding over a bunch of bodybuilders paints a very curious picture. Nevertheless, Ben tirelessly positioned bodybuilding as a sport worthy of Olympic recognition. In 1971, Ben got the IFBB’s application for recognition on the agenda of the IOC meeting that year, but no action was taken. Since then he attended 30 meetings with four IOC presidents, including two with the current president, Jacques Rogge of Belgium. Always the goal was the same: formal recognition of his federation by the International Olympic Committee, which would mean that bodybuilding belonged to the most elite group of amateur athletes in the world. The ultimate dream was to see bodybuilding become part of the games. Indeed, that was Ben’s dream, and in order to appease Olympic officials sufficiently enough to be taken seriously, Ben had to pay particular attention to the IFBB’s drug policy. As far as members of the IOC were concerned, bodybuilding had a very strong association to drugs. Ben worked so hard to put the kibosh on drugs in the IFBB. In spite of the fact that IFBB pros evinced no abstinence from banned substances whatsoever, the amateurs were expected to follow some pretty strict rules. In their book, Brothers of Iron, Ben talks about Dr. Eduardo DeRose, member of the Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission with special responsibilities related to the Committee’s anti-doping program, who wrote a letter to Ben in 1998, that the IFBB’s “protocols are up to standard.” Ben continues that, “Under the guidance of Dr. DeRose, we created our own 51-page, antidoping manual laying out even more stringent guidelines and procedures. As mandated in our manual, we initiated out of competition testing to help ensure that athletes remain drug free year-round.” Effective January 1, 2000, every one of the 173 national federations of the IFBB was given the mandate to test for drugs at all national and regional-level competitions, subject to penalties for noncompliance. “No sports federation was tougher on drugs than the IFBB and we get tougher every year.” As dyed-in-the-wool bodybuilders, we may read that and chuckle at the implied hypocrisy, knowing what we do about our world. But you have to remember, Ben led this international amateur federation with the conviction he had, because he believed that throughout the world his IFBB looked as pristine as any other sports federation and he dedicated a good chunk of his life to seeing to it that the IOC did, too. Bodybuilding on the international amateur level looks as good as it does because of Ben. Imagine if someone like me ran it?
THE WAY I SEE IT, you only get one go-around in life. Ben was fortunate enough to have 85 healthy years of it, and he didn’t seem to waste a second. There is no doubt that Ben took the life he was given and lived it in such a way that as many people as possible could benefit from his time on earth. We only know him in our world, but Ben transcended ours and forged relationships and friendships all over the world, making him an iconic benevolent figure in his beloved home of Montreal. I don’t think you could look back on Ben’s lifetime of achievements and look at his life as anything but a raving success. There were times when I had my differences with Ben and what he was doing. I can only imagine the difficulty in having to deal with such a blinding paradox as bodybuilding. Here you’ve got a great man with the best of intentions trying to get a sport recognized by the IOC and committing his life to ensuring that the amateur athletes around the world adhered to a doping policy as strict and as sound as any other international federation, while its pros and U.S. amateurs are the poster children for drug use run amuck, with his own brother promoting those jacked bodybuilders in his magazine and in ads for his supplements! Then, on top of that, you have me trumpeting the hypocrisy of it as loud as I could. I have to salute Ben for taking it all in stride. He never wavered, never faltered and stayed his course right up until the very end. You’ve got to give the man mad respect for that. Thankfully, I was able to address Ben in person recently and bury the hatchet. Knowing the voracity of my charges against him, it was almost intimidating to shake his hand. After our short exchange where I apologized to him if I had ever offended him personally, he shook my hand again and this time cupped it with his other and said to me, “Thank you. Thank you for all you have done for our sport.” There could probably be no more a perplexing moment in my entire life. I thanked him back and left him feeling like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. The whole thing still puzzles me. Godspeed Ben Weider. Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.” There is no doubt in my mind that when that history is written, they are going to mention the name of a great man who believed all of us muscleheads do something worthwhile. Thank you, Ben.
The Way I See It—Romano Factor
IN MEMORY OF STEVE STONE
Stephan J. Kroll (1956 – 2008)
Just after the women’s prejudging at the Olympia, the news spread like wildfire through the expo hall that one of our own had met his end. When I found out it was Steve Stone, I couldn’t believe it. I had just spoken to him! Dave Palumbo and I were doing the play-by-play for the MD website and I needed a competitor’s list. I asked everyone from Jim Manion to Steve Weinberger and no one had a spare sheet. When I saw Steve, I knew I’d get what I needed. Sure enough, within a minute he found me a copy. I thanked him, exchanged a few words, he told me he had a splitting headache; I told him it was probably the heat and make sure he drank enough water. He laughed and said, “Yeah.” He slapped me on the shoulder and that was the last I’d ever see of him. While I knew Steve, I didn’t know him as well as the other members of our community who had known him for decades. One of whom is my friend, Bob Bonham, owner of Strong and Shapely Gym in New Jersey. He offered to write the tribute to Steve that only a man who knew him well could write. The following are Bob’s words: Steve was my close personal friend of 23 years. He worked within the bodybuilding sports field as a great champion as well as an outstanding sporting official from the USA East Coast area and helped run the Special Olympics. Steve passed doing what he loved best. Steve Stone was coordinating the backstage activities at the 2008 IFBB Mr. Olympia. He was making sure the best in the world were represented with the pride and dignity they deserved. His events always had precision and a professional look and Steve loved this sort of duty. This was because he loved the sport, and there was nothing he would not do for it. Steve had his own cross to bear physically in that he battled pulmonary disease for years. And yet, Steve could not say “no” to the sport he lived and died for. All asked his help routinely and he gave it until his end. Some who asked and asked were unthinking promoters, unaware competitors and even television shows that stressed him out...and Steve would never let them down. And this would also be the case on September 25, 2008 at the “O.” This would be Steve’s first year running the show by himself, with his personal crew. He was suffering from bad headaches and drinking tons of coffee to stay energized and alert. The man really loved his coffee. And for sure, no matter what Herculean effort and patience it took, Steve Stone would not let them down. Anyone who has worked with Steve in his life as a national-level expediter remembers him as a solid, competent force backstage. Steve’s compassion in regard to the competitors was unique in the fact that he helped and coached newcomers who he had never even met before, as well as calmed the veteran’s nerves. All quickly acknowledged it was a very good thing to become reliant on Steve’s sincere encouragement and advice during each and every show he was involved with. Back in 1985, I was Associate Editor for Muscle Training Illustrated magazine. Steve was training at my gym in Rutherford. And I needed a model for a documentary on “how-to” equipment articles. Denie, the magazine editor and head photographer, believed when he first saw Stone that his look was outstanding and more than that, he even had a resemblance to action film star Steve McQueen. This early publicity in which Steve Stone debuted would propel him toward eventual bodybuilding fame, followed by many articles and magazine covers. Most magazines in the industry clamored to follow suit and showcase this rugged champion. I bet you guys didn’t know that Steve was a two-time NPC Nationals title winner! Once in the North America Light-Heavyweight Class and overall with posing partner Sharon Marvel at the National Mixed Pairs competition. As a hard trainer...no one could touch Steve for intensity and power. I routinely watched him squat with 700 and plus pounds for 10 reps. Steve’s wife Andrea is special, too. They were made for each other. You could see and feel the devotion between them. She told me when she just visited my gym STRONG AND
The Way I See It—Romano Factor
SHAPELY today that from the first day in 1991 she first saw a picture of Steve at the gym where they trained, until the very last moment, she thought he was cute and still had the biggest crush on him. My heart goes out to you, Andrea. The funeral service for Steve was dominated with sadness and massive feelings of loss. The energy shouted delicately out for the great respect all had for this man. Usually at a bodybuilding wake only a handful of the industries’ mover and shakers will show up. But not this different day for this particular fallen and loved hero. The New York church could not hold all those who attended. The industry came from across the country and all of the surrounding east coast area. Among them were Robin Chang from California, the promoter of this year’s Olympia, Jack the wheelchair Bodybuilding Champion from Canada, National promoter Pam Betz with husband Ron from Florida, Jeff Taylor, NPC Colorado State Chairman, IFBB Pro Betsy McNally-Harris of Chicago, NPC National Chairman Jim Manion in from Pittsburgh, IFBB Pro Maggie Blanchard drove down from New Hampshire, as did pros Carla Salotti and Heidi Fletcher out of Massachusetts plus so many more. It was standing room only at the beginning of the service. I can picture the first thing in heaven waiting for Steve, his bulldog Bam Bam running to welcome him. Shit! Bam Bam is probably at his heels snorting, while Steve helps others get their wings. Contributions in Stephan’s Name can be made out to Stop the Clot at HTTP://stoptheclot.org/donate.htm
When I first interviewed Jose Canseco after his book Juiced came out, which focused attention on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and led to congressional hearings on the subject, I did have some empathy for him and could understand why he wrote it. Now he says he should have never written the book and named names of alleged steroid users. During the A&E Network program “Jose Canseco: The Last Shot, Canseco said he “regrets mentioning players [as ” steroid users]. I never realized this was going to blow up and hurt so many people, he said. ” During the show, Canseco said he “wanted revenge” on Major League Baseball because he believed he had been forced out of the game. The book was his way of getting even, and he named the names he did in order to show he was telling the truth about steroids in baseball. Among the names Canseco named in Juiced as alleged steroid users were Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. All three addressed the congressional hearing on steroids, with McGwire’s testimony damaging his chances of being voted into Cooperstown and Palmeiro’s unequivocal denial of steroid use haunting him when he later tested positive and was suspended. Since Canseco admits to using steroids himself for the past 24 years, there is the basis for a reality show for Canseco to finally get clean. But he’s terrified about what may happen when he goes through the process. There has been no medically documented case of someone quitting steroids after using them for so long, and the doctors have different opinions about what Jose will go through physically and mentally. We could thicken the plot by having Canseco go through his withdrawal in prison if he gets convicted of something bigger than his recent charge in federal court for trying to smuggle HCG across the border from Mexico. THE WAY I SEE IT, we need a legal opinion here and what better legal opinion would there be than that from my lawyer, who is also Canseco’s former lawyer, who appeared with Canseco in front of Congress? But Rob had “no comment. So I deferred to my other ” lawyer, my good friend, Rick Collins. “Good judgment has been to Canseco what selflessness has been to Wall Street. This dude is a frickin’ mess, bro. You can consider that my legal opinion on the subject. I don’t ” think anyone else would disagree. It’s sad though. Canseco was indeed a seriously good ball player who didn’t really do anything the others didn’t do. He just didn’t keep his mouth shut, giving credence to the saying, “You die by your lips. ” Falls from grace were quite common this month.
SPONSORED THIS MONTH BY:
By Gregg Valentino
WELCOME TO THE HOUSE WHERE EVEN BULLSHIT TALKS…HHHMMMM WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? AM I SAYING THAT THERE’S BULLSHIT ON THE MD “NO BULL FORUM? OR IS ” EVERYONE STRAIGHT UP???…THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 100% BULLSHIT FREE, BUT WE GOT LESS BULLSHIT THAN ANY OTHER BODYBUILDING FORUM ON THE NET….OOPS, I guess I should just keep talking and maybe someday I’ll say something intelligent!... SPEAKING OF SAYING SOMETHING INTELLIGENT, DAVE PALUMBO, CONTEST TRAINER/GURU TO THE STARS, HAS NOW GIVEN OUT MORE FREE ADVICE ON MD’s MuscularDevelopment.com WEBSITE FORUM THAN ALL THE BOOKS EVER PUBLISHED ON BODYBUILDING ADDED TOGETHER…. CURRENTLY APROACHING 2 MILLION HITS AND 25,000 REPLIES, IT HAS TO BE BY FAR THE GREATEST WEALTH OF BODYBUILDING INFO EVER COLLECTED IN ONE SPOT ….OH YEAH BABE, THERE IS LOTS OF DRUG AND NUTRITION ADVICE THAT YOU CANNOT FIND ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET!!!.... I’M NOT BLOWING SMOKE UP MY FRIEND DAVE PALUMBO’S BIG STRIATED ASS, BUT NO ONE KNOWS MORE IN THIS AREA THAN DAVE PALUMBO…EVEN THE PROS RUN TO DAVE FOR INFO COME CONTEST TIME….BUT THE REAL CRAZY THING IS THAT IF YOU ARE A FREE MEMBER ON THE MD WEBSITE YOU GET ALL DAVE’S VALUABLE TRAINING INFO FOR FREE….YO, THE PROS PAY HIM TOP DOLLAR FOR WHAT THE MD FORUM MEMBERS READ FOR FREE… AND DAVE ANSWERS ALL YOUR QUESTIONS, EVEN THE FUCKING DUMB-ASS QUESTIONS ……SO THIS MONTH I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU ALL A QUICK TASTE OF A Q&A WITH DAVE PALUMBO AND THE MD MEMBERS ON THE SUBJECT OF “CONTEST PREP”… YOU WON’T FIND THIS INFORMATION ANYWHERE OTHER THAN MuscularDevelopment.com... CHECK IT OUT >>> “When we talk about contest diets, we’re no longer worried about packing on new muscle. The name of the game now is PRESERVATION! In that light, there’s no such thing as a post-workout shake following your workout. Just eat whatever the next protein/fat meal in the diet is!” ...Dave Palumbo QUESTION: What is the amount of water I should take the week before the competition? ANSWER: I keep my water intake the same. Don’t start playing water games a week before a show. The less your change, the better! QUESTION: Do you deplete sodium on that Friday before the show while taking diazide? ANSWER:YES QUESTION: I’m assuming you should be fully carb-loaded at this point, due to depletion of sodium affecting the ability to load carbs; correct? ANSWER: NO, I still have my athletes carb-loading on the day before the show as well. AS long as you’re drinking, you’re fine! QUESTION: Since you need sodium+carbs+water to store and hold glycogen, and water follows sodium, wouldn’t depleting sodium with diazide to a large extent pull water from the muscle as well and flatten you out? ANSWER: NO....WATER follows CARBS.....the sodium is unnecessary. Besides, I have my athletes so loaded up on sodium that they don’t really get sodium depleted till the day of the show (when they’re already “dry”). QUESTION: Why do you recommend a high-sodium, fatty meal such as burger and fries the morning of the show after you worked so hard to clear sodium with all the diazide? Wouldn’t putting all that sodium back in (which predominantly sits extracellularly as you said) water someone over? ANSWER: When you’re already DRY putting sodi, um back into the body helps to balance electrolytes and prevents cramping. It also keeps POTASSIUM inside the muscle, which makes the muscles looks fuller. www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
WE GOT A TON OF PROS POSTING & CHATTING WITH OUR MEMBERS ALMOST EVERY DAY >> VICTOR MARTINEZ, DENNIS WOLF , SHAWN RAY FLEX WHEELER, LEE PRIEST , , BRANCH WARREN, MARKUS RUHL, DEXTER JACKSON, EVAN CENTOPANI, ERIK FANKHOUSER, TONEY FREEMAN, TROY BROWN, BEN WHITE, MILOS SARCEV, MELVIN ANTHONY LUKE WOOD, GARY , STRYDOM , JIMMY “THE BULL” PELLECHIA, PATRICK ARNOLD, VICTOR CONTI, JOHN ROMANO, RON HARRIS AND THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF PRO WOMEN WHO I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO NAME HERE. I THINK THE GIRLS OUTNUMBER THE GUYS!!!!….YO, WE MUST HAVE CLOSE TO 100 PROS, BOTH MEN & WOMEN BODYBUILDERS, AS WELL AS A LOT OF PRO FIGURE & FITNESS GIRLS,TOO; OH YUM!!!!…. PSSSTTT SSSSHHHH, LET’S KEEP THIS JUST BETWEEN US BUT >> A LOT OF THE FIGURE/FITNESS GIRLS ARE SINGLE,!!!!...OH YEAH BABE, THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW HOOK-UPS INCLUDING JOHN ROMANO, WHO MET HIS HONEY ON THE MD FORUM… THANKS OF COURSE TO MY “LOVE & RELATIONSHIP”THREAD….OOOPS, I ALMOST FORGOT, OF COURSE YOURS TRULY IS ON THE MD BOARD EVERY DAY ,TOO. YOU ARE ALL VERY LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO THESE PROS AND LEARN FROM THEM FIRSTHAND…YO, I BEEN SPENDING WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THE MD FORUM; I’M TOO DAMN ADDICTED….WOW, I NEED TO REST!!!..You know you should go to sleep when the sheep you’re counting start to hit the fence!!!! “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but instead it’s rising every time we fall. … ” Name: Richard Davies MD Forum member screen name: Flexfreak Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Age: 39 Years Bodybuilding: 27 Goal for the future: To one day step onstage. Favorite Bodybuilders: Coleman, Yates, Cutler, Wheeler, Priest Rant: This space is usually reserved for heated passionate rants about how intense someone is, or how hardcore they are. Well I’m going to do something different here. I want to use this opportunity to say something to my wife Patricia. You see, we’ve been together for over 11 years, marJanuary 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com ried for six and a half of those. We have two beautiful boys, Conor, who is 2, and Aiden, who will be 4 in December. The last few years have been rough for us especially for her and at present, we are separated. I just want to tell Patricia how much I love her, how much she means to me. Ever since she walked into my life, the sun has shined a little brighter. Take it from me, a fellow meathead, if your wife and children are not priority number one in your life, then your priorities are out of whack! Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”…. RICHARD HAS COME A LONG WAY AND HAS PROVEN HE IS A WINNER..WE AT MD WISH HIM AND HIS FAMILY THE VERY BEST OF LUCK...RICHARDYOU ARE ONE OF OUR MD FAMILY NOW,TOO. MD 69
WOW!!!! I know that drinking milk does a body good, but damn girl, how much you been drinking?.. OK OKTHAT’S BEING SILLY, I KNOW, BABE; BUT I WANNA SAY WELCOME TO MD. Name: Arina Manta Forum name: Arina Manta Age: a lady never gives her age :) Zodiac sign: Taurus Hometown: Sydney, Australia Height: 5’4” Measurements: chest: 37 inches (94 cm), waist: 23.2 inches (59 cm), hips: 33.1 inches (84 cm) Eyes: brown/hazel Offseason weight: 123.2 lbs (56 kg) Competition weight: 114.4 lbs (52 kg) Favorite food: Oats/egg whites pancake with fresh blueberries Favorite junk food: caramel brulée Favorite quote: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ” Favorite makeup: bareMinerals SPF 15 natural foundation Favorite body part to train: legs Your best body part: legs Future plans/goals: To continue to be successful in my carrer and to be satisfied with my achievements; to be one of the most popular fitness models; to be the best I can be as a competitor and to keep having a happy and healthy lifestyle. I became springboard diving champion of Romania at a very early age, which meant developing a lot of discipline and focusing on becoming the best athlete I could be. I learned to treat “failure” simply as a learning experience, an opportunity to work harder and overcome obstacles. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that bodybuilding taught him the life lessons that allowed him to succeed in sports, in movies, in business and now in politics. I feel my sports experience as a diver has done the same for me. Because I became a competitive athlete so early, and sports has always been an important part of my life, when I moved to Australia and was no longer diving I felt the need for some kind of athletic challenge. I was already strengthening my body by training with weights and people were very complimentary about my looks and my body, so dedicating myself first to fitness and then figure came very naturally. Winning Ms. Fitness Australia and then after two victories in the Ms. Figure Australia, I earned my IFBB pro card and was able to come to the United States to compete on an international level. This has been a very gratifying experience for me. Several magazines have run articles and layouts on me and a number of organizations have asked me to work with them at the major expos. One achievement I am proud of is the way I’ve learned to fly 22 hours from Australia to the US, compete in one or more contests and stay in shape over a period of weeks. Many competitors – in bodybuilding, fitness and figure – have trouble doing this and I have been asked to write articles to explain how I am able to sustain my conditioning for so long while doing so much traveling. I’m looking forward to working on articles like this to help other competitors and those who would like to stay in the best shape possible in spite of the demands of daily life, business and travel. Anyone who would like to know more about me can go to my website at www.arinamanta.com —and my fans can expect to see my first DVD, which will be available to December. SHE LOVES ME; SHE LOVES ME NOT…DAMN!!!…. OH GOD, YOU’RE SUCH A CUTIE… “Stick with me baby and I’ll buy you rocks as big as diamonds. …… ” *BIG SIGH*… One of us is thinking about sex...OK, it’s me. www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Flex Wheeler
he under-202 class is breathing new life into the sport, giving a chance to guys who might have a difficult time competing against monsters with a 50-pound weight advantage. James “Flex” Lewis is one such man. I have a running joke with him about using that nickname, but all kidding aside, this guy is as hardcore as they come (must be something in the fish n’ chips). At 24 years old, he’s got to be the youngest pro in the sport right now. I was a little surprised at that, because it seems like he’s been around for a considerable amount of time. I’ve seen him pack on more and more muscle each year and all of it’s been quality weight. In his freshman year, he’s shown he can hang with the best of them, winning his first pro show (2008 Europa Pro 202under) and taking third place in the 202-under at the Olympia, finishing only behind Kevin English and winner David Henry, both of whom have been pros for years now. James Flex Lewis November 15, 1983 Swansea, Wales UK 5’5” 198 pounds
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
WFBB Junior Mr. Wales EFBB Junior Mr. Britain
Mr. Wales, LightHeavyweight & Overall Mr. Britain, LightHeavyweight
NABBA Junior Mr. Wales NABBA Junior Mr. Britain NABBA Mr. Europe EFBB Junior Mr. Wales EFBB Junior Mr. Britain NABBA Mr. Universe
Mr. Britain, LightHeavyweight & Overall (pro card)
Europa Super Show, Under 202 Champion Mr. Olympia Under 202, Third Place
James has a very symmetrical, proportionate physique. His arms, while not a liability, aren’t exactly powerful.They look better from outside angles, such as the most-muscular; they’re a little light in the front double biceps and quarter-turn shots. He just needs to add more mass to both biceps and triceps. I’d also like to see more fullness and peak to those bi’s, as well. Delts are round, with even development in the anterior, medial and posterior heads; riddled with striations and separation, too. Chest is nice and square. A little more upper thickness wouldn’t hurt (who couldn’t use more upper pecs?). Inner striations pop them to life. Back is an area that will need lots of work— especially if he plans on bumping with Dave Henry in the under-202 class. His Christmas tree is in place, but he needs to add the rest of the branches and leaves. Legs are standouts. Great teardrops and good sweep; separation is stupendous, but he has the habit of forgetting to flex them (Come on! There’s no excuse with a name like that). Hamstrings have nice hang, with cracks like a dry riverbed. Calves! Now we come to the meat-and-potatoes of his physique. First Dorian, now James; I’m telling you, there’s something with these British bulldogs. If you’re impressed by photos of those “things, wait ‘till you see them in per” son. For starters, they insert into his heels!The way they pop out to the sides from the front is unreal.
Outstanding shape. Muscles attach all the way down to the joints.There are no empty spaces on his compact frame.
SYMMETRY & PROPORTION
Excellent symmetry. Legs stand out, so he’ll require more upper body size for better balance.
but then again, maybe he’s just not squeezing them all the time (rookie mistake).
FRONT DOUBLE BICEPS
Great overall shape. Nice lines and proportions. Legs look fabulous with those deep cuts. Terrifying calves, even from the front. Tight waist, although clavicles aren’t exceptionally wide. Arms need more size and fullness. January 2009
He’s not a big “little” man, ´a la Priest. But the kid’s only 24, so give him time to grow. With more size throughout his chest, back and arms, he’s sure to make a serious dent.
He’s got a lock on this department. Gets hard and dry all over, especially in the front upper body and hams and glutes. I’d like to see criss-cross striations on his thighs,
REAR DOUBLE BICEPS
Ripped hams and glutes— and first full view of those monstrous calves. Back needs more thickness and width from topto-bottom.
REAR LAT SPREAD
Maybe his weakest shot. Really has to pull his lats out. Christmas tree is very impressive, though.
ABS & THIGH
Shredded serratus! Has a deeply delineated four-pack. Needs to keep his legs tight during the duration of this pose.
Nice compact package. Not the overflowing with mass-type most-muscular, but impressive for proportion and aesthetics. James has a good amount of muscle for his frame, but there are guys his height carrying 20 pounds more. I feel he should stay in the 202-under class for a while, but may want to add the size necessary to be more competitive in the open class. I see him doing well with his natural gifts. It’s obvious that this kid lives and breathes bodybuilding. He even trained with the immortal Dorian Yates for a time and Dorian doesn’t train just anybody.The Welsh Dragon is breathing fire and he’s hungry to make his mark. And you can bet I’ll by keeping my eye out.
FRONT LAT SPREAD
Good taper. Nice chest and delt thickness. Upper body still needs a little more meat to balance out lower half.
Awesome quad-ham split. Can’t take my eyes off those calves! Upper body has pleasing shape and lines. Pecs are balanced. Needs more size to arms and overall thickness— especially from this angle.
Nice shape, but will need to beef up his guns considerably to be competitive in this pose. Good balance between lower and upper pecs. Lower body already there..
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Stretching Decreases Muscle Strength Power
Pre-exercise stretching was once part of the normal warm-up ritual of almost all strength, power, and endurance athletes. Most fitness experts said that stretching increased muscle and joint range of motion, which made movements easier and reduced the risk of injury. It turns out that pre-exercise stretching is a bad idea that decreases performance and increases the risk of injury. Pre-exercise stretching reduces muscle strength and power and interferes with the brain’s ability to control the muscles. Greek researchers found that muscle power decreases the longer you stretch the muscle. They measured the effects of stretches lasting from 10 seconds to 60 seconds on isometric strength and power. Stretching for 30 seconds decreased isometric strength by nearly 9 percent, while stretching 60 seconds decreased power by 16 percent. Stretching 30 seconds or longer has similar effects in decreasing muscle power. They recommended that athletes avoid static stretching of muscles for 30 seconds or more before activities requiring maximum strength and power. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 22: 40–46, 2008)
that can create excessive torque and unnatural stresses. Also, the exercises are artificial and do not transfer well to functional movement. Angelo Cacchio and coworkers from the University of Rome in Italy and Illinois State University found that exercising on a machine that provided free motion similar to dumbbell and barbell exercises created greater activation of shoulder girdle muscles than a machine that forced movement in a fixed path. They concluded that unconstrained weight training is superior to fixed path weight machines because it builds intramuscular coordination that might transfer better to functional activities. (Journal Electromyography Kinesiology, 18: 618-627, 2008)
You Don’t Know Squat!
Most people don’t squat correctly. They bend at the spine, rely too much on their quadriceps (thigh muscles), minimize the use of their gluteal (butt) muscles, lift their heels and collapse their chests. Poor leg, hip and spinal mechanics put excessive stress on the knees and back and will eventually lead to injury. Stand with your feet placed slightly more than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out slightly, head neutral, back straight and support the bar on the fleshy part of your upper back. Center your weight over your arches or slightly behind. Squat down, keeping your weight centered over your arches and actively flex your hips until your thighs break parallel. During the movement, keep your back straight, shoulders back, chest out, head neutral and let your thighs part to the side so that you are “squatting between your legs.” During the movement, try to “spread the floor” with the outside of your feet as you drop to the squat position. Push back to the starting position, maximizing the use of the posterior hip and thigh muscles, maintaining a straight back and neutral head position. Paul Comfort and Peter Kasim from the London Sports Institute concluded that the essential elements of the squat for minimizing injury and maximizing strength include a wide stance with natural foot positioning, keeping the weight back by hinging at the hips and not the back, holding the head in a neutral position and maintaining the normal curves of the spine during the exercise. If you can’t squat, then you ain’t strong. (Journal Strength Conditioning, 29: 10–13, 2007)
Are Free Weights Or Machines Better For Building Strength And Muscle Size?
Proponents of free weights and weight machines are very much like sheepmen and cattlemen in the old west: both feel strongly about their point of view and have inflexible attitudes toward the other side. Machines are convenient, high tech, comfortable and attractive. However, they move joints through fixed ranges of motion
Muscle Strength Highest In The Afternoon
What is the best time of day to train? Most studies show that muscle strength, power and endurance are greatest between about 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Muscle temperatures are generally highest at this time, which probably accounts for the difference. A study from Finland showed that daily variations in strength and power cease to
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
exist in people who train in the morning. They examined 27 men who weight trained either in the morning (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.) or in the afternoon (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Initially, all subjects were stronger in the afternoon than in the morning. But these differences disappeared in the morning training group, but not in the evening training group. This study showed that you should exercise in the morning if you have a morning competition, because morning training will eliminate normal strength differences between early and late times of the day. (Journal Sports Sciences, published online June 12, 2008) you to the next level, but don’t overdo it. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 21: 628–631, 2007)
Mid-Range Grip Best For The Bench Press
Most young men measure their strength by their bench press. Some lifters prefer a wide-grip because it reduces the range of motion during the exercise, but this is a mistake. British strength coaches Carly Green and Paul Comfort discussed the best bench press technique for maximizing performance and reducing the risk of injury. A wide grip during the bench press (greater than 1.5 times the biacromial width; the lumps on the upper part of your scapulae or shoulder blades) increases the risk of shoulder injury and pectoralis major rupture. Avoid wide-grip bench presses that align your upper arm at 90° angles from your torso. Instead, keep your elbows in and move the bar in a straight line at a point below your lower pecs. Learn to use your legs effectively during the lift and align your upper body so that your chest is up and your butt remains in contact with the bench. Most guys who have bench pressed seriously for many years have rotator cuff injuries— usually because they used poor technique and overtrained. Prevent bench press injuries and maximize performance by using a narrower grip and elbows closer to the body, avoiding excessive training volume and dropping the weight when changing your bench press technique. You can bench press big iron without ruining your shoulders. (Strength and Conditioning Journal, 29: 10–14, 2007
Training To Failure: How Much And How Often?
Feeling the burn and pushing reps to the max have always been part of effective training for bodybuilding. Failure training involves doing an exercise until the muscles no longer respond. Jeff Willardson from Eastern Illinois University discussed the pluses and minuses of failure training methods. Many studies have examined the optimal number of sets in a program, but few have looked at the effects of failure training on muscle size and strength. Failure training allows advanced bodybuilders and lifters to break training plateaus and move to the next level. These highly intense workouts must be incorporated into short-term cycles to avoid overtraining. Failure training is effective, because it recruits more motor units (muscle fibers and their nerve supply) and stimulates the secretion of anabolic hormones such as growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor and testosterone, and increases insulin sensitivity (insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone. Increases in strength require high-intensity overload, so bodybuilders should not rely on high-rep burn programs for making progress. Bodybuilders and power athletes must push the big iron if they want to get strong and big. Excessive failure training leads to injury, overtraining and loss of motivation. Failure training can move
build the quads like no other exercise. They’re easier on the spine than back squats because they place the spine in a more upright position and don’t flex the trunk as much. In fact, you’ll drop the weight to the floor if you hunch over or drop your elbows. Also, front squats serve as a gateway to fun lifts such as cleans, snatches and overhead squats. The technique sounds easy: grasp the bar toward the end of the fingers using a clean grip (bar at shoulder level with palms out) and rest it on your upper chest and front deltoids. Keep your chest out, elbows up and shoulder blades slightly together. Take a comfortable shoulder-width stance with your feet pointed out no more than 30 degrees. Descend by sticking your butt back and keeping your spine neutral and chest out. Try to squat “between your legs” and “spread the floor” with your feet. The movement should hinge at your hips rather than your back. Your goal is to break parallel. The initial depth of your front squat is determined by your ability to maintain proper spine and hip positions. Hinge at the hips during the “up” phase of the lift, while maintaining a neutral spine with chest out and shoulder blades drawn together and head neutral. Push through the middle of your feet and don’t rock forward on your toes. Learn this exercise with a broomstick or dowel using high-rep sets before progressing to an Olympic bar and plates. This lift takes time to learn, but it’s worth the effort. (Journal Strength Conditioning, 29: 14–19, 2007)
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Get Strong with Front Squats
Olympic lifters live and die by the front squat, but it’s a good exercise for bodybuilders, too. Strength coaches Mike Waller and Rob Townsend discussed the benefits of front squats and how to do them properly. Front squats
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
High-Protein, Ketogenic Diets Suppress Appetite And Speed Weight Loss
The body produces ketones, such as acetone, acetoacetate and betahydroxybutyrate, during low-calorie intake and carbohydrate restriction. Low-carbohydrate diets— sometimes called ketogenic diets— are more effective than low-calorie, mixed- or high-carbohydrate diets for short-term weight loss. The brain and nervous system use mainly glucose (blood sugar) as fuel, but can also use ketones when carbs are unavailable. Ketones, however, suppress the appetite center in the brain, which might explain why low-carb diets cause rapid weight loss. Ketones cause an improved sense of well-being and produce mild euphoria. British researchers found that high blood ketone levels reduced appetite and food intake. During two different four-week periods, subjects ate highprotein diets either high or low in carbohydrates. They concluded that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets that increased blood ketone levels reduced hunger and lowered food intake better than a diet high in protein and containing moderate amounts of carbohydrates. In the short term, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets suppress hunger and reduce food intake better than highprotein, medium-carbohydrate diets. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 87: 44–55, 2008) include simple sugars and white bread that enter the bloodstream quickly, while low glycemic index foods include whole grains that are digested slowly and trigger more modest increases in blood sugar. One theory is that rapid increases in blood sugar trigger greater insulin release, which promotes fat storage.
Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat And Increases Muscle Mass
Growth hormone is a popular drug with middle-aged and older adults because it increases muscle mass, strength and exercise capacity and decreases fat. Researchers and physicians do not agree on the medical benefits of growth hormone for retarding the aging process and improving the quality of life in older adults. Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana found middle-aged men who took growth hormone supplements for six months showed increases in weight and lean body mass (mainly muscle and bone) and an 8.8 percent reduction in abdominal fat. Growth hormone increased resting metabolic rate by nearly 200 calories per day. This study showed that growth hormone therapy was effective for increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat in marginally overweight middle-aged men and could be an important therapy for improving the quality of life in older adults. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, in press; September 4, 2007)
Low Glycemic Index Diet Promotes Weight Loss
Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a food increases blood sugar. High glycemic index foods
British researchers found that middle-aged adults lost more weight following a low glycemic diet than a high glycemic diet during a 12-week study. Both groups reduced caloric intake by 300 calories below normal. The average blood sugar levels was lower in the low glycemic index group, but there were no differences between groups in heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or waist circumference. Few studies have found that the glycemic index of the diet influences weight control or heart disease risk factors in healthy people. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62: 145– 149, 2008)
Low-Carb Diet Increases Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a critically important stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol increases during fasting, eating, physical activity and psychological stress, where it helps regulate fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. During stress, cortisol promotes fat release from outlying fat cells and stimulates protein breakdown to help maintain blood sugar. It also promotes fat storage in the abdomen. The composition of the diet influences cortisol levels. A study from University of Edinburgh in Scotland found that a lowcarbohydrate diet prevented the meta-
Illustrated by Jerry Beck/www.ironasylum.com
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
bolic breakdown of cortisol, which elevated levels of the hormone. In spite of elevated cortisol, people following a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight than those eating a mixed diet (moderate levels of carbohydrates and fats). The role of cortisol in obesity and weight loss is complicated and it is often misrepresented on late-night television commercials promoting weight-loss products. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, in press; published online September 4, 2007)
Too Little Or Too Much Sleep Makes You Fat
Getting too little or too much sleep at night increases the risk of obesity. A study from Laval University in Quebec, Canada found that nightly sleep duration predicted future weight gain. They examined nearly 300 adults, organized according to their typical sleep duration: short, 5-6 hours; average, 7-8 hours; and long, 9-10 hours. Short sleep duration increased the risk of obesity by 27 percent, while long sleep duration increased it by 21 percent compared to average sleep duration. The results were not influenced by energy intake or daily exercise. During the six-year study, short and long duration sleepers were more likely to gain 11 pounds or more than people who slept 7-8 hours per night. Good sleep patterns are critical for weight control. Get a good night’s sleep every night. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening. Sleep in a dark, quiet room, avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime and get up at the same time every morning. Establishing consistent sleep patterns will make you feel better and helps control body fat. (Sleep, 31: 517-523, 2008)
trolling chemical. Metformin appears to prevent fat storage by limiting fat accumulation in pre-adipocytes. (Diabetes Obesity Metabolism, in press; published online May 12, 2008)
Insulin Promotes Fat Storage
High insulin levels from drinking high-sugar soft drinks or eating meals high in simple sugars promotes obesity. Insulin is an important hormone for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Blood glucose (sugar) increases rapidly after a meal. In response, the pancreas releases insulin, which helps move the glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Glucose is an important fuel for muscles and the central nervous system (brain, spine and nerves). Excess glucose is stored for later use as fat in white adipose tissue (fat cells) through a process regulated by insulin. Japanese scientists, in a study using fat cells cultured in the laboratory, discovered that insulin promotes fat storage by preventing fat breakdown. It does this by blocking the action of adrenaline and hormone-sensitive lipase. The study showed why high-sugar meals and soft drinks promote obesity. High-sugar soft drinks cause rapid increases in blood sugar and insulin release, which prevents fat breakdown and promotes fat storage. This study showed why high levels of insulin levels promote obesity. (Kobe Journal Medical Sciences, 53: 99106, 2007)
Rapid Weight Loss Decreases Testosterone
Bodybuilders live and die by their testosterone levels. Numerous studies by Shalender Bhasin and colleagues found that muscle mass and the capacity for muscle hypertrophy is directly proportional to blood testosterone levels. Testosterone also promotes aggressiveness and competitiveness, which are vital for any athlete. Bodybuilders seek to maximize muscle mass and minimize fat. This is a difficult task, because the body uses muscle proteins as fuel during periods of caloric restriction. Research from Finland showed that blood testosterone levels decreased markedly in elite wrestlers who lost weight rapidly in two to three weeks. The athletes lost 8 percent of bodyweight, 16 percent of fat mass and 8 percent of fat-free mass (includes muscle) during the study through caloric restriction, increased exercise and dehydration. Testosterone and luteinizing hormone (controls testosterone levels) decreased by 63 percent and 54 percent. The changes in these hormone levels were highly related to weight loss. The study showed that rapid weight loss associated with weight-class sports could have profound effects on metabolism, body composition and hormone status, which might negatively affect health and maturation in growing athletes. (International Journal Sports Medicine, in press; published online June
Metformin Fights Body Fat
Metformin, sold as Glucophage, Riomet and Fortamet, is the most common drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, particularly when obesity and insulin resistance accompany it. It works by moving sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. It is a good drug for active diabetics, because it rarely causes low blood sugar, even during intense exercise. Also, it doesn’t cause weight gain and even causes small weight loss. British researchers showed that metformin inhibited fat storage in cells called pre-adipocytes, which eventually turn into normal fat cells and promote obesity. The drug activated an enzyme called AMPK, which is an important metabolic-con-
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By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Fatherhood Increases Prostate Cancer Risk
Don’t have kids if you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. However, if you have kids, father a lot of them. Danish researchers found that fathers had a higher prostate cancer risk than childless men. Strangely, men who had more than one child had a lower risk than men who had only one. Also, men who fathered sons were less likely to get the disease than men who fathered daughters. They studied 3,400 men who developed prostate cancer, taken from a national population register of all men born in Denmark between 1935 and 1988. Risk factors of prostate cancer include race, family history of the disease and age. The researchers could not identify the environmental factors that accounted for the lower prostate cancer risk in childless men. (Cancer, in press; published online January 7, 2008) cause. The men received medical exams and physical fitness tests during the 1980s and their status was reevaluated nearly 20 years later. Greater strength reduced the risk of death from all causes by 32 percent, by 50 percent from heart attack, and by 32 percent from cancer compared to the weakest onethird of the men. Increasing strength might make you live longer. Weight training should not be a substitute for aerobic exercise— you should do both. (British Medical Journal, in press; Published online July 1, 2008) who used these drugs would almost certainly get injured. While myostatin prevents excessive muscle growth, it is also involved in tissue repair following intense training. Muscle injuries usually occur during lengthening contractions (eccentric contractions). Tendons act like springs during these types of contractions, which lessens the load on the muscles. Short, brittle tendons created by myostatin blockers would expose the muscles to greater loads and increase the risk of injury. Myostatin blockers cause rapid and extreme muscle growth, which will make them irresistible to many athletes— regardless of the side effects. (Proceedings National Academy Sciences, 105: 388-393, 2008)
Cardio Protects Blood Vessels from Harmful Effects of Weight Training
Weight training increases muscle and bone mass and has positive effects on metabolism. It can, however, stress the blood vessels. At rest, the average blood pressure is about 100 millimeters of mercury (mmHg.). Peak systolic blood pressure (higher blood pressure number) during heavy squats is as high as 400 mmHg. A single weight-training workout stiffens the blood vessels, which could gradually damage the cells lining the vessels and stress the heart. Cardio, on the other hand, makes the vessels more compliant and enhances their health and function. Japanese researchers found that doing cardio exercise after weight training promoted blood vessel health and compensated for the negative effects of weight training on blood vessel stiffness. Doing cardio before weight training did not provide a protective effect. Performing cardio after weight training benefits blood vessels and maximizes the training effects of resistive exercise, because you can
Greater Muscle Strength Reduces Risk of Premature Death
Aerobic fitness strengthens the cardiovascular system, protects the heart and blood vessels from disease and reduces the risk of heart attack and heart-related sudden death. Most exercise recommendations mention muscle strength as an afterthought. A long-term study of more than 10,000 men conducted at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas found that higher muscle strength levels reduced the risk of death from cancer and deaths per year due to any
Myostatin Blockers Increase The Risk Of Tendon Injuries
Myostatin is a protein that regulates muscle growth and prevents muscles from getting too large. Myostatin blockers sound like a bodybuilder’s dream— they might provide unlimited muscle growth. University of Michigan researchers, led by John Faulkner, found that while drugs that block myostatin make muscles grow, they also shrink tendons and make them more brittle. They studied mice that were genetically altered so they couldn’t produce myostatin. Athletes
Illustrated by Jerry Beck/www.ironasylum.com
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
lift more intensely with less fatigue. (Journal Applied Physiology, 103: 1655–1661, 2007)
Low Testosterone Linked to Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome
Testosterone is critical for building large, strong muscles and making you feel like a man. It’s also important for metabolic health. Men with low testosterone levels have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by poor blood sugar regulation. Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms linked to poor metabolic health that include high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, abnormal blood fats, inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and blood-clotting abnormalities. Both health problems can zap your energy levels, cause heart attack and ruin your sex life. Low testosterone might cause these problems by altering body composition, decreasing androgen receptor sensitivity, impairing glucose (sugar) transport into cells and reducing the cells’ ability to fight free radicals that cause cell destruction. Testosterone supplements can help men with low testosterone levels improve blood sugar control and reduce abdominal fat. (Current Opinion Endocrinology Diabetes & Obesity, 14: 226–234, 2007)
California, San Diego found that low testosterone levels lead to premature death. They measured the death rates of older men (average age 72 at the beginning of the study) for 20 years. Men with the lowest levels of testosterone at the beginning of this study were more likely to die sooner. Results were independent of health risks such as the Metabolic Syndrome or obesity. This study showed that decreasing testosterone levels in older men have significant health consequences and that “andropause” is an important health concern. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, in press; published online October 2, 2007)
Low Testosterone Linked to Increased Death Rate from Heart Disease and Cancer
Many recent studies have demonstrated a link between low testosterone levels and an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Epidemiologists (scientists who study population disease trends) are finding that a low testosterone level is an important risk factor for premature death from heart disease and all causes of death. British researchers measured blood testosterone in 12,000 men aged 40 to 79 between 1993 and 1997 and determined how many had died or had heart disease or cancer in 2003. Death rates due to cancer, heart disease and all causes were substantially higher in men with low testosterone levels. The results were independent of age, body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, alcohol intake, physical activity, social class and education. They concluded that a low testosterone level is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. (Circulation, 116: 2694-2701, 2007)
Low Testosterone Linked To Premature Death
Low testosterone levels may promote heart disease, stroke, diabetes, abdominal obesity, reduced muscle and bone mass, depression, erectile dysfunction and low sex drive. Low testosterone levels can trigger increased fat mass, low energy levels, mental impairment, increased risk of falls, hip fractures, anemia and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the University of
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Creatine-ProteinCarb Supplement Boosts Muscle Mass In Trained Athletes
Creatine monohydrate supplements build muscle mass and strength in subjects ranging from elite athletes to older adults with muscle-wasting diseases. Not all studies have been positive. Training and genetic status might influence the effectiveness of the supplement. Some people respond to creatine, while others don’t. Other studies found that protein-carbohydrate supplements administered before or after training also increased muscle mass and promoted protein synthesis. The effects of creatine and protein-carbohydrate supplements might be additive. Australian researchers found that experienced weight-trained athletes who took a protein (whey) + carbohydrate + creatine monohydrate supplement increased fat-free weight, muscle fiber crosssectional area, contractile protein content and lifting strength (1-repetition maximum lifts) more than a protein-carbohydrate supplement. They took the supplement during a 10-week structured and supervised weight-training program. A supplement containing creatine, protein and carbohydrates promotes muscle mass and strength in trained athletes. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 39: 1960–1968, 2007) aromatization increases the biologically available testosterone and could promote muscle growth. 6-OXY is a popular bodybuilding supplement containing 4-androstene-3, 6,17-trione that partially blocks the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Dan Rohle and colleagues from Baylor University found that men taking 300mg or 600mg of 6-OXY for eight weeks showed large increases in free testosterone, dehydrotestosterone and the testosterone to estrogen ratio (i.e., more testosterone and less estrogen). The supplement did not completely inhibits the formation of muscle satellite cells. Satellite cells provide new cell nuclei, which allow muscle to continue making protein at high rates after the cells get larger. Researchers from Finland discovered that protein supplements taken immediately after weight training increase the activity of myostatin. This would appear to decrease muscle hypertrophy. However, we know that protein supplementation after weight training promotes muscle growth. So, the significance of the suppressing effects of protein on myostatin is not known. Muscle tissue breaks down and builds up after exercise. Damaged tissue is repaired during recovery, while new muscle tissue is synthesized in response to the stress of exercise. The human gene map was completed in 2002, so we are only beginning to recognize the complexity of the effects of genes on exercise capacity and muscle hypertrophy. Genetics is the new frontier of sports physiology and holds the key to better training programs, health and longevity. (European Journal Applied Physiology, in press; October 9, 2007)
6-OXO Increases Testosterone
The capacity for muscle growth depends on blood levels of testosterone. Young men build muscle better than women and older men because they have higher levels of the hormone. During its metabolism, a portion of testosterone is converted (aromatized) to estrogens. Blocking
block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. The study did not show that 6-OXY increased muscle mass and strength— only that it possessed the potential to do so. While 4androstene-3, 6,17-trione is banned in many sports, it can still be purchased legally in the United States. It is easily detected in urine, so athletes subject to drug testing should beware. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4:13, 2007; published online)
Glutamine Boosts the Immune System
Which situation is worse: 1) You do one too many sets of benches and pull a pec muscle and miss a week of training? or 2) You train too hard, catch a cold and miss a week of training? Both are bad and will stop you in your tracks. While most athletes are careful to avoid muscle and joint injuries, many are careless about preventing overtraining-related breakdown in the immune systems. You can prevent immune problems with a good training program. A review of literature by Brazilian scientists suggested that glutamine supplements might also help. January 2009
Illustrated by Jerry Beck/www.ironasylum.com
Whey Protein Increases Myostatin Activity
Myostatin is a muscle chemical that decreases muscle mass and
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Glutamine is an amino acid that becomes depleted when you overtrain. Taking glutamine supplements may help boost the immune system and prevent colds and flu. The evidence is not ironclad. Measuring the effects of training on immunity is difficult and expensive. While glutamine levels go down during heavy training, taking supplements will not give you a superhero immune system. However, the supplements are cheap and appear harmless, so you might consider them if heavy training makes you get more colds and flues than normal. (Amino Acids, in press; published online October 2007)
Beta-Alanine Supplements Increase Weight-Training Endurance
Alanine is an amino acid that helps supply energy during exercise. It is converted to blood sugar in the liver by a process called the glucose alanine cycle. While it is not used to synthesize muscle tissue or enzymes, it influences exercise capacity— particularly endurance performance. Researchers from the College of New Jersey found that beta-alanine supplements improved muscle endurance during weight training— the maximum number of repetitions in the squat. They supplemented beta-alanine (4.8 grams per day) to trained men participating in a one-week training program. The men did 6 sets of 12 repetitions in the squat at 70 percent of max effort. In the muscle endurance test, the supplement group did 22 percent more reps than a placebo group (fake alanine) and also developed nine times more leg power. Alanine supplements had no effects on growth hormone, cortisol or testosterone. Other studies have shown, however, that beta-alanine in doses of 10g per day caused tingling and numbness in the skin. A little of this supplement might be beneficial but a lot could cause problems. (International Journal Sports Medicine, in the press; published online June 11, 2008)
Bicarbonate Loading Improves High-Intensity Exercise Capacity
Sodium bicarbonate— the stuff found in Arm and Hammer baking soda— increases performance during intense, maximal events lasting 45 seconds to 2 minutes. It works by increasing blood-buffering capacity— the ability to dispose of acids in the blood that can interfere with metabolism and cause fatigue. Lars McNaughton and colleagues from the University of Hull in England reviewed the literature on the benefits and risks of “soda loading” and concluded that it improves performance in some athletes. While most studies used untrained subjects, the technique works best in well-trained athletes. The optimal dosage is 0.3 grams per kilogram bodyweight, which is 27 grams for a 200-pound person. Soda loading has not caught on because of its nasty side effects— nausea, intestinal cramps, gas and diarrhea. The researchers concluded that soda loading is beneficial for athletes competing in specific events and when used chronically in training to boost intensity. However, we do not know the side effects from long-term, chronic use. (Current Sports Medicine Reports, 7: 230-236, 2008)
increase muscle strength or power, but reduces the perception of fatigue. New Zealand researchers found that caffeine increased testosterone levels during training, with higher doses of caffeine producing higher blood levels of testosterone. Increased testosterone levels make it easier to gain muscle mass and strength with training. The study also showed that caffeine increased cortisol— a catabolic hormone linked to protein breakdown, which might nullify caffeine’s beneficial effects on testosterone. Caffeine provides an energy boost to train harder and might also promote training gains by increasing testosterone levels. (International Journal Sport Nutrition Exercise Metabolism, 18: 131-141, 2008)
Whey Protein Supplement Speeds Fat Loss
Drinking a whey protein shake 20 minutes before a meal will help you lose fat and preserve muscle mass. A 12-week study on weight loss from the Minnesota Applied Research Center in Minneapolis found that a pre-meal protein supplement helped decrease appetite during lunch or dinner. Consuming a whey protein beverage (Prolibra) 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner caused greater fat loss than a placebo (fake Prolibra; 8 pounds versus 3.5 pounds) and helped maintain muscle mass. Substituting proteins for carbohydrates is a good strategy for weight loss. The amino acids from whey protein circulate in the blood and the liver converts them to blood sugar. They work like tiny blood sugar timed-release capsules to maintain blood sugar levels, which decreases appetite. Health experts are scrambling to find techniques to help people eat less and lose weight. Drinking a whey protein shake before meals might help. (Nutrition & Metabolism, published online March 27, 2008)
Caffeine Increases Testosterone
Many bodybuilders take caffeine pills or energy beverages containing caffeine (e.g., coffee or Red Bull) to increase training intensity. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant used to prevent fatigue and promote mental alertness. Most studies show that caffeine does not
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Creatine Does Not Harm Kidneys
Creatine monohydrate supplements boost exercise performance, prevent nerve breakdown, improve symptoms in muscle wasting diseases and enhance energy centers in the cells. Creatine impaired kidney function in rats suffering from cystic kidney disease. Most studies found that creatine had no negative effects on kidney function in humans or animals. Brazilian scientists found that high doses of creatine (10 grams per day for three months) had no effects on kidney function in young men following an aerobic training program (40 minutes, three times per week). Cystatin C, a marker of kidney dysfunction, decreased in the creatine and placebo (fake creatine) groups, showing that exercise improved the overall health of the kidneys. They concluded that creatine supplements do not harm kidney function in young men participating in a moderate-intensity aerobics program. (European Journal Applied Physiology, 103: 33–40, 2008) synthesis in the muscles and modify muscle protein breakdown, remodeling and repair. Chemicals called ribosomal protein S6 kinase and the target of rapamycin (mTOR) are important cell signaling molecules that are sensitive to small changes in energy status and are major forces in protein synthesis. They work like biological computer programs to line up amino acids needed to produce new muscle tissue. Micah Drummond and Blake Rasmussen from University of Texas Medical Branch, in a review of literature, concluded that after weight training, feeding a supplement high in leucine-rich essential amino acids and carbohydrates activated protein-signaling molecules that promoted protein synthesis and muscle growth. Bodybuilders should consume carbamino acids supplements high in leucine before and after training to maximize protein synthesis. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 11: 222-226, 2008)
Alkaline Diets Linked To Greater Muscle Mass
Most of us are confused about the ideal combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the diet for promoting muscle mass and minimizing fat. It seems as though every week we see a new study that provides contradictory information. Just when you thought you were totally confused about the ideal bodybuilding diet, scientists from Tufts University muddied the water even more. They found that high-acid diets might cause muscle wasting. Protein and cereal grains produce acids such as sulfuric
acid, while fruit and vegetables generate alkaline chemicals such as potassium and bicarbonate. Older adults who consumed more grains and meat and fewer fruits and vegetables had lower levels of potassium and less muscle mass. Those eating more fruits and vegetables had the highest levels of lean body mass (fat-free weight). We don’t know if these results apply to young, healthy bodybuilders, but eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 87: 662–665, 2008)
Whey Protein Speeds Fat Loss And Spares Muscle Mass
Health experts are scrambling to find techniques to help people eat less and lose weight. Eating pre-meal protein supplements might be an effective way to cut appetite during lunch or dinner. A study from the Minnesota Applied Research Center and the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis found that people on a reduced-calorie diet who consumed a whey protein beverage (Prolibra) 20 minutes before breakfast and 20 minutes before dinner for 12 weeks lost more fat (8 pounds versus 3.5 pounds) and maintained muscle mass better than people who consumed a placebo (fake Prolibra). We have good
Leucine Speeds Protein Synthesis After Weight Training
Cells use amino acids to make new proteins, but amino acids do a lot more than build proteins. Amino acids activate signaling proteins in muscles that turn on protein synthesis and increase muscle fiber size. Muscle tension, blood levels of amino acids (particularly leucine) and insulin are key factors triggering muscle growth. They activate signaling pathways inside the cells that promote protein
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
evidence that substituting proteins for carbohydrates is a good strategy for weight loss. The amino acids from whey protein circulate in the blood and are converted to blood sugar in the liver. They work like tiny blood sugar timed-release capsules to maintain blood sugar levels, which decreases appetite. Consuming a whey protein beverage 20 minutes before a meal promotes fat loss and maintains muscle mass. (Nutrition & Metabolism, published online March 27, 2008)
Pre-And PostExercise Feeding Boosts Muscle Mass
One of the most important discoveries in sports nutrition in the last 100 years was that pre- and post-exercise feeding promotes recovery, increases muscle mass and strength and prevents injury. Intense weight training shakes up muscle metabolism. High levels of muscle tension developed during training damages tissue that must be repaired during recovery. Training also stimulates tension receptors within the cells that stimulate protein synthesis and makes muscles grow. Muscles increase in size and strength in response to muscle tension, anabolic hormones, energy, carbohydrates and amino acids. Dr. Jose Antonio from the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that consuming 25 grams of protein before and after exercise was superior to feeding carbohydrates for enhancing muscle fiber size and improving exercise performance. He concluded that consuming protein or a combination of protein plus carbohydrate is important for enhancing the adaptive response to exercise. (Strength Conditioning Journal, 29: 78–79, 2007)
tein diet (0.5 grams of protein per kilogram per day) versus a high-protein diet (2.0 grams of protein per kilogram per day) and found no changes in measures of kidney function. People developed more acid urine when consuming a high-protein diet, but all urinary measurements were within the normal range. (Journal American Dietetic Association, 107:1404-1408, 2007)
Mercury From Fish Lowers Testosterone
Mercury is a highly toxic pollutant that enters the environment from coal-using electrical plants, waste incinerators and byproducts of various manufactured goods. Mercury accumulates in several species of large fish, such as tuna, shark and swordfish. Mercury is particularly toxic to children and pregnant women. It is linked to neurological abnormalities, damage to brain centers controlling movement, seizures and developmental and mental retardation. It is also a testicular toxicant and impairs the reproductive system in men and decreases blood testosterone and sperm production. Mercury poisoning is a major public health issue in populations that eat a lot of fish, such as the Inuits in Northern Canada. Canadian researchers tested the effects of various proteins and fats in reducing the damage caused by high mercury intake in the diet. Mercuryfed rats consumed diets high in soy protein, casein, whey protein isolate, fish oil, or high-protein fish meal. Mercury caused significant reduction in testosterone in the whey protein isolate, soybean oil and fish oil groups. Only diets high in high-protein fish meal prevented a reduction in testosterone and testicular size in the animals. The best nutritional strategy is to eat foods that are not contaminated with mercury. (Food Chemical Toxicology, 46: 270-279, 2008)
Protein Requirements Of Bodybuilders
The indicator amino acid oxidation technique (IAAO) is a new, more precise way of measuring individual amino acid and protein requirements of sedentary and active people. According to studies using this method, active people should consume 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day, with bodybuilders on the high end. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day. These recommendations were based on 50 years of research on protein metabolism using a technique called nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is a component of protein that is discarded when proteins are broken down to amino acids and used for energy. Nitrogen balance involves measuring nitrogen output in feces, urine and sweat and comparing it with nitrogen intake in the diet. IAAO is a new and less messy technique that predicts whole-body protein requirements by measuring the metabolism of a labeled amino acid. Canadian scientists studied human protein requirements using IAAO and determined that the RDA for protein of 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day is too low and should be 1.2 grams per kilogram per day for sedentary people. IAAO shows that bodybuilders were right all along— they need more protein than the basic RDA recommendation. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 11: 34–39, 2008; American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 86: 995–1002, 2007)
High Protein Intake Does Not Effect Kidney Function
Many nutritional researchers have reevaluated the protein requirements of active people. The recommended dietary intake for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day, but some experts think that it should be as high as 1.5 grams to 2.0 grams per kilogram per day for people who exercise vigorously. Kidney toxicity could be a side effect of increased protein intake. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that high protein intakes had no effects on kidney function in old or young people (25 to 40 years old versus 55 to 70 years old). They compared the effects of a low-pro-
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
New Anabolic Drug? Scientists Develop Myostatin-Blocker
Myostatin regulates the growth of muscle cell contractile proteins (myofibrils) and muscle development during growth. Hormones and growth factors such as growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, and IGF-1 promote muscle growth. Myostatin prevents muscle fibers from growing too much. Physicians and athletes have relied on muscle growth factors to increase muscle size and strength. An alternative strategy is to block myostatin, which would allow unimpeded muscle growth. Researchers from Ohio State University found that mice given a single dose of the myostatin-inhibitor follistatin increased body mass and strength. The treatment increased skeletal muscle size throughout the body but did not affect heart muscle. A single dose of follistatin continued to increase strength for 60 days, and the increased strength persisted during the 560-day experiment. This study showed that follistatin inhibited myostatin and increased strength and muscle mass in animals. The drug is available to research labs, so some athletes will probably use it in the Olympics this summer. (Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 105: 4318-4322, 2008) decreased sexual performance. It is not as obvious as menopause (permanent cessation of menstruation in women), so many physicians don’t consider it a significant health issue. Landmark studies by researchers such as Shalender Bhasin and Tom
Growth Hormone Reduces Abdominal Fat And Increases Muscle Mass In MiddleAged Men
Researchers and physicians do not agree on the medical benefits of growth hormone for retarding the aging process and improving the quality of life in older adults. Growth hormone is a popular drug with middle-aged and older adults because it increases muscle mass, strength and exercise capacity and decreases fat. A study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA found middle-aged men who took growth hormone supplements for six months showed increases in weight and lean body mass (mainly muscle and bone) and an 8.8 percent reduction in abdominal fat. Growth hormone increased resting metabolic rate by nearly 200 calories per day. This study showed that growth hormone therapy was effective for increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat in marginally overweight middle-aged men and could be an important therapy for improving the quality of life in older adults. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 92: 4265-4270, 2007)
Testosterone Supplements Decrease Abdominal Fat In Aging Men
Andropause— a gradual decrease in blood testosterone and biologically available free testosterone— is a significant health issue in aging men. It is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, loss of muscle and bone mass and
Storer found that aging men increased muscle mass, decreased fat and improved quality of life from testosterone supplements. Australian scientists showed that aging men (55 and older) decreased abdominal fat and increased muscle mass without side effects following 12 months of low-dose testosterone therapy (nighttime testosterone patch). Abdominal fat deposition is part of the Metabolic Syndrome— a group of symptoms linked to heart disease that include insulin resistance, high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, type 2 diabetes, inflammation and blood-clotting abnormalities. This was another study showing the benefits and low risk of testosterone therapy in aging men. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, in press; published online October 16, 2007)
Andriol Testocaps Absorbed Best With A Meal
Andriol Testocaps (testosterone undecanoate) is an oil-based oral testosterone that is absorbed by the intestinal lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that transports fluid, proteins, fat and scavenging cells to the bloodstream. Ordinarily, the liver inactivates oral testosterone rapidly. Drug makers got around this by modifying the molecule so that it stayed in the system longer or suspending it in oil and injecting it into muscle. Oral drugs, such as Dianabol, were toxic to the liver in high doses, and testosterone esters
Illustrated by Jerry Beck/www.ironasylum.com
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
such as testosterone enanthate required regular injections. Testosterone undecanoate contained in Andriol is absorbed through the lymphatic system and bypasses the liver, which raises blood levels of the hormone. Andriol is an oral form of testosterone that produces elevated blood levels of testosterone for about 4 to 6 hours. Dutch researchers showed that the fat content of meals was important for maximum testosterone absorption. Little testosterone was absorbed following low-calorie, low-fat meals. Meals containing at least 18 grams of fat were optimal for testosterone absorption. Andriol is a good choice for testosterone replacement because it is not toxic to the liver, is only minimally converted to estrogen, and doesn’t require muscular injections. (Clinical Endocrinology, 66: 579-585, 2007) get androgen receptors in specific tissues, such as muscle or bone. SARMs are the Holy Grail of anabolic chemicals because they build muscles without affecting other organs or tissues. Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company signed a $500 million deal with another drug company GTx to develop, test and market a SARM called Ostarine that selectively targets skeletal muscle, but does not affect the liver or prostate. It has been used initially in early clinical trials to treat muscle wasting in cancer patients. The drug will be useful in older adults experiencing bone or muscle loss, patients suffering from trauma or degenerative diseases, and undoubtedly in athletes trying to improve performance. SARMs represent an evolution in anabolic drugs. Current anabolic steroids (including testosterone) bind and activate androgen receptors throughout the body and their effects are not specific to any tissue. While they turn on protein synthesis in muscle, they also affect androgen receptors in the prostate, sex organs, heart, liver, skin and brain, which cause unwanted effects in non-target tissues. General receptor binding causes side effects such as acne, prostate enlargement, thickening of the blood and masculinization in women and children. SARMs will target specific androgen sites in muscles and not bind to receptors in other tissues, which will minimize side effects and improve the usefulness of the drugs. The drugs exist, so it is likely that some athletes have been using them in preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games this summer. (inPharma Technologist.com, July 11, 2007) patellar (knee) tendon and both Achilles tendons within 18 months. He had taken steroids for three years before the injuries and used them to promote healing following each surgery. They concluded that steroids are linked to a high number of unrecorded cases of tendon injury in athletes and the drugs might interfere with healing following tendon surgery. Well-controlled studies found that anabolic steroids actually strengthen tendons (Am J Sports Med, 32:93443, 2004; Int J Sports Med, 21: 406-11, 2000). Why do we have clinical reports linking steroids to tendon ruptures in athletes, yet experimental studies showing that anabolic steroids strengthen tendons? Athletes who use steroids are usually highly motivated and more likely to ignore the pain of early tendon injury. They probably would have sustained the injuries if they hadn’t taken the drugs. (Unfallchirurg, 111: 46-49, 2008)
Nandrolone Could Cause Liver Problems
Most bodybuilders are well aware that oral anabolic steroids are toxic to the liver. So, many use injectable drugs such as nandrolone because they feel they are more liver-friendly. Brazilian researchers, in a study on rats, found that low, normal and high doses of nandrolone administered for five weeks increased key liver enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase, AST; alanine aminotransferase, ALT; and alkaline phosphatase, ALP). Changes were highest in the high-dose group, but liver function tests remained within the normal range in all groups. The authors concluded that administering higher than clinical doses could damage the liver. There are no long-term studies showing the effects of nandrolone or any other anabolic steroid on liver function. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 40: 842-847, 2008)
Most Steroid Users Take Drugs For Self Improvement
Lawmakers passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act to discourage teenage athletes from using steroids. Since 1984, more than 10 studies found that steroid use in high school students has never been higher than 4 percent. According to a study by Jason Cohen and colleagues, the average nonmedical user of steroids is in his early 30s and takes the drugs for selfimprovement. Most steroid users seek to increase strength, muscle mass and physical attractiveness and decrease body fat. They follow structured diets and exercise programs and do not play sports. Most are well educated and employed and take the drugs as part of a health-centered lifestyle. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the possession or sale of anabolic steroids without a valid prescription is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine. This law is bad public policy that targets hard-working tax-paying Americans trying to improve themselves. (Journal International Society of Sports Nutrition, in press; October 2007)
Do Steroids Increase Tendon Rupture Risk?
Health experts often list tendon rupture as a risk of anabolic steroid use based on clinical reports of athletes treated for tendon injuries who also took steroids. Several anecdotes do not constitute data! German scientists reported the case of a 29-year-old professional soccer player who ruptured his
Merck Signs $500 Million SARMs Deal
The next generation of anabolic steroids will be selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) that tar-
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
Are You A Sexual Olympian?
Most men think of themselves as gold medal winners in the sexual Olympics, but are you a sprinter or a distance athlete? Perceptions about sexual staying power vary greatly and are the subject of urban legend. What do the experts tell us? Researchers from Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania found out by surveying Canadian and American members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. They asked the experts their perception on the ideal length of time the penis should be in the vagina during intercourse before ejaculation. They rated sex lasting 3 to 7 minutes as “adequate;” 7 to 13 minutes as “desirable;” 1 to 2 minutes as “too short;” and 10-30 minutes as “too long.” The results were consistent among therapists and were not affected by geographical location or personal sexual experience. You are a sexual Olympian if you can sustain sexual intercourse for 3-13 minutes. The most important thing in the Sexual Olympics is not winning, but taking part. (Journal Sexual Medicine, in press; published online April 2008) erection problems. • Viagra or Cialis (erection-promoting drugs) did not impair eye health during a six-month study. • Viagra (100 milligrams) helped men get and maintain erections for at least 8 hours. • Dapoxetine prevented premature ejaculation with minimal side effects in two separate studies. • Erection problems were linked to silent heart disease (no symptoms). (Journal Sexual Medicine, 5(Suppl I): 441, 2008) many men have tried and failed to locate the fabled G-spot— a bundle of sensory nerves inside the vagina that sends women into orgasmic ecstasy. German gynecologist Ernst Grafenberg first suggested the existence of the Gspot in 1944. Most anatomists, however, say that the G-spot is a myth and there is no evidence that any part of the interior of the vagina contains an increased concentration of nerve endings. After years of study, Emmanuele Jannini from the University of L’Aquila was able to cry “Eureka!” (I found it). He developed a technique to identify enlarged parts of the vaginal wall using ultrasound. He cautioned that not all women have Gspots, but that ultrasound offers a simple, rapid and inexpensive way to determine if a woman has the fabled tissue. Only women who had an enlarged frontal wall of the vagina (i.e., women
Bad Sex Linked to Heart Disease
When you get old, the first things that go are your knees: first your left knee, then your right knee, then your weenie. Most guys think that waning sex drive, erection problems, delayed or premature ejaculation and lack of sexual energy are natural consequences of old age. More often, sexual problems are linked to poor metabolic health, heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. An Australian study showed that erectile dysfunction is a telltale sign of heart disease. Cardiovascular risk factors and disease were more common in men who had difficulty getting and maintaining erections, particularly in those with severe problems. Bad sex is not inevitable as you age— just as it’s not written in stone that you die prematurely from heart attack, stroke, dementia or cancer. Many of the same factors contributing to degenerative diseases— lack of exercise, smoking, bad diet, obesity and stress— play a part in poor sexual performance and health. See your doctor if you are having trouble getting or maintaining erections— this could be a warning sign of serious health problems. (Journal Sexual Medicine, in press; published online January 2008)
Scientists Bring Sex To The Lab
Scientists exchanged new research findings on sex at the annual meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America. Here’s the latest: • Low-fat diets and regular exercise improve the health of blood vessels in the penis, which promotes erections. • Exposure to secondhand smoke harms the cells lining the blood vessels in the penis, which contributes to problems having erections. • Normal growth hormone levels are essential to blood flow control in the penis. This might explain why growth hormone supplements in older adults improve sexual function. • High blood cholesterol levels impair sexual performance by interfering with signaling chemicals that control blood flow in the penis. • Low testosterone levels play a role in 20 percent of men under 30 with
Italian Scientist Finds G-Spot
Ponce de Leon died trying to find the Fountain of Youth, while Percival died trying to find the Holy Grail. Likewise,
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD
who had G-spots) were able to achieve vaginal orgasms. This was a small study involving only 20 women, so we need more research before we can concur that the G-spot exists. In the meantime, we urge bodybuilders to conduct their own study on this interesting problem. (Journal Sexual Medicine, in press; published online March 4, 2008)
Viagra Increases Endurance Performance at Altitude
Viagra (sildenafil) improves sexual performance, but it also may boost the physical capacity to have sex— at least at altitude. Viagra improves cardiovascular capacity during exercise at altitude, but not at sea level. The drug boosts fitness at altitude by reducing blood pressure in the lungs. Viagra increases cardiac output (blood pumped by the heart per minute), stroke volume (blood pumped by the heart per heartbeat), oxygen saturation (percent of red blood cells carrying oxygen) and endurance exercise capacity. Not all subjects benefit from the drug— there were responders and nonresponders. An animal study showed that Viagra promoted recovery from jetlag during simulated eastbound flights by 50 percent, but did not affect recovery from westbound flights. The drug works by preventing destruction of an enzyme that regulates the body’s internal clock. Viagra improves endurance performance in some people at altitude, which has important implications for our soldiers in Afghanistan and active people, such as skiers, backpackers and climbers. (Journal of Exercise Physiology, (online) 10 (3): June 2007)
hormone supplement programs. Also, IGF-1 levels increase in response to supplemental testosterone in doses greater than 400mg (testosterone enanthate). Many older adults report improved sexual performance following growth hormone supplementation. Chinese researchers, in a study on rats, showed that increasing IGF-1 levels made it easier to get erections. IGF-1 increased blood pressure and enhanced smooth muscle function in the penis and stimulated the production of nitric oxide that promotes blood flow and erections. This study helped explain why growth hormone and IGF-1 supplements improve sexual performance in aging men. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 5:1345-13 1354, 2008)
Viagra Plus Yohimbine Produce Super Erections
Viagra, and second-generation erection-promoting drugs such as Cialis and Levitra, helped many aging Romeos get back in the saddle. Unfortunately, Viagra doesn’t work for everyone. Fifteen to 25 percent of men get no relief from “Big Blue.” Viagra won’t trigger an erection unless you are turned on. Egyptian researchers found that combining Viagra and yohimbine induced firmer erections in rats than either substance by itself. The combination decreased the time between sex and the number of ejaculations per session. The addition of yohimbine to Viagra improved the capacity for erections, but had no effect on the desire for sex. Yohimbine and Viagra might help the previously unhelpable and cause super erections in everyone else. This study used rats, so the results might not apply to humans. (International Journal of Impotence Research, 20:409417, 2008)
hours. Cialis works faster and lasts longer (36 hours), but its effects are usually not as dramatic as Viagra. Which is better? Most studies show that men with erection problems preferred Cialis because they can be more spontaneous and have a longer window when they can “get lucky.” What about women? A study from the University of Waikato in New Zealand found that nearly 80 percent of women preferred Cialis to Viagra. Couples were given one drug for 12 weeks followed by the other drug for another 12 weeks. Women liked the longer acting drug because they felt more relaxed, less pressured and more spontaneous. Women who preferred Viagra said that the drug produced better erections and satisfaction for their partners. It looks like Cialis wins the Pepsi challenge in men and women. (Journal Sexual Medicine, in press; printed online March 2008)
IGF-1 Promotes Erections
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) is a highly anabolic hormone secreted mainly by the liver. It is the active agent for many of the effects of growth hormone and is also influenced by testosterone levels. Physicians measure IGF-1 levels to assess the effectiveness of growth
Partners Take The Pepsi Challenge: Viagra Or Cialis?
Viagra takes about 1 hour to kick in and its effects last only about 4 to 5
By Douglas S. Kalman, PhD, RD, FACN
Research and Update
re you truly into bodybuilding? Meaning, do you enjoy and have a passion for all aspects of physique augmentation? Building one’s body is an art that includes science; however, those who get the competition bug are the ones who use means necessary to augment their bodies for show. Now, this is different than the athlete who may lift and engage in conditioning techniques to improve his or her game and ability of the chosen sport. Often, the exercise has a crossover effect for the athlete. In contrast, the bodybuilder trains for a visual appearance and not an objective test, such as sharpshooting. You may be well off thinking about what motivated you to start lifting and know where you want to go or what you want to achieve out of it. The goal of this column is to help provide you with information that may or may not be useful to help you achieve those goals. Certainly, this magazine does more to help and educate those interested in weightlifting and bodybuilding about the basics and more. Join us on the MD forums to follow the fun!
Tercica, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in Brisbane, California and their specialty is endocrinology. In fact, their first out-of-the-gate product Increlex™ (also known as mecasermin [rDNA origin] injection) is being positioned for the “market” of short stature or more realistically, for use in those with primary IGF deficiency (which is NOT well-defined). Tercica is a
IPLEX will be exclusive to Insmed until about 2012, so keep your eye on it. IPLEX (also now known as SomatoKine) delivered just once daily was effective for short stature, GH insufficiency, GH deficiency and GH insensitivity syndrome.
company whose technology and know-how was born out of Genentech (IGF-1/IGFBP-3 commercialization rights). Additionally, Tercica just announced that their drug Increlex™ is now FDA approved, so expect to see if on the market. Good news; the Food and Drug Administration has approved Insmed’s IPLEX— clinically known
Is There A Growth Shortage?
Do you live in or near Brisbane, California? If you answered yes, you may be near the next growth hormone hotspot in terms of drug production. Let me explain a little bit.
as mecasermin rinfabate of rDNA origin for use in the treatment of IGF-1 deficiency. Mostly this is for children who have growth (height) issues; however, the FDA allows physicians to prescribe this type or class of medicines for patients deemed to be deficient in IGF-1 (or growth hormone). Therefore, knowing options available to you for testing and intervention is always a good thing. This drug (IPLEX) will be exclusive to Insmed until about 2012, so keep your eye on it. Further, Insmed also notes that IPLEX (also now known as SomatoKine) delivered just once daily was effective for short stature, GH insufficiency, GH deficiency and GH insensitivity syndrome. If you live or travel to Europe, Valtropin®, as made by BioPartners Holdings AG, (based in Baar, Switzerland) is now considered by the EU to be “biosimilar, thus the ” use of this growth hormone product appears to be now open for all traditional uses. Look for this GH to be on the European market and not being picked up by an American company. So if the use of an IGF-1 product or direct branded “HGH” is of interest, the aforementioned products and indications should be of help. Recall that often one can find these products or similar ones for no cost in exchange for participating in a clinical study. January 2009
ILLUSTRATION BY LYMAN DALLY
Looking To Cut Fat?
Many of us spend a part of a year looking to lose weight, be slimmer, have less body fat or in other words, to look better naked. Did you know that many products that we use in everyday life may be causative or related to weight and unwanted fat gain? Yes, it is true, from the estrogens that leak out of plastic during microwaving to the chemicals used in bug spray, all of these are now emerging to have an effect on metabolism of humans. Some of what you and I do in watching how and what we eat is to use or to include sugar replacers in our diets, such products as Splenda®, Equal®, Truvia® or others. Well, a new study shows that this may be a problem. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health just published a study that determined a link between Splenda® use (sucralose) and weight gain. The traditional studies with sugar replacers use rats to determine the effects on weight gain as compared to a normal diet for the growing animal. Now, this study was conducted at Duke University and sponsored by the Sugar Association. The study was conducted in such a way to evaluate different daily dose intakes of Splenda®. The relevance to you and I is that the U.S. government has established an upper daily intake limit for Splenda®; however, we do not know if a consistent intake at that level (the highest recommended) is truly safe or not. The dose is 5mg per kg per day (5mg/kg/d). In other words, if you weighed 150 pounds (68kg), your maximal intake of Splenda® should be (the active compound in Splenda®) no more than 340mg per day. In reality, this is the amount in 34 or so packets of Splenda®. OK, back to the study…it was found that after 12 weeks of daily Splenda® usage that the rats experienced significant reductions in the amounts of and types of friendly bacteria in the gut (intestines, by 37 to 67.5 percent). Weight gain appeared to be most with the rats who were exposed to daily Splenda®. Thus, this study may provide early evidence that those people who use a lot of Splenda® may be disrupting the healthy microflora in their gut and that the end result is not the weight loss hoped for. This is something to follow… ket for a hungry company. In fact, Gengera Corporation of Pennsylvania demonstrated and presented data on their “MSI-1436 (trodusquemine) weight-loss product at a recent Obesity Society meeting. They have determined that the drug affects leptin and insulin in such a way to normalize blood sugar values and cause a dose-dependent weight loss (at least in diabetics). A new study is slated to start toward the end of 2008 for this weight-loss drug.
Opposite Of Sugar?
Chromium is a mineral with a storied past within the supplement industry. From being promoted for muscle gains, fat loss, to mood health and much more, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The facts tell us that chromium in the picolinate form is the only chromium to be consistently shown to aid in the control of blood sugar in those with Type II diabetes. Furthermore, emerging research indicates benefits for mood control in bipolar subjects and possibly for heart disease. Well, now a new study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics has found that daily dosage of 1,000mcg (1mg) of chromium picolinate taken daily is associated with reduced food intake in women (by ~25 percent). Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU tested Chromax® in overweight women. The effects on food intake and bodyweight as well as other parameters were measured over an eightweek period. The results were novel in that no study ever demonstrated a strong food reduction effect or true weight-loss effect. More research is needed, however it seems that chromium may aid in reducing appetite, food intake and thus transfer to aiding in weight control— all important if body building is your goal. From an anti-obesity standpoint, especially within the pharmaceutical industry, not much is hot on the development scene that has not already been covered here. However, it is important for us to recognize that fat and weight loss is not so easy, hard enough in fact that Merck and Pfizer have both announced that they are discontinuing their obesity programs. Merck is killing the development of taranabant and Pfizer has announced that they will concentrate on cancer rather than obesity or heart health. Thus, this also opens the mar-
Recently a Mesa, Arizona-based medical device-type company has announced successful completion of testing of the first portable hand-held device to measure beta-oxidation (fat burning). The burning of fat is measure by analyzing the gas intake of oxygen and the gas output of carbon dioxide. The ratio of O2 to CO2 tells us the body’s preference for energy burning at the moment tested (i.e., on a scale of zero to 1, the closer to 1, the greater the amount of carbohydrate being burned for energy). Values less than 0.85 indicate more fat is being burned for energy. So imagine if you are exercising having the opportunity to determine if you are truly burning fat. If you discover through use of the Kemata device that you are not, you can alter your exercise routine to maximize the wanted effect. Pretty nifty, no? The company that makes this is Kemata LLC. References:
BioPharm Insight: Tercica, Inc. Also, see Tercica June 16, 2008 press release. Biospace Newswire. September 22, 2008 (Insmed). Biopartners Holdings AG. Business Wire. NutraIngredients. September 25, 2008. NutraIngredients. September 25, 2008. “Splenda may damage gut bacteria, boost weight gain: study. ” Diabetes Tech Thera 2008;10(5):405412. October 2, 2008 Merck Press Release (Amy Rose, media source); Pfizer, September 20, 2008 press release (Bloomberg News). Obesity Society. October 6, 2008 First Call News report. Ganaera Corporation study results. Business Wire. June 24, 2008. Kemata Fat Burn Monitor Achieves Clinical Success.
By Dan Gwartney, MD
Brown Fat May Be The Key To Fat Loss
ust as scientists and the public were inaccurate in regarding all dietary fat as “fat, so, too have ” they been in regarding the different forms of body fat as “fat. When scien” tists, dietitians and clinicians looked past their entrenched bias, they discovered that some forms of dietary fat are more readily burned versus being stored, specific fatty acids act as hormone precursors and still others offer health benefits that remain to be fully 1,2 understood. In the recent score of years (a score is 20, as used in the famous opening of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago…”), scientists have discovered that various depots (anatomical locations) of fat have different functions; also, they have different effects on a person’s metabolism and health. The layperson (everyday people; non-scientists) generally focuses on subcutaneous fat, the fat depot that lies just under the skin and can be grabbed by the “Special K pinch. Subcutaneous ” fat is actually composed of two layers, 3 deep and superficial. Superficial subcutaneous fat (the fat that is just below the skin) is typical of what people and scientists long considered fat to be; a storage “warehouse” for fat to be used as energy if food availability is limited. People who eat too much add to the superficial layer of fat quickly, while those who are calorie deficient lose from this fat compartment. This explains the quick change in appearance with weight loss over bony areas. Lean people, or those who have recently lost a considerable amount of weight, show the ridges of bone or muscle definition in athletes due to a rapid loss of superficial fat. However, superficial fat also serves a cosmetic function, as it smoothes the contours, particularly in the traditional feminine body. Plastic surgeons are careful not to intrude severely into the superficial layer as it leads to ripples, trenches and noticeable defects. If there is a long-term imbalance in diet and activity leading to fat gain, fat also deposits in other fat depots, including the deep subcutaneous fat layer. The deep subcutaneous fat layer is not just a “warehouse” that shuttles calories (as fat, or more correctly fatty acids) into and out mone-like molecules called lipokines that affect the level of whole-body inflammation, insulin resistance, etc. The relationship between deep subcutaneous fat and insulin resistance (and other disorders) is significant in men, 4 less so in women. Within the abdomen, there is another, often ignored, fat depot called visceral fat. Visceral fat has been the recent focus of medical research, as it has been shown to be a particularly strong predictor of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, Metabolic Syndrome and other 5 health problems. As previously described in deep subcutaneous fat, visceral fat releases potent lipokines
Visceral fat has been the recent focus of medical research, as it has been shown to be a particularly strong predictor of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, Metabolic Syndrome and other health problems.
of the bloodstream. Deep fat appears to serve several functions. Deep and superficial fat provide a protective buffer against changes in the environment, easing the impact of minor collisions against doorframes and countertops. Deep fat is also vital in maintaining body temperature, acting as an insulating “blanket” against heat loss and warming/cooling blood that returns from the skin’s surface that may be significantly colder/hotter than the internal body temperature. However, deep subcutaneous fat also behaves like an organ, releasing horthat directly affect the liver, as well as influencing whole-body inflammation. These fat depots play a considerable role in regulating energy balance, weight maintenance and health. Clinicians and researchers are feverishly trying to uncover drug treatments that target these separate depots and positively influence health and weight status. Given the plight of America due to the obesity/overweight epidemic and society’s obsession with image, the terms visceral and subcutaneous fat have become household words.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
Yet, there is another fat that has not been mentioned (yet) on the evening news or “pimped” on late-night infomercials. This fat is wildly different from the other fat types mentioned, and for good reason. This bizarrely mysterious fat is called “brown fat. ” The term “brown fat” differentiates this form from the more familiar “white fat” that comprises subcutaneous and visceral fat. Brown fat was long considered to be a non-issue in human physiology, as it is only present in significant amounts in new6 borns. Brown fat holds more relevance in the animal world, as it is a vital, life-sustaining tissue in hibernating mammals. The term mammal is a categorical designation describing life forms that share several characteristics, including: body hair, live birth, milk-producing glands to feed young and maintaining a constant body temperature. A mammal’s body temperature is primarily generated through the action of muscle, which is typically the most active tissue in the body. When the environment cools considerably, mammals will increase muscle contraction, either voluntarily or by shiver7 ing. Muscle contraction is fairly inefficient metabolically, with approximately half (50 percent) of energy lost as types of rodents, enter a type of “deep sleep” that lasts for months. Bears are not considered “true hibernators” as they maintain a near-normal body temperature and are quick to arouse, much to the chagrin of researchers who were sneaking up on the sleeping grizzlies. In an immobile, comatoselike state, there is very little muscle activity and body temperature drops; in some cases to near-freezing. However, the animals, particularly bears, who only experience a drop of 12ºF or so, do keep body temperature above the frigid ambient conditions through the actions of a specialized tissue called “brown fat. ” Brown fat looks like fat in that it is a tissue filled with globules of stored fat in the fed state, but the resemblance ends there. As the name suggests, brown fat is darker due to a high degree of vascularity (blood vessels) and being packed with mitochondria. Mitochondria are the organelles (specialized parts) of the cell that generate most of the energy (ATP) for cell function. However, brown fat is programmed to direct its mitochondria to generate heat rather than produce ATP , through a process called 9 “uncoupling. Uncoupling is a process ” that is similar to holding the clutch down in a manual transmission car. When the clutch is pressed (disengaged), the transmission is “uncoupled” from the engine, and the power is not transferred to the wheels. Hence, when the clutch is pressed, the engine turns and does not create movement. If the engine runs, the energy produced is lost as heat. If the gas pedal is pressed, the engine turns faster but no movement occurs as long as the clutch is disengaged; instead the rate of energy (gasoline) consumed is increased and additional heat is lost. The mitochondria in brown fat are like engines with the clutch disengaged. Normally, the body temperature is maintained through activity and the brown fat is metabolically quiet. However, during hibernation, brown fat plays a much greater role in maintaining body temperature, so the mitochondria become more active, much like an engine running at a high rpm with the clutch disengaged. They burn more energy (not gas but calories), which is lost as heat. This heat is transferred to the rest of the body through the bloodstream (remember, brown fat is highly vascular). This review in mammalian physiology would seem to be of little value in humans, as there is very little brown fat in adults, the primary audience suffering from dysfunctional weight management. This is not to say that there is not any, it is just very limited. In adults, what brown fat exists lies in fairly small and specific areas, including: cervical, supraclavicular, paravertebral, mediastinal, para-aortic and suprarenal regions. These regions lie along the path of major blood vessels, which is logical as the adult-remnant of brown fat likely exists to maintain core body temperature in the event of prolonged immobility or cold environmental exposure. As healthy adults are capable of generating a considerable amount of muscular activity, there is little need for an energydemanding tissue whose primary (maybe only?) purpose is to generate heat; particularly in the age of climatecontrolled housing.
This fat is wildly different from the other fat types mentioned, and for good reason. This bizarrely mysterious fat is called “brown fat.”
heat, rather than being used as mechanical energy (i.e., contracting 8 the muscle; lifting a weight). Maintaining, or raising, body temperature is a demanding task. This is one of the reasons people lose weight during a febrile (feverish) illness. The constant shivering necessary to raise the body temperature (fever) increases metabolic demand, and thus calorie burning, considerably. Nature provides several examples of conditions in which a mammal may need to generate heat when the muscles are not active. The most relevant is the state of hibernation. Hibernating animals, such as bats and several
Surprising Origins Of Brown Fat
Recently, the origin and lineage of brown fat was determined, delivering surprising revelations to the scientific community. When first described in 1551 by the Swiss naturalist Konrad Gessner, brown fat was referred to as being “neither fat nor flesh, meaning it ” 10 did not appear to be fat or muscle. Under the microscope, brown fat contains globules of fat, but is also densely packed with mitochondria. It does not contract and does not appear to secrete any identifiable hormone(s). It was reasonable to pigeon-hole brown fat as a type of adipose (fat cell), as it did not appear to have a function in humans. However, with the advances in gene mapping, cell biology and markers of differentiation (cells maturing from stem cells to fully functional cells), it became possible to trace
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
brown fat back to its early precursors. The discovery was shocking. Dr. Patrick Seale of Harvard Medical School and a team of colleagues reported in the journal Nature that brown fat is derived from a precursor 11 cell in the skeletal muscle line. In other words, brown fat is a close relative to muscle, and only distantly related to white fat. The specifics of this study truly are amazing. Unfortunately, to fully appreciate the methods used and the results that lead to this newsworthy conclusion requires a familiarity with cell differentiation markers. However, a brief description, relying upon the popularity of the television series “CSI, should offer some idea of why ” researchers are excited. Every human begins from a single cell, a sperm-fertilized ovum (egg cell) that combines traits from the biologic father and mother. As the fetus grows, the cells begin to “specialize” into specific tissue in order to form the “parts” that make a human. Cells become different in order to become blood cells, liver tissue, brain matter, muscle, heart, kidneys, etc. Even in adults, a “pool” of early, undifferentiated cells remains to replace cells lost to age or injury. These early cells are the cave men in the evolution of cells. The earliest forms are called stem cells, and represent embryo-like cells that can become a number of different types of cells. As the stem cells evolve, they become more developed and commit to becoming one specific type of cell. At an early point, white fat cells and skeletal muscle share a common precursor cell. In the presence of androgens and other factors, these common precursor cells commit to 12 becoming either white fat or muscle. Think of this common precursor as a cellular “missing link. In muscle, this ” “missing link” cellular cave man evolves (differentiates) into a Neanderthal-like myoblast (early muscle cell) that then evolves into the mature muscle cell (modern man). What Seale and his colleagues discovered was that brown fat expressed proteins that were found only in the 11 muscle cell line, not the white fat line. It was the cellular equivalent to realizing that gorillas were showing up to Thanksgiving dinner because they were no longer distant cousins to mankind, but first cousins to us all. Tracing brown fat backward, Seale showed the point where brown fat and muscle diverge. Certain signals that determine whether this common brown fat-skeletal muscle precursor commits to brown fat or muscle were 11,13 also defined. Aside from the academic interest these findings inspired, the therapeutic promise of increasing brown fat levels in humans has not gone unnoticed. Remember, adult humans have little brown fat, as heat-generating needs are met by skeletal muscle, the “first cousin” to brown fat. All a person needs to do to generate heat (and waste calories) is move around, exercise or even shiver. Unfortunately, being able to be active does not mean people necessarily are, particularly if their occupation is not labor-based. In the pursuit of effortless solutions to the American obesity crisis, researchers are looking at brown fat as a possible target for weight management. On the face of things, this seems reasonable. After all, if a signal could be generated by a pill that would induce a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in daily energy expenditure, it could be the metabolic equivalent of “exercise in a pill. Yet, there are ” problems with this approach. First, there is little brown fat in adults, the primary population suffering from overweight and obesity-related consequences. So directly stimulating brown fat as it exists is fairly futile 6 due to the limited effect. The “promise” of brown fat lies in increasing the total amount of brown fat to a significant amount of the total body mass and then stimulating it to increase daily energy expenditure (the number of calories burned during the day). However, there are three serious drawbacks to this proposal that have not been fully considered. precursors as skeletal muscle. In order to increase brown fat, the signals for cellular differentiation have to be switched from pro-muscle to probrown fat. By favoring the commitment to brown fat, the precursor pool for skeletal muscle is depleted and the body is impaired relative to responding to exercise or muscle injury. In a society where frailty and inactivity have contributed to the obesity problem, this is a drawback that needs to be strongly considered. There are potential ways of doing this, prompting the precursor cells to become brown fat, including an identified transcriptional regulator called PRDM16, as well as PPAR-gamma activators, 14-16 olive oil and garlic. The “waste” product for brown fat when it is burning calories is heat. The body can only tolerate a limited range of body temperature before catabolism, fatigue and tissue damage occurs. In extreme cases, the brain can “cook” and a person can die from hyperthermia (excessively high body temperature). People, particularly infants, can suffer from high fevers reaching over 105ºF If this temperature . persists, brain damage and death can occur in hours to days. Even a persistent lesser fever can cause problems with cognition (thinking) and organ function, including dehydration from pronounced sweating. Certain people are particularly sensitive to certain anaesthetics and enter into a state known as malignant hyperthermia 17 when being put under for surgery. This is a medical emergency and is treated very aggressively when it happens. The uncoupling drug DNP (2,4 dinitrophenol), used by many weight trainers to reduce body fat, has been 18 implicated in at least two deaths. Even if brown fat could be “metered” to produce only a set amount of heat, it is stimulated by beta-adrenergic stimulants— drugs like adrenalin. This class of drug was used for decades, as skeletal muscles respond to the same drugs by increasing heat production and cellular activity, the so-called “thermogenic” weight loss drugs and supplements. Unless beta-adrenergic drugs specific to brown fat are developed, the potential
The Skinny On Brown Fat
Brown fat arises from the same
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for adverse cardiovascular effects or mood disturbances are just as relevant as they were with ephedrine19 products and clenbuterol. It is amazing that brown fat acts much like muscle, despite being a cell that stores fat (temporarily). It makes sense in terms of evolution/development and survival that a heat-producing tissue would be needed during periods of prolonged immobility or hibernation. When one thinks about the shared functions of skeletal muscle and brown fat in regards to maintaining a steady temperature, the revelation that they are closely related tissues becomes logically apparent. For centuries, brown fat was considered a fat, proving once again appearances can be deceiving. One possible use for brown fat generation/stimulation therapy could be in treating comatose patients or those who have suffered a stroke with resulting paralysis. Yet, for the athlete, even the healthy non-athlete, manipulating brown fat and the shared brown fat/muscle precursors to boost calorie burning and reduce body fat may have unintended negative consequences. For now, chalk this discovery to the (very) interesting, but likely of little practical value for active adults category. In fact, the same benefit could likely be achieved by reclining in a cool bath until the water gets cold 20 enough to induce shivering. I used the technique to drop body fat in preparation for competition but the practice holds risk for those with heart conditions, so it should not be attempted without checking with one’s personal physician. References:
1. Leaf A. Historical overview of n-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008 Jun;87(6):1978S-80S. 2. Kien CL, Bunn JY, et al. Increasing dietary palmitic acid decreases fat oxidation and daily energy expenditure. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005 Aug;82(2):320-6. 3. Walker GE, Verti B, et al. Deep subcutaneous adipose tissue: a distinct abdominal adipose depot. Obesity, (Silver Spring) 2007 Aug;15(8):1933-43. 4. Miyazaki Y, Glass L, et al. Abdominal fat distribution and peripheral and hepatic insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2002 Dec;283(6):E1135-43. 5. Fox CS, Massaro JM, et al. Circulation, 2007 Jul 3;116(1):39-48. 6. Asakura H. Fetal and neonatal thermoregulation. J Nippon Med Sch, 2004 Dec;71(6):360-70. 7 Rintamaki H. Human responses to . cold. Alaska Med, 2007;49(2 Suppl):29-31. 8. Henchoz Y, Malatesta D, et al. Effects of the transition time between muscle-tendon stretch and shortening on mechanical efficiency. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2006 Apr;96(6):665-71. 9. Watanabe M, Yamamoto T, et al. Coldinduced changes in gene expression in brown adipose tissue: implications for the activation of thermogenesis. Biol Pharm Bull, 2008 May;31(5):775-84. 10. Cannon B, Nedergaard J. Neither fat nor flesh. Nature, 2008 Aug 21;454:947-8. 11. Seale P Bjork B, et al. PRDM16 con, trols a brown fat/skeletal muscle switch. Nature, 2008 Aug 21;454(7207):961-7 . 12. Singh R, Artaza JN, et al. Androgens stimulate myogenic differentiation and inhibit adipogenesis in C3H 10T1/2 pluripotent cells through an androgen receptormediated pathway. Endocrinology, 2003 Nov;144(11):5081-8. 13. Seale P Kajimura S, et al. , Transcriptional control of brown fat determination by PRDM16. Cell Metab, 2007 Jul;6(1):38-54. 14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat-related deaths—United States, 1999-2003. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006 Jul 28;55(29):796-8. 15. Oi-Kano Y, Kawada T, et al. Extra virgin olive oil increases uncoupling protein 1 content in brown adipose tissue and enhances noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats. J Nutr Biochem, 2007 Oct;18(10):685-92. 16. Oi Y, Kawada T, et al. Allyl-containing sulfides in garlic increase uncoupling protein content in brown adipose tissue and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats. J Nutr, 1999 Feb;129(2):336-42. 17 Rosenberg H, Davis M, et al. . Malignant hyperthermia. Orphanet J Rare Dis, 2007 Apr 24;2:21. 18. Miranda EJ, McIntyre IM, et al. Two deaths attributed to the use of 2,4dinitrophenol. J Anal Toxicol, 2006 Apr;30(3):219-22. 19. Chan TY. Food-borne clenbuterol may have potential for cardiovascular effects with chronic exposure (commentary). J Toxicol Clin Toxicol, 2001;39(4):345-8. 20. Pretorius T, Cahill F et al. Shivering , heat production and core cooling during head-in and head-out immersion in 17 degrees C water. Aviat Space Environ Med, 2008 May;79(5):495-9.
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By Robbie Durand, MA
Leucine-Enriched Essential Amino Acid Drink After Exercise Increases Muscle Growth Genes
If you are looking to pack on some muscle size, you may want to consider adding an essential amino acid drink enriched with leucine after exercise. Researchers examined the anabolic effects of a leucine-enriched essential amino acid drink in young and old men after a bout of resistance exercise. Researchers took muscle biopsies to examine the expression anabolic and catabolic proteins.They found that even though the older and younger men performed the same workout (70 percent of 1 RM, 8 sets of 10 repetitions), young and older men had different genes being turned on after exercise.They found:
Drummond MJ, Miyazaki M, Dreyer HC, Pennings B, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Esser KA, Rasmussen BB. Expression of growth-related genes in young and old human skeletal muscle following an acute stimulation of protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol, 2008.
American’s Jacked Up On Energy Drinks!
The USA has won more gold medals...Americans consume more energy drinks than any other country. Energy drinks vary widely in both caffeine content (ranging from 50 to 505mg per can or bottle). The caffeine content of a 6-ounce cup of brewed coffee varies from 77 to 150mg. The review article explained the FDA approved caffeine and limited the maximum caffeine content of cola-type soft drinks to 71mg/12 fluid oz or 0.02 percent caffeine (Food and Drug Administration, 2003). At least 130 energy drinks now exceed 0.02 percent caffeine recommendations, including one that contains 505mg in a 24-oz can (the equivalent of 14 cans of a typical cola or several cups of coffee). The article also reviews the not-so-bright people who have experienced adverse health problems from energy drink overdose. For example, the “dumb-ass” of the year award goes to a 28-year-old motocross athlete who nearly died when his heart stopped during a competition. He had consumed eight cans of Red Bull over a 5-hour period. The review article also documented the growing problem of consuming energy drinks and alcohol. As reported in a pervious study, ingestion of a Red Bull with vodka reduced participant’s perception of impairment of motor coordination in comparison to vodka alone. Basically, people think that they were not drunk when consuming Red Bull and alcohol, but they really were.This means people drinking Red Bull with alcohol will leave the bar and get behind the wheel thinking they are fine when they are really drunk! Energy drinks are great preworkout or when mental vigilance is needed, but they should not be consumed with alcohol or taken in excess.
Reissig CJ, Strain EC, Griffiths RR. Caffeinated energy drinks-A growing problem. Drug Alcohol Depend, 2008 Sep 20.
1. A protein called REDD2 (catabolic), which is a negative regulator of mTOR (a key anabolic pathway), was reduced in both younger and older men when they drank the leucineenriched essential acid drink.This means leucine turns off catabolic genes. Good news for everyone! 2. A protein called Rheb (anabolic), which is a positive regulator of mTOR, was only increased in the young men who consumed the leucine-enriched essential acid drink. This means younger men have greater anabolic genes being turned on after exercise, compared to older men. 3. They also found IGF-1 levels increased only in the young, while the older men had no changes and also blunted satellite cell activity. Older men have a blunted muscle hypertrophy response to exercise; a decrease in IGF-1 seems to be a key cause. The results of the study suggest that an essential amino acid drink enriched with leucine, which was designed to maximally stimulate protein synthesis, can benefit both older and younger men after resistance exercise, but older men lose key anabolic-signaling pathways compared to younger men.
For example, the “dumb-ass” of the year award goes to a 28-year-old motocross athlete who nearly died when his heart stopped during a competition.
EPA Reduces Muscle Tissue Breakdown
Fish oil is recommended for a healthy diet because it contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body. In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, recent studies suggest that EPA can have anti-catabolic actions on muscle. To date, EPA has been shown to reduce protein breakdown in cancer patients and during disease conditions, which led to hyper-metabolic disease that led to excess body heat, and during starvation. Researchers from Astron University in the United Kingdom reported EPA blunted protein breakdown, which causes sepsis (a catabolic condition) in rats. They found that EPA completely blocked the actions of a catabolic gene called ubiquitin-protease pathway. Fish oils may be a good supplement to include while dieting because of its potent anti-catabolic actions.
Khal J, Tisdale MJ. Downregulation of muscle protein degradation in sepsis by eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2008 Oct 17;375(2):238-40.
synthesis. Skip spearmint tea unless you are looking to look good in a pair of high heels!
Kumar V, Kural MR, Pereira BM, Roy P . Spearmint induced hypothalamic oxidative stress and testicular anti-androgenicity in male rats— altered levels of gene expression, enzymes and hormones. Food Chem Toxicol, 2008.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate Enhances Recovery
Whey protein has been shown to be anabolic and increase muscle strength and muscle mass, but what about muscle recovery? Researchers from the Centre for Metabolic Fitness and Nutritional Physiology Research Centre in Australia put whey protein to the ultimate test of muscle damage…eccentric exercise! They had male participants perform 100 maximal eccentric contractions with leg extension and were either given a flavored water, 25g whey protein isolate, or 25g hydrolyzed whey (or whey protein hydrolysate). Hydrolyzed whey is usually a whey protein isolate that have had some of its amino acid peptide bonds broken enzymatically into shorter chains of amino acids. This leads to better absorption in the stomach. Interestingly, peak muscle force decreased approximately 23 percent following eccentric exercise and remained suppressed in the control and whey protein isolate group, but recovered fully in the whey protein hydrolysate group by 6 hours. Muscle soreness increased in all groups, with no difference between any if the groups. The research suggests that whey protein hydrolysates, but not isolate, increases muscle recovery from damaging eccentric exercise. Whey protein hydrolysates seem to be a superior source of whey protein compared to isolates.
Buckley JD, Thomson RL, Coates AM, Howe PR, Denichilo MO, Rowney MK. Supplementation with a whey protein hydrolysate enhances recovery of muscle force-generating capacity following eccentric exercise. J Sci Med Sport, 2008
Spearmint Extract Reduces Testosterone
Spearmint tea is a mint tea type that is advocated for digestive health benefits and relaxation. Spearmint tea was recently found to reduce excess hair growth in women, but scientists really had no idea how. Stay away from spearmint tea; it’s worse than you can imagine! Spearmint is anti-androgenic, meaning it decreases testosterone. Researchers from India reported that long-term use of a spearmint extract caused a decrease in LH, with reductions in testosterone levels in rats. Scientists found that long-term use of spearmint extract caused reduced availability of cholesterol to steroidogenic cells, leading to a downregulation of testosterone
By Jose Antonio, PhD
When You Need More Than Just Creatine
Maslinic acid (which goes by the chemical name tongue-twister of 2-alpha, 3-beta-dihydroxiolean-12-en-28oic acid) is what is called a triterpenoid compound, present in fruit and leaves of Olea europaea. Cholesterol is one example of a triterpene. Phytosterols and phytoecdysteroids are also triterpenes. Now I know that animal studies don’t always translate into human studies, but at the same time, this is often where we find new cool ingredients. In this study, scientists investigated the effects of maslinic acid on growth, protein-turnover rates and nucleic acid concentration in trout white muscle. Yep, that’s trout. As in fish. But the results are rather intriguing. Five groups of 180 trout of a mean body mass of 20 grams were fed for 225 days with diets containing zero, 1, 5, 25 and 250mg of maslinic acid per kg of diet. At the end of the experiment, white-muscle weight (which is their fasttwitch muscle) and protein-accumulation rate of trout fed with maslinic acid were higher than in the control group. The total content of DNA, RNA and protein in trout fed with 25 and 250mg of maslinic acid per kg bodyweight was significantly higher than in the control. The protein:DNA ratio was also slightly higher than control. colon cancer cells. And to top it off, another study showed that maslinic acid might modulate glucose metabolism partially through reducing insulin resistance. So to summarize, maslinic acid may help promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy, improve glucose metabolism and for you health nuts, fight cancer cells in the colon. Not a bad trifecta!
In organic chemistry, semicarbazide is a derivative of urea, where NH2 on one side has been replaced with H2NNH2 hydrazine, yielding H2NNHC(=O)NH2. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semicarbazide) Research has shown that inhibition of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidases (SSAO) and monoamine oxidases (MAO) reduces fat deposition in obese rodents: chronic administration of the SSAO-inhibitor semicarbazide (S) in combination with pargyline (MAO-inhibitor) has also been shown to reduce bodyweight gain in obese rats. So what happens in non-obese, non-diabetic rats? Prolonged treatment of non-obese rats with a high dose of S (900 micromol per kg bodyweight per day) reduced bodyweight gain and limited white adipose tissue enlargement. When chronically administered at a threefold lower dose, S also inhibited SSAO activity, but not fat depot enlargement, suggesting that effects other than SSAO inhibition were involved in adipose tissue growth retardation.
In the same groups of trout, protein synthesis rates increased to more than 80 percent over the control values, while no differences were found in protein-degradation rate.
It gets even better! In the same groups of trout, protein synthesis rates increased to more than 80 percent over the control values, while no differences were found in protein-degradation rate. Thus, maslinic acid can act as a growth factor when added to a standard trout diet. What if we added it to a human diet? Maslinic acid has other very intriguing properties as well. For instance, treatment with maslinic acid results in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and causes apoptotic death in
Did you know that in mammals and humans, noradrenaline is a key modulator of aggression? And that octopamine, a closely related biogenic amine, has been proposed to have a similar function in flies? Octopamine, of course, has also been proposed as a substitution product of synephrine vis-a-vis weight loss. Octopamine is able to activate in-vitro (that’s test tube) fat breakdown or lipolysis in rat fat cells via beta-3-adrenergic receptor activation, while it activates glucose uptake in human fat cells via its oxidation by amine oxidases. Octopamine
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treatment was found to produce a 19 percent decrease in bodyweight gain, when compared to the 177 grams gained by controls (rat study). The decrease in bodyweight gain was not due to a pronounced and sustainable anorectic (appetite lowering) effect of octopamine; also, elevated plasma insulin of obese rats was lowered by octopamine. It would be interesting to see if a caffeine-octopamine stack would work better than the traditional caffeine:synephrine combo. due to central appetite suppression. That is, your brain tells you that enough is enough and to stop eating those French fries.
Protein Still Rules!
I still hear the nonsense from clinicians that all calories are the same and it only matters how many calories you eat during the day. To that I say, “You’re an idiot. ” Read the literature. Protein, carbs and fats are not treated the same by your body. Try overeating doughnuts and overeating on skinless chicken. If you were to overeat by 500 calories daily, are you going to tell me that you’d gain the same amount and kind of weight eating doughnuts as chicken? You are a moron. Anyhow, this investigation assessed changes in resting energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in overweight and obese women in response to a weight-loss intervention that combined a high-protein, reduced-calorie diet with increased physical activity. Sounds like some fitness competitors postcompetition who go high on the hog and then end up saying, “Soooey!” OK, that was mean. In this study, 39 overweight and obese women (mean age 30.9 years) participated in a 10-week weight-loss program in which they ate a reduced-calorie diet for which protein provided 30 percent of total energy and approximated 1.4 g/kg. That’s not that high, but it’s a helluva lot higher than the stinkin’ RDA. Subjects incrementally increased physical activity (i.e., steps walking) throughout the diet intervention period. They discovered that the weight-loss intervention combining consumption of a high-protein, reduced-calorie diet with increased physical activity promotes weight loss without negatively impacting resting energy expenditure (REE) in this population of women. That is an amazing finding. Part of the problem with any diet is the drop in REE. Kick up the protein intake and lift weights is what I’d suggest.
Stay tuned for a new category of weight-loss supplements based on the presence of glabridin. Kaneka, a Japanese firm, has a patent on this new ingredient. The data on this to say the least, is very interesting. In one investigation, scientists applied licorice flavonoid oil (LFO) to high-fat diet-induced obese mice and investigated its effect. LFO contains hydrophobic flavonoids obtained from licorice. Wow, sounds complicated. Well, get this. The oil is a mixture of medium-chain triglycerides, having glabridin, a major flavonoid of licorice. Obese mice were fed on a high-fat diet containing LFO at zero (control), 0.5 percent, 1.0 percent, or 2.0 percent for eight weeks. Compared with mice in the control group, those in the 1 percent and 2 percent LFO groups efficiently reduced the weight of abdominal white adipose tissues and bodyweight gain. Their fat cells shrunk and they found that in the liver, genes for beta-oxidation (fat burning) went up and those for fatty acid synthesis went down. Now that’s a good trend, my friend. These findings proved that LFO prevented and reduced diet-induced obesity. This flavonoid has other amazing effects. For instance, glabridin, isolated from the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra, was tested for its effect on cognitive function. Indeed, glabridin appears to help with memory improvement. So, a fat-loss potentiator and something to help you find your car keys. A good duo, indeed!
Given its versatile biologic properties, such as antioxidative, anti-glycation and pH-buffering capacity, carnosine has been implicated as a protective factor in the aging process. Can you say, beta-alanine?! In this study, scientists looked at the age-related changes in skeletal muscles as well as the effect of lifelong creatine supplementation on mice. At 25 (young mice), but not at 60 weeks (old mice), oral creatine supplementation significantly increased carnosine (+88 percent) and anserine (+40 percent) content compared to age-matched controlfed animals. Intriguing indeed. However, taurine and total creatine content was not affected by creatine supplementation at any age. Creatine-treated mice showed less muscle fatigue (soleus muscle) and enhanced force recovery (m. extensor digitorum longus [EDL]) compared to controls at 25 weeks, but not at 60 weeks. So, it looks like creatine supplementation is able to transiently, but potently increase muscle carnosine and anserine content,
High doses of N-butyldeoxynojirimycin (NB-DNJ) in healthy, lean and leptin-deficient obese (ob/ob) mice can promote weight loss, according to recent studies. The effect of NB-DNJ treatment on subcutaneous adipose tissue (i.e., fat under the skin) and on epididymal fat pads was measured. Lean mice treated with NB-DNJ admixed with their diet lost weight in the form of adipose tissue. This resulted in a 40 percent reduction in skin thickness and a reduction in epididymal fat pad weights after five weeks of treatment. Following the depletion of adipose tissue mass, the mice grew normally and did not have any reduction in lean mass. Cool. Lose fat and keep your muscle! Sounds like caffeine-ephedra! Obese mice treated with NB-DNJ also lost weight or gained weight at a greatly reduced rate compared with nontreated controls. The cause of this weight loss? Apparently, NB-DNJ causes weight loss as a result of reduced food consumption
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which coincides with improved resistance to contractile fatigue. But as you get older, you may need more than just creatine.
Octopamine in male aggression of Drosophila. Curr Biol. Feb 12 2008;18(3):159-167. Bour S, Visentin V, Prevot D, Carpene C. Moderate weight-lowering effect of octopamine treatment in obese Zucker rats. J Physiol Biochem, Sep 2003;59(3):175-182. Fontana E, Morin N, Prevot D, Carpene C. Effects of octopamine on lipolysis, glucose transport and amine oxidation in mammalian fat cells. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol, Jan 2000;125(1):33-44. Aoki F Honda S, Kishida H, et al. , Suppression by licorice flavonoids of abdominal fat accumulation and body weight gain in high-fat diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, Jan 2007;71(1):206-214. Cui YM, Ao MZ, Li W, Yu LJ. Effect of glabridin from Glycyrrhiza glabra on learning and memory in mice. Planta Med, Mar 2008;74(4):377-380. Priestman DA, van der Spoel AC, Butters TD, Dwek RA, Platt FM. Nbutyldeoxynojirimycin causes weight loss as a result of appetite suppression in lean and obese mice. Diabetes Obes Metab, Feb 2008;10(2):159-166. Pasiakos SM, Mettel JB, West K, et al. Maintenance of resting energy expenditure after weight loss in premenopausal women: potential benefits of a high-protein, reduced-calorie diet. Metabolism, Apr 2008;57(4):458-464. Derave W, Jones G, Hespel P Harris , RC. Creatine supplementation augments skeletal muscle carnosine content in senescence-accelerated mice (SAMP8). Rejuvenation Res. Jun 2008;11(3):641-647. Su QS, Tian Y, Zhang JG, Zhang H. Effects of allicin supplementation on plasma markers of exercise-induced muscle damage, IL-6 and antioxidant capacity. Eur J Appl Physiol, Jun 2008;103(3):275-283. Beelen M, Koopman R, Gijsen AP et al. , Protein coingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis during resistance-type exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, Jul 2008;295(1):E70-77. Borsheim E, Bui QU, Tissier S, Kobayashi H, Ferrando AA, Wolfe RR. Effect of amino acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength and physical function in elderly. Clin Nutr, Apr 2008;27(2):189-195.
What are the effects of allicin supplementation on exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) in welltrained athletes? Subjects were randomly assigned to an allicin supplementation group (AS group) and a control group and received either allicin or placebo for 14 days before and two days after a downhill treadmill run. The results suggested that allicin might be a potential agent to reduce EIMD. If you’re wondering where you’d likely get allicin…that’s right, from garlic. Jose Antonio, PhD, is vice president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has a PhD in muscle physiology and is chief executive of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. References:
Fernandez-Navarro M, Peragon J, Amores V, De La Higuera M, Lupianez JA. Maslinic acid added to the diet increases growth and protein-turnover rates in the white muscle of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol, Mar 2008;147(2):158-167. Reyes-Zurita FJ, Rufino-Palomares EE, Lupianez JA, Cascante M. Maslinic acid, a natural triterpene from Olea europaea L., induces apoptosis in HT29 human coloncancer cells via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Cancer Lett, Sep 12 2008. Liu J, Sun H, Duan W, Mu D, Zhang L. Maslinic acid reduces blood glucose in KK-Ay mice. Biol Pharm Bull, Nov 2007;30(11):2075-2078. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semicarbazide Carpene C, Abello V, Iffiu-Soltesz Z, Mercier N, Feve B, Valet P Limitation of . adipose tissue enlargement in rats chronically treated with semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Pharmacol Res, Jun 2008;57(6):426-434. Hoyer SC, Eckart A, Herrel A, et al.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Robbie Durand, MA
High Reps vs. Heavy Weights:
Which Is Better For Muscle Growth?
“Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but no one wants to lift heavy-ass weights!”—Ronnie Coleman Muscle growth is a complex process; professional bodybuilders are divided into two camps: the light weight, high-rep camp and the heavy weight. In order for a muscle to grow, muscle overload must occur with resistance exercise; no argument there, however several books have advocated high-rep exercises to stimulate muscle growth. The best example, the 50-rep squats to blast leg muscle, is a commonly used method. The most famous bodybuilder advocating high reps for muscle growth was Tom Platz; he was famous for sets with reps of 20 to 30 in the squat. A small reminder, Platz was known to squat 500 pounds for over 30 reps!!! Proponents of the high-rep training claim that high reps increase blood flow, which enhance nutrient delivery, cause massive increases in nitric oxide and greater muscle pumps, which stimulate muscle growth.
Vascular Occlusion With Light Weight Produces Muscle Hypertrophy
It was previously thought that only performing resistance exercise at a load greater than 65 percent was enough to stimulate muscle growth. However, some recent studies have reported that muscle tension is not the only way to produce muscular hypertrophy. For instance, a low-intensity (~50 percent 1 RM) resistance training performed with leg extensions caused a marked increase in muscular size [~12 percent gain in muscle size and strength
(~20 percent gain) when combined 8 with moderate vascular occlusion. The effects of these exercise training regimens with restricted muscular blood flow are likely mediated by the following processes: 1) stimulated secretion of growth hormone by intramuscular accumulation of metabolic 10 byproducts, such as lactic acid ; 2) moderate production of free radicals and tissue damage promoting tissue 9 growth ; and 3) additional recruitment of fast-twitch fibers in a hypoxic (low 11 oxygen) condition. These studies suggest that the muscle massbuilding effects of resistance exercise involves not only muscle tension (weight) but also metabolic, hormonal and neuronal factors. Higher repetition exercises has been shown to increase testosterone, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like 1,2,3,4 growth factor 1 (IGF-1). You will definitely feel a greater muscle burn with a lighter weight and feel more pumped, but does a light weight, high-rep program such as the 50-rep squat routine lead to greater muscle growth?
Heavy Resistance Exercise Beats Light Weight, High-Rep for Muscle Size
At the end of 12 weeks, the crosssectional size or muscle growth of each leg demonstrated increases in muscle size, but the heavy resistance group demonstrated 5 greater gains in muscle mass. The heavy resistance exercise group demonstrated a 7.6 ± 1.4 percent gain in muscle mass while the light weight group gained 2.6 ± 0.8 percent. The heavy resistance training group also gained greater increases in muscle strength as well. The study shows that light weight/high-rep routines do increase muscle mass, but just not to the same extent as heavy resistance exercise. Despite getting a good muscle pump, you are not going to grow without loading up the bar with some iron! When I read this study, I remember an episode of NO BULL RADIO where Dave and John were discussing, “Who was the strongest bodybuilder ever?” Several names were mentioned: Johnnie Jackson, Dorian Yates and Greg Kovacs. Flex Wheeler set the record straight: “Ronnie Coleman was the strongest bodybuilder ever...period!” Is it any coincidence that as heavy as Ronnie trained, he also racked up eight Mr. Olympias? No high-rep training for Ronnie, only heavy weights!!
increase muscle mass. Current research shows that acute anabolic hormones responses are important, but are not the Holy Grail for increasing muscle size. Remember, endurance exercise can produce considerable increase in GH and testosterone in response to exercise, yet they don’t produce muscle hypertrophy. Powerlifters demonstrate significant muscle size yet the typical powerlifting workout produces low anabolic hormone responses. Previous studies have shown that ingestion of whey protein before exercise blunted testosterone and GH 6 responses, but many studies suggest that pre-exercise protein supplementation is essential for increasing muscle mass. I would not miss a pre-exercise whey protein shake in hopes of a better acute testosterone response.
Muscle Tension May Be More Important Than Acute Hormone Responses
This research also is in conjunction with researchers at the Exercise Metabolism Group at McMasters University who recently reported that muscle hypertrophy took place without acute increases in anabolic 7 hormone concentrations. Ten healthy young male subjects performed unilateral resistance training for eight weeks (three days/week). Unilateral resistance exercise is basically where you train one leg, while the other leg is used as a control or untrained muscle. Exercises performed in the study were knee extension and leg press performed at 80-90 percent of the subject’s single-repetition maximum (1 RM). Blood samples were collected before, immediately after, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes post-exercise. The first training bout and following the last training bout were analyzed for total testosterone, free testosterone, GH and insulin-like growth factor-1, along with other hormones. Thigh muscle cross-sectional area of the (vastus lateralis) was measured preand post-training. Acutely, no changes in GH, testos-
Light Weight Exercise vs. Heavy Weights: Which Is Better?
Researchers tested a light-weight protocol and a heavy resistance exercise program to determine if light weight programs with lots of reps can stimulate muscle growth. Researchers took 12 healthy young men and made them perform 12 weeks of resistance exercise on a leg extension machine; they performed three workout sessions per week. A total of 10 sets was assigned to two groups: a) One leg with light weight; 36 repetitions per set (15 percent of 1 RM) b) The other leg with heavy weight; 8 repetitions per set (70 percent of 1 RM) Here is what’s really interesting; even though they performed different rep ranges, both groups performed the same workout volume. The good thing about this study is that the subjects served as their own controls, so they were not being compared to other people.
Muscle Hypertrophy Without Increases In Acute Anabolic Hormones
Another interesting finding was that increases in muscle hypertrophy occurred without increases in circulating anabolic hormones. This finding of increases in muscle growth without changes in circulating levels of anabolic hormones makes one question: How important are the acute anabolic hormone responses to exercise? When I first started studying exercise endocrinology, I thought that the workouts that caused the greatest increase in anabolic hormones had to
ng GH INCREASES SERUM eakirch IGF-1 BUT NOT MUSCLE Br ea or MGF! Res date: IGF-1 LEVELS training advocate that the Proponents of high-rep Up larger increases in GH stimulate IGF-1, which makes it more
important for muscle growth. Researchers from London reported disappointing results on the anabolic effects of GH for promoting muscle growth. The anabolic actions of GH has been previously been thought to be mediated by increases in IGF-1. The researchers took seven young, healthy men (average age of 24 years old) and gave them injections of GH (.075 IU kg per day) or a placebo for two weeks and performed a bout of resistance exercise. The subjects completed 10 sets of six lifts of a weight equivalent to 80 percent of their 1-RM. Two minutes rests were given between each bout of 10 repetitions. The main finding was that two weeks of In conclusion, the study shows that the regulation of IGF-1 by GH differs in muscle and liver. Perhaps a larger dose may have had a different effect. GH as a muscle builder has been disappointing; the fact that GH increased serum but not muscle IGF-1 or MGF may be the reason why. Aperghis M, Velloso CP, Hameed M, Brothwood T, Bradley L, Bouloux PM, Harridge SD, Goldspink G. Serum IGF-I levels and IGF-1 gene splicing in muscle of healthy young males receiving rhGH. Growth Horm IGF Res, 2008 terone, or IGF-1 concentrations were observed in the 90 minutes following exercise and there was no influence of training on the anabolic hormones measured. GH did show a moderate increase 30 minutes postexercise, but returned to baseline values by 90 minutes. Traininginduced increases in muscle hypertrophy were observed in type IIb and IIa muscle fiber. No changes were observed in muscle size in the untrained leg. In conclusion, unilateral training induced local muscle hypertrophy only in the exercised limb, which occurred in the absence of testosterone, GH or IGF-1-circulating levels. The moral of the story, don’t get so caught up in the acute anabolic hormone response that you limit your poundage. A light weight, high-rep protocol does produce muscle hypertrophy, but light weight, however heavy resistance exercise produces greater muscle mass gains. Muscle “burn” does not stimulate growth; overload stimulates growth. “Muscle pumps” and “feeling the burn” are not really what building muscle is about, nor is it a good indicator of muscle growth, as the study demonstrates. You can get a good “burn” by doing 20-30 repetitions; however, training at that rep range does not efficiently overload the muscle. The bottom line of the study is that training loads less than 70 percent of a 1 RM are not going to induce significant gains in muscle mass or strength. High-rep training may be good for muscle pumps but not good for increasing muscle size or strength. References:
1. Hakkinen, K., and Pakarinen, A. Acute hormonal responses to two different fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in male athletes. J Appl Physiol, 74: 882-887 1993. , 2. Raastad, Truls., Bjoro, Trine., and Hallen, Jostein. Hormonal responses to high- and moderate-intensity strength exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol, 82:121-128, 2000. 3. Kraemer, W.J., Marchitelli, L.J., Gordon, S.E., Harman, E., Dziados, J.E., Mello, R., Frykman, P McCurry, D., and ., Fleck, S.J. Hormonal and growth factors responses to heavy-resistance exercise protocols. J Appl Physiol, 69:1442-1450, 1990. 4. Hakkinen K, Pakarinen A. Acute hormonal responses to two different fatiguing heavy-resistance protocols in male athletes. J Appl Physiol, 1993 Feb;74(2):882-7 . 5. Holm L, Reitelseder S, Pedersen TG, Doessing S, Petersen SG, Flyvbjerg A, Andersen JL, Aagaard P Kjaer M. Changes , in muscle size and MHC composition in response to resistance exercise with heavy and light loading intensity. J Appl Physiol, 2008 6. Hulmi JJ, Volek JS, Selänne H, Mero AA. Protein ingestion prior to strength exercise affects blood hormones and metabolism. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2005 Nov;37(11):1990-7 . 7 Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Grant . EJ, Correia CE, Phillips SM. Hypertrophy with unilateral resistance exercise occurs without increases in endogenous anabolic hormone concentration. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2006 Dec;98(6):546-55. 8. Takarada Y, Sato Y, and Ishii N. Effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscle function in athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol, 86: 308–314, 2002. 9. Takarada Y, Takazawa H, and Ishii N. Applications of vascular occlusion diminish disuse atrophy of knee extensor muscles. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32: 2035–2039, 2000. 10. Takarada Y, Nakamura Y, Aruga S, Onda T, Miyazaki S, and Ishii N. Rapid increase in plasma growth hormone after low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion. J Appl Physiol, 88: 61–65, 2000. 11. Takarada Y, Takazawa H, Sato Y, Takebayashi S, Tanaka Y, and Ishii N. Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans. J Appl Physiol, 88: 2097–2106, 2000.
• Light weight, high-repetition workouts do not stimulate muscle growth effectively; heavy resistance exercise is a greater stimulator of muscle growth. • Muscle hypertrophy occurred despite increases in anabolic hormones; muscle growth factors (IGF1, MGF) may be more important than the acute hormone increases.
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DENNIS WOLF THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
What The F*ck Happened At The O?
Exclusive Interview By Ron Harris Photography by Per Bernal
Last year, the surprise at the Mr. Olympia was Germany’s Big Bad Wolf. At 270 pounds, with broad shoulders, a small waist and shape to die for, he was so impressive that many felt the judges intentionally never compared him to winner Jay Cutler for fear he would point out just how badly Dennis trumped him. Dennis got fifth place, and most fans felt he deserved better. Viewers of the web cast on www.bodybuilding.com voted him as their pick for the “People’s Choice, beating out Cutler, Martinez, ” Dexter and Ronnie. The stage was set for Dennis to come back and snatch the title away from Jay decisively in 2008. Wolf took the whole year off to concentrate on improving and making sure he was indeed ready to hold the Sandow trophy this year. But something happened that resulted in Dennis lacking the “wow” factor. The condition and shape were there, but Wolf was flat. Even though he once MD 197
again got the nod for People’s Choice, a lot of people were disappointed and wanted answers. Dennis was supposed to win the Mr. Olympia this year and from all photos and videos we saw in the final weeks, he could have. So why didn’t he? As a big part of the hype machine that pumped Dennis up as the next Mr. O, MD tracked him down a week after the show and got to the bottom of the whole situation. RH: Some people say you looked exactly the same as you did last year, and others say you looked much better. What do you think? DW: First, I will say that I was not 100 percent and did not look the way I wanted to. But I did look different from last year. The weight on the scale would not reflect that, because it was pretty exactly the same as 2007— right around 270 pounds. But I was much harder and drier at that weight than I was last year. I also improved my weak points quite a bit: my back, my hamstrings and my glutes. If you put photos of me in the back and side poses sideby-side from last year and this year, it is very apparent that those areas all came up. But I was not the Dennis
Wolf I wanted to be onstage this year. I was very disappointed in myself because I lost a little over 15 pounds in the final two weeks before the Olympia. RH: Fifteen pounds? Seriously? DW: Yes. I tried something different and took the carbs completely out of my diet for the first time ever. I wanted my conditioning to be the most fantastic in the whole contest. But we all learn from our mistakes, or at least we all should. Now I know what not to do next time. RH: Some people say that you had a golden opportunity to win the show, since you had a lot of hype and publicity leading up to the Mr. Olympia, and once again Jay Cutler was not in his best condition. Do you see it that way, that you missed a great opportunity, or not? DW: I can’t argue with that, because it’s how I feel, too. Guys say this all the time about looking so much better a couple weeks before the contest and I don’t know how often it’s really true. But I can tell you in all honesty and without even exaggerating that if I had stepped onstage the way I looked at two weeks before the show, I probably
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would have won. My condition was the same, but I was so much fuller at 285 pounds shredded to the max. RH: I do not doubt you on that for a minute. You’re a humble guy and you don’t make idle claims. This was the first contest you did not work with your friend Peter Trenz on. Was Peter upset at all that you chose to work with Chad for the Mr. Olympia? DW: Of course “Pit” wasn’t happy that we wouldn’t be working together for the Olympia. But he’s a great guy and he’s been my friend for years, so he always understands that any decision I make is nothing personal against him. I wanted to look forward in my career and try something new and different. Chad had done an excellent job with guys like Ronnie, Flex and Victor. I had
to see what he could do for me, too. I didn’t want to look back at my pro career and wonder, hmm, would I have done any better if I had teamed up with Chad Nicholls? RH: What was it like working with Chad? How did he have you doing things differently than you had in the past? DW: The diet was much shorter than what I normally do, but it was also much tougher. Usually I diet for about 16 weeks, more gradually. This time, I looked ready after just following his diet for five weeks. But I still had another five weeks to go before the Olympia. The concern at that point was how do I keep my size while maintaining that condition for over a month more? Chad didn’t expect me to drop the fat as quickly as I did, and neither did I. So I wound up over-dieting and looking so flat. I did my best not to let my spirits get down at the
“Chad had done an excellent job with guys like Ronnie, Flex and Victor. I had to see what he could do for me, too. I didn’t want to look back at my pro career and wonder, hmm, would I have done any better if I had teamed up with Chad Nicholls?”
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show, but the whole time I was thinking, if I wasn’t so flat, if I wasn’t so flat! I know a lot of people were saying, “Oh, this Wolf guy was supposed to be so great and he doesn’t look so great to me. But the Wolf who was onstage in Las ” Vegas was a shadow of what I should have been. RH: Some people blame Chad for you not looking as spectacular as they had hoped you would. He did handle your prep. Do you blame Chad? Or did he do a good job? DW: Chad definitely did a great job. Despite the way it turned out, I still consider it the best contest preparation I have ever had. He is very thorough and detail-oriented, and an extremely intelligent man. But it was the first time we ever worked together. He didn’t know how my body would respond to certain variables. There is no way to know that ahead of time. So I am very confident that the next time we work together the results will be much better.
RH: So things did not go as planned. Can you tell us what happened? DW: Like I said, I was about 285-286 pounds after only five weeks of dieting. A decision was made at two weeks out to cut out the carbs, so I could dial everything in just a little more and have that freaky, grainy type of condition like Dorian Yates was known for. With my size and shape and that condition, I would have been very tough for any of the guys to beat. But going down to zero carbs caused me to lose muscle mass. The hope was that my carb loading would take care of that and I would fill back out to at least 280 or so, but I just couldn’t seem to fill out. It wasn’t just a lack of glycogen in the muscles that made me look the way I did; the fact was that I had actually lost muscle size. You can’t get that back just by eating a lot of carbs for a couple days. Like I said, Chad and I both learned a lot from the experience and it will never happen again. But unless you MD 201
make a mistake, you never learn what works and what doesn’t. People assume we pros are all the same because we all have very good genetics, but we do all respond differently to nutrients. What works for me may not work for Dexter or Phil, and vice versa. RH: I saw a lot of photos of you over the last few weeks leading up to the Mr. Olympia, and it looked like you were going to be much bigger and better this year. At two or three weeks out, how would you say you looked? How did you feel about the way your physique was shaping up? DW: Two or three weeks before the Olympia, I was in the best shape of my life. I have never been so big and in such great condition. Really, I was looking in the mirror at that time and could not even believe what I was seeing. Even though I was confident since I made the top five last year, I wasn’t really thinking I would win this year until then. At two and three weeks out it hit me that you know, I really can win the Mr. Olympia. I know I am good enough to do it unless Jay looks like he did in 2001 or something. But by the time I got onstage at the show, I knew there was just no way I was going to win it this year. But I still had to do my best up there. RH: Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently in the last few days? DW: I will never drop my carbs like that again. Obviously some guys can do that and they don’t lose any muscle. Apparently, my type of body really does require carbohydrates, and going without them for any extended period of time does nothing good for me. I don’t get any leaner, I just lose size and fullness. RH: The first callout in the judging was Jay, Dexter, Toney and Heath. Did you immediately think something was wrong when you weren’t in that first callout? DW: I will be honest. When the names were announced for that first callout and “Dennis Wolf” was not one of them, I got even more down than I already was. We all know how the judging works. Nobody ever wins if he is not in that first group to be compared. If you are good enough to win, they notice you right away. If those four guys weren’t the top four, then I was pretty sure the top three was in there out of the four. So I knew
“I tried not to show how disappointed I was, but I think a lot of people could tell by my body language. It was just so depressing because I trained a whole year with nothing but this contest as my goal, and it was clear I wasn’t a contender.”
that not only was I not possibly winning, but my chances of even being in the top three were very low. I tried not to show how disappointed I was, but I think a lot of people could tell by my body language. It was just so depressing because I trained a whole year with nothing but this contest as my goal, and it was clear I wasn’t a contender. RH: Last year you were never compared to Jay Cutler, and this time you were, several times. Was it satisfying to finally be allowed to be compared to the two-time Mr. Olympia? DW: It was a good feeling. I think everybody could see
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that even as flat as I was, once again Jay was not better than me. The scores did not reflect that, but I think the pictures from the contest will bear it out pretty good. You will have some good comparison shots of us in this issue, right? RH: I’m sure we will. Your back was a weak point in the past, yet most people felt you beat Jay in the back poses this year. How did it feel to hear that? DW: That did feel really good. It means I have been doing my homework and training my back very hard. Jay
had said a few months ago that my back didn’t look any better from 2007 Maybe now he will change his opinion . about that? RH: I doubt it. He’ll probably rave about how great his fellow Weider athletes Dexter and Phil looked, and throw you under the bus. You also did a very good job at improving your glutes and hamstrings. Were there any new exercises or techniques you used to accomplish this? DW: I did a lot of barbell good-mornings, which is an exercise for the lower back I don’t think too many bodyMD 203
builders these days do. I sure don’t see it being done ever. I also did a version of good mornings using the hack squat machine facing the opposite way. In general I trained my lower back and hamstrings much heavier than ever before, and they grew. RH: When it came to posing and presentation, you were perhaps the very best in the show. Did you work a lot on your poses over the last year so you would hit them all perfectly? DW: I did put a lot of time into posing practice since last year. My goals weren’t just to improve certain body parts, but everything it takes to be the best pro I can be. I watched tapes and saw that my posing was good, but it could be better. I wanted everything to be smooth and polished. RH: Some people thought you deserved fourth or fifth, and there were some who thought you looked good enough to win the whole show. Does this just prove that bodybuilding all comes down to a matter of opinion and personal preference? DW: Bodybuilding is, always has been, and always will be about the personal preferences of whoever is looking at the physiques. Some people like my type of physique: taller, big and with good symmetry. Other people care more about size and don’t really care about the shape and proportions so much. Everybody likes what they like. That’s why we are judged by a panel of experienced eyes who are trying to find the man with what they feel is the ideal total package. But because that means something a little different even to them, you get different types of bodies winning. RH: A lot of fans thought Jay Cutler didn’t even deserve to be in the top five, because of his wide waist, the loose skin on his lower back and glutes, and the fact that one leg is much smaller than the other one. If you were a judge, where would you have put Jay?
Dennis Wolf at the 2008 Mr. Olympia.
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KING NEWS! BREADENNIS OUT
OF THE ARNOLD: A HERNIA SIDELINES THE BIG BAD WOLF
Just before deadline, we received some unfortunate news from Dennis, who had been touring Australia in early to midOctober. Apparently he had been training for the Mr. Olympia with an undiagnosed hernia. Being the trooper that he is, Wolf didn’t let it stop him and fought through the pain until the show was over. “I didn’t want anyone to know, because then it sounds like an excuse,” he said. It also explains why his stomach was uncharacteristically distended at times during the Mr. Olympia contest, and why his bellybutton had transformed into an “outie.” But the situation is being remedied very soon. “My doctor says we have to operate as soon as possible,” he told me. “I don’t get back to Germany until the end of October, so we are scheduling my surgery for then.” He will be unable to train for six weeks following the procedure, and must avoid squats and leg presses for an additional three months. This means Dennis will not have time to train for the Arnold Classic, a contest he stood a good chance to win in 2009. Luckily, he will still have ample time to prepare for the Mr. Olympia. “I am sorry to all my fans who wanted to see me compete at the Arnold Classic, but if I tried to put off the surgery much longer things would only get worse. Thanks to all of you for your support, and also to Mr. Steve Blechman and MD, who are always on my side.” Look for more details here in MD next month.
DW: I like Jay a lot. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met and had the privilege to talk to. But the way he looked this year, I would not have had him in the top six. Maybe seventh or eighth. At his best, he was incredible. But this was not his best at all. RH: It also needs to be said that in the end, you did place higher in the 2008 Mr. Olympia than you did in 2007. To go from fifth in the
world to fourth is something to be proud of. Do you take pride in that? DW: I do. I’m proud to say I am fourth in the whole world. It was my goal to do better than I did last year, and I accomplished that. I just wasn’t happy with myself because I know I could have done a lot better than that. I could have that Sandow trophy right now and be training to defend my Mr. Olympia title next year!
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RH: Do you feel there was too much expectation on you to win this year? Did you feel a lot of pressure on you to win? DW: Yes, so many people were saying I would win the Mr. Olympia this year and they really expected me to do it. I feel like I let them down in a way. It hurts to hear that I was all hype and the magazines made me out to be something so much better than what I really am. But it’s
all in the past. Now I am looking forward to 2009. RH: With your height and structure, many feel you will definitely make a great Mr. Olympia one day soon. What do you think it will take for you to win the biggest title in professional bodybuilding? DW: I really think my best chance to win the Sandow will be in 2009 and 2010. After that, hopefully it will all be about holding on to the title for as long as I can. ■ MD 207
By Flex Wheeler, Photography by Per Bernal The latest Olympia lit the fuse for a megaton of TNT that’s gonna blow the bodybuilding world to high hell in 2009. First, you have the Arnold Classic, with a lineup that even Don King wouldn’t dare dream up: Victor, Kai, Branch, Wolf,
VICTOR VS. DEXTER & PHIL HEATH
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Phil, Melvin, Dexter and Jay (OK, not 100 percent about those last two, but I can dream). How’s that gonna turn out, I wonder?Then we have the midseason shows leading up to…the Olympia. I know, I’m getting way ahead of myself, but cut me some slack. Bodybuilding just got exciting again. At present, Dexter Jackson rules the iron universe, at 230 pounds. Now that’s not small, but it sure ain’t 275 pounds, either.You have to go back 26 years to find a champion under 250 pounds. It all started with Haney, and each successive Mr. Olympia since has raised the bar. But now instead of pure size, we’re rewarding pure perfection. Does this open the door for the rest of the field? I think so. Last year’s Olympia was a precursor for what should follow in the new era.The bodybuilding landscape is changing as the days of the mass monsters pass into that quiet night.Yes, we still clamor for size, but why settle for size alone when you can have it with shape, symmetry, proportion and conditioning— the very ideals of bodybuilding?The total package is taking center stage again.
Of all the stellar stars mentioned above, three stand out as symbols of the timeless art of bodybuilding: Victor Martinez, Dexter Jackson and Phil Heath.These three have it all.They’ve met once before in the real world. Victor and Dexter finished one and two, with Phil coming in fourth— but that was two years ago and times have changed. Dexter is Mr. Olympia now and Phil has made staggering improvements, poised to challenge for supremacy. Victor’s beaten Dexter twice and was, for all intents and purposes, Mr. OIympia in 2007 (albeit the uncrowned champion). He’s healed from the injury that sidelined him in 2008 and by all reports, training like a man possessed to bang his way back to the top. Now, because we’re not absolutely sure that these three will collide at the Arnold and with the Olympia too far off to wait (we wouldn’t do you loyal readers like that), we decided to make this dream matchup happen in the MD universe…with a slight twist: it’s gonna be two on one. So here’s MD’s own, Victor Martinez, vs. Dexter Jackson and Phil Heath, Cyber Wars 2009. Action! MD 213
November 26, 1969, 5’6” 235 pounds , Had the best year in pro bodybuilding in 2008 (maybe in history)— five titles, bookended by the Arnold and Olympia.
1992 NPC Southern States, Lightweight, Third 1995 NPC USA Championships, Light-Heavyweight, First 1996 NPC Nationals, Light-Heavyweight, Sixth 1998 North American Championships, Light-Heavyweight, First and Overall 1999 Arnold Classic, Seventh 1999 Grand Prix England, Fourth 1999 Night of Champions, Third 1999 Mr. Olympia, Ninth 1999 World Pro Championships, Fourth 2000 Arnold Classic, Fifth 2000 Grand Prix Hungary, Second 2000 Iron Man Pro Invitational, Third 2000 Night of Champions, Eighth 2000 Mr. Olympia, Ninth 2000 Toronto Pro Invitational, Second 2001 Arnold Classic, Fifth 2001 Grand Prix Australia, Third 2001 Grand Prix England, Fourth 2001 Grand Prix Hungary, Third 2001 Night of Champions, Second 2001 Mr. Olympia, Eighth 2001 Toronto Pro Invitational, Second 2002 Arnold Classic, Third 2002 Grand Prix Australia, Second 2002 Grand Prix Austria, Second 2002 Grand Prix England, First 2002 Grand Prix Holland, Third 2002 Mr. Olympia, Fourth 2002 San Francisco Pro Invitational, Third 2002 Show of Strength Pro Championship, Sixth 2003 Arnold Classic, Fourth 2003 Maximum Pro Invitational, Third 2003 Mr. Olympia, Third 2003 San Francisco Pro Invitational, Third 2003 Show of Strength Pro Championship, First 2004 Arnold Classic, Third 2004 Grand Prix Australia, First 2004 Iron Man Pro Invitational, First 2004 Mr. Olympia, Fourth 2004 San Francisco Pro Invitational, First 2005 Arnold Classic, First 2005 San Francisco Pro Invitational, Second 2006 Arnold Classic, First 2006 Mr. Olympia, Fourth 2007 Arnold Classic, Second 2007 Mr. Olympia, Third 2008 Arnold Classic, First 2008 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix VIII, First 2008 IFBB New Zealand Grand Prix, First 2008 Mr. Olympia, First
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December 18, 1979, 5’9” 240 pounds , Forget future star—his time has arrived.
2003 Northern Colorado State, Novice, Light-Heavyweight First and Overall 2003 NPC Colorado State, Light-Heavyweight, First 2004 NPC Colorado State, Heavyweight, First and Overall 2005 NPC Junior Nationals, Heavyweight, First and Overall 2005 NPC USA Championships, Heavyweight, First and Overall 2006 Colorado Pro Championships, First 2006 New York Pro Championship, First 2007 Arnold Classic, Fifth 2008 IFBB Iron Man, First 2008 Arnold Classic, Second 2008 Mr. Olympia, Third
July 29, 1973, 5’9” 250 pounds , Foaming at the mouth to get back in this mother@#$%!
1997 NPC New York Metro Championships, Light-Heavyweight, First and Overall 2000 NPC Junior USA, Heavyweight, First 2000 NPC Nationals, Heavyweight, First and Overall 2001 Night of Champions, Eighth 2002 Arnold Classic, 13th 2002 Iron Man Pro Invitational, Ninth 2003 Night of Champions, First 2004 Mr. Olympia, Ninth 2004 GNC Show of Strength Pro Championship, First 2005 Arnold Classic, Seventh 2005 New York Pro Championship, Third 2005 Mr. Olympia, Fifth 2005 San Francisco Pro Invitational, Fifth 2006 Arnold Classic, Third 2006 Mr. Olympia, Third 2007 Arnold Classic, First 2007 Mr. Olympia, Second
PIECE BY PIECE
Full, double-split peaks that stand out from every angle
Sporting more width than ever before, with knots and bumps that take on a life of its own
THE SUM OF ALL PARTS
What a trio! Dexter is the smallest, but he’s no small fry. For his height and frame, he’s packing as much dense mass as humanly possible. Phil and Victor are about even in height, but Victor carries roughly 10 pounds more. Victor’s structure allows him to hold the most mass while retaining his superb lines. Victor
Victor are in the same ballpark. Structure gives Victor the edge he needs. Victor
PROPORTION & SYMMETRY
Nothing’s missing on any of these guys (although the argument can be made that Dexter’s calves could use a little more meat). Phil runs the risk of overpowering arms. Symmetry is flawless on all three, but Victor’s got everything, plus more size. Victor
All three are carrying around hamhocks
Great sweep and lower thickness with crazy separation and striations
Widest and thickest, with some of the best upper pecs in the game
Awesome hang from the side with all the grooves and cracks
All three are the very definition of aesthetics. Each muscle is beautifully shaped and flows from one to the next like liquid metal. Phil’s got amazing roundness and fullness. Dexter and
A former problem area for Victor seems to have resolved itself the last couple of years. Phil has never been off, regularly displaying conditioning that puts him in the top percentile of
Not the widest clavicles, but look at the sheer amount of meat he’s packed on
Some of the best calves on a brother you’ll ever see
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any contest. But the Blade’s keen edge has been slicing the competition for a decade and believe it or not, he’s getting sharper. Dexter
Front Double Biceps
Decisions…decisions. Which one to make? All three are the epitome of bodybuilding in this first pose. You can’t hide any flaws, which is a testament to anyone who shines in this shot. Peaked biceps, hanging triceps, booming delts and pecs; full lats, tight waists and great wheels abound. This is Phil’s money pose. His arms are among the best in the game— period. Flaring quads with
crisscross striations complete the package. Dexter’s no slouch, either. Head-to-toe proportion, but his front thighs aren’t quite as separated as Phil’s. Victor has it all, maybe just a smidgeon behind in detail to Dexter, but he’s got the size advantage over both. Victor
Great thickness and detail all around— probably the top three in the world! Hanging hams, deep splits and round fullness everywhere. Phil’s actually looking thicker than Dexter these days, but the Blade’s lines are so clean and aesthetic. He had the best side chest in the Olympia. Victor is unbelievable, too. His upper pecs are exploding and his legs have tremendous width. Victor
Front Lat Spread
Phil shows excellent thickness. It’s all maxed out. But his lack of clavicle width gives him a bunched up look; he doesn’t spreeeaaad. Dexter has terrific lines in this pose. Nothing’s missing. Victor is the widest and thickest, with upper pecs threatening to clip his nose. Victor
Dexter looks fabulous and Phil looks like he stole Kevin Levrone’s triceps— but Victor’s no slouch in the triceps department, either. Plus he’s got superior mass from this angle. Victor
Rear Lat Spread
This is where it turns into a two-man war. Phil’s thick, no question, but his narrow clavicles preclude the kind of width the other two are capable of. Dexter’s made unimaginable improvements to his back in the last couple of years. He’s taken them out wider than I ever thought possible. But Victor’s pushing the other two off the stage with one of the best spreads in the business. His lower back is unreal. All three have superb hams and glutes, stripped to hell and back but Victor’s wingspan…. Victor
Rear Double Biceps
Phil continues to bring up that back, but at the moment, he still loses out in both the mass and width departments. So it’s up to Dexter’s to topple Victor. Victor’s got that width and thickness, plus he ain’t lacking in details. But Dex has one of the most intricately carved back double bi’s in the sport. Everything’s in high-def, plus you just can’t deny the dryness of his lower extremities. Dexter
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Abs & Thigh
Dexter’s got the best midsection, Phil’s got the best legs, and Victor’s got the most size and taper. Overall, I have to go with Phil, because he’s got everything plus the sickest legs of the bunch (it is best abs and thigh). Phil
And the winner is….
It was a valiant effort by the Blade and the Gift, but the True Victor was not to be denied. He’s got everything both Dexter and Phil have, with superior structure and size. All that combined with enough conditioning was too much even for competitors of their caliber. You see, Victor is a special breed of bodybuilder who can walk in the land of shape and size simultaneously. He commands the stage from every angle with round, full muscle placed in sheer perfection. This is how I saw the dream battle between these three titans unfold in the MD Universe. I can’t wait to see it happen for real! ■
Dexter’s striations are squirming to life, Phil’s on the verge of imploding and Victor’s showing why he defies classification as either a shape or mass guy. However, Dexter looks like a walking anatomy chart. Dexter
Dexter Jackson Phil Heath Victor Martinez 4 6 9
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By Ron Harris, Photography by Per Bernal
hate to say this, but as a group, we bodybuilding fans really do suck. We are about as loyal as a young trophy wife when some guy with more money comes along. We love a pro when he’s doing well and sing his praises to the sky. But God help that guy if he starts to slip and has a couple bad shows. In the blink of an eye, he goes from a man whose star is on the rise to a washed-up has-been whose 15 minutes are up. In the case of Toney Freeman, we all got on the XMan bandwagon in 2006, when he went from a guy most never thought would amount to much as a pro to a breakout star by virtue of winning the Europa show and going on to place seventh at his first Mr. Olympia a few weeks later. The winning streak rolled on in full force the following spring, as one of the greatest tall men the sport has ever seen racked up wins at the Iron Man and Sacramento pro shows and capped off the spring with third at a very tough Arnold Classic, where Victor won and Dexter was the runner-up. Freeman was being talked up as a definite threat to break top five at the ‘07 Olympia, but showed up looking watery and flat. After fol-
lowing up that 14th place with an eighth at the Iron Man and seventh at the Arnold Classic this past spring, many fans lost faith in the X-Man. Time was probably catching up to the dude, who would turn 42 in August of 2008. The silly aspect of this is that it wasn’t like Toney had some glaringly weak body parts that never improved or had suffered a horrible injury. No, the guy just showed up off his best condition a few times in a row. When that’s the only problem, any of us who have been around this game long enough should know that it’s a situation that can definitely be rectified. And it was. Toney got back with his nutritionist, Dave Palumbo, and turned it all around. By the time the season was up, Toney had two more pro titles and a fifth place at the Mr. Olympia to his credit. And what do you know? All of a sudden, we’re all back on his jock! That’s just the nature of the beast. But there were those of us who had a feeling Mr. Freeman’s best days weren’t behind him just yet. This month, we pay tribute to one of the sport’s best competitors, with an insight into some of the training and diet secrets that took him beyond the realm of the average pro bodybuilder and made him: the X-Man!
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1. Toney is not naturally big or wide.
Unlike some men such as Ronnie, Jay or Ruhl, Toney Freeman was not gifted with naturally wide clavicles. And he certainly wasn’t one of those guys who people ask if he’s a bodybuilder before he even touches a weight. When he started training nearly 20 years ago at age 21, he weighed just 155 pounds at 6’2” and his arms taped out at a paltry 13 3/4 inches. The fact that he has nearly doubled his bodyweight and become one of the most muscular specimens alive breathes hope into the guys out there who didn’t hit the genetics lottery.
2. Toney’s back was a weak point for years.
Freeman took a good look at his physique around 1995 and realized that even though he managed to get his back fairly wide, he was in dire need of thickness. That’s when he began adding in more rows and deadlifts. Even more so than the exercises he chose, Toney found what was holding him back for years was his poor form and lack of a
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Day one: Legs (Quads and some hams) Day two: Chest and some biceps Day three: Backs and some triceps Day four: Shoulders and traps Day five: Hamstrings and deadlifts Day six: Arms *Toney usually trains 13 days in a row on this rotation, then takes one day off before resuming it.
mind-muscle connection. “When you have long arms like I do, the natural tendency is for the biceps to take over when you do most back exercises, he ” explains. “And I exacerbated the problem by going way too heavy. He began to ” focus on squeezing his back and also upped his reps from 6-8 to 8-12. “A lot of times I would be so concerned with using a ton of weight that I justified doing lower reps, but they didn’t keep the muscle under tension long enough. Once I started doing slightly higher reps, I felt the back working more and I knew I was onto something. ”
3. Chin-ups have been a key to his back development and remain so.
Toney is convinced that the key to his wings getting so ridiculously wide was a very steady diet of wide-grip chin-ups that his lats continue to feast on even today. “I just loved the exercise, and I kept getting stronger at it week by week and month by month, he tells us. ” “When I was only weighing around 180 or 190 pounds, I read that Arnold used to do 100 reps of wide-grip chin-ups when he trained back, so I tried it. It would take me maybe 3 or 4 sets, and soon even that was easy so I had to add weight. He ” eventually was able to hang three 45pound plates from his waist. Toney still chins twice a week; both on his back day and the day he works deadlifts. Normally, he picks a target number like 50 and takes as many sets as he needs to reach that total.
4. Toney’s arms never really grew until he stopped going stupid heavy.
Going too heavy was Toney’s biggest roadblock to arm growth for many years, and it wasn’t until he trained with former top national heavyweight competitor Edgar Fletcher for a few weeks in the mid-‘90s that he gained a new perspective on proper muscle stimulation. “Edgar had enormous arms, and I watched him sit down at the preacher curl using just a 10 and a 5 on each side of the bar for his work sets, he tells us. ” “I asked him why he was going so light, because my arms were half the size of his and I could use a 45 on each side.
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Edgar explained that unless you can flex the biceps while you’re doing the rep, the weight is too heavy and you’re not doing it right. Once I tried going lighter but with that intense and controlled contraction, I realized I had been working my ego much harder than my biceps. ” Freeman’s arms began to grow again.
5. He really brought up his chest and arms by overtraining them.
In December of 2005, Toney left his home in Atlanta and headed off to Seattle, where he would live and breathe bodybuilding for 12 weeks under the guidance of trainer Anthony Aponte. Freeman had just pulled a hamstring and could not train legs at all, which created a unique opportunity to improve the two areas that truly needed it: chest and arms. Both were hit three times a week, chest in the morning and arms at night. And when I say hit, they were whacked with no mercy. Biceps and triceps each got five or six different exercises, and the total number of sets averaged between 55 and 57 The . reps were the standard 10 to 12, but many times Aponte would extend the sets with 5 or 6 more forced reps. “He would pick up where the muscle would fail, Toney says. ” “It was very intense. The pain felt like a blowtorch, more so because he demanded that I kept the form strict no matter how much it hurt. It was pure torture, but there ”
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was a light at the end of the tunnel of pain. Freeman’s arms went from 21 inches cold to 22 1/2 inches by the time he left Seattle.
6. Toney’s secret weapon is a wasp waist.
No matter what they claim, I can assure you that most of the guys competing in the range of 250-280
pounds have waists that are probably about 36-38 inches on contest day, and well over 40 in the off-season. Freeman’s is 30-31 inches onstage. At his heaviest, 310 pounds, his waist has never been more than 36 inches. This helps create one of the most dramatic X-frames a human being has ever possessed. What’s his secret to keeping that genetically miniature waist from expanding? “I increased MD 235
work them before shoulders so they get pre-fatigued. That way, your delts are forced to work harder with less assistance for the traps. His favorite training method for traps ” is to superset barbell shrugs to the front and back, five times. The reps are in the 815 range, and he advises all to use no more weight than what will permit a full range of motion. “If the bar is just twitching and your traps are barely coming up, you need to lighten up and do it right. ”
9. He stands and delivers when it comes to shoulders.
Pressing to the front is a mainstay exercise for Toney’s shoulders, and he will do it seated or standing with a bar, or seated at a Smith machine. “Standing presses are a lot more difficult because you can’t lean back at all, and you have to keep everything tight and balanced. Just to give you an idea of ” the difference, he can handle 315 on the Smith machine for sets of 12 reps any old day, while on standing barbell presses he rarely goes heavier than 185 or 205 at most. “With presses in general, I never use a weight I can’t get for at least 8 reps, he ” notes. “Anything heavier than that is asking for trouble as far as I am concerned. ”
10. Laterals made his shoulders wide.
“The single-most important thing you can do if you want great shoulders is to learn how to do a perfect side lateral raise, Toney boldly proclaims. “If you can ” learn how to isolate that medial head and not involve any other muscle groups, you are well on your way. Freeman alternates ” between two methods of doing his side laterals. When he does them standing, he likes to run down the rack. After warming up with a couple light sets, he starts at the 60s and does 5 reps. Without rest, he repeats 5 reps going down in 5-pound increments (55, 50, 45, etc.) until he gets to the 5s and does as many reps as possible until his arms can’t move. That’s 12 pair of dumbbells in a row and roughly 70-80 reps, and that’s just 1 set! Toney will also do seated dumbbell laterals, but with an 8-second pause at the top of each rep. For these, he only needs 25-30 pounds at most for 10-12 excruciating reps. If you haven’t had a pump in your side delts in awhile, either one of Toney’s methods is bound to do the trick.
my meals and decreased the portions, for one thing, he said. “For ” abs, I don’t use extra weight and focus mainly on the lower abs, he ” added. And finally, he gets colonics done several times a year to flush out his colon completely.
ther reinforce his structural limitations, Toney focused on lateral raises of all types for his shoulders. For chest, he focused on form and feeling and eventually did build pretty impressive strength to go along with thick pecs.
7. Toney always hated the question, “How much ya bench?”
“I sucked at benching, mainly because of my long arms, he says, ” “and I was pretty horrible at shoulder presses, too. Rather than fur”
8. Toney works traps before shoulders.
“The traps are involved in a lot of shoulder exercises, and sometimes it’s easy to let them start taking over when you get tired, he ” relates. “It makes sense to me to
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RH: Dave, Toney had a bit of a slump for a couple shows, and as typically happens, some people immediately wrote him off as being all done. His 15 minutes were up, or whatever. As his nutritionist, were you concerned that his best days might be behind him, or was it just a bump in the road? DP: Actually, I wasn’t working with him at all in that time period. RH: I must have missed that; it was probably on the boards. Was he on his own then? DP: For the 2007 Mr. Olympia, Toney used a friend of his who had convinced him he could have him looking better than I could. It turned out badly. For the Iron Man and the Arnold this year, he went back to my diet, but he tried doing it on his own. RH: That didn’t work, apparently. DP: It’s just too hard to crack the whip on yourself. If I had him doing 3 hours of cardio, on his own, he might decide that he would be fine with 2 hours, just little things like that. We never had a falling out. There wasn’t bad
blood or anything like that between us, but it was Flex Wheeler who mediated and brought us together at the Arnold again. I helped him in the two weeks after that for the New Zealand show, where he grabbed an Olympia qualification with third place. Then we went full-blast for the three shows right before the Olympia. He won the Tampa Pro and the Europa show, and then there was that funny fourth place at the Atlantic City. That was a very controversial decision. RH: What was controversial about it? Should he have beat Melvin and won? DP: No, he didn’t deserve to beat Melvin, but he definitely should have beaten Darrem and Johnnie Jackson. But it was the last chance for both of them to qualify for the Olympia, so there was speculation that this could have had something to do with the final outcome. This was what a lot of people were saying after the show, anyway. RH: So your record with Toney is actually damn good. DP: Four pro wins, third at the Arnold, another third in MD 237
New Zealand, and that erratic placing in Atlantic City. RH: Would you say that not working with you is what caused his condition to suffer there for a little while? DP: That was part of it, but Toney was also out of his groove for a while. He was down in Florida living with [female bodybuilder; name withheld] for a while and not in his routine. All in all, he just didn’t have the right team behind him and that’s important. RH: So is it safe to say you
two will continue working together? DP: Yeah, I think we’re married for life now! (laughs) I keep him in line, and I also know his body very well now. And Toney is easy to work with in the sense that if I tell him to do something, he doesn’t argue or try to rationalize his way out of it, he just does it. RH: Would you say that this recent Mr. Olympia was the best Toney has ever looked? Is he capable of looking even better? DP: It is the best he’s ever looked or
Toney Freeman at the 2008 Mr. Olympia
at least equal to his previous best. He can look better than that. His glutes had nice, deep lines from the side, but they weren’t as clear when viewed from the back shots. One thing I learned over the last couple shows is that you can’t fill Toney out unless you deplete him to near death. If we don’t take him down to that point, the results when he carbs-up are less than spectacular. Toney doesn’t lose muscle when he does this, so that’s not a concern. RH: Speaking of that, what does he carb up on? Potatoes, waxy maize, pie filling? DP: No, he only carbs-up on white rice. And we keep it at 300 grams a day. RH: That doesn’t sound like enough for a guy that steps onstage over 280 pounds. DP: We know from past experience that if we go with a lot more, he just spills over. You have to understand that toward the very end we also take out fats so he’s only eating protein, so when he’s filling out he’s eating protein, fats and carbs all together for the first time during the diet. It’s like topping off a tank. You need to put just the right amount of the right fuel in. RH: Can you give me an idea of what his diet was like for most of the prep? DP: Sure. Each meal had about 50 grams of protein, which could be from omega-3 whole eggs, salmon, bison or swordfish. He would also have 25-30 grams of fats. Some of that would come from the protein source, or else he would get it from all-natural peanut butter, macadamia nut butter, or almond butter. At four weeks out, we started to rotate these days with days where the fats would be replaced by fibrous carbs like a cup of green beans or asparagus. Because the calories from those were so much lower, Toney was running on fumes on those days, basically. For the last two weeks, he was eating all protein and fibrous carbs. Then on the last couple days, we put the fats back in along with the rice, and you saw the results. RH: I did, and they were very impressive. You two obviously make a great team. DP: We do. And the best is yet to come for the Arnold. He’s starting the diet at a much leaner bodyweight, so just wait and see what the X-Man has in store next time.
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Complete Contest History
1990 AAU Junior Mr. America 1993 NPC Junior Nationals 1993 NPC Nationals 1994 NPC Nationals 1995 NPC Nationals 2001 NPC Coastal USA 2001 NPC Nationals 2002 NPC Nationals 2003 Night of Champions 2003 GNC Show of Strength 2004 Night of Champions 2004 GNC Show of Strength 2005 Arnold Classic 2006 Pro Iron Man 2006 Arnold Classic 2006 San Francisco Pro 2006 Europa Super Show 2006 Mr. Olympia 2007 Iron Man Pro 2007 Arnold Classic 2007 Sacramento Pro 2007 Mr. Olympia 2008 Iron Man Pro 2008 Arnold Classic 2008 Australia Grand Prix 2008 New Zealand Grand Prix 2008 Tampa Bay Pro 2008 Europa Super Show 2008 Atlantic City Pro 2008 Atlantic City Pro 2008 Mr. Olympia Fourth, Tall class Heavyweight winner Sixth, Heavyweights Fourth, Heavyweights Fourth, Heavyweights Second, Super-Heavyweights Eighth, Super-Heavyweights Super-Heavyweight & Overall Champion 11th Place Ninth Place 10th Place Eighth Place 10th Place Seventh Place Ninth Place Fifth Place Winner Seventh Place Winner Third Place Winner 14th Place Eighth Place Seventh Place Fourth Place Third Place Winner Winner Second, Masters Fourth Place Fifth Place
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NEXT YEAR’S VICTOR!
Exclusive Interview by Ron Harris Photography by Per Bernal
THE COMEBACK OF VICTOR MARTINEZ
2008 was a tough year for both Victor Martinez and his many fans. While most of us were still writing “2007” on our checks, he injured his knee and was forced out of defending his title at the Arnold Classic. Worse, he missed the Mr. Olympia, the show many thought had been stolen from him last year and he was due to dominate this time around. But shit happens, right? Victor has made the best of a bad situation and is now gearing up to make 2009 the year he truly makes his mark on this sport. I talked to him about his injury rehab, who his strongest challengers will be and how he plans to take them all out. RH: I’m gonna start with something pretty random. In part one of this interview, we ran some great shots of you training legs at Metroflex Gym taken right after the Europa show. One thing drove me crazy, though. In every single shot of you training legs, your damned legs were covered up by long, baggy shorts! What the hell was up with that? VM: It was Per’s idea; not sure if he was trying to make it a big mystery or something. But that’s what I wear when I train legs anyway, shorts like that. RH: What? You don’t have the little spandex shorts? MD 243
VM: Come on, man; are you serious? I have worn those for some photo shoots, but not once in real life. RH: OK, enough about how long your shorts are. Did it kill you to see Dexter win the Mr. Olympia when you have beaten him the last three times you competed against him, including two Olympias and
an Arnold? VM: It was a mixed feeling. On one hand, yeah, it was great to see Dexter get it because he’s been knocking on that door a long time. But it also was tough because I knew that could have been me up there winning. It should have been me, if I hadn’t got hurt. RH: Were you happy to see the
judges do the right thing and let the best man win? And at the same time, were you wondering why it didn’t work out that way for you back at last year’s Olympia when you had Jay beat fair-and-square? VM: That’s a hard question to answer. I don’t know why they decided on Dexter. Maybe they figured
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they would let Jay slide one time, but if he showed up looking bad again they would have to finally punish him and take his title away. I have no idea what goes on in the judges’ minds. RH: Do you think Jay looked worse last year, or this year? VM: Condition-wise, he was worse last year. But overall, his physique looked a lot more beat-up and funky this year. Not only did I think Dexter had him beat easily, but Phil Heath should have beaten him, too. Probably even
Wolf and maybe Toney. But fourth, fourth was about where I would have had Jay this time. RH: Do you think Dexter will be your biggest threat next year as the defending champion, or is it possible Phil Heath or Dennis Wolf could end up being the toughest guys to beat? VM: I don’t underestimate anybody. Phil keeps getting better. Wolf didn’t look better this time, but I think that’s just because he messed up at the end. I had seen him guest pose earlier in the year and he had made improvements. MD 245
I have beaten Dexter the last couple times we competed against each other, but he’s Mr. Olympia now. History shows that the man holding the title can show up a little off and still win. RH: After that fiasco last year, you talked about how you thought you would probably need to bring the same package but with 5-10 percent more size to beat Jay with no questions asked. Now that a smaller guy has the title you want, do you still need that extra size?
VM: I probably wouldn’t need it to beat Dexter, but Heath and Wolf keep getting bigger and better. Dennis was 270, so he could be 280 or more next time. It’s not even about them. It’s about me being the best I can be. I know I can put on a little more mass and still maintain my lines and my shape and when I do, I will be that much tougher to beat. RH: You are coming back to try for your second Arnold Classic win a few months from now. Is Dexter also doing that show? If so, what would it look like if the reigning Mr. Olympia got beat at the Arnold? VM: I really doubt he will do it, but you never know. He might decide he wants that extra-big paycheck. If I beat him there, it would look bad for him and it would put me in a better position for the Olympia, that’s for sure. RH: Let’s talk about your legs and how they are coming along. When did the injury happen, and when did you return to training legs? VM: The injury happened on January 15, and I didn’t start training legs again until May. That was very easy training and it’s been getting heavier and more intense a little bit at a time ever since then. RH: What was the rehab process like? Did you work with a physical therapist? Did he or she have you doing anything unique to strengthen the knee again, something you didn’t already do in the past? VM: I started physical therapy three weeks after my surgery at a place called Star Rehab Center. The guy I have been working with is named Brian Gurney. He does a lot of manual bending and twisting, and in the early stages we did a lot of electrical muscle stimulation on the quadriceps, because it had atrophied so much. I was going three or four times every week, but now I only go once a week. RH: Is there any pain in the knee at all? VM: Most of the time, no. If I go up some stairs too fast or something like that, I definitely feel it. It’s just sometimes I forget how careful I need to be. It doesn’t
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hurt when I train legs, but the knee will ache for a day or two after that workout. RH: I guess that’s not a big deal; many guys who have been training heavy for a while have knees that ache. Size-wise, how does the injured leg compare to the other one these days? VM: It’s an inch smaller. I think when I started the rehab
it was about 4 inches smaller. RH: Not to bag on Jay too much, but he won two Mr. Olympia titles with one leg much smaller than the other. VM: Yeah, but I’m not going to count on getting that same break. I have to get the leg back up to match. RH: Do you spend a lot more time warming up
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before a leg workout than you did before? Do you stretch them before or after? Are you having things like deep-tissue massage or ultrasound done on the leg? VM: I always warmed up and stretched. I think 5 minutes on a stationary bike is fine to warm up as long as you also take time to warm up with your exercises instead of
being stupid and jumping right into heavy weights. I have deep tissue done all the time. Brian Gurney does that, or John Pena. My training partner Jakob even knows how to do deep-tissue work. I never really felt ultrasound did much for me, so I don’t bother with that. RH: Can you run me through the most recent workout you did for quads? VM: Sure. I started off with leg extensions. I do the top three-quarters of the range of motion because it’s not safe for me to start from a full stretch. RH: Personally, I don’t think it’s safe for anybody to start from that point. VM: Maybe not. Then I did squats. After that I do a type of lunge called the “runner’s lunge. You hold on to an over” head cable pulley for resistance. You have one foot in front of you on the ground, and the other behind you on a low box. You extend forward as far as you can and then kick off with the lead leg. RH: That’s a new one. Did you invent that or something? VM: No, I got that from my training partner, Jakob. Then I did step-ups and leg presses; that was it. RH: How do the weights you use now in leg training compare to what you were using last year at this MD 249
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time? Say, for squats? VM: I am using 275 to 315 now, where before I would do 405 all the time. RH: When you’re talking about muscle memory and rebuilding previously existing muscle mass as in the case of your leg, do you think it’s necessary that you have to regain all the strength to get the size back? Or are there other ways to get it done? VM: If you slow the reps down and really focus on working the muscle, less weight can feel like more. Plenty of guys have been able to maintain muscle without training as heavy as they used to, so you should also be able to rebuild muscle. RH: I just read an interesting article my wife forwarded to me about how figure athletes train. The only reason I bring it up is because the author claims that walking lunges are about the most destructive exercise you can possibly do for your knees. They put a tremendous shearing force on the knee. How heavy did you used to go on those, and do you do them now? VM: I hardly ever did walking lunges. Over the last couple years I’ve been doing step-ups, and I like those a lot better. I find them to be more effective. RH: Do you step up onto a flat bench? VM: No, the cushion of the bench makes your feet too unstable. Women can do that because they are only using bodyweight or not much weight. I try to go pretty heavy while holding a pair of dumbbells, and I step up onto a box. Not many guys have ever really tried stepups, but they should. I bet a lot of them would switch from lunges to those. RH: From the photos I saw in part one, it looks like your calves are actually better than before. Were you doing more for them while you couldn’t do much for legs? VM: Yeah, because I figured the blood flow would help with the healing process for my knee. And I know my calves could be better, anyway. When I stood next to Jay, his calves blew mine away. RH: Well, that’s not the case when you’re next to Dexter, but I digress. I know a main goal in your quad trainMD 251
ing is to build more outer sweep. What exercises are you doing to achieve that? VM: Once in a while, I do hack squats, but mainly I like doing leg presses with my feet together. That hits the outer part of the quad best for me. RH: You just started phase one of your training program with Chad for the Arnold. What exactly are the goals in phase one, and what does it mean in terms of training and nutrition? VM: The training stays the same, because I always train with high intensity. It’s mainly my diet that’s different. We increase the calories and I eat up a storm. The goal is to put on as much lean mass as possible. Phase one is only about five weeks long. If I ate like this much longer, I would turn into a butterball and they would be trying to throw me in the oven on Thanksgiving. RH: A lot of people thought you looked damnnear perfect at the 2007 Mr. Olympia. Are you confident you can bring a package that’s even better than that next time? And realistically, is there any-
one out there you think can beat it? VM: I’m not gonna sit here and talk shit like I can’t be beaten or that I’m the greatest. It’s a comeback and I’m dealing with this knee. Getting into my best shape will be a challenge. But I tore my pec a few years back and came back better than ever, so I know I have it in me. You’ll know when you see me at the Arnold how successful I was. RH: Last question. I want to know if you saw the movie “Bigger, Stronger, Faster. If so, were you ” upset at how they used you as an example to show how much bigger the pros of today are by comparing your height and weight to that of Arnold in his prime? He made mention of your previous legal problems involving steroids. And the worst thing was, my old co-worker Chris Bell shorted you by two inches and said you were only 5’7”! VM: I never saw it, and I refuse to promote it in any way. I thought it was wrong to use me the way he did without even asking me and make me look bad like that. And for the record, I’m 5’9” ■ . www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Lee Priest, Photography by Per Bernal Editor’s Note: You’ve read contest reviews before, and they are usually about as thrilling as the morning stock market reports for those of us who are financially retarded. That’s because the writer is typically choosing his words very carefully and is terrified of offending any of the athletes. We thought it might be interesting to give Lee Priest the task of reviewing the top 10 as he saw them at this year’s Mr. Olympia via the web cast from his home in Australia. We knew he wouldn’t pull any punches and would speak his mind without reservation, and Lee did not disappoint. So now they’ve got me doing fucking contest reports here in MD? This is the first time and maybe the last time, because I’m sure some of the guys will cry and moan about how cruel my assessments are. Well, too fucking bad, buddy. The following comments are purely based on the physiques. If the guys can’t deal with that and choose to take it personally, that’s their problem. I’m not here to say how wonderful all the guys looked. Obviously they made it this far, so they are
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Olympia, 2000 Night of Champions and Olympia, 2002 San Francisco Pro and GNC Show of Strength), maybe there is still hope for me!
2. Jay Cutler
Where do I begin? At the press conference on Thursday, Jay announced to all of us that he was looking “his best ever.” A couple years ago Ronnie remarked in a backstage interview that Jay Cutler must be smoking crack if he thought he was going to beat him that year. If Jay honestly thought this was the best he ever looked, he has to be out of his mind. Dan Solomon must have his head so far up Cutler’s ass that he can taste what Jay just ate, because he was repeating that same bullshit over and over again as he commentated during the webcast. First of all, Jay was not in shape on Friday night during the prejudging. The only thing on his physique that was ripped are his legs. Jay’s back was smooth and had folds of loose old-man skin hanging down at the bot-
all very good. But Steve asked me to call ‘em like I saw ‘em, so here was the top 10 in the eyes of The Priest.
1. Dexter Jackson
The commentators kept raving on and on about how Dexter was 4.7 pounds heavier than he was at the Arnold. If he was, I didn’t see it. Dexter looked the same to me as he always does. I don’t think he really gains all this size and bodyweight like he says he does. What happens is that his condition varies a bit from show to show and he might be a little fuller or flatter. With such a small frame, little changes like that creates an illusion. But regardless, Dexter has excellent shape and symmetry, with a small waist and is always shredded. Even when he’s a tiny bit off he’s still usually in better shape than everyone else. I want to say well done to Dexter for winning the Mr. Olympia. I honestly never thought I would live to see the day when an aesthetic physique was rewarded instead of sheer bulk. This did give me new faith in the judges and shows me they really are willing to make the sport better by choosing the best physique up there instead of just the biggest or heaviest. And since I have beaten Dexter in the past (1999
n’t be competing, so he figured he would be the only huge guy up there and winning a third time would be no sweat. He even made some remarks earlier this year about how he only needed to be at 90 percent to win, which was a pretty arrogant thing to say about the toughest bodybuilding contest in the world. You never heard Ronnie say he didn’t have to be his best to keep winning, and he was a much more dominant champion than Jay could have ever hoped to be. If any of this comes across as a personal attack, it isn’t. I have nothing against Jay as a person. The fact is that he did not show up looking like Mr. Olympia, and he paid the price. If anything, he was very lucky to be given second place as myself and many others didn’t even feel he deserved to be in the top five this year.
3. Phil Heath
I was really surprised at how good Phil Heath looked. His condition was probably the very best in the show, and he has some amazing body parts like his arms and shoulders. For a black guy, his calves are pretty great,
tom, and his shoulders and arms looked incredibly soft. And blocky…Jay is so wide-waisted and blocky that you could stick a handle on him, open him up and put the milk in. People were saying he should win because he still had the most mass, a fact I don’t even agree with. But even if he did, then why wasn’t Markus Ruhl ever Mr. Olympia? Markus carried more mass than Jay and had a smaller waist. The thing that really puzzled me is why Jay wasn’t in shape. He only had one show to get ready for and had an entire year to do it. Guys like Silvio and Toney did something like a halfdozen shows this year and they still showed up in condition. Jay lives right there in Las Vegas, so it’s not like he could blame a long flight for screwing him up and making him hold water or something. Speaking of water, the commentators also made a big deal about how Jay lost 12 pounds between Friday and Saturday nights and looked so much better. If you’ve properly prepared for a contest, there is no reason on earth you would need to drop that much water. Furthermore, the only way to accomplish that is by using diuretics, which are on the IFBB’s banned substance list. I think Jay simply got really lazy this year. He knew Ronnie would-
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fuller and with the deeper muscle separations that would have come along with that. I knew it was all over for Wolf when he wasn’t in the first callout. But Dennis is still a relatively new guy and is probably still figuring all this stuff out. I wouldn’t mind seeing him win an Olympia or two down the road.
5. Toney Freeman
This was probably the best I have ever seen Toney. He definitely deserved to be in the top five and could probably have been as high as third. He’s done a great job of filling out that tall-ass frame of his and was shredded to the bone. It’s funny about Toney. When he’s off, like he was last year at the Olympia, he doesn’t impress me at all. But when he’s on, it’s a whole other physique. I still think he needs bigger arms, and his calves would lead me to wonder if there is even a calf machine at the gym he trains at. And if I can make a critique about his posing routine, it’s to please cut out all the hip gyrations. Apparently, Toney used to be an exotic dancer in his
too. Phil had a lot of hype to live up to, and I think he did a good job. He was working hard during the judging and putting tons of effort into each pose. Will he be Mr. Olympia, like a lot of people seem to think he is destined to be? Who knows? They said that about Flex, Kevin, Shawn and a few other guys who were certainly good enough to win that title. He does look a bit narrow in some poses, but so did Flex Wheeler. I thought it was very close between Phil and Dexter this time, and Phil is still a young guy who gets better every time you see him. As we all know, Dexter is just about maxed out. So I doubt Dexter will be able to hold this kid off next time.
4. Dennis Wolf
I knew from his sunken face at the press conference that Dennis was in awesome shape. It’s a look you hardly ever see anymore. And he was pretty ripped, but something must have gone wrong toward the end of his prep, as he was totally flat. He still looked good, but clearly he missed a hell of a chance to win the Olympia. With his shape and mass and his small waist, Dennis could have blown Dexter and Phil away had be been
break-dance popping and locking crap, then he leans way back like he’s doing the limbo. Sure, it’s cool…the first 50 times you see it. I can only dream of being able to pose like Melvin of course, but if I could, I think I would at least try to mix it up every couple years.
7. Silvio Samuel
You have to hand it to Silvio. The guy did nine shows last season and was in shape at every single one. This year he “only” competed five times, but the only other guy who was his equal with condition at this year’s Olympia was probably Heath. Silvio has great lines and nice, round muscle bellies. His back could be better, but I still thought he deserved better than seventh. How Melvin beat him is as big of a mystery to me as where those stray socks disappear to in the dryer. We’ll never know. I said I was only going to talk about the physiques, but I did want to add that Silvio is a real gentleman and very down to earth from the times I have met him.
younger years. X-Man, if the audience wanted to see a man dance around like a stripper, Las Vegas has outfits like Chippendales or Thunder From Down Under. Call me old-fashioned, but I think you’re just supposed to pose in a bodybuilding contest, not dance or grind your hips like you’re fucking some invisible girl onstage.
MOHAMMAD EL MOUSSAWI
6. Melvin Anthony
It may have been late September, but Christmas definitely arrived early for Marvelous Melvin. Sixth place for him was the biggest gift of the show after Jay’s second place. Melvin just didn’t ‘bring it.’ In fact, he must have left ‘it’ back home in California. He was off, plain and simple, and as usual it was worst in his glutes and hams. And yes, I know he’s an amazing poser. But I guess I am going to have to be the asshole who points this out. If you saw the movie “Zoolander,” Ben Stiller’s male supermodel had all these “looks,” or facial expressions, with names like Magnum and Blue Steel. But they were really all the same exact look. Well, Melvin keeps changing the music he uses but…it’s the same routine every time! He starts out slow, then he does some
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always bring that crazy-shredded look if he wants to do well. I could be wrong, but I don’t think his frame can hold a lot more mass than it already has unless he wants to get a pregnant belly. So instead of trying to blow up and destroy his physique, I hope Moe just adds a little bit in the right areas and focuses on coming in as hard as possible. But all in all, not bad for a Kiwi (New Zealander).
10. Gustavo Badell
What the fuck happened to this guy? For two years in a row he was top three in the Mr. Olympia and winning that retarded challenge round over everyone, including Ronnie. Since then, he has done downhill fast. His legs have shrunk, and he can’t seem to get that condition like he used to. He looked better this time than I’ve seen him in a while, but his back was still pretty soft and his legs look like he just doesn’t train them hard anymore. I don’t know if Gustavo will ever be able to look as good as he did a few years ago (he did win a pro show as recently as February of 2006), or if his body has just had it. Sometimes, whether it’s related to all the heavy training, drugs or whatever, a man’s body just stops responding the way it used to. Look at Ronnie, and now Jay. The body just gets beat up. For Badell’s sake, I hope it’s not over for him quite yet. If he does somehow manage to rally and get his look back that he had in 2004 and 2005, they should make him a saint…because it would be a fucking miracle!
Even though the depth of the lineup is nothing like it used to be back in the ‘90s (I sound like a broken record with that refrain, don’t I?), it was still a good show. It was exciting to see a true “changing of the guard” with a totally different physique being crowned Mr. Olympia. This was the first time since before Lee Haney started winning in 1984 that the title hasn’t gone to the biggest guy up there. So yes, this Priest has renewed faith in MY TOP FIVE the judging and in the Dexter direction of the sport! Heath* Hopefully the title can Toney Wolf change and keep things Silvio fresh. Dexter might hold *I thought you could have on to it, or it could just as switched up Phil, Freeman, easily change hands to and Wolf pretty much in someone like Martinez, any order. Heath or Wolf. And maybe, just maybe, a heavily tattooed 5’4” guy from Australia could even win it someday! Don’t laugh; they also said the Berlin Wall would never come down and a black man would never be elected President of the USA. Oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet, at the time I’m writing this, has it? Never mind. Lee Priest, contest reporter from MD, signing out. ■ MD 261
8. Dennis James
Dennis has been around a long time. This was the eighth time he’s competed in the Mr. Olympia, and sometimes I wonder if the judges just get sick of seeing him after awhile. I’m glad he finally stopped playing the size game, because for a while there, it looked like he was about to give birth to triplets. He has slimmed down and his shape is a lot better now that his waist is under control, but Dennis still could have been tighter. I know he used to have good muscle separation way back when he got his pro card, but after that he blew up with bulk and we never saw it again. I don’t know if he can get that back, but if he does he could be in the top five again.
9. Mohammad El Moussawi
It was good to see some new blood up in this year’s top 10, including Heath and Moe. This guy had a really good physique, but he was tighter earlier this season at the Iron Man and the Arnold. I don’t know if he thought he had to be bigger for the Olympia, but Moe should
Dave Henry vs. Lee Priest in 2009: Who Will Win?
By Ron Harris, Photography by Per Bernal Who is the best bodybuilder in the world today under 202 pounds? According to the results of the inaugural 202 Showdown at the recent Mr. Olympia Weekend, that man is the Giant Killer, David Henry. Having gone three for three this season in the new 202 class, it’s tough to argue that Henry is the undisputed champion. But to be the very best, you have to beat the very best. Fans of Lee Priest have been saying for years that if there were a short class or a lighter weight class at the Mr. Olympia (as existed from 1974 to 1979), the Blond Myth would have won many times. We didn’t get to find out this year, because even though Lee had been reinstated back into the IFBB, a biceps tendon injury knocked him out until next spring. But even with next year’s 202 Showdown (which could possibly change its name) almost a year away, the talk is already starting about a titanic battle between Dave and Lee. Add a possible comeback by Shawn Ray into the mix, and the stage is being set for some serious rivalries. We spoke with Dave and Lee about the 202 Showdown and what they have in store for us next year. And if I let Dave do most of the talking, it’s only because we hear from Lee every month! RH: Dave, congratulations on becoming the first-ever 202 Olympia Showdown champion! How does it feel to have the title? DH: I feel the same way as the winner of the regular Mr. Olympia does, on top of the world. It’s the first time in my career I can say I’m number one in the world on that given day. Some fans have e-mailed me to say that they think that
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pound-for-pound, I am the best bodybuilder competing today in the IFBB. I appreciated those comments very much. RH: Lee, now that you have seen the 202 class really take off in 2008, what do you think about it? Good idea or bad idea? LP: I think it’s a great idea. So many times, we see a smaller or shorter guy with a very complete physique lose to a bigger guy who’s missing entire body parts. It’s because people get so easily overwhelmed by mass. They say, “Oh, wow, he sure is huge!” That leads them to forget about symmetry, condition and other important factors. We have been seeing this at the Olympia for years. So now that there is another option and a class for lighter guys who do have all those attributes, I think it’s excellent. I only wish they would have started the fucking thing 15 years ago when I was starting out as a pro! RH: Dave, even though Dexter is 2 inches taller and a little over 30 pounds heavier, I think a strong argument can be made that you are just as thick overall. DH: I think so. Put me up onstage in my best condition against anybody and I think I can hang, whatever his height and weight may be. I’ve been in the top five at many open shows and was top 10 in the Mr. Olympia last year. How I didn’t get that again this year is a controversial topic. I spent a lot of time answering fans’ e-mails asking why I was down in 15th. I even had guys in the top 10 who were confused. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for it. RH: Did you think it was close between you, Kevin and Flex Lewis, or did you dominate that particular show? DH: I know that those guys look good from the front, but when we turn around I have a major edge. But they looked fantastic, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for. I want to win at my best, but if I don’t win, I’d rather it be when I was at my best, too. That’s better than losing and knowing I didn’t push myself hard enough. And you can take more pride in beating others when they are at their best rather than catching them on an off day. But I brought my Agame, and the scorecard showed that it was enough to win with all first-place votes. RH: A perfect score, like Ronnie used to have for years at the Mr. O. DH: This was the fourth time in my career it’s happened. I won with perfect scores at the 2002 NPC Nationals, the 2005 Wildcard Showdown at the Olympia, the Tampa show a few weeks ago and then the 202 Showdown. RH: Lee, getting back to Kevin English and Flex Lewis for a minute. How do you rate them in terms of strong and weak points? LP: I’m glad that they are getting some exposure
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and doing well, but they are very lucky that they are starting their pro careers at the same time that this 202 class is taking off. I never had that when I was an up-and-coming star and had to go up against freaks like Dorian, Shawn, Kevin, Flex, Ronnie, Paul Dillett, Chris Cormier, Nasser and later, Jay. Kevin and Flex are getting a nice break by being able to compete against the smaller guys like themselves. I am sure they will both rack up a few wins in this class before it’s all said and done, but would they ever have won a pro show with no weight classes, going up against the really big guys? I’m not so sure. Kevin has some good body parts, and so does Flex,
but they both still need a lot of work if they were to truly hang with the bigger guys. RH: Dave, you nearly beat Lee the last time you competed against him at the 2006 Iron Man. What improvements have you made since then, and assuming Lee hasn’t made any, could that be enough to edge him out the next time you two compete? DH: Let me say that Lee is a great competitor. The man is thick as hell from every angle. We really have two very different physiques, one of those apples-andoranges situations. He looked fantastic when he beat me at the
Iron Man, but I don’t know if he’s changed since then. I know I have. Over the last couple years, I have put on size in the right places and my confidence level is much higher. If they go by structure alone, I have him there. Lee has nailed his condition a few times, but he’s also been a bit off more than once from the waist down. He just isn’t consistent with that yet to the point where it’s not an issue. RH: When you compare strengths and weakness, it’s odd that you have superior chest and back thickness to Lee, while he does have a better lower body. What type of challenge does that present to the judges when they have to decide who should win? DH: Well, I have been bombing my legs hard since the last time Lee was onstage with me, and they are no longer a flaw. With the upper body, I am wider across the shoulders and do have more thickness and roundness to both the chest and the shoulders. His arms have always been straight-up freaky. It’s funny; you could swap some of our body parts and create the world’s greatest 202-pound bodybuilder who ever lived! RH: But again, how would the judges be able to choose who’s better? DH: One thing I know is that when we turn around, I have the upper hand. When you talk about back thickness
“I want to win at my best, but if I don’t win, I’d rather it be when I was at my best, too. That’s better than losing and knowing I didn’t push myself hard enough.” —Dave Henry
and detail, glute-ham tie-ins, all of that, I have the advantage. Neither of us have a blocky midsection, but my back and wider shoulders give me better overall shape. RH: Lee, David Henry is the reigning 202 champion of the world. How do you rate Dave? What are his strong and weak points, and what would it take for you to beat him? LP: He is the current champion. You’ve already said what his strong and weak points are. I know for me to beat him I would really just have to be in my best condition. He has me on a couple areas maybe, but it’s not a body part contest. It’s a physique contest. Overall, I feel I have a more completelooking physique and better overall shape. He thinks he does, and that’s fine. We all have to be confident that we can win. The truth is, anybody can be beaten on any given day if they aren’t at their best and the other guy is. RH: Dave, Lee mentions condition. For a couple shows earlier this year, you weren’t your usual shredded-to-the-bone self. What happened? DH: I wasn’t prepared the way I should have been. That’s
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it. It’s my fault and I blame no one or nothing else. But I am the type of person who learns from my mistakes, so that’s in the past now. RH: Conditioning is definitely a strong point of Dave’s, Lee. He’s very consistent with it and that’s where you will really have to shine to beat him, at least in the opinion of many fans. Do you think you have finally figured out how to duplicate that type of condition that won you the Iron Man so that he won’t edge you out in that department? LP: If you look at all the old contest photos of me, you’ll see that I was always in shape. It did take me a few years before I got that ultra-shredded look to my legs, but my upper body was always where it needed to be. Have I figured it all out? No, you never do. Your body reacts differently at every show. Look at the last Olympia and how a couple guys really screwed up while others were in the best shape of their lives. If we could figure it out once and for all, no one would ever show up off his peak. We would all have cross-striated fucking glutes and you would be able to count the muscle fibers in our eyelids. RH: Dave, you have made tremendous improvements since turning pro six years ago, adding over 25 pounds of pure muscle. You have also gone on record many times as saying that you give much of the credit to your training style, DC, which is based on high-intensity and low overall volume. Lee trains in the standard high-volume style and has never used a logbook to force himself to be accountable and make strength gains. I know you don’t care whether or not DC would work better for Lee and he isn’t interested in it anyway, but just being hypothetical, do you think that maybe his physique could be better if he had switched over to DC a few years ago like you did? DH: There seems to be a common misconception that I am the guy who thinks DC Training is the only way to train, and that I am trying to preach it to everyone. So not true. I really don’t care if Lee or anyone else uses DC, or what they think about it. I know what it’s done for me since I started using it in July of 2004 when I started working with Dante Trudel. I continue to make gains and I know I haven’t yet maxed out my frame. These other guys can sneer at DC and say, “That’s not enough training for me. ”
Yet they look the same year after year and I improve all the time. I honestly don’t know if Lee would look any different. I suspect he has probably put on just as much muscle as his frame will hold before he starts looking blocky. RH: Lee…response? LP: He’s right in the sense that I do have all the mass I need and that my structure can carry without starting to look like a refrigerator, though Jay won two Olympias with that look! No comment on the training. He does what he
“So now that there is another option and a class for lighter guys who do have all those attributes, I think it’s excellent. I only wish they would have started the fucking thing 15 years ago when I was starting out as a pro!” —Lee Priest
does, I do what I do and it’s always worked fine for me. RH: Dave, Dante Trudel, creator of DC Training, is a vital part of your team. Who are some others? DH: My wife Nikki runs the Cruise portions of my training. I set it up so that I blast up until two weeks out, then do my Cruise right up to it. Nikki has me doing higher volume and a lot of giant sets with lighter weights to flush blood in there. You see it in my DVD “Extreme Measures” (available at www.toopumped.net) along with my Blast training. I’ve had women come up to me and tell me they love the way she kicks my ass! I also have to mention Scott Stevenson, who handles my diet. He’s in the DVD, too. And of course, MuscleTech has been a huge help throughout my pro career. RH: I believe you have competed in shape as heavy as 210 or so, correct? Is it tough for you to get down to 202 pounds, and do you have to sacrifice any muscle mass to do it? DH: No, the heaviest I have ever competed at in proper condition was 206. And it is hard for me to get down to 202. I work hard enough in the off-season so that I make it hard. I have to drop 6 or 7 pounds of water the night before I weigh in to get to 202 now. I actually
Ht: Wt: Age: Best body part: Weak point: Pro since: Pro shows: Pro wins: Training style:
5’4” 199-210 36 Arms, legs Back, chest 1993 44 5 High-volume
5’5” 202-205 33 Back, arms Legs 2002 29 3 DoggCrapp
weigh in a couple pounds less than that, so I have about 6-9 pounds to play with assuming I lose about half of it the next time I diet. RH: What if you can’t make the cut? DH: That day will come sooner or later. When it does, I’ll just jump right into the Open. I’m not scared to compete against the best bodybuilders out there, over or under 202 pounds. LP: I feel the same way. If you are so worried about competing against heavier guys, you should remain an amateur your whole life.
RH: Shawn Ray is now talking about possibly coming back next year to try and win the 202 Showdown at the Mr. Olympia. First of all, would you look forward to sharing the stage with a guy who was top five at the Mr. Olympia for 12 years in a row? DH: Is he really? I didn’t know that. It would be an honor, for sure. Shawn was someone I looked up to and had tremendous respect for back in the day, and still do. People have even mistaken me for him at airports a couple times, although I don’t really see a strong resemblance. He was out of the sport before I was into it, so I would love the chance to stand next to him. RH: Shawn will be 45 next year, and he’s been out of heavy training for the better part of a decade. Do you think it’s possible for him to regain his former physique, or at least come very close? DH: The mind is the most powerful factor in bodybuilding, and that’s an area Shawn has always been known for. If he puts his mind to it, I would bet he can come close to looking as good as he used to. He was a very formidable competitor and would be a force to reckon with. RH: Lee, do you think Shawn can still come close to looking as good as he used to? LP: I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be able to. Muscle memory is a powerful thing, and it’s not like he’s 60 or 70 years old. I think he’s the same age as Ronnie, and Ronnie is still a beast. So unless Shawn’s muscle memory has Alzheimer’s disease, he should be able to get his mass back pretty fast. Shawn has a lot of pride and I know he wouldn’t come back unless he was looking great. My guess is that he will train for a while and see how he’s looking before he makes any type of decision. I know I would. RH: You never beat Shawn before. Do you think
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you could beat him if you two competed against each other next year? LP: Just because I didn’t beat him doesn’t mean I never should have. This sport is all a matter of the judges’ opinions. I don’t worry about beating anyone because that’s up to the judges, not us. It would be fun to compete against Shawn again. There aren’t many of us dinosaurs from the ‘90’s still doing this shit. RH: Dave, how does it feel knowing that you would go into the 2009 202 Showdown as the defending champion, as well as the first man to ever hold that title? DH: Well, I’m not sure what it will be called next year…hopefully something with Olympia in the title like “202 Mr. Olympia. It should carry the same prestige as ” the Mr. Olympia. The prize money should be tripled, and I would like to see prize money all the way down to 15th place. These guys all work long and hard and deserve a little more than “thanks for coming. Even $1,000 or $2,000 ” would show that their efforts were appreciated, because some of these guys will never carry the mass to compete successfully in the Open class the way Kevin English and I do. Let those guys go home with a good feeling so that they’ll get motivated to come back next year. I’ve spoken
with Robin Chang about all of this, and he is very receptive to my ideas. RH: Does it seem fair to you that a rule was just instituted saying that you can only compete in the 202 or the Open Olympia, but not both? What was the reasoning behind that? Is it going to be that way for all shows with both an Open and a 202? DH: It’s what needs to be done to make the 202 class as good as it can be. As the 202 gets more prestige, coverage and better prize money, there will be a lot more incentive for the guys who turn pro as middleweight and lightheavyweights to keep their shape, lines and condition rather than trying to bulk up so they can compete against the guys who are 240, 260 or whatever. Everybody I have talked to loves the 202 class. They feel it’s more realistic and attainable. Some guy out there who’s 170 pounds looks at the 202 class and thinks, yeah, if I work hard for a few years, maybe I could hang with those guys. That same guy looks at Cutler, Wolf, those huge guys who are 270 pounds and they are like aliens to him. I think the 202 class is going to go a long way toward getting more mainstream interest in pro bodybuilding. RH: Lee, I know that a lot of fans can’t wait to see how you will do in the 202 class. If you have MD 271
Priest and Henry face off at the 2006 Iron Man.
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THIS PAGE: FLEX WHEELER PHOTOS
to choose at any given show between the 202 and the Open, would it be a rough decision? LP: Yes, I think it would be. I would just go by how I felt on that day. Maybe I would try 202 at one show and open at another. It would bother me if I were never competing against the top guys in the Open when I’ve done it so many times before. No offense to the guys in the 202 now, but there just isn’t a lot of tough competition yet, at least not for me. That might come across as sounding arrogant, but like I said I have competed against the best in the world over the years and always held my own. RH: Dave, do you think it’s presumptuous to assume that the biggest challenge to you next year would come from Priest, when there is no shortage of talent in the 202 class? DH: I really don’t even focus on anybody else. I just do my best to make sure I have the best physique package I possibly can. If I am at my best, I know I am capable of standing next to anyone. RH: If you return to defend the title, and Lee and Shawn are also
onstage, do you think that would help to make the 202 Showdown more of a fan draw? DH: Lee and Shawn being there would definitely up the ante and help draw a bigger crowd. Shawn’s been retired since 2000 and still has a huge fan base. Lee has been away a couple years and is also a fan favorite as well as a controversial figure. We all
have very different physiques, personalities and fan bases. If we were all in shape I think it would be a heck of a show. RH: Lee, you will probably never be Mr. Olympia. Would winning the 202 Showdown be the next best thing? LP: No, I really don’t think so. To me it would be just like winning another pro show like the Iron Man or a Grand Prix event. Just because the 202 Showdown is at the Olympia doesn’t make it any more prestigious quite yet. It’s still all the same guys from the shows you did to get there. RH: Dave, aside from the O, which other shows are on your agenda for next year? DH: I did eight shows this year if you count all the ones I doubled up on with both the 202 and Open. For 2009, I want to do New York again. If they don’t have a 202 I’ll just do the Open. I want to defend my title in Tampa. Atlantic City is a possibility, and I am definitely defending my title at the Olympia. I’m skipping the Iron Man and the Arnold next year so I have time to make the improvements I want in order to really make a big impact the next time I hit the stage. We call it “Project FrankenHenry. ” RH: Lee, I will let you have the last word. Do you like the idea of
having the 202 Showdown as a separate event, or do you think it would make more sense to have an over and under 202 winner pose down for the Overall Mr. Olympia, the way they did it in the ‘70s for a little while? LP: You have to keep them separate. I guess the posedown would be fun for the fans, but it wouldn’t mean anything. They almost always go for the heavier guy in the end. If you’re good enough to be Mr. Olympia, you should be competing in the Mr. Olympia. The only guys to ever win the Overall Mr. Olympia against the heavier class winners were Franco Columbu and Frank Zane, and the sport has changed a lot since then. The big guys back then were nothing like they are today, and a smaller guy could beat them with condition and symmetry. I think those days are long gone, for better or worse. ■
Priest at the 2006 Arnold Classic. Above and below: Henry at the 2008 Mr. Olympia where he won the first annual “under 202 class.” Above and below: Priest at the 2006 Arnold Classic.
DOES DEXTER’S AUSPICIOUS VICTORY INDICATE IT’S OUT WITH THE FREAKS AND IN WITH THE PHYSIQUES? AN OLYMPIA EVOLUTION…
BY JOHN ROMANO, PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL For the last 16 years, the Olympia title has been held by three men who, while redefining what inspires awe, their descriptive terms precluded such applicable and expected adjectives as “aesthetic,” “natural,” “sweeping,” “pleasing” and “flowing.” Given the logical comparison of bodybuilding to sculpting, one would think the ideal would naturally have originated in an artist’s studio. Metaphorically however, for the last 16 years our champions have not found their genesis in a sculptor’s studio at the hand of a great and revered master. They seem to have been built in a foundry or a shipyard, or someplace where they make tanks. To say this “evolution” is a drastic departure from our creator’s intent is as vast an understatement that could ever be construed. However, now, with the crowning of Dexter Jackson— and with the likes of Victor Martinez, Kai Greene, Toney Freemen, Phil Heath and Dennis Wolf waiting in the wings— the classic descriptions of what constitutes the beauty of the male physique might just perhaps be becoming less abstract, and likely will be brought to fruition…even though Jay Cutler might still be around.
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Bodybuilding, at the highest level and in the purest sense, is no less an artistic pursuit nor a life commitment much different than any great master who sought to free the forms imprisoned in a block of marble that have today become some of the world’s most celebrated works of art. In the Italian National Museum in Naples stands the 9foot tall “Farnese” Hercules, carved in the early third century BCE by Glykon of Athens. This work is clearly indicative of the form that became the benchmark of modern-day physique artists. In torturous detail, Glykon chiseled his way through the porous rock to etch out contours, cuts and veins that leave all who gaze upon this monstrous work nearly speechless. If you have ever come face-to-face with this statue, you can understand the sheer emotion it evokes. If you haven’t, sitting in the first row of a Mr. Olympia contest will do the same thing. Somehow, over 2,500 years ago, without the benefit of gyms and free weights and willing examples of the devotion to resistance training, complete with the appropriate supplements, drugs and applied sports nutrition, the great masters created what would become the image of the most masculine of men. The statue of Poseidon at the port of Copenhagen, images of Alexander the Great, Zeus and Michelangelo’s carving of Moses all proclaimed centuries ago what would become the ideal the modern day bodybuilder would chase. This ideal, handed down over centuries, elevated the level of respect one would have for the human form that, when applied in the gym, would logically evince the very pinnacle of size, symmetry and natural aesthetics. Unfortunately, for the last 16 years, these three vital aspects of artistic creation had been pushed aside in favor of unbridled mass. That’s not to say what
Dorian, Ronnie and Jay embodied was not awesome. It certainly was, but in a freakish kind of way. If these guys were made of marble and put up for sale 1,500 years ago, I don’t think anyone would have bought them, nor displayed them as fine works of art. Yet, somehow, in the flesh in modern times, nine judges bought them and kept buying them back every year they were for sale— so to speak. The awesome statues hammered out by the ancient Greeks and Romans were not modeled after anyone; these were, after all, depictions of gods. In fact, Michelangelo believed the form was already in the block of marble, trapped inside if you will, like a prisoner. It was the artist’s job to free them. To prove the point, he created a series of six sculptures known as the “Prisoners,” a series of sculptures that look to be left unfinished. The images appear to be struggling for release from the block of marble. You can clearly see that nature has determined what exemplifies aesthetics and symmetry of the human form as nature itself has locked it in the stone. No model sat for these works. Theoretically, it was the genius of Michelangelo that saw into the block of marble and unlocked what nature had trapped inside. Natural aesthetics and symmetry are the hallmark of a great work of art and these ideals should never be tampered with when creating a champion physique, neither in stone nor in the flesh. Remember, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.
In spite of what the champions crowned during what might come to be known as the mass era of the late ‘90s and early 2000s embodied, those at the helm knew the size game was deep into extra innings and the crowd was getting restless. This was evinced by the now-famous IFBB advisory on symmetry and natural aesthetics of April 2005 which states: With a mandate from President Ben Weider, the Professional Committee and a team of expert advisors recently evaluated the issues associated with muscular development, such as size, shape, density, separation and definition, in relation to symmetry and natural aesthetics. Certain objective criteria are involved in assessing symmetry and natural aesthetics in
competitive bodybuilding. Of great significance are the qualities of balance, proportion and the overall “flow” of the physique, including classic attributes such as a dramatic “V-taper”; from broad shoulders and a wide back to a streamlined waist and a flat, muscular abdomen. In addition, there should be balance between upper and lower body development, and harmony between the left and right sides of the body. These characteristics have been the hallmark of a bodybuilder’s physique for decades, and it is the intent of this Advisory Notice to reaffirm their significance. Distended abdomens and distorted muscles negatively impact upon symmetry and natural aesthetics and, therefore, detract from the overall physique. Athletes and judges are advised that muscle size at the expense of symmetry and natural aesthetics will not be assessed favorably. There were only three things wrong with that advisory. First, the hallmark characteristics of a bodybuilder have been around for centuries, not mere decades. Next, it shouldn’t have taken so long to be mandated, and finally, it was not immediately implemented. It took three years to be brought to full fruition with the crowning of Dexter Jackson. Now, I think this achievement needs to be lauded for what it is. I was probably the mostguilty member of our world in proclaiming Jay’s victory long before the Olympia took place this year. I think it was in November last year when I said that Jay could show up in a wheelchair and still win. As ridiculous as that sounds, many of you agreed with me. That’s how predictable this whole thing had become. The auspiciousness of Dexter’s victory starts with the fact that it wasn’t just a fluke that Jay beat Ronnie while he was still in office— a feat that hadn’t been duplicated since Samir Bannout lost his incumbency in 1984 to Lee Haney and four other guys. Dexter beating Jay supported the notion that when a guy deserves
to win, he should win…something that has been conspicuously missing for years and cost several guys Olympia titles that were rightfully theirs: Mike Mentzer, Rich Gaspari, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray and Flex Wheeler immediately come to mind. This concept of “the best man winning” was in its bleakest hour last year when Jay
This concept of “the best man winning” was in its bleakest hour last year when Jay “narrowly” beat Victor Martinez in what was perhaps the most confounding upset since the 1991 Ms. Olympia when Lenda Murray inexplicably edged out Bev Francis in the finals.
“narrowly” beat Victor Martinez in what was perhaps the most confounding upset since the 1991 Ms. Olympia when Lenda Murray inexplicably edged out Bev Francis in the finals. When shit like that
happens, you better come back the next time around with a more believable outcome, or else selling bibles in a brothel will be easier than selling Olympia tickets in Las Vegas. If for nothing else, I’m grateful I was wrong. Next, Dexter beating Jay evinced more than just the righteousness of the best man prevailing. With the likes of Victor Martinez, Kai Greene, Phil Heath, Toney Freeman, and Dennis Wolf in the top row, all of whom portray bodybuilding in the classic sense, it shows just how out of place Jay looks standing up there. I really felt that finally, the beast look had become passé and we were once and for all getting back to what the artists of ancient Greece and Rome had in mind when they thought this whole thing up. At 5’6” and 235 pounds, Dexter is not what you’d call a “giant,” but it just goes to show you that when all the pieces are put together the right way, height and weight mean little. He was able to topple the champion 50 pounds his senior. Will Dexter run up a string of Os like Haney and Coleman? Assuredly not. But the fact that he won this year is far more of an achievement than if he will, and not just for Dexter. The whole industry is
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profiting from his win and I hope more than anything that the office of Mr. Olympia is occupied in the future by the guys who deserve it, not just the guy who is already there. And trust me when I tell you there are guys who will deserve it. Let’s start with Victor Martinez. Ask 10 people who won the ‘07 Olympia and nine will tell you that while Jay took home the Sandow, he’s carrying it for Victor. The other one is probably a judge who was judging that day. In all my years of watching bodybuilding contests with questionable outcomes, this one was by far and away the worst case of “bad judging” I, and the world, has ever seen. If I were Jay, I would have Fed-Ex’d the trophy to Victor first thing Monday morning along with a sympathy card. I wouldn’t even have wanted that Sandow in my house. I’d have kept the money, though. The judges fucked up, not Jay. I mean, principle is one thing; cash is another story. For 99 percent of the free world, Victor Martinez has an O under his belt already. The next time he steps on the Olympia stage, he will take it home with him. The guy has potential beyond perfect and could possibly be the epitome of what Michelangelo thought was trapped in those blocks of marble. If you look up “symmetry and natural aesthetics” in the dictionary, you should see a picture of Vic. If you were a renaissance sculptor, Victor would have been your ideal. If you were Michelangelo and gazed upon Victor, you would have wept. That is how good he is when he is on, and that is how perfectly he represents the ideal with respect to physique art…natural aesthetics, symmetry, balance and anything else you can think of. Even in silhouette his shape is
breathtaking; if you were at the ‘07 Arnold where they brought the guys out onstage from behind a backlit screen you know what I mean. Wide round shoulders, tiny waist, sweeping quads, bulbous calves, the image he projects could be of a man 30 pounds heavier. Funny how life is. If the judging hadn’t been so far off last year, and had Victor not ripped his patellar tendon off the bone this year, he’d have two Sandows on his mantle right now. Fate brought him none. But not for long. In his seven-year pro career, Victor has won the GNC Show of Strength, the IFBB Night of Champions and the Arnold Classic. If things go right for him this year he will add another ASC victory to that list along with his longoverdue Mr. Olympia title. There is no doubt that if Dexter is ushering in an era of shape, symmetry, natural aesthetics and condition, Victor will be king. Hot on his heels is going to be Kai Greene. I don’t know what’s more amazing about this guy, his physique, his story, or the way he entertains the crowd with his posing routines. Either way you look at him, Kai is in a world all his own. Of the new guard, pound-for-pound, he is the most massive and the most freaky, yet closer in form to Dexter than he is to Jay at this point. Kai brings an almost unethical amount of well-shaped mass to the realm of what can
pass for natural aesthetics, much like Ronnie did in 1998, but he still holds the line. Of all the competitors poised to conquer the battle for the Sandow, Kai is the most interesting. Not only is his physique an amalgam of striking shapes, but his posing is off the chain. Kai certainly has weak points, but he knows how to minimize their effect on the overall picture. He continues to improve and grow into his newly added mass and as long as he keeps the problem areas in check, this guy will dominate and wow crowds for a term that no one will ever forget. Kai is a serious contender who has been competing since 1997— four years short of Jay’s and Toney Freeman’s competitive careers— which both began in 1993. This makes Kai, along with Toney, the old masters of the new guard. If Kai is going to rule the roost, he is going to do it sooner rather than later. The same goes for Toney. Toney may not have quite the chance Kai does of being a Mr. Olympia, but his presence will surely impact the front row. He is the ultimate X-Man and more accurately demonstrates the artisans’ lines of ancient Greece and Rome than anyone up there. As big as Toney is (6’2” and somewhere near 280 pounds), his physique flows more toward Dexter than to Jay. Again, he exemplifies the axiom of lines over mass and will spend the next several years doing battle in the front row,
thanks to Dexter’s win this year. Dennis Wolf, at 5’11” and 265 pounds, is the second youngest of the new guard and perhaps one of the most favorite compilations of mass, symmetry and natural aesthetics next to Victor and Kai. Although Dennis is from Germany, he embodies the “all-American” look. Blond, good looking, with a body like an action hero. He makes Dex look like a little boy. But, there is no denying the similarity in their proportion. His lines flow more like Dexter’s than Jay’s. I know that may sound hard to believe because of all the hype over Dennis being compared to Jay, but you just can’t deny the proportions. While Dennis is more or less the same basic size as Jay, his aesthetics mirror Dexter’s more than Jay’s. If you were a sculptor in ancient Rome you’d be freeing Dennis from a block of marble, not Jay. This year’s Olympia seems to have been a let down for Wolf fans. They were expecting much more from the German Giant. He seemed overdieted and flat at the show and not nearly the rival to Jay he had been forecast all year. I imagine that’s a lot of pressure for a young competitor. But, make no mistake, the very same characteristics of form that give Dexter his incredible illusion of almost cartoon character proportions are present in Dennis; the wide shoulders, small waist and sweeping quads— he’s got what it takes to
be Mr. Olympia even if Jay had won. Dexter’s win made a huge statement in terms of what the future holds for the sport. I think Dennis was exempt from that. If he finds the mass to complement his frame without taking anything away from his aesthetics, there is no doubt Dennis will be Mr. Olympia, even if it was Jay who won and the “business as usual” mass monster was still in vogue. Finally, Phil Heath, at 5’9” and 240 pounds, is the youngest and slightest of potential Mr. Olympias waiting in the wings. Some criticize him for having narrow shoulders and back, but the rest of him is so remarkable that it might not matter. If Heath hangs in there long enough, he will bring home a Sandow. But, if Dexter hadn’t won this year, such a statement couldn’t be made with such conviction. Heath is a freak for sure, but a monster he is not, nor ever will be. There is an undeniable beauty to his lines, but if the criteria were going to stay in the Dorian/Ronnie/Jay realm, he would never stand a chance of winning. Now, there is no doubt Heath will one day be a king…thanks in large part to Dexter winning this year. I’m sure there are some wildcards out there who are going to come out of the woodwork and shock and amaze us. Melvin Anthony might even get it together like he did this year and push things along; he’s got the right look. But that remains to be seen. The fact that a new direction has been plotted with the crowning of Dexter gives many players hope. It gives all of us hope, because this thing we love seems to have been freed from the monsters who ruled it. Now the door is open for more guys to set their sights on the crown. That never would be the case today if Jay brought home the win. If he had, looking the way he did, I can’t imag-
ine the long-term damage that would have been done to the sport. I could just hear guys saying, “Why bother? They are just going to give it to Jay.” But don’t get me wrong; if Jay really deserved it, I’d be first in line to bring him praise. But since his mantra seemed to be mo’ mass, mo’ mass, mo’ mass, the best thing that could have happened this year did. For the years that saw Ronnie dominate the stage, it was latterly that his feud was with Jay, and it was from there that mass was the objective at the expense of flowing lines and natural aesthetics. Starting in 2001, skipping 2002 and then every year until he won in 2006, Jay took second to Ronnie mainly because Ronnie just plain outmuscled him. That’s not to say that Jay shouldn’t have beaten Ronnie in ‘01, but it was from there that the size gauntlet was thrown down and it was from there the gross departure from the ideal hit its stride; ‘01 was the last year Jay got as close as he ever has to the ideal. With each consecutive year that Ronnie got bigger, Jay followed him up the scale to the point where if you butchered them, the two could feed a small African nation and their congruence to the ideal was as vague as Obama’s economic plan. So, the fact that Jay has now taken second to Dexter is quite telling. The guys waiting to come out and strike at Dexter all flow the same way Dexter does, and for the next foreseeable future, I think the throne is going to trade places pretty readily. That’s just my assumption. If they had given it to Jay again this year, our future would have been severely compromised both from a credibility standpoint and to a perhaps lesser, but not unimportant, artistic standpoint. While Dexter Jackson’s Olympia reign might be one of the shortest in bodybuilding, it will probably go down in history as one of the most pivotal. It marks the point in time when the quest for unbridled mass took a backseat to the flowing lines of what pleases the eye and upholds the ideal that was fostered centuries ago by men who we refer to as “genius.” Looking at Dexter, and the guys ready to take him on next year, you can clearly see why, when the great masters of ancient Greece and Rome unveiled their mighty works of art, people all throughout the ages called those statues gods. ■
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Photo and concept by Per Bernal
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By Dan Gwartney, MD
Weight Loss Drops Free Testosterone
ife is balance. The teeter-totter on school playgrounds is a perfect example of how things tend to gravitate toward equilibrium unless some outside force acts. A pair of equal-weight first-grade children would soon get bored and wander off unless they start leg pressing the teeter-totter up and down in alternate fashion. However, when the recess bell rings and all the students have scampered back into class, the teeter-totter wobbles back into the neutral position. Physiology is much like that teetertotter, despite all the efforts of mankind. Unless there are abnormal conditions (e.g., famine, infection, cancer), creatures tend to approximate the average of their respective species. Of course, mankind has tossed all the rules out the window, with Western societies living in very unnatural environments. This has resulted in overrepresentation of the extremes and broad deviations from the “average” when plotting common measurements such as height and weight. Take the clear example of childhood obesity, which is not defined by an agreed upon concrete BMI (body mass index) or body fat percentage. Children are considered overweight if their weight is greater than the 95th percentile and at-risk for overweight if they are between the 85th and 95th percentiles by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. In Europe, they are more clear, calling children over the 95th percentile obese and those called “at risk” in the U.S. overweight. Theoretically, only 5 percent of children should be obese and no more than 10 percent overweight. Yet, the prevalence for childhood overweight/obesity is 25 percent and 11 percent in the U.S. This means more than one-third of children are starting
Excess weight not only is unhealthy due to the structural demands it places on the body, but also because of metabolic imbalances it creates.
life with a weight-management problem, over twice the “defined” amount. Overweight/obesity management does not get better with age, it actually gets worse. As the body matures and the wild hormonal swings of adolescence stabilize, the body seeks to regain equilibrium. Unfortunately, if it is forced to do so in an unnatural environment or condition, it does so by shifting its metabolic/hormonal balance. Next time you are in the airport, look at the people carrying a heavy suitcase. They balance their posture by leaning their upper body
to the side opposite the luggage. Now, imagine a person carrying one piece of heavy luggage in the same hand all his life. Eventually, he would suffer joint problems, back pain and have a strange gait (walk). Excess weight not only is unhealthy due to the structural demands it places on the body, but also because of metabolic imbalances it creates. These imbalances involve a number of systems, affecting every organ in the body over time. One clear example is the androgen status of a person. Fat is not a metabolically quiet tissue; it is active and secretes hormones and factors that alter the metabolism of other tissues and the physiology of the individual. Further, the state of being overfed also alters the normal swing between hunger and satiety (fullness) that provides a rhythm in the peripheral tissues and the brain, as energy stores are monitored and managed. If a person is also habitually sedentary (a couch potato), then the absence of signals from working muscle, as well as decreased disposal of nutrients from the blood (sugar, fatty acids, amino acids, etc.) compounds the problem to an even greater degree. Central obesity, characterized by the “apple shape” or a “beer belly, is ” associated with low total testosterone. Aging, obesity, prolonged immobilization and other states that are associated with an elevated fat mass tend to have lower total testosterone concenJanuary 2009
trations than seen in healthy, active, normal-weight males. Understanding these relationships cause one to be perplexed on the surface when confronted with the revelations elegantly reviewed in an article recently published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. Researchers from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, summarized the effects of weight loss due to hypocaloric dieting on the androgen status of men and women. Though the effects were more pronounced in women, the conclusion held true for men as well. In a state of weight loss due to reduced food intake, bioavailable testosterone was reduced as well. Bioavailable testosterone refers to testosterone that either circulates freely in the bloodstream or is loosely bound (held) by the nonspecific protein-carrier, albumin. Testosterone in these two states (free or albuminbound) can easily pass into target tissue, such as skeletal muscle, and interact with intra-cytoplasmic receptors and co-regulators to affect changes (the albumin-bound testosterone “breaks free” first). In the muscle, this means free and albuminbound testosterone are primarily responsible for the androgen-related muscle hypertrophy. The contrasting state is testosterone bound to the more specific protein-carrier called “sex hormone-binding globulin” (SHBG). SHBG-bound testosterone is considered to be “unavailable” to cause changes in androgen-sensitive tissue, such as muscle. This is not entirely correct, as it is believed that SHBG-bound testosterone, as well as albumin-bound testosterone, may interact with androgen receptors in cell membranes. The quick responses of these membrane-bound receptors are called nongenomic, as they do not travel to the nucleus of the cell (where the DNA lies). Instead, the nongenomic receptor responses take place at or near the membrane, changing the activity of enzyme pathways that trigger anabolic cell functions. In the Nutrition Reviews article, the observation was that people who lose weight by following a hypocaloric diet experienced an increase in SHBG while total androgen concentration did not change. It was noted that the type of diet followed (low-fat, low-carb, etc.) did not affect the effect of weight loss on androgen status. This implies that people who are actively losing weight experience a reduction in free and bioavailable testosterone. This is consistent with previous studies that show a decrease in SHBG in men in association with weight gain. This finding is not a real surprise if one considers the everyday experience of dieters or more specifically, those of athletes/bodybuilders who are cutting weight to meet a weight-class restriction or to get “ripped” for competition. Dropping calories below maintenance is subjectively associated with a marked lowering of 1-rep max and loss of lean body mass. Many athletes combat this by depending more heavily upon ergogenic aids (e.g., supplements, stimulants, anabolic drugs). For the drug-free athlete, there are a few strategies that can ameliorate the weight-loss induced decrease in bioavailable testosterone. Focusing on hypertrophy-oriented lifting (higher volume, shorter rest) induces a greater spike in testosterone (and cortisol) than powerlifting schemes. The protocol followed in one study showing this using salivary testosterone (and cortisol) was 10 sets of 10 reps with 2minute breaks between sets. Also, while the media focuses on the “bacon and eggs” component of Atkins-like diets, including a significant amount of carbohydrates, poly- and mono-unsaturated fats will help maintain total testosterone. Zinc, magnesium and other micronutrients may also aid in maintaining androgen status, particularly for those who follow diets with narrowly defined food choices. The interesting tangent to the relationship between weight loss and androgen status is defining the relationship. Is hypocaloric weight loss the cause of reduced bioavailable testosterone, or does an abnormal ratio of bioavailable to SHBG-bound testosterone support the growth of fat mass? During weight loss, adipocytes release stored fats from triglyceride vacuoles. These vacuoles are like oil droplets in water. Unfortunately, these vacuoles may have held not only stored fat, but also fat-soluble environmental pollutants. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals present in the air or water, commonly released from industrial sources. The chemical bisphenol A that is present in certain plastics is one example that has been in the news recently. Bisphenol A exposure is postulated to increase the risk of numerous cognitive, reproductive and metabolic problems, in part, through its agonistic actions at the estrogen receptor (ER-alpha). Estradiol, the natural estrogen produced as a metabolite of testosterone, increases SHBG production. Elevations in bioavailable testosterone could be a protective adaptation to early weight gain, as testosterone reduces the proliferation of fat cells from stem cell reserves and activates the breakdown and release of stored fat. If fat gain goes unchecked though, the fat cells are capable of inactivating testosterone and converting it into estradiol to promote the further storage of fat and growth of new fat cells. The binding of bioavailable testosterone to the sequestered (hidden away) SHBG-bound testosterone may be a physiologic adaptation to encourage the return to a normal weight and release further stored fat to provide energy during a period of relative starvation. Increasing the SHBG-bound component of testosterone during weight loss may allow for fat cell proliferation and prevent the development of hypertrophic adipocytes (fat cells) which are associated with many of the metabolic problems of obesity. These simple observations and thoughts do not begin to touch upon the complexity of these findings, as the actions of other tissues and hormones that are affected by the relative energy stores (fat) have not been addressed. Adipokines, leptin, ghrelin, insulin sensitivity, etc., all combine to harmonize in the hormonal orchestra of human metabolism. When one section is out of tune, it is inevitable that the symphony is ruined regardless how much louder the rest of the orchestra plays.
Obesity is an imbalance between a person and his environment. In some cases, it is an inevitable consequence of a genetic error in coding. In most cases, it is the consequence of the body being forced to accommodate illogical or unnatural conditions. In response to obesity and attempts to return to normal weight, changes occur, including changes in the endocrine system. Androgens, including testosterone, are potent anabolic hormones that dictate the function of many tissues and are regulated in response to physiologic conditions. When food supply is low, bioavailable testosterone is decreased to reduce the demands for protein and other nutrients during food shortages. For the athlete, the consequence may be a loss of strength or lean mass. It is possible that testosterone concentrations, particularly bioavailable testosterone, may be maintained by paying close attention to including specific nutrients (e.g. poly- and monounsaturated fats, zinc, magnesium, etc.), but awareness of lessened anabolic support is necessary for the athlete so he/she may tailor their efforts and expectations appropriately. References:
Dehghan M, Akhtar-Danesh N, et al. Childhood obesity, prevalence and prevention. Nutrition Journal, 2005;4:24. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-24 DeClercq V, Taylor C, et al. Adipose tissue: the link between obesity and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets, 2008 Sep;8(3):228-37 . Smith PM, Ferguson AV. Neurophysiology of hunger and satiety. Dev Disabil Res Rev, 2008;14(2):96-104. Chu LW, Tam S, et al. Serum total and bioavailable testosterone levels, central obesity, and muscle strength changes with aging in healthy Chinese men. J Am Geriatr, Soc 2008 Jul;56(7):1286-91. Schneider HJ, Sievers C, et al. Prevalence of low male testosterone levels in primary care in Germany: cross-sectional results from the DETECT study. Clin Endocrinol, (Oxf) 2008 Aug 7 [Epub ahead . of print] Morisset AS, Blouin K, et al. Impact of diet and adiposity on circulating levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and androgens. Nutr Rev, 2008;66(9):506-16. Heinlein CA, Chang C. Androgen receptor (AR) coregulators: an overview. Endocr Rev, 2002 Apr;23(2):175-200. Michels G, Hoppe UC. Rapid actions of androgens. Front Neuroendocrinol, 2008 May;29(2):182-98. Mohr BA, Bhasin S, et al. The effect of changes in adiposity on testosterone levels in older men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Eur J Endocrinol, 2006 Sep;155(3):443-52. Webster S, Rutt R, et al. Physiological effects of a weight loss regimen practiced by college wrestlers. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1990 Apr;22(2):229-34. Crewther B, Cronin J, et al. The salivary testosterone and cortisol response to three loading schemes. J Strength Cond Res, 2008 Jan;22(1):250-5. Tamimi R, Mucci LA, et al. Testosterone and oestradiol in relation to tobacco smoking, body mass index, energy consumption and nutrient intake among adult men. Eur J Cancer Prev, 2001 Jun;10(3):275-80. Gromadzka-Ostrowska J. Effects of dietary fat on androgen secretion and metabolism. Reprod Biol, 2006;6 Suppl 2:1320. Imbeault P Chevrier J, et al. Increase in , plasma pollutant levels in response to weight loss in humans is related to in vitro subcutaneous adipocyte basal lipolysis. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord, 2001 Nov;25(11):1585-91. vom Saal FS, Myers JP Bisphenol A and . risk of metabolic disorders. JAMA, 2008 Sep 17;300(11):1353-5. Loukovaara M, Carson M, et al. Regulation of sex hormone-binding globulin secretion and gene expression by cycloheximide in vitro. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 1995 Aug;54(3-4):141-6. Singh R, Artaza JN, et al. Testosterone inhibits adipogenic differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells: nuclear translocation of androgen receptor complex with beta-catenin and Tcell factor 4 may bypass canonical Wnt signaling to down-regulate adipogenic transcription factors. Endocrinology, 2006 Jan;147(1):141-54. Blouin K, Boivin A, et al. Androgens and body fat distribution. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 2008 Feb;108(3-5):272-80. Bays HE, Gonzalez-Campoy JM, et al. Pathogenic potential of adipose tissue and metabolic consequences of adipocyte hypertrophy and increased visceral adiposity. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther, 2008 Mar;6(3):343-68.
By Robbie Durand, MA
Cialis Increases Testosterone
ictor Conte is of course referring to Viagra. Like Viagra, Cialis also is used to treat erectile dysfunction. What’s the difference between the two? Although Viagra and Cialis both work by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterases, which increases vasodilatation, there are pharmacologic distinctions between Viagra and Cialis, being that Cialis has a longer half-life (17 hours) .50 compared to Viagra (4.0–5.0 hours) and Levitra (4.0–5.0 hours), resulting 14 in longer duration of action which is partly responsible for Cialis being dubbed “The Weekend Pill. Cialis’ ” molecular structure differs significantly from Viagra; one of the benefits of Cialis is there are no visual side effects like Viagra and an absence of effect of food on absorption. Nitric oxide is a hot topic of debate in bodybuilding, as NO-producing supplements are always one of the top-selling products. Being in touch with many bodybuilders and powerlifters, many swear that by taking Cialis, they get better pumps in the gym and can recuperate from exercise faster. Many suspect its enhanced nutrient delivery or some other mechanism. Cialis demonstrates similar vasodilator (blood pressure-lowering) effects in healthy subjects when compared with Viagra in studies of 10mg or 20mg doses (mean systolic blood 12 pressure reduction, of ~4.3mg). Many of the experts in sports will attest that nitric oxide only increases perfor-
“All my athletes took it. It is bigger than creatine.” -Victor Conte
mance in environments with low oxygen availability, such as high-altitude training or areas with high air pollution. Brazilian Eduardo de Rose, president of the medical commission of the Pan-American Sports Organization, stated in a recent interview: “Scientifically, the only proof that Viagra improves sports performance happened at high altitude. That is why it was decided not to include it in the banned substance list. You will hardly get to play a football match on Mount Everest. If there are no performace” enhacing effects, then why were Olympic athltetes using it?There have only been a handful of studies on the performance-enhancing effects of Cialis and sports performance, and none yielded beneficial effects: In one study, 14 healthy young males were given a 20mg dose of Cialis or a placebo and performed a maximal exercise test on a treadmill. The study found that a single dose of Cialis had no effect on exercise performance, exercise tolerance or car5 diopulmonary responses. The second study involved three “all-out” sprints to determine if Cialis could increase anaerobic threshold. The study found no significant differences in peak power, average power or fatigue index compared to a placebo. One positive finding noted was
that Cialis decreased the time to reach peak power.The author concluded, “Cialis did not have an effect on peak power, but time to peak power output was reduced. Only to sports that need to reach maximum power output in a few seconds could Cialis administration 13 be beneficial. ” Bodybuilders are known for bringing cutting-edge pharmacology to the forefront of science. If NO (nitric oxide) products really don’t work, then why do so many people use them? Given that the second study reported that the author claimed that Cialis may increase peak force, the powerlifters who swear by Cialis increasing performance may be onto something that research has not discovered yet.
Nitric Oxide Supplements Increase Satellite Cells
You may have read in the Nutrition Performance section that aging results in a blunted anabolic gene response to exercise. It has been previously reported that aging results in a blunted satellite cell response to exercise. A decrease in NO production with aging may be a contributing role of the decrease in muscle mass with aging. Previous research has shown that blunting production of NO decreases muscle hypertrophy during muscle 9, 10 overload. Others have reported that January 2009
NO is a primary signal for satel11 lite cell activation. NO is an important regulator of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is a cytokine with various cellular func2 tions on muscle. Specific to skeletal muscle hypertrophy, HGF activates satellite cells and may be responsible for causing satellite cells to 1 migrate to the injured area. A previous research study that stretched muscle-induced hypertrophy via release of HGF found that the release of HGF was dependent on 3 NO concentrations. Interestingly, researchers measured HGF levels in serum after an intense bout of eccentric exercise. They found that liver-derived HGF rose 19 percent approximately 4 hours after exercise, which resulted in an activation of satellite cells! It is possible that the observed rise in serum HGF showed that HGF may be carried to the site of injury by immune cells rushing to the site of injury, which are increased in number during the inflammatory response to muscle damage… or that muscle itself produces HGF so they were not sure , which one it really was.
Cialis Increases Testosterone!
Based on the research, acute dosages of Cialis do not have performance-enhancing effects, but new research suggests that Cialis increases testosterone! Researchers had participants perform three 30-second “all-out” sprints to exhaustion and measured testosterone and cortisol responses to exercise.They found that only after Cialis and exercise did testosterone increase, however Cialis also increased cortisol levels. Cialis also lowered the DHEA to cortisol response.The study demonstrates that Cialis increases the “stress” response to the body, but also has some testosterone-enhancing effects as well. It’s interesting that a large dosage of caffeine, which is a weak, non-specific PDE inhibitor, also caused an increase in testosterone and also an increase in 21 cortisol. So it seems that Cialis has both positive and negative effects on muscle. Cialis does not directly stimulate testosterone secretion per se, meaning it does not stimulate LH release or SHBG release directly.This is not the first study to find that Cialis raises testosterone: In a study of 74 patients with erectile dysfunction treated on demand with 50mg of Viagra or 20mg of Cialis for three months, basal levels of total testosterone and free testosterone were at the bottom of the normal range that was reversed after treatment in both groups. Testosterone increase in Viagra-treated cases was significantly lower than in those treated with Cialis, suggested to be due to the higher frequency of full sexual intercourse in the Cialis-treated 15 group. Another study reported that the increase in testosterone from taking Cialis is mediated by a reduction in estrogen demonstration that Cialis may have anti-estrogen actions. It was pointed out that the T/estradiol ratio was associated with long-term Cialis treatment.There was no increase in LH levels from Cialis, demonstrating that Cialis did not directly increase testosterone, but indirectly increased testos16 terone by lowering estrogen.
One of the primary reasons that many older men have problems “rising to the occasion” is that they have excess estrogen levels. Furthermore, in men with hypogonadism, a low dose of clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is effective in improving testosterone:estrogen ratio, thus giving more long-term benefit for the management of erectile dysfunction in 18 hypogonadal patients. It seems that based on the current study, Cialis has similar actions to Clomid by improving T:E ratio.
Natural Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors: Horny Goat Weed and Quercetin
In 1960, the first mechanism discovered for caffeine was PDE inhibition, although this drug has effects on other non-PDE proteins that cause some of its symptoms. Thus, caffeine was the first known PDE inhibitor. It was later shown that at least 11 PDE families exist, and that caffeine inhibits most of them. Moreover, caffeine is not a very 17 potent inhibitor of these PDEs. Thus, caffeine has often been referred to as the “poor man’s Viagra. Cialis, on the ” other hand, is a select PDE inhibitor. There are several natural alternatives to Cialis and Viagra that have demonstrated similar biochemistry. For example, it was recently demonstrated that Horny Goat Weed was found to have similar effects to Cialis and Viagra on PDE enzymes. Horny Goat Weed was able to inhibit PDE by 80 percent; interestingly, other sexual-enhancement supplements such as cinnamon and Tribulus terrestris had small effects on PDE activity (15-23 percent). The other benefit of Horny Goat Weed is its low toxicity. Horny Goat Weed has been used to treat erectile dysfunction in 78 , China for more than 1,000 years. Quercetin is the other natural ingredient that is a natural PDE inhibitor. Quercetin is a photochemical that is part of the coloring found in the skins of apples and red onions. It has been isolated and is sold as a dietary supplement. A recent study showed that purified quercetin has similar effects as Viagra and acted as a strong PDE
NO Increases Satellite Cells!
Researchers from the Center for Exercise Science in Gainesville, Florida reported that increasing nitric oxide increased satellite cell activity! They took old and young mice and induced muscle damage in both groups. They found that the older mice had an impaired satellite cell response. More importantly, they found that L-arginine and nitric oxide precursors effectively increased satellite cell activation and that nitric oxide precursors “rescued” satellite cell activation in older 4 mice. This study suggests that taking a NO precursor supplement may increase satellite cell and lead to greater muscle growth! Another interesting study reported in the Journal of Muscle and Nerve was that NO was able to reverse the damaging effects of cortisol-induced satellite cell depletion. They found that NO had a dose-dependent effect 20 on increasing satellite cell levels.
inhibitory activity not likely related to 6 its antioxidant effects. Many studies have shown that quercetin has been able to lower blood pressure through 19 increasing vasodilatation. NO is clearly necessary for muscle growth in animals and test cultures, but unfortunately no real long-term studies on subjects taking NO-enhancing drugs have been investigated. We do know that Cialis has no effect on maximal performance, but the recent study showing that Cialis increases testosterone makes one wonder…what about long term use? Are the gym rats using Cialis onto something new, not yet validated by longterm studies? Based on the research, NO-enhancing products should contribute to muscle hypertrophy; it just has not yet be validated. References:
1. Hawke, T.J., and D. J. Garry. Myogenic satellite cells: physiology to molecular biology. Journal of Applied Physiology, 91: 534551, 2001. 2. Anderson, J.E., Pilipowicz, O., 2002. Activation of muscle satellite cells in single fiber cultures. Nitric Oxide, 7 36-41. , 3. Tatsumi, R., Hattori, A., Ikeuchi, Y., Anderson, J.E., Allen, R.E., 2002. Release of hepatocyte growth factor from mechanically stretched skeletal muscle satellite cells and role of pH and nitric oxide. Mol Bio Cell, 13(8), 2909-2918. 4. Jetters JL, Lira VA, Soltow QA, Drenning JA, Criswell DS. Supplemental nitric oxide augments satellite cell activity on cultured myofibers from aged mice. Exp Gerontol, 2008 Sep 13. 5. Di Luigi L, Baldari C, Pigozzi F , Emerenziani GP Gallotta MC, Iellamo F , , Ciminelli E, Sgrò P Romanelli F Lenzi A, , , Guidetti L. The long-acting phosphodiesterase inhibitor tadalafil does not influence athletes’ VO2max, aerobic, and anaerobic thresholds in normoxia. Int J Sports Med, 2008 Feb;29(2):110-5. 6. Lines TC, Ono M. FRS 1000, an extract of red onion peel, strongly inhibits phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE 5A). Phytomedicine, 2006; 13:236–239. 7 Xin ZC, Kim EK, Lin CS, et al. Effects of . icariin on cGMP-specific PDE5 and cAMPspecific PDE4 activities. Asian J Androl, 2003; 5:15–18. 8. Wang H, Liu Y, Huai Q, et al. Multiple conformations of phosphodiesterase-5: implications for enzyme function and drug development. J Biol Chem, 2006; 281:21469–21479. 9. Smith LW, Smith JD, Criswell DS. Involvement of nitric oxide synthase in skeletal muscle adaptation to chronic overload. J Appl Physiol, 2002;92:2005–2011. 10. Soltow QA, Betters JL, Sellman JE, Lira VA, Long JH, Criswell DS. Ibuprofen inhibits skeletal muscle hypertrophy in rats. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2006;38:840–846. 11. Anderson JE. A role for nitric oxide in muscle repair: nitric oxide-mediated activation of muscle satellite cells. Mol Biol Cell, 2000;11:1859 –1174. 12. Kloner RA, Mitchell M, Emmick JT. Cardiovascular effects of tadalafil. Am J Cardiol, 2003;92(suppl):37M–46M. 13. Guidetti L, Emerenziani GP Gallotta , MC, Pigozzi F Di Luigi L, Baldari C. Effect of , tadalafil on anaerobic performance indices in healthy athletes. Br J Sports Med, 2008 Feb;42(2):130-3. 14. Corbin JD, Francis SH. Pharmacology of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. Int J Clin Pract, 2002;56:453–9. 15. Carosa E, Martini P Brandetti F Di , , Stasi SM, Lombardo F Lenzi A, Jannini EA. , Type V phosphodiesterases inhibitor treatments for erectile dysfunction increase testosterone levels. Clin Endocrinol, (Oxf) 2004;61:382–6. 16. Greco EA, Pili M, Bruzziches R, Corona G, Spera G, Aversa A. Testosterone: Estradiol ratio changes associated with long-term tadalafil administration: A pilot study. J Sex Med, 2006;3:716–22. 17 Corbin JD, Francis SH. Molecular . biology and pharmacology of PDE-5inhibitor therapy for erectile dysfunction. J Androl, 2003 Nov-Dec;24(6 Suppl):S38-41. Review. 18. Shabsigh A, Kang Y, Shabsigh R, Gonzalez M, Leberson G, Fisch H, Goluboff E. Clomiphene citrate effects on testosterone/estrogen ratio in male hypogonadism. J Sex Med, 2005;2:716–21. 19. Nicholson SK, Tucker GA, Brameld JM. Effects of dietary polyphenols on gene expression in human vascular endothelial . cells. Proc Nutr Soc, 2008 Feb;67(1):42-7 Review. 20. Betters JL, Long JH, Howe KS, Braith RW, Soltow QA, Lira VA, Criswell DS. Nitric oxide reverses prednisolone-induced inactivation of muscle satellite cells. Muscle Nerve, 2008 Feb;37(2):203-9. 21. Beaven CM, Hopkins WG, Hansen KT, Wood MR, Cronin JB, Lowe TE. Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2008 Apr;18(2):131-41.
muscleform &function Carving Unreal Quad Separation With Barbell Lunges
By Stephen E. Alway, PhD, FACSM, Illustrations by William P Hamilton, CMI .
utstanding quadriceps separation demands freakish thigh mass that dives into deep canyons etched on either side of the muscle bellies. When it comes to top thighs, it is hard not to think about the mass and cross-striations of a shredded Jay Cutler, or the size and shape of a ripped-to-the-bone Ronnie Coleman. This kind of thigh development initially relies on regular back squats and leg presses to build great mass builders. However, as good of a mass builder as these exercises are, they simply do not get the job done when it comes to developing thigh separation and cuts. Achieving those deep separations requires exercises that build mass by targeting each of the bellies under near-constant tension and this means some specialization work for the middle and the lower quadriceps. You probably are drawn to thinking about leg extensions for ripping your thigh mass. However, if you are willing to handle the work, the barbell lunge is an alternative and intensive way to blast a bulky thigh into strips of carved, sharp and lean mass. As a byproduct, lunges will greatly improve your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal power and endurance and this will come in pretty handy when you start your heavy squat sessions for adding even greater overall mass. To do lunges properly, you must rise above the crowd who is satisfied with a few sets of leg extensions to tighten the quadriceps. Lunges are only for the serious lifter who is willing to push well through the pain barrier into the valley of unbelievable thighs. Three sets of these will take your thighs to new contours, valleys and grooves that you did not know existed.
Muscles Activated By Lunges
The hip and hamstring muscles are affected strongly, but the greatest challenge will be felt in the anterior quadri-
ceps muscle group. The quadriceps femoris (“quads”) is a group of four muscles that covers the anterior and lateral parts of the femur bone of the thigh. The three vasti muscles take their origin from the respective part of the femur; the vastus lateralis muscle from the lateral part of the femur; the vastus medialis muscle from the medial part of the femur; and the vastus intermedius muscle from the central, anterior part of the femur. As a result, the vastus lateralis muscle is positioned on the lateral (outer) part of
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
the thigh; the vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the thigh. The vastus intermedius is located intermediate and deep to the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The tendon from the vastus lateralis muscle combines with the tendons from the other two vasti muscles and the tendon of the rectus femoris to form the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon attaches to the patella (kneecap) and continues inferiorly (toward the foot) from the patella, where it is called the patellar ligament. The patellar ligament inserts into the tibial tuberosity, a bumpy portion on the tibia bone of the lower leg. The rectus femoris muscle is the fourth muscle in the quadriceps group. Unlike the vasti muscles, it begins on the hipbones at the iliac crest and above the socket where the head of the femur sits (acetabulum) in the hip. Its fibers run straight down from the hip to the knee. The tendon of the rectus femoris joins the tendons from the three vastus muscles to attach to the patella. Together, the three vasti and the rectus femoris form the only real manner that we have for extending the leg at the knee. The rectus femoris is much weaker when the hip is flexed (e.g., seated position such as doing leg extensions). Three hamstring muscles sit on the posterior side of the thigh. The biceps femoris muscle has a long and a short head. The long head of the biceps femoris begins on the posterior part of the ischial bone of the hip. You literally sit on these bones when you are in a chair. The short head of the biceps femoris begins along the lateral side of femur bone of the thigh. Both heads of the biceps femoris come together to attach to a single tendon that connects to the small lateral bone of the lower leg called the fibula. The semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles make up the medial (inside) hamstring muscles. The semitendinosus muscle attaches to the ischial bone of the hip and it becomes a cord-like tendon as it approaches the knee. The semimembranosus muscle is about half (“semi”) membrane (“membranous) and half muscle. It begins on the ischial tuberosity and with the semitendinosus; it crosses to the medial side of the knee to attach on the tibia bone of the lower leg. The gluteus maximus muscle is the largest and thickest hip muscle and it contains the strongest and largest muscle fibers in the body. The upper attachment of the gluteus maximus is on the major bones of the hip and the lower attachment is on the posterior side of the femur bone of the thigh below the hip joint. This muscle pulls the thigh posteriorly (backward) during the push phase of lunges. and some moderate biking before doing lunges. Although the exercise can be done with dumbbells, you should not find it difficult to keep your balance with the barbell version of this exercise. 1. Place a barbell on a squat rack. Start with a light weight until you get the feel for the movement. Position your body in the same manner as though you were doing squats. Start with the bar across the top of your trapezius under the shoulders, in the same way as if you were to do a squat. 2. Straighten your knees and stand up vertically, so that the weight is taken on your shoulders.
Lunges, like knee extensions, can be tough on the knees, so you should carefully warm them up with stretches
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3. Take a full step backward, away from the squat rack. 4. Start with both feet about shoulder-width apart. One leg will act as an anchor (e.g., the left leg). The other leg (e.g., the right leg) will be your lunge leg for the first repetition. 5. Take a step forward toward the squat rack with the lunge leg. This should be a good stride length (approximately a 3-foot stride), but it should not be so close to the squat rack that you will hit it at any point in your movement. 6. Bend the knee on the front (lunge) leg until the knee angle reaches 90 degrees. The thigh should be about parallel to the floor in the down position. At the same time as the knee from the lead leg is going forward, the thigh of the rear anchor leg should come down to almost kiss the floor. Keep your back vertical to the floor and your eyes looking forward (do not look down at the floor). 7. Step back to the starting position, then lunge forward with the other leg. Alternate between left and right legs. Start with 15 repetitions each leg (30 total steps). At the end of the set, take a step forward and return the barbell to the squat rack. You can work up to 25 repetitions per leg, but should not need more than that. Take particular care as you are nearing the end of your set and you are fatiguing, as this is a time when your balance could be compromised. You also need to make sure that you do not bend over from the waist, as this will excessively increase activation of the gluteal muscles, not to mention increasing the chance of losing your balance. The musculature of your middle and lower back and calves will also be activated during lunges. This provides an added bonus for increasing your body’s metabolism to maximize your ripped-to-shreds training goals. A deep lunge and greater stride will provide a superior stretch and will improve activation of all of the affected muscles. However, you must work into this slowly. You should stretch your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps prior to beginning the exercise. Be careful that you do not bend forward from the waist during the lunge. If you find yourself leaning forward, you are likely using too much weight and/or your stride is too short. It is not necessary to use squat-like resistance on lunges to get the job done. This is more a factor of sustaining constant tension throughout the range of motion than moving superhuman weights. If you thought that leg extensions were the only way to thigh cuts, you will be surprised how quickly lunges will etch striations and separations across the mass that you have accumulated in your underpinnings. Lunges are not ideal for building mass, but they are excellent for refining and adding muscle density. Once you get serious about your lunges, you will begin to see a radical transformation in the power, shape and separations in your anterior thigh and hamstrings. Your thighs will take on an all-new muscle quality with unreal, mind-blowing thigh separations with valleys and peaks erupting across your lower quadriceps. You will have enough power to blow your competition right off the stage. References:
1. Ekstrom RA, Donatelli RA and Carp KC. Electromyographic analysis of core trunk, hip, and thigh muscles during 9 rehabilitation exercises. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 37: 754-762, 2007 . 2. Escamilla RF Zheng N, Macleod TD, , Edwards WB, Hreljac A, Fleisig GS, Wilk KE, Moorman CT, III and Imamura R. Patellofemoral compressive force and stress during the forward and side lunges with and without a stride. Clin Biomech, (Bristol, Avon) 23: 1026-1037 2008. , 3. Farrokhi S, Pollard CD, Souza RB, Chen YJ, Reischl S and Powers CM. Trunk position influences the kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the lead lower extremity during the forward lunge exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 38: 403-409, 2008. 4. Cronin J, McNair PJ, Marshall RN. Lunge performance and its determinants. J Sports Sci, 21, 49-57 2003. , 5. Hefzy MS, al Khazim, M and Harrison, L. Co-activation of the hamstrings and quadriceps during the lunge exercise. Biomed Sci Instrum, 33, 360-365, 1997 . 6. Petrella JK, Kim JS, Mayhew DL, Cross JM and Bamman MM. Potent myofiber hypertrophy during resistance training in humans is associated with satellite cell-mediated myonuclear addition: a cluster analysis. J Appl Physiol, 104: 1736-1742, 2008.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Patrick Arnold
ARNOLD, PATRICK 93351-11
The End Of An Era, And Patrick’s Movin’ On Up
t’s that time of the month again. Well not that time of the month; I am talking about time for another installment of the Patrick Arnold story. I can’t believe how this goes on and on. I thought it would be two articles at max. I guess I gotta hurry it all up, so I can get back to the science stuff pretty soon. Anyway, here it is. By late 1999, I had all but stopped hearing from Dan Duchaine. I talked fairly often to his best friend, Shelley Hominuk, and she had expressed concern about Dan’s ever-deepening depression. Dan would make comments to Shelley such as, “I need to visit New York one last time, which makes sense “ in retrospect, but at the time just seemed odd. Then one day in January of 2000, I saw a post on misc.fitness. weights by Will Brink entitled “R.I.P Dan . Duchaine. I read it and thought it was a ” joke. I couldn’t fathom that Dan would just die like that and I figured he was up to one of his little jokes to mess with everyone. Dan couldn’t be dead; he always seemed like a cockroach…he could take a lot of abuse, but he would always keep on living. Apparently, though, Dan had a serious congenital kidney disorder. I had heard about it, but I just did not know how serious it was. That, coupled with an ongoing addiction to Nubain and perhaps other substances probably led to a state of physical, emotional and spiritual despair. What most likely happened was Dan stopped treating his kidney disease and let himself deteriorate to the point of death. Either that, or maybe he overdosed. We will never know. Either way, it was suicide of one sort or another, which
is very sad. Shelley found him in his bed a couple of days after he had passed away, and a funeral was set up very quickly. I was unable to attend unfortunately, which sucked. With the death of Dan, things changed in the industry. Many of my friends at the time were ones I met through Dan, and I soon lost touch with them. There no longer was a “senior steroid guru. Dan had a way of writing ” and presenting information in a bold and entertaining way, and I don’t know anyone since who has had that gift. Yeah, guys like me have a lot of knowledge, but we don’t have that literary creativity. Anyway, Dan has been missed and one of the saddest things is that kids today in bodybuilding don’t know who he even was half the time. Not only that, but think of all the stuff Dan has missed. Back then, there were no designer steroids and the prohormone industry still only featured mediocre first- and second-generation stuff. Also, the field of medical muscle research has exploded in recent years. I often wonder what he would think if he could see how crazy stuff has gotten. At the time of Dan’s death, things were going fine for my company. Not spectacular, but OK. We had come out with a couple of transdermal sprays containing the prohormones 4-AD and nor-4AD. These actually worked quite well; you could get a very good effect without having to mega-dose like you would need to do with the orals to achieve a similar response. Still though, everyone was selling the same stuff. Sure, there were some new additions such as the DHT precursors, but nothing really out-
performed 4-AD, which at the time was the gold standard. I knew that if I wanted my sports nutrition line Ergopharm to explode I would need to find a new prohormone product. I needed to find one that actually outperformed everything else, rather than just be another compound, which kept the pace. So I hit the books. I ended up in the University of Illinois veterinary library, where I scoured through a book on androgens. It was in German and I don’t read or speak German, so it was not easy. But still, I could understand chemical names in German (sort of) and of course chemical structures needed no translation for me. I noticed the compound 5alpha-andost-1-ene-3,17-dione (1-androstenedione for short) was listed in a table of natural androgen metabolites. I thought to myself that this was a strange and unexpected steroid to be natural, and I wondered if this family of “delta-1’s” as they are called, might be pharmacologically active. So I drove over to the U of I biology library and went and grabbed the book Androgens and Anabolic Agents by Julius Vida off the shelf. This book, often referred to as simply Vida, was written in the mid-to-late 1960s and is a comprehensive literature review on the science of anabolic steroids. Within it is a table of hundreds and hundreds of steroids, along with their anabolic and androgenic activities, as reported in the published literature. I looked up the compound 5alpha-androst-1-ene-17beta-ol-3-one (1testosterone for short) which would be the active compound that 1-androstenedione would convert to. To my delight, it had remarkably high anabolic activity.
I then quickly ran around the bio and chem libraries at U of I for the rest of the afternoon (this was before one could just easily look stuff up on Internet databases), collecting all the articles I could find on 1-testosterone and 1-androstenedione. I was doubly delighted when I found out that these delta-1 compounds are somewhat resistant to liver first-pass degradation, which meant that not only was this a highly anabolic compound, but it may have more oral activity than your typical prohormone. Now the easy part was done. It took only about a day to collect most all of the research concerning the pharmacology of 1-androstenedione and 1testosterone. Now I had to figure out how to make the stuff. That actually took the better part of a whole year, believe it or not. Of course today, I know how to whip up highly pure 1androstenedione by a very simple process I have since developed, but back then I had to screw around with nasty, smelly chemicals like bromine and DMF only to end up with a sticky mess that would not crystallize. Countless times I tried the reactions, making modifications each time until I was able to come up with a decent crystalline product. I tested some of the stuff out on some local guys and they came back to me with raving reports of strength and mass. I could see just by looking at the guys that the stuff was working. However, they reported some not-sogood things like stomach discomfort and burning sensations. It did not take long for me to realize I had to do something to minimize these things, so I investigated making 1-androstenediol, which is another 1-testosterone precursor. Unfortunately the dione to diol reaction (normally a simple one and the same one we used to make 4androstenediol from 4-androstenedione) was not working right. I was ending up with about 50 percent of a DHT precursor as a side product. After wracking my brain, I finally called the company that makes the chemical reagent used in the process and explained my problem. They suggested I try adding some Cerous Chloride to the reaction and I did. Voila! I got highly pure 1-androstenediol. I named the product 1-AD and of course it ended up being a huge hit. It not only put Ergopharm on the map, but it revolutionized and revitalized the whole prohormone industry. And since we made it ourselves, we had exclusivity on the stuff for practically a year. Eventually all kinds of people came out with 1-testosterone products, but still the 1-AD remained the best bang for the buck. By constantly working on new ways to make it, we were able to lower cost well below that which China was offering their stuff for. With the profits from 1-AD, we were able to build our own 40,000square foot, custom-built headquarters complete with full chemical production facility, well-equipped lab, contract manufacturing production lines and ample office space. We changed the name of our company from LPJ research to Proviant Technologies. We had come a long way, all thanks to 1AD (and a little bit to 6-oxo as well, which was the first anti-aromatase supplement to hit the market). Of course researching and developing synthetic processes for products like 1-AD and 6-OXO was not the only thing I was doing in the lab. At offtimes and after hours, I would also cook up synthetic stuff such as norbolethone, and I had made some contacts in the amateur and professional sporting world. These contacts were looking for undetectable performance enhancers (steroids mainly) and I was willing to oblige them. I was not looking to make a lot of money; I was mostly just interested in seeing what these things could do for the athletes. And naturally, when a trainer or whomever would report very positive feedback, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I felt that I had made someone very pleased and it almost seemed like a positive thing to me. I did not think too much about the ethical issues at the time, and justified everything by reminding myself that this cat-andmouse crap was just part of the modern world of sports. I was competing against other doctors or chemists or self-taught gurus out there who were helping the competition. Not everyone I dealt with was pleased with my work, however. There was this one guy in Europe who worked with a high-level bicycle racing team. I met the guy when he emailed me and like everyone else, he was looking for a chemical edge. I supplied the guy with norbolethone and THG, and after trying the stuff out on his cyclists he was extremely satisfied. His team was winning races. One day he told me he needed more, so I made more. I mixed some THG up for the guy in proplyene glycol and put it in a large plastic bottle. Only, I did not use a fresh plastic bottle because I was in a hurry and could not find one. Instead, I took a large bottle that stored some norandrostenedione. I emptied it out and washed it with some methanol and some soap and water. In retrospect, I could not believe how stupid I was. I knew how sensitive the doping tests were for nandrolone metabolites and I knew that an infinitely small amount of norandrostenedione would give a nandrolone positive. But my impatience and laziness got the better of me and I used the norandrostenedione anyway, thinking that if I just cleaned it out well it would be fine. Anyway, a few weeks went by and then I got an e-mail from the trainer. He was in a panic; one of his athletes had tested positive for nandrolone!! He told me it had to be the stuff I sent him. I told him he had to be wrong; I thought I knew the stuff I made was fine. The next day I got another e-mail; another athlete was positive! He was beside himself with distress. I still denied it was my stuff. Then perhaps two more days went by and I got another e-mail. His entire team tested positive! He told me he was ruined and that his coaching career was destroyed and he had been utterly disgraced. It was at that time that I thought hard and remembered the norandrostenedione bottle. I felt absolutely awful. I tried to help a guy out and I ended up destroying his life. I tried to help him concoct a cover story involving flax oil and contamination, but of course there was no way that would be accepted. I don’t where the guy is today. I hope he didn‘t shoot himself or something. That’s it for this month. Come back next month for some crazy stuff about BALCO and chemistry and Feds.
TRAINING, NUTRITION, DIET, & SUPPLEMENTATION
By Eric Broser
For Natural Bodybuilding
ow, time flies when you are having fun! In the last nine issues of MD, we covered the following “commandments” of natural bodybuilding: 1) be consistent; 2) be positive; 3) visualize; 4) focus; 5) never become complacent; 6) wage war on the weights; 7) overcome adversity; 8) have faith; 9) dream big. It is very important to take these commandments to heart, as there is nothing more vital to achievement than the proper mindset. Your body will follow exactly where your mind leads it. Each thought you have penetrates every single cell of your body, as well as the universe around you, which will eventually dictate the outcome of most events in your life. Remember this…“Whether you believe you CAN or you CAN’T, you are right. ” th Eric Broser But what about the 10 commandment of natural bodybuilding? Well, this is one that I leave up to you! I am interested to hear what you, the readers and MD forum members, wish to add to the list. Please feel free to message me on the board or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know your thoughts. I will print some of the best ones right here in future “No Juice” columns!
cal times during the day. As well, this lack of insulin will also result in higher levels of circulating cortisol, which can cause a myriad of problems for the dieting bodybuilder, such as impaired thyroid function and lower GH output. But the negatives do not stop there… Reason #5: High cortisol levels can affect sleep patterns! A little-talked-about fact in regard to cortisol is that it is actually one of the hormones associated with waking and sleeping patterns. Naturally, levels of cortisol are highest in the morning and lowest at night, with a number of fluctuations during the day. The higher amounts of circulating cortisol in the early hours help to wake us up. When the daily cycle of cortisol secretion is disrupted to a large degree, it can cause levels to remain elevated at night, with the result being an inability to relax and fall asleep. I don’t need to tell you just how important sleep is to a bodybuilder, especially one who is dieting to lose body fat while doing everything possible to keep hard-earned muscle mass intact. Insomnia? No thanks! Reason #6: No carbs pre-or post-training can compromise the immune system! The type of intense training that bodybuilders engage in suppresses the immune system, which of course can lead to increased risk of illness. When the body is forced to work harder to fight off bacteria and infection, it will have less energy to put toward recuperation, repair and growth. Combating illness is certainly higher on the body’s priority list than building muscle and burning fat. Not to mention www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
Natural Diet Dilemma: Zero Carb vs. Low Carb, Part 2
This month, I will continue my discussion of why I feel that a zero-carb approach to dieting is detrimental to the drug-free bodybuilder.Thus far, I have mentioned that a lack of any carbohydrates in the diet will also cause a lack of insulin, which can compromise one’s ability to rapidly and efficiently uptake amino acids, glucose, creatine and other muscle-building compounds into muscle cells at several criti-
that when you are sick, you might not be able to train or do cardio as needed to facilitate maximum progress. Studies show that carbohydrate consumption built around workouts (pre/intra/post) can reduce the immune system reaction to vigorous exercise, helping to keep your muscle-building and fat-burning machinery working at optimum levels. Important stuff! Reason #7: No carbs in the diet can impair genes for muscle hypertrophy! Let’s face it…as a natural bodybuilder dieting down for a competition, photo shoot, or even a nice vacation; your goal is not only to lose as much body fat as possible, but also to retain your muscle size. Most naturals (except the most genetically gifted) simply lose size on zero carbs and often end up looking more like fitness models or swimmers than serious bodybuilders! And I know this is not acceptable to the hardcore natty readers of Muscular Development! Robbie Durand, a fellow MD columnist, recently discussed a couple of recent studies (that I also have viewed), which showed that low muscle glycogen concentrations reduce the expression of several genes responsible for muscle hypertrophy! While a 2005 study reported a blunting of an important molecule in cell signaling and protein synthesis pathways called PKB (or Akt), newer research has also proven that low pre-exercise muscle glycogen stores decrease resting levels of two other major genes involved in muscle growth…myogenin and IGF-1! No wonder drug-free athletes tend to “string out” on zero-carb regimens! So now that I have given you some food for thought (mostly protein and fats, but also some well-timed carbohydrates), you can make a well-informed decision in regard to what fat-loss diet is best for you…the natural bodybuilder. While I do not like to necessarily separate bodybuilding into two camps (enhanced and drug-free), sometimes it is essential to do so, because there are differences in how training and nutrition can, and should, be approached. Drugs are powerful tools that allow the guys/gals utilizing them room to do things that would be detrimental to a natural trainee. I make no judgment, nor say that one form of bodybuilding is better than the other. But as a trainer and contest prep coach it is my job to know how to optimize the progress of both types of athletes! In Part 3 of this mini-series I will lay out a general guideline for how I feel it is best for a natural athlete to approach a contest diet. Until then, train hard, stay focused and of course…read MD!
I just want to say a quick shout-out to Elyse and Steve Blechman, John Romano, Dave Palumbo and the Smalley brothers, who I had the pleasure of hanging out with at dinner and the MD seminar. Thanks for making me feel like an important part of Team MD! Also to fellow MD columnist and future IFBB pros, Branden Ray and Mike Liberatore, it was awesome spending the Olympia weekend with you both at the VPX booth! You guys are a lot of fun and tremendous assets and representatives of our sport!
By Gregg Valentino DISCLAIMER:
The following is uncensored/ unedited and in no way reflects the opinions of the staff of Muscular Development. Who the hell knows what this guy might say... he’s a mental freak. This article is for entertainment purposes only.
MY OLYMPIA VIEW..THIS IS MY OPINON ONLY NOT MD’s … Due to management cuts, the light at the end of the tunnel will now be switched off…. Excuse me, I have to recharge my flamethrower…..OK SO, ALTHOUGH I WAS NOT AT THE OLYMPIA PERSONALLY, I KNOW FOR A FACT I DIDN’T MISS A FUCKING THING!!!… YES , I WATCHED A FEW OLYMPIA VIDEO’S AND IT BORED THE SHIT OUTTA ME……THE BIG GUYS ALL LOOKED OVER JUICED UP LIKE VEINY RIPPED WATER BALLOONS AND WITHOUT VICTOR MARTINEZ , KAI GREENE, BRANCH WARREN, IT WASN’T A REAL MR. OLYMPIA CONTEST…OK YES, DEXTER JACKSON WAS THE BEST MAN UP THERE AND DEXTER DESERVED TO WIN !!!..YO’ IM GLAD TO SEE THE RIGHT MAN GET THE SANDOW TROPHY….SO A GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO DEXTER JACKSON FOR A WELL DESERVED WIN..ALSO, I THOUGHT TONEY FREEMAN LOOKED FANTASTIC AS WELL, SO MY PROPS TO THE X-MAN ( TONEY FREEMAN ) … …..A SIDE NOTE: >> DENNIS WOLF LOOKED GREAT BUT HAD VISUAL FLAWS, AND JAY CUTLER WAS WAAAY OFF HIS PEAK AND JAY LOOKED BLOCKY AS HELL ….I FEEL THIS OLYMPIA WAS DEFINITELY A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WITH A DEXTER WINNING . BUT IN ALL HONESTY THE NEXT TIME I’M HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING AT NIGHT I’LL JUST WATCH THE OLYMPIA VIDEO AGAIN AND I WILL FALL RIGHT ASLEEP…..ZZZZZZ… ZZZZZZ…ZZZZZ.. WHAT!!!... DID YOU SAY SOME THING???....OOOPS YA SEE THAT SHIT, JUST TALKING ABOUT THE OLYMPIA PUTS ME TO SLEEP EVERYTIME!!!….. LISTEN THIS SPORT IF YOU WANNA CALL IT A SPORT, IS NEVER GOING TO BE MAIN-STREAM OR ANYTHING BUT A CULT TYPE -NITCH SPORT UNTIL IT GETS SOME GENERAL PUBLIC APPEAL AND IN THAT AREA, ITS GETTING WORSE!!…YO’, THERE WAS A TIME IN THE 80’s WHEN ESPN USED TO BROADCAST THE OLYMPIA , I MEAN REALLY, I STILL HAVE THE ESPN 80’s OLYMPIA ON MY OLD VHS TAPES … NOW WITH THE FREAKS THAT STARTED IN THE END OF THE DORAN YATES ERA , ESPN WON’T DARE TOUCH THIS SHOW…....THE LAST 3 OLYMPIA SHOWS HAVE BEEN SLIDING DOWN A HUGE DOWNHILL SLOPE, MORE TOWARDS THE BIZZARRE & CIRCUS SIDE FREAK SHOW THAN A BODYBUILDING EVENT……AGAIN THIS IS MY OPINION!!!!….. PERSONALLY, I THINK THE JUDGES NEED TO RE-VAMP THEIR CRITERIA START BY PLACING THE OVERLY JUICED UP STRIATED WATER BALOONS LOWER AND GET BACK TO WHAT BODYBUILDING IS ALL ABOUT >>> TINY WAISTS, BEAUTIFUL MUSCLE SYMETRY AND PROPORTIONATE MUSCLE SIZE… YES YES YES, I KNOW WHAT YOUR THINKING, VALENTINO YOU ARE NO-ONE TO TALK , YOU LOOKED FUCKING DISGUSTING WITH YOUR RETARDED BODY…. AND YES, 100% YOUR RIGHT PINHEADS , BUT WHEN I COMPETED I HAD A MINI ARNOLD TYPE BUILD, I GRACED THE STAGE , I DIDN’T HAVE THAT BIG RETARDED ARM LOOK BACK THEN SO SIMMER DOWN !!…PLUS I WAS 100% NATURAL BACK THEN!!...SO GET OVER THAT BIG ARM SHIT … I WAS OUT OF MY MIND AND RETARDED GETTING BIG LIKE THAT …I KNOW YOU THINK A HYPOCRYTE, BUT I LOOKED GREAT IN MY CONTEST DAYS AND I NEVER LOST MY CLASS !!!!!…. BOTTOM LINE >> I WASN’T THE ONE ON STAGE WITH HOMEMADE CALVES, DELTS , BICEPS WIITH A BELLY & ASS CHEEKS THAT ARE BIGGER THAN MY FAT ITALIAN AUNT MARIE’s BIG FAT ITALIAN ASS…WOOFA…YO THAT’S A FUCKIN BIG ASS !!!!...AND HELL YES, I LOVE FREAKS , BUT MY DEFINITION OF ”FREAK” IS DIFFERENT THAN YOURS!!... SOME ( NOT ALL ) OF THESE BODIES TODAY ARN’T FREAKS, THEY ARE FUGLY >>> THAT’S FUCKING-UGLY!!!!!...THE BLOATED 40 INCH RIPPED GUTS THAT ARE BOTH FAT & RIPPED AT THE SAME TIME ARE AS GROSS AS MY ARMS USED TO BE IN THE LATE 90’s - 2001 WHEN I WAS OUT OF MY MIND!!!!… MOMO’S WITH GH GUTS AND GIANT RIPPED ASSES ARE NOT MY IDEA OF A FREAK, THEY ARE MY IDEA OF AN UGLY BODY….AS FOR COMPETIONS , BODYBUILDERS TODAY ARE SO DHYDRATED & DRIED OUT THAT FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS BEFORE A SHOW THAT THEY CANT EVEN LEAVE THEIR HOTEL ROOMS EXCEPT FOR THE COMPETI-
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TORS MEETINGS…..YOU NEVER SAW LEE HANEY OR ARNOLD LAYING ON HIS HOTEL ROOM BED ALL DAMN DAY WITH HIS CONTEST GURU COMING INTO HIS HOTEL ROOM CHECKING HIM OUT EVERY FUCKING HUOR OR SO…THAT’S TOO MUCH IN MY OPINION…I GAG AT THIS>>> SOME GUYS TODAY HAVE STRIATIONS ON THEIR FUCKING VIENS , BUT YET AT THE SAME TIME THEY GOT FAT ROLLS ON THEIR LOWER BACKS…HOW THE FUCK CAN A GUY BE BLOATED, FAT LOOKING IN THE GUT AND RIPPED AT THE SAME TIME…..IT IS NOT ONLY GROSS, BUT IT BOGGLES MY MIND…ITS KINDA LIKE LOOKING AT A PREGNANT WOMAN WITH ABS AND STRIATIONS ON HER BELLY, YET FAT JELLY-ROLLS ON HER LOWER BACK….…YO’, HERE IS THE FUNNY FACT: >> SOME OF YOU FUCKERS TALK YOUR BULLSHIT ABOUT ME SHOOTING OIL BASED STEROIDS INTO MY ARMS ( NO, IT WAS NOT SYNTHOL, IT WAS OIL BASED JUICE, IM SICK OF THAT SHIT TALK, GET OVER IT ), YET A LOT OF THESE PRO BODYBUILDERS ARE SHOOTING SYNTHOL, ESICLINE , CAVERJECT , IGF, PGF2 aka PROSTAGLANDIN AS WELL AS STEROIDS INTO EACH BODYPART ….SO DON’T YOU DARE POINT THE FINGER AT ME SAYING I’M BAD FOR BODYBUILDING…FUCK YOU & FUCK OFF!!!!....YO’ IM IN THE MEDIA END OF SHIT, HELL I COULD GET FAT IF I WANTED BUT I’M NOT ON STAGE LOOKING REATARDED AND I TALK ABOUT MY SHIT, LOOKING UGLY & RETARDED!!!.... THE BIG BODYBUILDERS TODAY HAVE OVER DONE THE DRUGS, THEY LOOKED DRUGGED UP, THEY ARE ON THE OLYMPIA STAGE DESTROYING THE OLYMPIA IMAGE….THATS WHY I THINK PICKING DEXTER THIS YEAR WAS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!..… ..YA KNOW, SINCE WHEN WAS THE ACCEPTABLE CRITERIA FOR MR OLYMPIA TO HAVE A 40 INCH RIPPED WAIST WITH A GIANT ASS, I BET THESE GUYS ALL WEAR X-LARGE & XXLARGE POSING TRUNKS ….FUCK ME, I WORE SMALL , AND I BET SERGIO WHO HAD THE MASS OF TODAYS BODYBUILDERS WORE SMALL TO MAYBE MEDIUM AT MOST…….THAT BIG ASS , THICK WAIST BULLSHIT IS DEFINITLY NOT ASTETIC LOOKING !!...….. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE, TO BE RIPPED & VEINY , YET AT THE SAME TIME BLOATED WITH FAT ROLLS ON THEIR LOWER BACKS, BASICALLY TO BE HARD & FAT AT THE SAME TIME??? …..YO’, WHAT THE FUCK KINDA SHIT ARE THEY INJECTING TODAY???……WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF D-BALLS ( YUM ) , TESTOSTERONE ( OH YUM ) , DECA ( HATE DECA BUT,,,) , A-BOMBS ( ANADROL…NOW I GOT A WODDY…YUM YUM YUM..), WINSTROL , EQ ect ect ….SHEEET TODAY IT’S A DIFFERENT BALL GAME, MOST ( NOT ALL ) OF THESE OLYMPIANS ARE TAKING “GOD KNOWS WHAT” … EVEN THE TANS LOOK REDICULOUS, THE WHITE GUYS LOOK LIKE THEY ARE DOING 1930’s BLACK-FACE RENDITIONS…….ITS OUTTA CONTROL…..WHERE IS THE BUILT BODIES THAT GUYS ENVIED AND GIRLS WANTED TO FUCK ?? >>> THE ZANE’s, THE ARNOLD,s, THE HANEY’s AND EVEN LEE LABRADDA WHO AT A 185 POUNDS ALMOST BEAT LEE HANEY……YA WANNA TALK ABOUT A REAL FREAK,
HOW ABOUT WHERE IS THE NEW SERGIO OLIVA???.... I WILL TELL YA WHERE, HE DOESN’T EXSIST!!!!! …SERGIO OLIVA WAS THE ULTIMATE FREAK, EVEN ARNOLD SAID SERGIO HAD THE GREATEST GENTICS HE EVER SEEN, ARNOLD ALSO ONCE SAID “SERGIO HAD A FLAWLESS BODY” ...,ITS NO SECRET THAT SERGIO WAS THE ONLY BODYBUILDER ARNOLD EVER FEARED!!!!….SHEEEET SERGIO OLIVA HAD AS MUCH MASS AS THESE BIG GUYS TODAY BUT SERGIO YET HAD A TINY 28 -29 inch WAIST WITH A V-TAPER LIKE NO-ONE ELSE EVEN TODAY!!! …YO, MY MAN SERGIO GOT THAT KINDA MUSCLE WITH OLD SCHOOLTRAINING & BASIC DRUGS LIKE D-BALLS, TEST & DECA ect ect AND LOTS OF FOOD... THERE WAS NO IGF, NO INSULIN, NO GH, NO ESICLINE, NO SYNTHOL, NO CAVERJECT NO PGF2 aka PROSTAGLANDIN , NO SUPER WHEY PROTEINS, NO CREATINES, NO WAXY MAZE–CARB LOADING DRINKS, NO NITRIX OXIDE BULLSHIT, NO SUPER SUPPLEMENTS LIKE THERE ARE TODAY ALONG WITH OTHER OTHER BULLSHIT….BACK THEN IT WAS SOME MILK & EGG PROTEIN , SOY PROTEIN , LIVER PILLS , LECITHIN AND MULTI VITAMINS…….WE LIVE IN A ERA TODAY WHERE A LOT OF GUYS DON’T EVEN TRAIN RIGHT ANYMORE ..YO, WHEN I SEE THE WORKOUT VIDEOS ON MuscularDevelopment.com I FUCKING GAG AT HOW SOME ( NOT ALL ) OF THESE OLYMPIANS TRAIN…NO WONDER THEY SHOOT ALL KINDS OF SHIT EVERYWHERE & GET RIPPED , BLOATED WITH FAT ROLLS ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!!... THATS ALSO WHY WHEN THEY “COME OFF” SHIT THEY LOOK LIKE PEE-WEE HERMAN…..I FEEL LIKE >> NO BODY TRAINS HARD ANYMORE…… YOU READ ALL THAT BULLSHIT ABOUT “OVER TRAINING”, FUCK YOU, THERE IS NO SUCH THING!!!!….THERE IS ONLY “UNDER RECOOPERATION” AND ITS NOT THE SAME THING…..HEY, IN ARNOLD’s DAY GUYS TRAINED EACH BODYPART 3 TIMES A WEEK WITH A MINIMUM OF 25 TO 35 SETS A BODYPART AND THEY GREW MUSCLE LIKE WEEDS….IM DISGUSTED WITH HOW GUYS TRAIN TODAY, EVEN SERGIO USED TO TRAIN 35 SETS A BODYPART 2 TO 3 TIMES A WEEK AND THAT’S BACK IN THE 1960’s WHEN MOST OF YOU READERS WERE NOT EVEN A SPERM CELL YET…AND AT ONE TIME BEFORE SERGIO WAS A COP HE WORKED 16 HOURS A DAY IN A STEEL MILL…..MEANWHILE MOST ( NOT ALL, RELAX, THICKEN YOUR SKIN) OF THE BODYBUILDERS TODAY DON’T EVEN WORK A REAL JOB!!!...YO, THAT PERSONAL TRAINING BULLSHIT NOT A REAL JOB, ITS ADULT BABY SITTING AND A LOT OF JUICE DEALERS CLAIM THAT “PERSONAL TRAINING “ IS THEIR INCOME…..OH YEAH BABE, SOME OF YOU PERSONAL TRAINING PINHEADS THINK IM STUPID???….ITS LIKE WHEN JOHN GOTTI CLAIMED HE WAS A PLUMBER , HE HAD TO CLAIM HIS INCOME FROM SOMEWHERE…… OOOPS WATCHOUT THE FEDS ARE READING THIS, THEY ARE ON TO YOU P.T.’s NOW!!!!….YO GET A FUCKING JOB!!!!... MOMO’S …..ENOUGH RANTING, GETTING BACK TO A REAL BODYBUILDER SERGIO OLIVA, FACT: > SERGIO HAD 2008 TYPE MUSCLE MASS WITH LESS DRUGS, NO MODERN SUPPLEMENTS AND NO BODYMASTER, CYBEX, ICARIAN
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EQUIPMENTect ect ….ITS TRUE, SERGIO HAD JUST BASIC WEIGHTS AND A FEW HOMEMADE MACHINES….YES PINHEADS, IN THSE DAYS BODYBUILDERS LIKE SERGIO & ARNOLD BUILT THEIR BODIES THROUGH PURE TRAINING, NOT INJECTING TOXIC WASTE , AND THEY WERE CERTAINLY NOT WORRYING ABOUT OVER-TRAINING ….LISTEN, I LOVE FREAKS & I LOVE STEROIDS, BUT MY IDEA OF A FREAK IS SERGIO, ARNOLD, LEE HANEY & SERGE NUBRET , .NOT SOME DUDE 5’9” TALL WEIGHING 280lbs WITH A RIPPED STRIATED 40 INCH WAIST, STRIATED GIANT GLUTES AND FAT ROLLS ON HIS BACK…..THATS NOT A FREAK, THAT’S A FUGLY-MOMO AND A FUTURE PEE WEE HERMAN!!!!!!…… ONCE AGAIN, I KNOW I LOOKED RETARDED BUT I NEVER CLIMED TO BE JOHNNY HANDSOME OR MR OLYMPIA…..I ALWAYS ADMITED I LOOKED UGLY, IM THE ONE WHO SAID I LOOK LIKE UNCLE FESTER ON STEROIDS… .BRAD PITT IM NOT!!!!!......BUT MR OLYMPIA WAS NOT WHAT I SAW TONIGHT, NOT THE MR.OLYMPIA & SPORT I FELL IN LOVE WITH 35 YEARS AGO ….“Keep in mind, you all have ONE advantage over me.....you can all Kiss My Ass and I Can’t !!!!!” .. Grow Your Own Dope, Plant A Bodybuilder……. FUCK OFF STORY TIME .“Last night I was having dinner with Charles Manson, and in the middle of dinner he turned to me and said >> “Is it hot in here, or am I Fuckin Crazy?”…. ANYBODY WHO KNOWS JIMMY “THE IRON BULL” PELLECHIA FOR A LONG TIME KNOWS ABOUT HIS PAST SAMSON & DELILAH TYPE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND RITA……YO THESE 2 WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER…RITA WAS A HOT BLOODED VALENTINO IS CRAZY KINDA TALL LATINA HE SCARES ME!!!! WITH LONG BLACK GIRL HAIR (YUM ) , VERY GOOD LOOKING FACE , SUPER LEAN MACHINEHARD BODY, AND THE ONLY GIRL WHO USED TO TRAIN WITH HER BOY JIMMY “THE BULL” PELLECHIA , BOTH LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS AND BOTH COMPETING WITH EACHOTHER FOR RELATIONSHIP DOMINANCE…. RITA LIVED BY SOME WOMAN’S CREED, “ANYTHING YOU COULD DO, I COULD DO BETTER”..AND IN SOME CASES SHE COULD!!!!…… JIMMY “THE BULL” LOVED RITA’s FEISTINESS, BUT WHEN THEY WOULD BOTH GO OUT DRINKING THEY WOULD COME HOME FIST FIGHTING EACHOTHER THEN FUCKING FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT…..I TOLD YA ALL THIS
MANY TIMES BEFORE >> IT’S A LATINA -vs- HER WHITE BOY THING!!!!…. LATINA GIRLS GOT MAD FLAVOR, TRUST ME, I BEEN THERE DONE THAT MANY TIMES TOO….…JIMMY USED TO DO BENCH PRESS SHOWS & EXPO’S AND RITA HIS TRAINING PARTNER / GIRLFRIEND USED TO GO WITH HIM AND SPOT HIM FOR HIS CRAZY HEAVY LIFTS…… JIMMY “THE BULL” TOLD ME RITA WOULD KNEW JUST HOW TO MOTIVATE HIM WHEN HE WAS DOING HEAVY BENCH PRESS DEMINSTRATIONS…. SOMETIMES WHEN JIMMY WAS ABOUT TO GO SUPER HEAVY, LIKE 800 or 900 POUNDS ON THE BENCH RITA WOULD LEAN OVER AND JUST BEFORE JIMMY PUSHED THE WEIGHT OF THE BENCHPRESS HOOKS SHE WOULD WHISPER INSPIRATION IN JIMMY’S EAR…..WHEN I ASKED JIMMY WHAT SHE USED TO SAY , THE BULL SNARLED “ SHE WOULD TELL ME THAT SHE IS GETTING A HARD ON WATCHING ME PUSH HEAVY WEIGHTS AND WHEN WE GET HOME SHE WANTS ME TO SUCK HER OFF”…..I GAGED AND ASKED JIMMY, “WHAT THE FUCK!!!!”…. JIMMY LAUGHED AND SAID “BRO I WOULD LOOK UP AND SHE WAS WEARING SPANDEX PANTS AND I COULD SEE THAT SHIT BULGING OUT LIKE FUCKIN WALNUT, IM TELLIN YA SHE HAD A HARD ON, HER CLIT WAS 3 INCHES LONG & IT GOT HARD TOO FROM TAKING SO MUCH SHIT ( HE MEANS STEROIDS )….”BRO SHE USED TO CALL HER CLIT, HER COCK AND I MUNCHED ON HER WALNUT LIKE IT WAS A LITTLE WEENIE”… JIMMY “THE HORNY BULL” SAID AFTER SEEING THAT WALNUT IN RITA’S SPANDEX , HE PUSHED THE FUCKIN WEIGHT OFF THE BENCH HOOKS LIKE HE WAS BENCH-PRESSING A GIANT Q-TIP ….MY MAN JIMMY “WALNUTS “ WAS A CRAZY HORNY BASTARD BACK THEN... JIMMY “THE HORNY BULL” THEN TOLD ME “ GREGG, WE WOULD GO HOME AND RITA WOULD LAY ON THE BED LIKE A DUDE WHILE I WENT DOWN ON HER SUCKIN HER GIANT WALNUT FOR HOURS AND BRO MY NEIGHBORS COULD HEAR HER SCREAMING SO LOUD THAT ONE TIME I HAD COPS BANGIN ON MY DOOR , THEY THOUGHT I WAS KILLING HER”….I WAS LAUGHING MY ASS OFF WHEN JIMMY TOLD ME THIS, I SAID “NO WAY JIMMY”…..HE WAS NOW SCREAMING ON THE PHONE, “BRO I GOTTA TELL YA A FUNNY STORY ABOUT THE TIME THE COPS CAME TO MY HOUSE”….JIMMY “ THE CRAZED BULL “ WAS NOW VERY HYPER ON THE PHONE AND I COULDN’T EVEN GET A WORD IN……HE THEN TOLD ME THAT RITA USED TO PISS HIM OFF BECAUSE SHE WOULD FIND THE BOTTLES OF ANADRIOL THAT HE HAD HIDDEN FROM HER AND SHE STOLE THEM & TOOK ALL HIS ANDROL….” YO, THE BITCH WAS EATING 4 ANDROL TABS A DAY, PLUS I WAS GIVING HER SHOTS OF SHIT ( STEROIDS ) , BUT BRO I WAS WONDERING HOW THE FUCK SHE WAS GETTING SO BIG AND STRONG AND HOW ALL OF A SUDDEN SHE STARTED GROWING A DICK, BRO IM NOT KIDDING HER CLIT WAS LIKE ONE OF THOSE MINI HOT DOGS” ( A PIG IN A BLANKET ) ”….”IM TELLIN YA GREGG, WE USED TO GET IN FIGHTS ALL THE TIME BECAUSE SHE USED TO SNEAK INTO MY UNDERWEAR DRAW AND STEAL MY SHIT” ( HE MEANS RITA STOLE HIS STEROIDS YA PINHEADS ) …”BRO, I FUCKIN FLIPPED THE FUCK OUT, I WOULD REACH IN MY FUCKIN UDERWEAR DRAW TO GET MY SHIT AND IT WAS ALL GONE”… ”YO, GREGG,
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
YOU KNOW HOW IT IS BRO, THE CRAZY BITCH HAD HER OWN SHIT ( HER OWN STEROIDS ) AND YET SHE WAS USING MINE AS WELL AS HERS”….. SIDE NOTE: KEEP IN MIND JIMMY IS ALL WORKED UP RIGHT NOW AS HE IS TELLING ME THIS….HE HAS BEEN EATING DINNER IN MY EAR WHILE TALKING TO ME ON THE PHONE, I CAN TELL HE IS SO HYPER HE IS SPITTING WHEN HE IS GOING OFF AND EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE HE NEEDS TO RELEASE ENERGY BY PLAYING THE PIANO FOR A FEW MINS,… LIKE ED NORTON FROM 1950’s TV SHOW > “THE HONEY MOONERS” … JIMMY PLAYS HIS VERSION OF SWANNEE RIVER ( A WARM UP ) TILL HE GOES OFF ON A “LIBERACE” TYPE MUSICAL PIANO TIRADE!!!!! ….OK NOW, HERES THE BEST PART OF THE STORY >>.. JIMMY “THE BULL” TOLD ME THAT THIS ONE TIME HE WAS AT A GYM AND HE WAS DOING A BENCH PRESS SEMINAR….. EVERYONE AT THE GYM SEMINAR WAS GATHERED AROUND THE BENCH-PRESS IN A CIRCLE AS THEY WATCHED JIMMY “THE BULL” DO A FEW WARM UP SETS WITH …. JIMMY SAID RITA WAS PUTTING THE WEIGHTS ON THE BAR FOR HIM AS JIMMY WOULD PHSYC HIMSELF UP FOR A SET…..AFTER A FEW WARM UP SETS JIMMY WAS NOW READY TO PUSH SOME SERIOUS WEIGHT SO RITA LOADED UP THE BAR WITH ABOUT 800 POUNDS ….KEEP IN MIND, WHEN JIMMY “THE BENCH-PRESSER” WENT THIS HEAVY HE HAD TO HAVE GUYS ON EACH SIDE OF THE BAR SPOTTING HIM…..JIMMY TOLD ME THAT, HE LAID ON THE BENCH GOT HIS MIND INTO THE SET AND PUSHED THE WEIGHT OFF THE HOOKS DOING A FEW REPS BEFORE PUTTING IT BACK ON THE HOOKS…WHEN HE SAT UP , HE GAGGED , NO ONE WAS AROUND WATCHING HIM, ONLY THE GUYS SPOTTING HIM AND MAYBE ONE OR TWO OTHER GUYS……HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF “ WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED , I JUST BENCHED 800lbs WHERE THE FUCK IS EVERYBODY” …HE THEN LOOK OVER THE OTHER END OF THE GYM AND SAW THE WHOLE CROWD OF 100 PEOPLE WERE NOW CIRCLED AROUND ANOTHER BENCH WATCHING RITA REPPING OUT WITH 315 ON THE BENCH WITH EVERYONE CHEERING HER ON AND CLAPPING WHEN SHE WAS DONE….. JIMMY “THE TOTALLY PISSED OFF BULL” WAS FUCKING IRATE , THIS IS HIS SEMINAR AND HIS GIRL RITA TOTALLY HIJACKED THE CROWD…… JIMMY SAID HE RAN OVER THERE SHOVED RITA ASIDE IN A HEAT OF ANGER , THEN JIMMY “THE ANGRY BULL” RIPPED THE 315 OFF THE BENCH PRESS HOOKS AND CURLED IT 10 TIMES… THE CROWD WENT CRAZY!!!!.......WHEN JIMMY “THE PISSED OFF BULL” PUT THE BAR BACK ON THE HOOKS, RITA QIUCKLY PUT TWO- 25 POUND PLATES ON EACH SIDE OF THE BAR THEN LAID ON THE BENCH AND PRESEED IT UP FOR ONE REP, ( THAT’S 365…) … JIMMY “THE RAGING BULL” WAS FUMING, HE YOKED THE BAR OFF THE HOOKS AND MILITARY PRESSED IT FOR 10 REPS….. THE CROWD WENT CRAZY… JIMMY “ THE CAVEMAN “ THEN GRABED RITA , THREW HER ON HIS SHOULDER AND CARRIED HER OUT OF THE GYM INTO THE PARKING LOTT WHERE THEY HAD A
HUGE ARGUMENT… JIMMY WAS PISSED OFF BECAUSE PEOPLE CAME TO SEE HIM , IT WAS HIS SEMINAR AND RITA ON A CRAZED TESTOSTERONE FUELED RUSH , WENT ON A BENCH PRESSING RAMPAGE HERSELF AND STOLE JIMMY’S CROWD…YO, THAT’S WHY YOU NEVER LET YOUR GIRL TAKE ANADROL OR ANDROGENS AND THAT’S WHY DON’T DATE OTHER BODYBUILDERS….JIMMY “THE HORNY BULL” TOLD ME THAT WHEN HE GOT HOME HE GAVE RITA “THE BLOW JOB” OF HER LIFE AND APPRENTLY THE ANADROL HAD HER SO SEX CRAZED AND HORNY THAT SHE WAS SCREAMIN SO LOUD THAT WHEN JIMMY WAS MUNCHING & BITING ON RITA’S WALNUT , ALL OF A SUDDEN THE POLICE BURST INTO JIMMY’S HOUSE CATCHING JIMMY “WALNUTS” & RITA “ THE SCREAMER” ON THE BED BARE-ASS-NAKED EATING WALLNUTMUSH-POT-PIE! ….YES ITS TRUE THE NIEGHBORS HEARD RITA SCREAMING SO LOUD THAT THEY THOUGHT JIMMY FINALLY SNAPPED AND WAS NOW KILLING RITA, SO THEY CALLED THE COPS,…. WHEN THE COPS GOT THERE NO ONE ANSWERED THE DOOR ( DUH….) AND THEY ( THE COPS ) HEARD A WOMAN SCREAMING FOR HER LIFE, SO THEY BURST IN AND SAW JIMMY’s & RITA IN A SEX CRAZED FRENZY …I GAGGED WHEN JIMMY TOLD ME THIS, SO I ASKED JIMMY IF HE WAS EMBARESED AT ALL AND HE REPLIED “FUCK NO BRO, I WAS PISSED OFF BECAUSE I WAS JUST ABOUT TO BUST A NUT WHEN THE STORMED IN AND MEANWHILE IM STANDING THERE WITH A HARD ON SCREAMING AT THEM ( THE COPS ) WHILE RITA WAS STILL ON THE BED MOANING”…JIMMY STARTED LAUGHING AND SAID “ I DON’T THINK SHE EVEN KNEW THE COPS WERE SHE WAS STILL LAYING THERE WITH HER EYES CLOSED QUIVERRING ON THE BED”…..”YEAH BRO, FUCK THAT SHIT, THEY ( THE COPS ) WERE EMBARRESSED NOT ME ”….” THEY APPOLIGISED AND I SAID YEAH GOOD, NOW GET THE FUCK OUT MY HOUSE AND I JUST TURNED AROUND AND I BANGED THE SHIT OUTTA HER” ….YES THE ANADROL WAS FLOWING IN BOTH THESE 2 WHACKOS…I MEAN DOESN’T JIMMY KNOW “Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes, because there’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy!!!”… ANYWAY, YA GOTTA LOVE JIMMY “THE BULL” , IF YOU HEARD HIM TELL THE STORY YOU WOULD LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF..OK IM DONE!!!… And out of the chaos, a voice spoke: “Smile and be happy, for it can always be worse”. ..So I smiled, and I was happy…. and it did get worse…. Support mental health or I’ll kill you all >>> NEXT MONTH!!!!! WWW.GREGGVALENTINO.NET…. MY MAILING ADDRESS IS >> GREGG VALENTINO 3663 LEE RD. # 415 , JEFFERSON VALLEY NEW YORK 10535. TILL NEXT MONTH , FUCK OFF
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
By William LIewellyn
Warning: Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine’s publisher or its editorial staff. MD does not condone any form of illegal drug use for bodybuilding or for any recreational purpose. MD also does not condone abuse of legal drugs for any purpose.
HEAVY METAL GEAR
nderground gear is everywhere these days. In fact, these drugs are so widely available, they have changed the dynamic of illicit steroid trade itself. Up until several years ago, most of the steroids traded were either legitimate drug products that reached the market due to the efforts of gray market international traders and smugglers, or were copies of said-legitimate products foisted onto consumers by counterfeiters. These products were all very bulky, difficult to conceal and compared to other illicit drugs, far less profitable to smuggle for the volume and risk involved. Underground labs did exist decades ago, but they tended to be very small in number, and large in scale. The concept of the deep underground (homebrew lab) gear was almost unheard of 10 years ago. The underground steroid business is thriving today, and is truly a cottage industry. Many smart dealers are finding there is much more money in producing these products themselves, even if on a small scale, then dealing with bulk shipments. Depending on the drug, a kilogram of steroid material can cost several thousand dollars, but can produce 1,000 units or more of pills or vials, for a profit of many tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more. The powder can fit into a business-size envelope and generate a dealer the type profit that would previously require the selling of an entire van full of steroid boxes. Ultimately, these products will be made into the same type of bulky dosage units, of course, but this assembly takes place after the powder is well into the country, safely away from the eyes of U.S. Customs. The process of running an underground lab may be fairly basic. Buy powders, buy packaging equipment, mix, label and finally, sell. But is this a good model for the end consumer? We need to remember that these are drug products; many meant to be injected directly into the body. An addiction to injectable narcotics often entails the user taking great risks with their health, often amplified by the use of “dirty” street drugs with unknown ingredients. With bulk steroid dealing now taking on a “smuggled powder model” similar to cocaine and heroin, one wonders if the same potential issues may arise. To test this notion, we sent 14 underground injectable steroid products into the lab. The products were from labs ranging in size from the very small to very large. The full test results will be in the next edition th of ANABOLICS (9 Edition, 2009). Presented below are the results for perhaps the most important measure: heavy metal contamination. This test specifically looked for the presence of toxic heavy metals such as lead, tin, mercury and arsenic. The results were not good, to say the least. More than 20 percent of the products (one in five) contained heavy www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
metal contamination. The metals tested here are all known to pose specific threats to health when they accumulate in the body. Those metals considered inert (such as iron and aluminum) were not included. Heavy metals are common in chemical-manufacturing operations, but are normally removed through very careful product assembly and purification steps. They were likely found here because the raw materials used to make some of these steroids was simply made “cheaply, without the expense needed ” to hit true drug-grade purity. This type of material could be considered “food grade. Scary enough, it may fuel ” much of the underground market. Needless to say, the underground model may very well be responsible for bringing some high-quality products to consumers, but also some alarmingly low-quality ones.
Steroids and Surgery
The steroid wisdom of the ages has usually been to discontinue taking steroids before surgery. This is due to their potential effects on blood clotting, specifically an ability to slow the clotting process and potentially increase the time necessary to heal a wound. But this old view may be changing a little bit. Recent studies have been pointing to recovery benefits when an anabolic steroid is given before surgery. For example, this latest study (Aging Male, 2008 Sep;11(3):123-7) examined the effects of nandrolone phenylpropionate (Durabolin) in older men undergoing prostate surgery (prostatectomy). The investigation looked at 54 men at a mean age of 70 years. Each was given a 100mg injection of nandrolone, or a sesame oil placebo, prior to the operation. The results showed that nandrolone decanoate significantly reduced post-operative urinary symptoms (difficulty urinating, sensation of full bladder), and also reduced pain at the site of incision. The patients using nandrolone were also generally more satisfied with their recovery process than those who were administered a placebo. It is still early for studies like this, but the results are very compelling. Who knows? Perhaps one day a shot of Deca-Durabolin will be prepared in the hospital as standard practice before many surgical procedures.
Amplio Labs British Dragon Diamond Pharma Generic Anabolics Generic Pharma Lizard Laboratories Medical Inc. Microbiological Labs Nordic Supplements Shark Laboratories SWE Supplements Troy Labs
Test Results: Heavy Metals Contamination
Sample Contamination 1. methandrostenolone Detected (<0.002) PASS 2. testosterone enanthate Detected (<0.002) PASS 3. testosterone enanthate Detected (<0.002) PASS 4. testosterone propionate Detected (<0.002) PASS 5. boldenone undecylenate Found (>0.002) FAIL 6. testosterone cypionate Detected (<0.002) PASS 7. boldenone undecylenate Found (<0.002) FAIL 8. trenbolone hexahydro. Detected (<0.002) PASS 9. testosterone cypionate Detected (<0.002) PASS 10. methenolone enanthate Found (>0.002) FAIL 11. testosterone cypionate Detected (<0.002) PASS 12. nandrolone decanoate Detected (<0.002) PASS 13. methenolone enanthate Detected (<0.002) PASS 14. trenbolone enanthate Detected (<0.002) PASS Failure Rate: 21% Result None None None None Metals None Metals None None Metals None None None None
Injection Practices (Report)
Media stories about the potential horrors of steroid abuse often include warnings of HIV and hepatitis infection, which are admittedly common among IV narcotic abusers. But steroid users don’t share needles…at least this is what steroid users will constantly say to such assertions. Studies of this trait among the bodybuilding community, however, are surprisingly light. This month we do get to review a paper coming from National Alcohol and Drug Research Centre in Sydney, Australia, which used an extensive survey to examine the injection practices of steroid abusers in Australia (Drug Alcohol Review, 2008, 1-8). The study found that 5 percent of steroid users had admitted to sharing needles with another person at least one time in the past. Of course, any percentage is alarming. It was interesting to note, however, that all of the 5 percent had used other injectable narcotics. In other words, none of the people who were steroid users only had reported this extremely dangerous practice. That is good news that rational heads tend to prevail in the steroid community. It wasn’t all perfect, though. Approximately 13 percent reported they had reused their own needles (an unsanitary practice) and approximately 30 percent had shared vials or bladders with other people. Australia does have giant 500mL bladders of testosterone, but this really isn’t justification to share a vial with someone unless you can be absolutely sure new needles are being used to draw every time. As always, be safe!
Editor’s Note: Stay informed! William Llewellyn’s ANABOLICS 9th Edition (2009) will be shipping any day now. Reserve your copy of this monster steroid reference guide today by calling 888-8288008. This month MD Readers receive 30% off the retail price! You must mention code ARU9 at the time of ordering to qualify.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Jose Antonio, PhD
THE TRUTH SHALL SET THE WIMPS FREE
Betel Nuts and Testosterone
Arecoline is one of the major components of betel nuts, which have been consumed as chewing gum in Southeast Asia. In fact, some folks chew these nuts because of the mild stimulant effect. But there is something even more intriguing about arecoline, an active component of betel nuts. And that is its effect on testosterone. In this recent study, the effects of arecoline on testosterone (T) secretion were studied in male rats that were injected with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, 5 IU/kg) or arecoline (1 microg/kg) plus hCG. They discovered that one intravenous injection of arecoline resulted in an increase of the hCG-induced level of plasma T. Also, administration of arecoline in-vitro (i.e., in test tube conditions) increased T production in Leydig cells (these are the T-producing cells in the testicles). The stimulatory effect of arecoline on T release in-vitro was enhanced by hCG and forskolin! Thus, arecoline stimulates testosterone production by acting 1 directly on the testes. Maybe you should go buy some betel nuts and chew on ‘em. This might be an additional way to get a rise in T. production of testosterone), plus one of five-weekly doses of testosterone enanthate (25, 50, 125, 300, or 600mg intramuscularly) for 20 weeks. Both hemoglobin and hematocrit increased significantly in a linear, dose-dependent fashion in both young and older men in response to graded doses of testosterone. But get this; the increas-
Scientists thus tested the ideal socially anxious individuals (i.e., Woody Allen, Michael Moore, etc.) who would respond to a social-dominance threat by exhibiting decrements in their testosterone levels.
es in hemoglobin and hematocrit were significantly greater in older than 2 young men. From this, it may be better for older men to be administered testosterone because of the improved blood cell count. But in addition to EPO, we know why endurance cyclists love their androgens.
serum total testosterone (TT) and free testosterone (FT) levels after application of a testosterone ointment (Glowmin, Daito Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) and its clinical efficacy. Accordingly, Glowmin, is a short-acting testosterone ointment eliciting physiological elevation of 3 both total and free testosterone! This sounds better than rubbing KY Jelly. I can see the commercials now. Glowmin. Rub it on now, and rub it on it later. And in a similar study, 60 men were given transdermal testosterone patches or placebo for 52 weeks. Testosterone therapy, relative to placebo, selectively lessened visceral fat accumulation without change in total body fat mass and increased total body fat-free mass or lean body mass and total body and thigh skele4 tal muscle mass. So here’s an example where giving T can actually lessen cardiovascular disease risk by a drop in visceral fat. And to top it off, you can get lean body mass as well!
No Sissies Allowed
Guys with more testosterone are the alpha-males, correct? In this interesting psycho/biological study, scientists suggested a link between social anxiety and social dominance. Scientists thus tested the ideal socially anxious individuals (i.e., Woody Allen, Michael Moore, etc.) who would respond to a social-dominance threat by exhibiting decrements in their testosterone levels. A drop in T is an January 2009
This was a testosterone doseresponse study in young and older men who received long-acting GnRH agonist monthly (to turn off normal
Testosterone Ointment and Patches
Not to be confused with Vick’s VapoRub, this study looked at the
endocrinological change that typically reflects pronounced social submission in humans and other animals. In this study, participants were randomly assigned to either win or lose a rigged face-to-face competition with a confederate. Although no zero-order relationship between social anxiety and level of testosterone was observed, testosterone levels showed a pronounced drop among socially anxious men who lost the competition. What a bunch a wimps! No significant changes were observed in non-anxious men or in women. According to the investigators, “This research provides novel insight into the nature and consequences of social anxiety and also illustrates the utility of integrating social psychological theory with endocrinological approaches to psy5 chological science. Or in other words, ” don’t hang around those who are exhibiting high anxiety, because they are high on the wimp scale. In another psycho/biological study, men with more a masculine facial structures show higher levels of circulating testosterone than men with less masculine faces. Thus, we have scientific proof that shows that a man’s facial structure may afford important information about the functioning of 6 his endocrine system. Perhaps that explains the differences in masculinity between Arnold, the Governor of California, and Barney Frank. testosterone show improvements in various parameters. In what might call a fairly long-term study (as far as androgens go), monthly treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist plus 25, 50, 125, or 300mg/week of intramuscular injections of testosterone enanthate for 20 weeks was analyzed. Did anything bad happen? I mean come on. Someone must have died, right? Inquiring minds want to know. Here’s what they found; there was a significant testosterone dose- and concentration-dependent increase in skeletal muscle mass, as well as maximal strength. Leg power also increased dose-dependently. So what we have here is proof that testosterone administration increases strength and muscle mass even in 7 older men. No deaths, no crazy side effects. Go figure. The truth shall set you free! References:
1. Wang SW, Hwang GS, Chen TJ, Wang PS. Effects of arecoline on testosterone release in rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, Aug 2008;295(2):E497-504. 2. Coviello AD, Kaplan B, Lakshman KM, Chen T, Singh AB, Bhasin S. Effects of graded doses of testosterone on erythropoiesis in healthy young and older men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Mar 2008;93(3):914-919. 3. Amano T, Imao T, Takemae K, et al. Profile of serum testosterone levels after application of testosterone ointment (glowmin) and its clinical efficacy in lateonset hypogonadism patients. J Sex Med, Jul 2008;5(7):1727-1736. 4. Allan CA, Strauss BJ, Burger HG, Forbes EA, McLachlan RI. Testosterone therapy prevents gain in visceral adipose tissue and loss of skeletal muscle in nonobese aging men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Jan 2008;93(1):139-146. 5. Maner JK, Miller SL, Schmidt NB, Eckel LA. Submitting to defeat: social anxiety, dominance threat, and decrements in testosterone. Psychol Sci, Aug 2008;19(8):764-768. 6. Pound N, Penton-Voak IS, Surridge AK. Testosterone responses to competition in men are related to facial masculinity. Proc Biol Sci, Sep 16 2008. 7 Storer TW, Woodhouse L, Magliano L, . et al. Changes in Muscle Mass, Muscle Strength, and Power but Not Physical Function Are Related to Testosterone Dose in Healthy Older Men. J Am Geriatr Soc, Sep 15 2008.
High TE For Better Results
We of course know that higher testosterone levels confer social dominance, a more masculine face and better results on the bench press. So why the negative spin that so permeates the mainstream press on testosterone? One would think that testosterone were like cyanide. Don’t touch the stuff, ‘cause it’ll kill you! Of course, we know most journalists have the IQ somewhere between a betel nut and skunk. Despite the growing body of evidence that testosterone, when used properly, can confer beneficial effects, the fix is in. The mainstream press, will not in our lifetime, ever admit to such. Heck, who cares about the facts when it gets in the way of your conclusions? Even older men who are administered
BODYBUILDING WITHOUT GENETICS
The Anabolic Freak
By Dave Palumbo, Editor-in-Chief, musculardevelopment.com
PHOTO BY PER BERNAL
Warning: Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine’s publisher or its editorial staff. MD does not condone any form of illegal drug use for bodybuilding or for any recreational purpose. MD also does not condone abuse of legal drugs for any purpose.
Dave, I read a while back that the FDA approved a form of IGF-1 for use in this country. Did it ever come out? What’s the name of it? Increlex (generically known as mecasermin (ME ka SER min) is a man-made form of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) that’s approved for use in this country. IGF1 is important for the growth of bones and muscles and is, therefore, predominantly prescribed to treat growth failure in children whose bodies do not make enough IGF1. It’s also used in children with growth hormone (GH) gene deletion who have developed neutralizing antibodies to GH. I’m sure now that it’s available in this country, it will find its way into the various rejuvenation clinics around the country. For the life of me, I just can’t seem to get tan enough onstage. I try tanning beds, outdoor tanning and even those orange-colored tanning pills but nothing seems to work. A few months back, you mentioned something called Melanotan. What’s the deal with it? Does it work? What’s the difference between Melanotan I and II?
Melanotan I and Melanotan II are both synthetic analogs of the naturally occurring peptide hormone alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). Both compounds induce sunless skin tanning; however, Melanotan II has the additional effect of increasing libido in both sexes and has been clinically demonstrated to help men overcome both organic and psychogenic erectile dysfunction. A pilot phase I clinical trial conducted on three males by the College of Medicine, Pharmacology Department, University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona published in 1996 demonstrated that, “Melanotan II has tanning activity in humans given only 5 low doses every other day by subcutaneous injection. The side effects ” reported were mild nausea and a “stretching and yawning complex” that correlated with spontaneous penile erections. Melanotan II comes as a dry, lyophilized, powder in 10, 20 and 50mg vials. I suggest adding 1mL of bacteriostatic water to a 10mg bottle and draw out 5 units (or .05mL) on an insulin syringe. This equates to .5mg of Melanotan II. From my experience, I’ve discovered that .5mg injected every day for a period of 10 days will induce a significant sunless tanning effect. The coloration is the most natural-looking tan I’ve ever seen. There’s no way of telling that it was artificially induced. What’s even better is that Melanotan II tans every nook and cranny of your body, including the underarms, eyelids and scalp. Once a base tan is established, .5mg weekly injections are all that’s required to maintain the current skin coloration. On days when injecJanuary 2009
tions are administered, a significant libido-boosting effect can be noted. Likewise, a certain sense of nausea and appetite suppression occurs for about 30-60 minutes following the .5mg injection. This nausea gradually wears off; however, some users notice an increased urgency to move their bowels while on Melanotan II. Another side effect of note is the fact that beauty marks and small freckles can spontaneously develop while using this product. While most people don’t seem to mind them, they do appear to be permanent. For the last eight weeks of your precontest cycle you typically recommend Sustanon, trenbolone acetate and Winstrol. Why don’t you recommend propionate? Won’t Sustanon cause water retention? A big mistake that most competitive bodybuilders make is that they think certain steroids should be avoided in the precontest cycle. The truth is that most competitors could take 1,000mg per week of testosterone enanthate and an aromatase inhibitor and look just as good on contest day as when they use five different, exotic (much more expensive) anabolic steroids. The reason for this is that a dry, ripped-to-the-bone, physique is more the result of diet, cardio and water restriction than it is to anything else. All testosterone or testosteronelike (high androgen, high anabolic) drugs do essentially the same thing to the muscles. It’s the foods we eat and the amount of estrogen in the blood that dictates how much water we retain. Therefore, if you diet all the fat off your body, block out most of the estrogen and suck out all the excess water (with a diuretic), you have no reason to start playing with painful drugs like testosterone propionate. On my last diet I used a BCAA supplement during my cardio sessions to prevent muscle loss; why don’t you recommend BCAAs while dieting? If you are using a superior quality whey protein isolate and getting enough cumulative protein throughout the day, there’s no reason to add extra BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). There are plenty of essential amino acids and BCAAs in whey protein. In January 2009
fact, the largest BCAA pill is 2g (2,000mg), whereas 1 scoop (30g) of whey protein isolate can contain as much as 8-10g (8,000-10,000mg) of BCAAs. I can guarantee that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to use the highest grade whey isolate on the market rather than waste your money on BCAAs. If you remember, BCAAs were huge during the ‘80s and ‘90s when there were no high-grade whey isolates. Once those came onto the scene, BCAA pills dropped out of sight. Recently, whey protein isolate prices have skyrocketed and supplement companies realized that while these isolates are great products, they turn very little profit. Because of this fact, companies decided to start selling the much higher profit BCAA pills again. Remember, trendy products that come and go are usually never quite as good as the marketing behind them. Dave, some “experts” are suggesting that tamoxifen is a better option for post-cycle therapy (PCT) over the conventional Clomid and HCG. They are quoting some new studies that came out. Do you think that tamoxifen’s estrogen receptor blockade is a better way to go to restart of your HPT axis? Let’s take another look at my recommended post-cycle therapy (PCT). (1) HCG (an LH/FSH mimicking agent) is taken (2,000IU injected every three days) for a two-week period to stimulate the testicles to start producing testosterone again. (2) Clomid is started once the HCG is stopped. Clomid mimics the hypothalamic hormone, GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), thus stimulating the pituitary gland to start producing LH and FSH. LH ultimately stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone. (3) Aromatase inhibitors are taken throughout the PCT (whether you use a prescription aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex or you use my over-thecounter TESTOSTOLYZE product) to block estrogen formation. First off, HCG very specifically increases testosterone production from the testicles by mimicking the pituitary hormones LH and FSH. However, we still need to re-stimulate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. When discussing the hypothalamus, let’s not forget that it merely responds to levels of
circulating estrogen. When estrogen is high, the hypothalamus stops producing GnRH. When estrogen is low, it cranks out more GnRH. Since Clomid essentially mimics the hypothalamic hormone, GnRH, it makes sense that Clomid will decrease pituitary sensitivity to naturally released GnRH because there’s too much “signal” around. However, Clomid is still doing the job of restarting the pituitary and stimulating the release of LH/FSH (as is evident by the fact that testosterone levels increase in response to Clomid). These simple facts are the exact reason that I suggest taking Clomid with an aromatase inhibitor during the PCT period. The reason that plain old tamoxifen makes the pituitary more sensitive to naturally produced hypothalamic GnRH is that it blocks estrogen receptors on the hypothalamus and thus removes the negative feedback hormone (estrogen) from inhibiting the gland. However, I’ll bet my bank account that if the experimenters had introduced an aromatase inhibitor, they would have noticed lower serum estrogen and higher pituitary sensitivity to GnRH, since estrogen was completely removed from the equation. Once the testicles and pituitary gland are re-stimulated, we’re good to go! I know you are not a big fan of orals, but I’ve got a question for you. You’ve said in the past that you’ve worked with powerlifters and strongmen. You have to admit that orals would certainly be of benefit to them. Do you have a general protocol you’d use for a strength athlete? Powerlifters or strongmen would certainly benefit from the use of orals; however, I would limit oral usage to the last eight weeks before a meet/competition. Putting the orals aside, the most important component of an eight-week power cycle is the inclusion of a long-acting testosterone ester such as cypionate, enanthate or Sustanon because long-acting injectables ensure stable blood androgen levels. Remember, oral steroids are fast-acting compounds with peaks and valleys; therefore, make sure to run 1,000mg testosterone per week throughout the entire eight-week period. MD 349
BODYBUILDING WITHOUT GENETICS
The oral steroids Dianabol and Anavar are TREN good strength-inducing drugs (with minimal WEEK# DIANABOL ANAVAR ANADROL HALOTESTIN TEST CYP (mg/day) (mg/day) (mg/day) (mg/week) (mg/EOD) water retention) to begin the initial eightweek buildup to competition. They’ll help 1 25 20 1,000 build strength in a slow, steady, fashion. However, once the four-week-out mark is 2 30 25 1,000 reached, switch over to the heavy-hitting 3 35 30 1,000 androgenic compounds such as Anadrol, Halotestin and Trenbolone acetate 4 40 30 1,000 (injectable). These drugs will push strength 5 50 10 1,000 50 and aggression through the stratosphere, 6 50 15 1,000 75 while keeping water retention at manageable levels. Remember, even though testosterone 7 75 20 1,000 100 and Anadrol do convert to estrogen, the 8 100 25 1,000 100 strength and aggression tag team of Halotestin and trenbolone acetate are non-aromatizing. Most importantly, once this cycle is complete and the competition is over, make sure to cycle off the orals to ensure that your liver doesn’t wind up turning to Swiss cheese! For strength athletes, short cycles of orals can prove to be both effective and safe if a little bit of common sense is applied. I’ve seen this ingredient called TTA in a few weight-loss supplements. It’s supposed to be an ATP uncoupler similar to Usnic Acid and DNP What’s the deal with it? How does it really work? . According to my research, TetradecylThioacetic Acid (TTA) is not an uncoupling agent like Usnic acid. It’s a hypolipidemic agent. This means that TTA takes fatty acids from the bloodstream and redirects them to the liver where hepatic (liver) cells burn up these fats in their mitochondria. Not only is this a good way to burn fat (it clears all the junk fatty acids out of the bloodstream), but it also increases insulin sensitivity at the same time. The more sensitive we are to insulin, the less insulin that gets released. Less insulin means less fat storage! Overall, it’s a very interesting compound that I’ve been studying for quite a while now. The research is still not conclusive; however it appears to be extremely promising. Give it a try and let us know how it works out! Kirk DeFrancesco
Off-season: (280 pounds) precontest: (238 pounds)
Anabolic Freak of the M onth: Kirk DeF rancesco
1991 NPC Teen Nationals, Fourth Place, Light-Heavyweight 1999 NPC Pittsburgh, Light-Heavyweight and Overall 2000 NPC Jr. Nationals, First Place, Heavyweight 2003 NPC Pennsylvania State, Heavyweight and Overall 2006 IFBB North American, First Place, Heavyweight 2007 NPC USA, Fourth Place, Heavyweight 2008 NPC USA, Second Place, Super-Heavyweight 2008 IFBB North America, First Place, Heavyweight has been weight training for 22 years now. Growing up as a kid, Kirk was constantly picked on by his older brother because of his short stature. Eventually, he got sick of all the ribbing he was receiving from his brother and friends, so he started lifting weights in his basement. Even though he made the West Mifflin, High School ninth grade football team, he was told by the coaches that he was “too small” for football. This enraged him. Now more than ever, Kirk was determined to get into the starting lineup the following year. He was so crazed that he started reading any material he could get his hands on that was related to weight training. Kirk remembers running around the neighborhood trying to cut as many lawns as he could just so he could buy all the new muscle magazines each month. As predicted, by the very next football season, Kirk had grown 4 inches and gained 50 pounds. His coaches wound up starting him as inside linebacker (on defense)
and fullback (on offense) and he went on to become the leading rusher for his team. However, the bodybuilding bug was still inside him. When Kirk was old enough to drive, he joined Gold’s Gym and he started training with a group of powerlifters who lifted like animals. His ultimate goal at the time was to look like Shawn Ray! When I asked Kirk how he got into competing, he smiled and said, “Gary Udit [NPC national promoter] walked over to me at the
BODYBUILDING WITHOUT GENETICS
local Gold’s Gym and asked me if I wanted to compete in some show the following week.” From that simple invitation, Kirk and his dad met Gary and traveled up to his first contest, the NPC Upper Ohio Valley. Kirk weighed in at a shredded 179 pounds and he placed third in a very competitive teen division. He was so hooked after that contest that he actually quit playing football in his senior year and started putting 100 percent effort into bodybuilding training. Ever since that day, Kirk’s long-term goal has been to turn professional and have a successful career as a pro bodybuilder. Over the years, Kirk has won many prestigious titles such as the 1999 NPC Mr. Pittsburgh, 2000 NPC Jr. Nationals heavyweight class, and the 2006 and 2008 IFBB North American heavyweight and super-heavyweight class. Although he’s come within inches of turning pro, Kirk keeps a positive attitude and remains
From the desk of Gregg Valentino: OK HERE’S THE DEAL.....I HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH A FAMOUS DOCTOR FRIEND OF MINE (NOT COLKER, BUT THIS GUY IS A FRIEND OF HIS AND IS VERY FAMOUS LIKE HIM, TOO) ...ANYWAY THIS DOCTOR SAYS THAT IF YOU STAY ON LONG PERIODS OF SMALL DOSAGES OF TESTOSTERONE, YOUR BODY WILL GET USED TO A HIGHERTHAN-NORMAL LEVEL OF TESTOSTERONE, THEREFORE WHEN IT PRODUCES IT ON ITS OWN IT WILL PRODUCE A HIGHER-THAN-NORMAL LEVEL NATURALLY THINK HE ...I IS NUTS, BUT HE SWEARS WHEN THE BODY COMES BACK, YOUR NEW NATURAL LEVEL WILL BE HIGHER THAN IT WAS BEFORE YOU WENT ON SHIT. WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHTS? ANYONE ELSE HEAR ABOUT THIS BULLSHIT???? This doctor is right with regard to the first four to six weeks that you go off of a cycle. What happens during this time period is that your body tries to sustain the higher levels of testosterone that you were exposed to while on the cycle. In essence, it overproduces testosterone. I like to call this period the “honeymoon phase” and just like a real honeymoon, all great things must eventually change. And change it does! After about five or six weeks, your body starts to realize that this artificially elevated testosterone level is not normal after all, and your testosterone levels
focused on the goal at hand: winning his IFBB pro card. But, perhaps more important than turning pro, Kirk explains, “I want to try and get more young people involved into the sport of bodybuilding. I want to encourage any athlete who has an interest to give it a try. After all, these kids are the future of our great sport!” This statement alone sums up his unselfish desire to help others and see the sport he loves prosper well into the future.Watch out for Kirk at the 2008 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. As of this writing, he’s enlisted my coaching advice to help him show all the coaches and naysayers who said he was “too small” all those years ago that if you put your heart, soul and mind into your dreams, anything is possible. On November 22, 2008, Kirk DeFrancesco will prove that he’s the biggest and best amateur bodybuilder on the planet!
pounds, Dylan credits bodybuilding for saving his life by giving him direction, discipline, and a desire to make himself a better and more productive member of society. He also looks forward to the day when he can become a regular member of the MD forum community.
begin to fall. By eight weeks post-cycle, testosterone levels have usually dropped even lower than they were before starting your cycle. This is known as the dreaded “depression phase. The good news is that by 10 ” weeks post-cycle, your body is now detoxified, your receptors clean and you’re ready to start cycling once again. Reminders: My Personal Training Certification Course, S.M.A.R.T., is now available online at www.smarttrainingonline.com. Become a certified personal trainer from the convenience of your own home. I personally wrote the information-packed 100-page manual and I guarantee it’s the most comprehensive diet, supplement, and training manual available. By popular demand, a paper copy version is now also available for $39.99.
Dylan Atkinson is finishing a fouryear and three-month sentence at Marquette Branch Prison in the Michigan Department of Corrections. His dream is to one day become a top-level bodybuilder when him finally released in March 2008. As you can see from the photo (Dylan is on the left), his workout partners and he take the bodybuilding lifestyle very seriously. Although protein is hard to come by at his prison (tuna is pretty much all they have), they find a way to build their physiques, given what they have to work with. At 5’9” 225 ,
Dylan, stay focused and out of trouble for the next few months and we look forward to hearing from you on the MD message boards in the very near future! Dave Palumbo P .O. Box 1122 Seaford, NY 11783
To purchase my book, Perfect Prison Physique, please send a $25 money order to the above address or order online at www.davepalumbo.com January 2009
I’ve heard of the potent effects bodybuilders get with increased levels of testosterone and I want to try a test amplifier for myself. The problem is, a lot of supplement companies make testosteroneamplifying supplements with the same old ingredients. Are there any products out there with new ingredients that are shown to get me the results I want? – Test-ing the Waters, Nevada
By Team MuscleTech Research and Development
ber of androgen receptors in muscle cells after just 21 days! By combining the extensive research behind the key complex and ingredient, CryoTest is scientifically engineered to do what no other testosterone supplement does – boost and drive anabolically active testosterone directly into muscle cells! When you look at all the science behind this innovative anabolic testosterone amplifier, it’s no wonder CryoTest has been getting so much attention! I personally know many top IFBB pros who will be adding CryoTest to their supplement arsenal as they prepare for the 2009 bodybuilding circuit. If you’re ready for this experience, try out CryoTest for yourself and feel the raw power of testosterone! I’ve heard about the benefits of testosterone from bodybuilders, but I never know what to believe. Can you give me some information on what it is and why so many bodybuilders talk about it? – Bodybuilding Wannabe, Arizona extracted in 1926 but it wasn’t until 1935 that chemists in Amsterdam isolated the male sex hormone. They called it testosterone. This was a very important time because this research laid the foundation for what we now know about testosterone and its chemical synthesis and mechanisms. Testosterone is a steroid hormone, which is commonly associated with building muscle. Most testosterone is bound by a glycoprotein, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leaving only a small portion of unbound or free testosterone. This form of testosterone is extremely important because it’s the only form of testosterone that’s anabolically active and able to bind to androgen receptors. When free testosterone binds to androgen receptors, this triggers musclebuilding through increased protein synthesis. One basic equation to remember is that the more muscle you want to build, the more testosterone will be helpful. But testosterone can also be converted into the unwanted metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with negative side effects such as baldness and prostate enlargement. So whenever you’re thinking of increasing testosterone, remember to take into account that unwanted DHT can form from testosterone’s biotransformation. As long as you take this into account, testosterone’s potent musclebuilding effects are among the most powerful of all the hormones in your body. By jacking it up, bodybuilders can build freakier physiques than ever before! I hope this information gives you a better idea of what testosterone is and why it’s so powerful!
Great question, Test-ing the Waters. It’s true, there are countless companies out there that make testosterone-amplifying supplements, but it’s hard to find one that’s actually different and novel. There’s a growing need for change in this category and just recently the renowned researchers at Team MuscleTech™ headquarters were able to isolate a breakthrough, third-party clinical study on a new testosterone-increasing complex! This complex is unlike anything else available on the market and it’s actually been clinically shown to increase testosterone to maximum physiological levels in just 14 days! These are the highest levels of testosterone within the normal range for men – anything higher would be considered supraphysiological. And what’s more, the clinical research also showed that this complex decreased the level of the unwanted metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a common side effect of increased testosterone levels! But it gets even more exciting because CryoTest is formulated with another key ingredient that was studied in a human clinical trial and was shown to jack up the num-
Bodybuilding Wannabe, it’s good to hear that you’re careful about researching the information you hear in the gym. I’ve personally heard many bodybuilders try to talk about testosterone. But the truth is, they often don’t know much and what they’ve said was just pure B.S. Let me give you some information on why testosterone is so popular in the bodybuilding community and how it works. Testosterone is, without a doubt, a powerful musclebuilding hormone – that’s why it’s commonly talked about by bodybuilders everywhere. A raw form of testosterone was first
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
INJURY & REHABILITATION
Why aren’t there any oral contraceptives for men on the market? Will there be? This is a great question! I was feeling a need to switch up my topics from orthopaedics to other avenues of medical interest for our bodybuilding population.This question is probably of interest to both men and women. Women are saying, “Yeah, why isn’t there one? It’s about time the man took the responsibility!” while the men are saying, “Would it get rid of my zits like Yaz does for women?” Why isn’t an oral male contraceptive available? Well, it has to do with a number of factors, but the greatest reason is probably that stopping one egg from being released once a month is easier to stop than millions of sperm being released potentially daily (unless you are married). Also, inhibition of the pituitary production of LH and FSH, which stimulate testosterone synthesis and spermatogenesis, results in loss of signaling that makes men masculine. Unless, of course, you use testosterone to inhibit the production of LH and FSH, then you have plenty of signaling for masculinity. Unfortunately, multiple studies show that administration of testosterone alone only results in a ~60 percent reduction in sperm production in most men. The rationale of hormonal male contraception is to suppress sperm production by interrupting the action of hormones involved in the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis, including GnRH, LH, FSH and testosterone. As such, clinical trials using testosterone in combination with progestins or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs are widely viewed as the most promising approach to hormonal male contraception. Testosterone is a logical choice for hormonal contraception since it not only inhibits LH, FSH and intra-testicular testosterone levels via its negative feedback mechanism, but also provides androgens to maintain masculinity. Studies have shown that testosteroneonly regimens have an overall high efficacy in an Asian population, but the rate of sperm inhibition in a Caucasian population was only two-thirds of that observed in Asians. Unfortunately, as much as some MD readers like to ignore it, testosterone administration in young, healthy men has disadvantages.The disadvantages of using testosterone include inconvenient routes of administration and unwanted effects on the heart, prostate, hematologic system and lipid metabolism. Fortunately for women, progestins are safer and more easily absorbed orally.
By Victor Prisk, MD
be many years away. Back to the vasectomy knife! I read about Victor Martinez’s patellar tendon rupture and saw the complete rupture he had. I am having pain in my knee and I think I may have what he had. Can you look at my MRI? I had an opportunity to look through this guy’s MRI. He has pain in the front of his knee and is having a great deal of difficulty squatting. In fact, even light leg extensions result in a significant amount of pain.This of course is different from Victor Martinez, who had a sudden pop of his tendon after a lunge and was unable to even walk.The MRI shows severe tendinopathy and an insertional rupture at the inferior pole of the patella of more than 2/3rds of the tendon. Meaning that this puppy is “gonna blow!” I suspect that if we had an MRI of Victor’s knee from the day before his injury that it would’ve looked much like this.The tendon is the black thick structure below the kneecap.The white signal is fluid between the tendon and the bone…it shouldn’t be there. What should you do? I think the best treatment plan for this high-grade partial tear of a severely pathologic appearing tendon should be to fix it before it blows!This will prevent you from getting hurt when you try to squat 405 again or just walk down the stairs at your house. When a tendon is torn more than 50 percent it is best treated by early repair and rehab than rehab alone. Rehab and immobilization may help this feel better, but I suspect the injury will recur and the tendon may get worse.The repair procedure for this is similar to the acute rupture and rehab is up to three to six months. Again, this is the result of neglected patellar tendonitis or Jumper’s knee. If you start having pain in a major tendon like this, take a break from training that body part, see a doc, and do some rehab.That is, this article isn’t another lame doc saying take time off, it’s a doc saying be smart and cross-train or work on other weak spots while you let this heal!
This is where SARMs (nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulators) come in to play.These are drugs under investigation by many researchers for the treatment of osteoporsis, cancer cachexia, age-related sarcopenia and male contraception. Studies by Dr. Dalton at the Ohio State University in conjunction with GTX inc. have shown efficacy in an animal model of a SARM, S-23, in combination with a progestin for male contraception. S-23 has high oral bioavailability and acts on the androgen receptor to maintain muscle mass, seminal vesicle weight, prostate function and bone mineral metabolism. In addition, S-23 increased the lean mass and decreased fat mass in a dosedependant manner. By using a SARM in combination with the LH-inhibiting effects of a progestin they may be on the brink of developing an orally active male contraceptive. Don’t get hopes up too fast though, as we start a new presidency and more regulation of drug development, these medications may
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
AskTheDoc— Injury & rehabilitation
My doc says that I have an “OCD” in my ankle and I need surgery. It causes a constant dull ache. What can I do? This is another entity that shouldn’t be ignored. An OCD is an osteochondral defect or osteochondritis dissecans lesion, which is damage to the articular surface of a joint.They can be a result of trauma or be idiopathic (of unknown origin).They often cause a dull ache or may even result in mechanical symptoms because of joint incongruity. In the ankle, they can be seen after something as minor as a grade I ankle sprain. Sometimes this can be identified on X-ray, but it is best characterized on a CT scan or MRI. Smaller lesions can “type I” fibrocartilage. This procedure often requires six weeks of nonweightbearing on crutches and then six to eight weeks of rehab before returning to sports. If this fails or the lesion is larger, a plug of cartilage can be taken from the knee and placed in the ankle.This replaces the damaged cartilage with the same type II cartilage from the knee. However, not all joints are created equal with regards to cartilage so this technique is not perfect. Again, this involves the same rehab process, except for bone healing from the approach.This surgery requires the ankle to be intentionally broken to approach the joint surface for exposure.That causes pain and risks that this bone may not heal as well. The painful defects can lead to significant osteoarthritis and should not be ignored. Some people have minimally painful and stable lesions that can be watched closely with rehab and joint nutritional supplements. Although no supplements have been shown to help these lesions in the medical literature, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate are potential candidates. If you have a stable lesion, try some proprioceptive exercises and stability training with a lace-up brace and your pain may improve.
often be treated with arthroscopic debridement and microfracture.That is, drilling the base of the lesion to encourage it to bleed and then heal. Unfortunately, articular cartilage lesions don’t heal with normal “type II” cartilage, they heal with a weaker
What’s Up, Doc?
As much as I enjoyed watching my friends Jay and Phil duke it out at the Mr. Olympia, it was disheartening to lose a dear friend in Steve Stone. His shows always ran so smoothly despite hundreds of competitors and plenty of stress. More impressive though, was his ability to make it fun for the competitors AND the expeditors. He was a selfless man who cared deeply for the bodybuilding community. We will miss you Steve Stone. God Bless.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DR. VICTOR PRISK
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
BODYBUILDING’S MOST POWERFUL TECHNIQUES
Extreme Muscle Enhancement
By Carlon M. Colker, MD, FACN
woke up this morning to learn that bodybuilding had taken a tragic hit. Steve Stone, affectionately known to many in our circle as the “Stonecutter, passed away in sud” den and shocking fashion. I was informed of the tragedy this morning when my old friend Bob Bonham, owner of Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, New Jersey, alerted my office. The news left me quiet and speechless for quite awhile. At only age 51, Steve suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed and died during the prejudging of the women’s competition at the Olympia. Cause of death was reported to be cardiopulmonary arrest due to, or as a result of, pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). A former competitive regional bodybuilder in years past, Steve was best known more recently as the NPC’s Vice Chairman, as well as a stage expeditor during all major NPC bodybuilding competitions dating back to the early ‘90s. In fact, since 2004, he fulfilled the same role at the Mr. Olympia. Steve was a familiar fixture of the bodybuilding community and someone whom competitors, writers and fans grew quite familiar with. In a sport that sees its stars leave and fade into oblivion with shocking frequency, in sharp contrast, Steve had an amazing passion and was a consistent mainstay who never left until his tragic end. He promoted the NPC Empire State Classic held each year on Staten Island, New York. Steve even had a short foray into television. Many bodybuilding fans will remember his role
back in the ‘90s when he hosted Fox Sports cable bodybuilding program “MuscleSport USA. ” Steve and I competed in regional bodybuilding shows at the amateur level around the same time. Though I was a bit younger, I will forever remember Steve as being a positive role model on and offstage for other competitors. Not only did he have respectable physique development, but he had the class and personality to match. Whether backstage pumping up or bumping into him out in the parking lot, Steve was always easy to talk to. I never remember him for even a millisecond as being arrogant or mean to anyone. Some people called Steve a “regular guy, but I’d have to ” disagree. In the sport of bodybuilding, he was anything but regular. The mercurial sport of bodybuilding parody is littered with self-centered, cave manliterate, egotistical meatheads. Steve was none of those things. He was selfless, astute, schooled and exuded class. From my earliest days as a competitor, I always liked Steve’s clean presentation, intelligence and restrained disposition. These were traits that he carried forward well after his competitive days were over. Though Steve and I lived in the same area, I would seldom see him, except when we’d occasionally bump into one another at the diner we would both frequent. He always had a smile and a kind word for me, and I for him. Other than those times, I wouldn’t catch up with Steve until seeing him backstage at the Olympia or Arnold. I can never forget his smile.
Every time I saw him, or he saw me, he would be looking at me with that soft, million-dollar smile. In fact, I can’t even think of him without thinking of that big ear-to-ear grin. Steve was a happy guy. He did what he loved and we should all be so lucky. In a world that needs more smiles, he definitely did his part. In his role of coordinating the shows backstage, Steve was responsible for keeping order and getting competitors to the proper place at the right time. He did this with a dignity and class that will be sorely missed. For example, he never treated the competitors like cattle. He was always acutely aware that the competitors were human beings, and vulnerable at that. As such, he was always stepping outside the stress of his role and reaching for feedback from the competitors, asking if anyone needed anything and if they were OK. It is a physically and emotionally stressful time only fully understood by those who have actually competed in the sport of bodybuilding. Steve walked the walk and so he had an intimate understanding of the physical toll it was taking on the athletes, as well as their emotional fragility when drawn down by dietary restrictions and dehydration. But with this understanding, Steve also had the humanity and decency to reach out to them. He was always there with a bottle of water or an encouraging word. He knew what it took to get onstage. He knew the sacrifice and the pain, and never lost this intimate understanding of what these people were going through just to take center stage January 2009
for that moment in time. This brand of empathy, of never losing sight of your humanity, is something I’ve found that I’ve actually had to re-teach to medical students, interns and resident physicians for many years. That’s because it’s human nature to let life, circumstance and time callous you to the needs and sensitivities of others. Steve, to the end, never lost his humanity. But Steve was proud, too. He’d always strut around at the shows, shoulders back, with that big, barrel chest bursting from the seams of his dress shirt. To his final days, he had a great physique forged by decades of iron pumping. He loved to train heavy. I mean…crazy heavy! Here was a guy in his 50s who seemed bent on outdoing himself each and every time he hit the gym. He didn’t like to think much about the nuances of a motion and what it was doing or not doing for him. He liked heavy weights and a boatload of sets. While his “if-a-little-is-good-alot-is-better” way of training was a far departure from my calculated bodybuilding methodology and something I openly criticized, I always respected his brand of intensity. I kind of looked at him like my old friend, Gregg Valentino, who everyone knows I was joined at the hip with early in our careers. Together, we pressed the limits of stupidity. For example, I recall we did a 3-hour biceps routine and I wasn’t even sore the next day because I was so grossly overtrained! I gave up that shit and got into a sensible training when I did not see myself growing and just started getting injured. Gregg, on the other hand, persisted and spiraled deep into the drug scene. But chronically overtrained or not, that didn’t make me love him any less. The same held true for Steve. I mean, how could I fault him? Here was a guy addicted to doing what he loved— what I loved. So I understood Steve. Once the bodybuilding bug bites, pulling back is a tough thing. I remember Jay Cutler saying to me a couple of years ago that it took him quite some time to dial back the amount of time he’d spend in the gym and the total number of sets he’d do because he just loved to train. If it were up to Jay, he’d spend all day in the gym, because he loved it so much. Jay has long been convinced that had he not pulled back this crazy brand of training, he would never have put on enough mass to win the Olympia against today’s competitors. Dexter Jackson wasn’t any different. At last year’s Arnold seminar, when Dexter Jackson and I took the stage, Arnold was stunned to hear that Dex didn’t train for more than 1 hour at a time and not every day. But that was the truth. In fact, Dex never would have put on enough mass to beat Jay and win this year’s Mr. Olympia had he not restrained his workouts. But Arnold could not relate because he came from an era when the passion for training knew no limits. In sharp contrast, Arnold could barely resist the gym. I’ve spoken to the “Governator” as well about his passion for training on a number of occasions. Arnold was bitten by the same bug and just loved to hit the gym for hours on end. Steve was no different. He was a throwback and, like Arnold, a training juggernaut dinosaur from a bygone era. To my knowledge, Steve never had kids. Unfortunately, his wife, Andrea (an IFBB and NPC statistician), whom I did not and do not know, perhaps will endure the worst pain of his passing. I doubt anyone was closer to him than his wife. But I guess all we can do now is remember Steve honorably and take comfort in that he left the bonds of earth while doing exactly what he loved best and nothing else. I like to think that Steve is in heaven now, waiting to usher us off the surly stage of our own lives, to greet us with a cool drink, a kind word…and that smile. ■ Dr. Colker’s book, Extreme Muscle Enhancement: Bodybuilding’s Most Powerful Techniques is available by calling 1-800-310-1555 or ordering the book online at www.prosource.net. January 2009
By Rick Collins, JD
2008: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Q: What would you say were the biggest stories of the year in the world of doping, bodybuilding or steroids? A:This year’s Beijing Olympics coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the catalyst for America’s “War on Steroids:” Ben Johnson’s infamous record-breaking sprint and subsequent stanozolol positive at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Among 2008’s big doping stories was the revelation that “Vitamin V” (Viagra) wasn’t only effective for pumping up performance in the bedroom, but on the field as well.The World Anti-Doping Agency currently has sildenafil on its watch list. Also, the agency sent the 4,770 urine and blood samples taken in Beijing to retest for traces of a new generation of bloodboosting drug (EPO CERA) after several positives among the frozen samples of 2008 Tour de France cyclists. So far, only the 969 blood samples may be tested. As for bodybuilding, we welcomed a new Mr. Olympia in Dexter Jackson, suggesting the dawn of a new era in which next year’s crown may be up for grabs. Meanwhile, Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan entered guilty pleas and were sentenced (Titus got 21-to-55 years) for their respective roles in the 2005 death of Melissa James, suggesting an end to the sad saga…until Titus filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial unless he got the lesser sentence (minimum 17 years) he claims he was promised. Steroids update? As “Operation Raw Deal” defendants are sentenced around the country, we’ve seen a wake of the longest federal prison terms ever in gear cases (usually bolstered with money laundering counts). George W. Bush’s anti-steroid battle cry in the 2004 State of the Union Address is being fulfilled. But maybe we’re at a turning point in our national steroid obsession?This year’s documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” challenged viewers to rethink their views. Even one campaigning politician expressed misgivings about the extent of time that Congress has invested into ferreting out pro sports juicers. Barack Obama, appearing on ESPN Radio, suggested that if elected he would steer a different course than his political opponent when asked: “How much government should be involved with sports and performance-
enhancing drugs. Obama said, “I gotta admit that seeing a ” lot of congressional hearings around steroid use is not probably the best use of congressional time. As chairman ” of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, John McCain was a staunch anti-steroid crusader and a driving force behind high-profile baseball steroid hearings. Again, we shall see. A litany of reasons has been asserted to justify why Congress should keep investigating steroids in sports. Some say that since the sports culture is a multi-billion dollar business with taxpayer-funded stadiums, doping is effectively “interstate sports fraud. But who’s the victim? ” “There’s never been any type of protest on the steps of the Capitol with signs saying, ‘Fight Doping Now.’ And there won’t be, says steroid expert and Penn State professor ” emeritus Charles Yesalis. “Fans don’t care; especially if you talk to young people. It’s all entertainment to them. It’s like the special effects that enhance a movie. The idea of treating sports as the noble cause— if you’re talking to people under 40, they’re looking at you like you’ve got antlers. ” Some say that the public health concerns, with potential spill-over effects on insurance rates and taxes, justify continued hearings on Capitol Hill. However, those without an axe to grind or a dollar to make in the anti-doping crusade have refuted the “Reefer Madness” portrayal of a deadly mass epidemic of non-medical steroid use. Films like “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” have educated the public (and, hopefully, the confused Congressman depicted in the movie). What will 2009 bring? If the steroid hearings lit a fire among Major League Baseball brass to toughen up the testing policies, let’s cheer and move on. It’s not that keeping sports clean isn’t a worthy aspiration. It’s simply an issue of priorities. Until we get a handle on our sinking economy and overseas military expenditures, let’s keep Congress totally focused on the issues that affect every one of us every day.
ILLUSTRATION BY LYMAN DALLY
Rick Collins, JD, CSCS [www.rickcollins.com] is the lawyer that members of the bodybuilding community and nutritional supplement industry turn to when they need legal help or representation. [© Rick Collins, 2008. All rights reserved. For informational purposes only, not to be construed as legal or medical advice.]
THE TRUE VICTOR
By Victor Martinez
I recently moved to St. Paul, Minnesota from Saul Paulo, Brazil. I’m a little worried about training in the winter, especially when it starts snowing and all. Do I need to do anything different when training in cold weather? Unless you live on a tropical island paradise, you have to face the fact that you need to go about your business— even when it’s so cold outside you expect to see polar bears standing on the street corner. To a die-hard New Yorker, it’s just a part of life. Modern gyms are usually temperature controlled, so normally I don’t take any special measures (I’ve spent most my life here). But if you’re new to iceberg weather, you’ll want to take precautions to avoid injury. For instance, if I came from somewhere south of the equator, here are a few things I’d do. I’d stay away from string tanks and tight little spandex shorts (that stuff’s reserved exclusively for photo shoots, anyway). Normally I train in loose, baggy sweats. Then I’d spend a little extra on warming up. In cold weather, it takes a little longer for the joints to get lubricated and get the blood flowing through the muscles, so a few extra sets is a wise investment toward the future. But like I said, unless you’re banging in some medieval dungeon, the temperature should be comfortable enough so that it doesn’t feel like a meat locker. I’m glad to hear that you’re back in training for the Arnold. It’s too bad you weren’t at the Olympia, because there’s no question that you would have won. Has your leg training changed at all since the injury? Yes and no. Let me tackle the yes part first. I’ve included a couple of exercises designed specifically to bring up the injured leg and help strengthen it. Pre-injury, I used to do step-ups only before a contest, but now I’m doing them in the off-season as well. It’s great for stabilizing the knee. I also do single-leg presses and single-leg stationary lunges. And I’ve changed my form on leg extensions. My starting point is much higher. At the bottom, I don’t let my knee bend all the way back. In effect, it’s like doing the top half of 21’s for biceps, only it’s on leg extensions. Now for the no portion. Usually, after an injury, there’s the possibility of a psychological block. The injury could be 100 percent healed, but mentally, there’s always that little nagging doubt in the back of your mind. That could affect your training, as you’re now reluctant to push yourself for fear of re-injury. I’ve seen it before in athletes. They never come back all the way because they let fear dominate their thoughts. To be honest, I had my own moment of doubt but I never let it take control. I pushed it out of my mind and focused on getting better. That meant rehabbing the knee. I knew that when I finished my rehab, my knee would be 100 percent and I’d be back better than ever. There was no other option. I’ve been doing this all my life and I’m too close to my goals to let anything stand in my way. So I’m still doing squats, leg presses, hack squats, leg extensions and lunges. I never used bad form or did bouncy, jerky movements so it’s business as usual.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
PSST…WANNA KNOW A SECRET?
Let me fill you in on one of bodybuilding’s secrets of success: You have to stay regimented. You have to train, eat and sleep at the same time— every day. Now, in the real world, that’s not always possible. There’s always something: work, family, school, etc. But every successful bodybuilder (and I’m not talking just professional) has a set routine they follow. You just can’t party all night or fly by the seat of your pants and still do all the things necessary to be a real bodybuilder. That was a lesson I learned early in my career. I used to hang out and socialize all the time, but soon it became clear that it wasn’t possible to juggle that and a bodybuilding lifestyle. So I had to make a sacrifice. Hanging out and playing is fine, but at some point you have to hunker down and become a serious person. Do you really want to party all your life and have nothing to show for it when you’re 30? I was reminded of this during my recovery. For the past 10 years, I’ve always been preparing for a show (or three or four shows). In the last few, my schedule has been locked down to the Arnold in spring and the Mr. Olympia in fall. That means I’m eating at the same time, training at the same time, resting at the same time. Every day. So when I had some extra free time on my hands I almost didn’t know what to do with it— almost. I used the time to work on a couple of business ventures and get moving on some things that have been in the works. Like…
MR. OLYMPIA: GREAT CONTEST— EVEN GREATER RESULTS
Just goes to show that great things do happen. It went to the guy who deserved it. No politics or nothing. We’ll have to wait and see what it means for the future, but it sure looks promising. My personal top six: Dexter— Congratulations, Dexter! You are Mr. Olympia! Phil Toney Jay Wolf Melvin Seeing Dex win it makes me hungrier than ever. I’m focused 150
percent on the prize. Nothing’s getting in my way. But first, there’s some business I need to take care of…
Muscle Maker Grill
It’s gonna be in Edgewater, New Jersey. It’s every bodybuilder’s wet dream: clean, tasty food. And we’ll be open late for night owls like me. Keep your eye out for the grand opening (which I’ll announce here and on MD online).
Me, Kai, Branch— we’re all off the injured list and ready to rejoin the battle. What a lineup. And a lot of the guys in the Olympia will be doing it, so get ready for some mad action. It’s gonna be one of the strongest shows ever. And you watch, MD’s gonna rock it!
Victory Wear & V-Shape (or V-Wear, haven’t decided yet)
High-end athletic threads for the gym or the club and ladies lingerie and swimsuits for figure competition.
Victor Martinez Classic
Bodybuilding, figure, health and fitness extravaganza. New York. June 2009.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
Anybody who’s ever competed in a bodybuilding contest dreams of turning pro; money, fame, big contracts, big cars, big houses, even bigger bank accounts— who wouldn’t want that? No more living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet and hoping to make it big. Yeah, the good life…or so you’d think. Contrary to popular belief, life didn’t come up roses the moment I went pro. Outside of my immediate, small circle, no one even knew. A lot of that has to do with the transition itself. If you get lots of exposure as an amateur and win your pro card at one of the big shows (USA, Nationals), the odds are in your favor. But if you get zero airplay and earn pro status at a natural show like the Team Universe, well you’re probably still a long way off from landing that big contract. The big car, big house and that even bigger bank account are somewhere in your distant future— waiting for you. So it’s up to you to go get it. Now I’m no sage, but I have learned a few lessons that might benefit those of you on your own journey to unleash your better champion. For instance, there are transitions to be made once you turn pro that no one ever tells you outright. I mean, as far as I know, there aren’t any “SO YOU’RE A NEW IFBB PRO, HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW” classes for enrollment. Here’s some of what I discovered: Practically speaking, money is a huge component of contest preparation. It’s not like we can live on rice and beans. We need good food to build muscle
By Kai Greene
and good food is expensive. I’ve had to sacrifice other material things (like my car, making rent) just to afford my groceries. We’re talking so many pounds of fish, chicken (and that’s skinned, boneless white meat), lean beef, eggs, potatoes and all the other things we need. You can’t bodybuild without good food, so be prepared to make some sacrifices (though I’m not suggesting that you follow my example to the letter). Every conversation becomes an interview. Your level of responsibility increases. You’re no longer able to attend shows as a fan. All of a sudden you’re an authority on the sport. If your mouth starts saying things without passing it by your brain first, you could end up in hot water. Always think before you speak because words are powerful things. Just like every amateur dreams of turning pro, every pro dreams of immortality; it’s not enough to make it to the big time. You want to go down in history with the likes of Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, Arnold, Lee Haney, Dorian and Ronnie— the greatest bodybuilders ever. But now you’re up against a handful of guys with the same dream, a handful of guys who were all good enough to climb to the highest level of the sport. There’s only one thing to do: take your training, diet and mentality to the next level. If you don’t think you can take it higher, you won’t. Believe that you have more to give and you’ll be amazed at how much deeper you can dig down. January 2009
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON ELLIS
COOKING WITH KAI
The following is one of my favorite recipes. I’ll warn you right off the bat that I am not a gourmet chef. I live by the infinite wisdom of Shawn Ray: I’m a bodybuilder. I eat for nutrition, not taste. Proceed at your own risk. Tilapia (I cook as much as I can at once) Fresh lemon Fresh tomato Oregano Pepper Salt First, spray nonstick frying pan or grill with PAM Set flame to medium heat Dust tilapia fillets with oregano and pepper Grill that fish up ‘till it ain’t flopping anymore Take off the flame and squeeze lemon and tomato over fillets (yes, the tomato, too) Add plain white rice for a yummy, nutrient-filled meal guaranteed to make your ass-busting work in the gym worthwhile. (In the meantime, I’ll be waiting by the phone for Food Network to call)
Predator vs. Spiderman
I got a lot of feedback concerning my Spiderman photo shoot in the November issue of MD. Here’s how it all came to be. It was after the New York Pro and appropriately enough, we decided to use the great city of New York as a backdrop. Per [Bernal] and I hit all the classic landmarks in the city to get the best shots. These are all hotspots for tourists so there’s no shortage of street performers and other New York types expecting to make an easy buck or two. So there we are shooting and Per goes up to this guy in a Spiderman costume (this is New York!). Before I know it, Spidy’s in my face, belting me with imaginary spider webs. We ended up choreographing a mock battle for the camera— which turned out to be a terrific experience. It was tough flexing each muscle on my body while kicking Spiderman’s ass, but the shots came out real well. I’m very happy with that shoot. It was creative, unique and loads of fun. Plus it gave me some great ideas for my next posing routine.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
KAI GREENE— The Predator
GREATEST TRICEPS EVER
Mike Christian Phil Heath Bertil Fox Shawn Ray—recall the picture of
him hitting a side triceps wearing Urkel glasses (he had his flattop)
Eddie Robinson Albert Beckles Thierry Pastel Sergio Oliva Phil Herndon Mohamed Makkawy
DAWN OF A NEW DAY
After Arnold’s reign of six consecutive Olympia wins, we were treated to a special time in the sport. It was a climate of uncertainty, where any one of four or five guys could lay claim to bodybuilding’s greatest title. In short, it was exciting. You had three-time and one-time champions for the next few years until a guy named Lee Haney decided it was time to start a new dynasty. Now, with Dexter Jackson’s Olympia victory, I believe we are entering an era where bodybuilding will be fun again. When a challenger can actually beat a defending champion who’s not at his best, it sends a positive statement to the rest of the sport. For years, fans knew who was gonna win. It didn’t matter how much the magazines hyped the show— you knew who was holding the big, fat winner’s check at the end of the night. But that’s not the case anymore. Predictability has gone out the window. At this moment, there are six or seven guys who can win a show at any given time. We all have a fighting chance. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Fans are sitting on the edge of their seats. And why shouldn’t they? Excitement is back in the sport. And it all starts at the Arnold. My prep is right on schedule for one of the most eagerly anticipated contests in recent memory. It’s a huge opportunity. I’m up to 305 pounds and everything is starting to click in the gym. People were surprised by the improvements I made from 2007 to 2008, but I’m telling you with all honesty and humility, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Expect to see me bigger and harder than I was last time. I’m working tirelessly behind the scenes to realize the better champion within. Come March, you’ll see just how much.
BRANCH WARREN—THE TEXAS TITAN
By Branch Warren
biceps was relatively flat compared to his right. With my own biceps, my right one has a better peak, even though that’s the one I tore. Both arms are pretty equal in size, but if I had to nitpick, I’d put money on my right one being slightly bigger and stronger. Now if your symmetry is really out of whack, then you need to concentrate a little more on your weaker arm. I would do an extra set or two of dumbbell curls or dumbbell preacher curls for the weaker arm. Concentration curls, dumbbell preacher curls, spider curls and cable concentration curls are the best movements for heightening the biceps. On these movements, like the name implies, concentration is key. It’s not about moving tons of weight. These aren’t mass builders per se. Save that for barbell curls and alternate dumbbell curls. One exercise I love is the cable curl, done on the seated low pulley machine. You extend your arms in front of you, almost as if you were doing reverse-grip pulley rows, and curl the bar to your forehead. The peak contraction is insane. Another good one is the standing cable curl, done in the cable crossover station. We’ve all seen this one by now. Basically, you mimic a standing double biceps pose.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
I’m looking forward to seeing your return at the Arnold. My biceps are really responding thanks to your twice-a-week routine (less sets and weight, of course). But I have two problems I hope you can help me with. First, my biceps are pretty flat. What should I focus on to make them peak taller? Second, my left biceps is lagging behind my right in mass and strength. And even though both have shitty peaks, the left one is even worse. How can I fix both these problems? When it comes to muscle shape, we’re more or less stuck with what Mother Nature gave us. You can’t do a whole lot to change the insertion points of your muscles or their shape. In the case of arms, I have yet to see any bodybuilder, past or present (and probably future) with identical right and left biceps. One arm, usually the dominant one, almost always has a better peak or is just a little bit fuller. Look at Arnold. His left
GOING GLOBAL RETURN OF THE BEAST
The triceps is coming along great. There’s no pain in the elbow, so I expect to be all the way back by November. Rehab is pretty much done. I’m hitting them every day, in addition to my normal triceps workout on Thursday. They’re even getting sore, so I’m on the right track. Weights are nowhere near normal, but I’m making the most of it, bringing it up slow, squeezing, lowering it slow and squeezing again. I’m only using 20 pounds for kickbacks and 30-40 pounds for one-arm cable extensions and rope pushdowns (Damn! Trish is stronger than me). This is the lightest I’ve ever trained in my life (next to the 5-pound curls I did when I tore the biceps), but I’ll get there soon enough. In fact, for chest I did 100-pound dumbbells and 275 on the incline. I could have gone heavier, but I figure better safe than sorry. Bodybuilding is truly a global sport. It may not be as big as it is here in the U.S., but it’s growing. Keep in mind that we’re the richest country in the world, with plenty of food and resources. Having done my fair share of globe-trotting, I can tell you that most of the world isn’t that lucky. But even in povertystricken lands, they still find a way to do it. I’ve been to Africa twice and people always want to take a picture or talk. I was surprised that it was so popular. And we’re really booming out in the Middle East, too.
DO THE RIGHT THING
For the first time ever, I totally agree with the placings. They did the right thing. Dexter looked the best that night and I’ve always believed that the best man onstage should win— period. It doesn’t matter if he finished dead last before. If he brings it, then he should be rewarded. Jay was off. His right leg was noticeably smaller than his left and he wasn’t close to the Jay we’ve come to expect. Will this change the sport? No. If Jay showed up looking like he did in 2001 or 2006, he’d be a threetime Olympia. He’s got more conditioned muscle than anybody else and you just can’t mess with that. For example, Dorian is one of my all-time favorite bodybuilders. His physique wasn’t pretty, but he was the biggest, hardest guy out there. And he beat Flex, Kevin and Shawn, some of the greatest bodybuilders in history. Bodybuilding will always be about the guy with the biggest, hardest physique. That will never change. MD 381
BRANCH WARREN— THE TEXAS TITAN
Gasp Clothing is one of my new sponsors. They provided the clothing Per used in his photo shoots. If you like it off the chain, you’ll wanna check it out!
This is the best they’ve played since the early ‘90s. Remember those glory days with Aikman, Emmitt Smith, James Washington, Michael Irvin, Deion and all those guys? Now that was one helluva a football team.
TRISH MAKES TOP 10 AT FITNESS OLYMPIA (NINTH PLACE!) SLOW & EASY
Bodybuilding’s a marathon, not a sprint. So don’t try to be a rabbit. Remember in those old cartoons, the old, lumbering turtle got the last laugh? It didn’t matter what the rabbit did, that damn turtle always won in the end. He never quit. He kept moving forward, no matter what. Do the same. Be the turtle! I’m so proud and happy! That was the goal going in and now that we’ve achieved it, there’s no place to go but up. Can’t wait ‘till next year!
2009 ARNOLD— LOADED
The Arnold will be even better than the Olympia. It’s gonna be a battle like no other. Look at the lineup: Me Victor Kai Toney Phil Melvin All of these guys have won a show. Man, anything can happen. Rumor says Jay may enter and maybe even Dexter. Personally, I feel Dexter should sit it out. I mean, he is Mr. Olympia. What’s the point of doing the Arnold? You have to win. If you don’t, it’s basically like saying the Olympia crown is vacant and up for grabs. Remember when Ronnie lost the GNC to Gunter? Losing while you’re Mr. Olympia diminishes your aura. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
CHEC ent.com la muscuFOrdevelopm E ! ET R COMPL COVERAGE CONTEST
By Lee Priest
Here’s what’s up with my biceps as October comes to an end. It still feels weird, like something isn’t quite attached up near the shoulder. Oh wait, that’s because it isn’t. I am slowly starting to use more weight on back and biceps training, but I am being super careful. I don’t really worry about how much weight I’m using at the moment, as long as I can get a decent pump going. Going lighter and squeezing the muscle seems to be working just as well as when I went a lot heavier and the reps were faster. Maybe I should come up with some neat name for a training system based on what I’m doing now and try to market it as some brand-new breakthrough. It wouldn’t be the first time someone repackaged a method and tried to present it as groundbreaking.
my diet for the spring shows. To that I say, I have been training that way for over 20 years! No disrespect to Hany, but combining heavy sets and a series of lighter pumping sets is something I picked up on instinctively on my own a long time ago. It’s great that he made it more scientific, came up with guidelines, and gave it a fancy name, but I still think it’s very similar to what I’ve been doing in the gym my entire bodybuilding career.
Touring Oz With The Big Bad Wolf
I just wrapped up a tour of Australia for my sponsor, Body Ripped. I went to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. After being away from my home country so many years, I made up for lost time by seeing the whole fucking place in two weeks! Dennis Wolf was along for some of the appearances, and I finally got to really talk to the guy and get to know him a little bit. Thank God his English is a lot better these days. I was afraid it
FST-7 And The Priest
People have been e-mailing me to ask if I am training with Hany Rambod’s FST-7 system, since they know I will be working with him on
would be like trying to talk to the Ivan Drago character from “Rocky IV.” I must break you! Dennis is very down-to-earth and humble. As a bodybuilder he looks really good, but he needs to work on those calves. I know that genetics do limit some guys from ever having monster calves, but he still needs to bring them up more. I doubt it really hurt him at the Olympia because Dexter has horrible calves, but Wolf’s physique would just be that much more complete with bigger calves. And real ones, not synthol-filled monstrosities, in case he reads this and gets any bright ideas about going that route. I know the fans online voted him “People’s Champ,” but he can’t claim that honor in Australia. Here, they love the Priest! When we had lines of people waiting to meet and take pictures with us, my line was always way longer. Then again, I did have the “home court advantage,” didn’t I? The tables would probably be turned if we were in Berlin or Munich. January 2009
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
Stupid Question Of The Month!
I am competing in a natural contest in the spring. They will be doing urine tests on all class winners, so I need to know how to pass the test. I know Deca stays in your system a long time, but how far out should I stop test and tren? And pills are supposed to clear really fast, so can you write me up a little cycle of just orals for the last few weeks (I can get D-Bol, winny tabs and Anavar). Any help would be appreciated; thanks! I will tell you a foolproof way to pass the urine test. Shit in the cup instead! You dickhead. You fucking nut; you said they will test the winner. What makes you think you’re going to win? If you have to take steroids to compete against guys who don’t, you must really have a shitty physique. Taking steroids is a personal choice. If you want to take them, there are plenty of contests that you can enter where there are no tests of any kind. My guess is that you probably have done one or more of these and got your ass kicked all over the stage. So now you want to cheat by entering a tested show with an unfair advantage over the other guys. That’s just despicable. With that in mind, here’s a cycle you could try: 20 prescription sleeping pills (Ambien, Lunesta; doesn’t matter which) 5 cyanide pills 10 nitroglycerine pills 1 quart vodka Take whatever you can get in your stomach, and shove the rest up your ass. You will fall into a nice deep sleep, and when you wake up you can compete in the Mr. Natural Hell Bodybuilding Championships. Good luck trying to come up with the piss for that test though, because from what I understand, there’s no water to drink down there and they keep the place heated at a toasty 300 degrees. Hope this helps. (Note: MD neither recommends this stack nor condones suicide, even for lowlife scum) January 2009
Bonus Stupid Question
Lee, my parents want me to go to college to become an attorney. I have good grades and I am sure I could do it, but what I really love is bodybuilding. People have told me that I could be really good. I won a teen contest last year and even though I was the only one in my class, two of the judges said if I keep it up I could probably turn pro. So my dream is to become rich and famous like you someday, hopefully by the time I am around 21, like you did. Any helpful hints for a young guy who wants to make it big in bodybuilding?
The first thing you need to do is put down that crack pipe, Junior. Drugs are bad for anybody, but I hate to see such a promising young man cloud his fine mind with toxic chemicals. Winning a contest when you are the only one in it doesn’t tell you a damn thing about how good you are. Just because a couple of judges said some encouraging things doesn’t mean you should go
and turn your back on an education and a real career. First of all, you should go and do a bigger show where there will be at least a few competitors and see if you win that. Really, you should be able to win the NPC Teen Nationals or at least place very well in it if you’re that much better than the average kid out there aspiring to be a pro bodybuilder. And even then, there is still no guarantee you will turn pro. Do you know how many Teenage National champions from the last 20 years have turned pro? Two! They were Branch Warren in 1993 and Craig Richardson in 1994. Not a single one since then. Just because someone is good compared to other young guys doesn’t mean he will be good compared to the best in the world later on. Some guys just mature a lot faster and have better genetics. Many also load up on steroids from a very early age, like 16, so they are way ahead of their peers. But once they turn 20, they are up against older guys with far more experience, often better genetics, and on all the same drugs. Now they are nothing special anymore. But let’s just assume you are good enough to turn pro. What percentage of pros do you really think are wealthy? Out of the over 200 men walking around with pro cards, you can count the financially secure ones on your fingers and probably still have your thumbs left over. Go to college, and go to law school if you find that legal stuff interesting. There is no reason you can’t still be a bodybuilder as a hobby while you make a great living practicing law. And if you happen to be so awesome that you turn pro and get signed to big-money contracts, you can always quit your day job. Just don’t do it ass-backward and think that pro bodybuilding is your ticket to fame and fortune. Too many of those guys out there are selling drugs or leeching off women to get by while they chase their dream. MD 385
Calling The O As I Saw It With You Guys!
Shortly before the Mr. Olympia, Steve Blechman asked me to start a thread where I would comment on the show as I watched the webcast here in Australia. Seeing that I am 15 hours ahead of Las Vegas time, it did make for an interesting schedule. When the 202 Showdown wrapped up, I found it funny when Larry Pepe asked Dave Henry how it felt to be the best bodybuilder in the world under 202 pounds. I thought, hmm, is he really the best, or could the best be somewhere many thousands of miles away? When the Mr. Olympia judging and finals were happening on Friday and Saturday evenings, it was early and late afternoon the next day for me. So luckily the timing worked out that I didn’t have to stay up all night or anything like that. And, I did enjoy the live commentary online as myself and other members of the MD board offered our opinions and argued with each other.
The 2009 Arnold— What A Show It Will Be!
We won’t know the actual lineup of the 2009 Arnold Classic until near the end of the year, but it’s definitely shaping up to be a hell of a show. Victor is coming back, and so are Kai and Branch. They will all have something to prove after missing the Olympia. In Victor’s case, he missed an entire year of competing. Wolf and Heath will probably be there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dexter does it too. Why not? Competing twice a year doesn’t seem to hurt him, as we all saw. Ronnie might even come back, and it will be
my first IFBB show on U.S. soil in exactly three years if I end up doing it (up in the air at this point). I remember back in the ‘90s when I used to always do the Iron Man and the Arnold. The lineups were amazing. Usually the only top guy who wasn’t in the Arnold was whomever was Mr. O at the time. You had contenders like Kevin, Flex, Nasser, Paul, Ronnie, Chris Cormier and me. Many of the Arnold lineups from the ‘90s would crush the lineups of today’s Mr. Olympia. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the 2009 Arnold Classic ends up being a better show than this past Olympia was.
King Kamali: Delusional Or Just A Master At Publicity?
Shari was at it again recently, crying about how he was robbed at the Atlantic City Pro show and then claiming he would have been top 10 in the Mr. Olympia had he qualified. I really don’t think King believes all that shit. He talks smack for a reason, and that’s to get everybody else talking about him and making sure nobody forgets about him. And it works every time. The guy couldn’t qualify for the Olympia, but he’s the subject of more talk online than most of the guys in the top five.
Will Dexter Repeat?
Another burning question is whether or not Dexter can hold on to the title for even one more year, or if he will be another one-hit Olympia wonder like Chris Dickerson or Samir Bannout (two guys I bet a lot of younger readers have never even heard of). I really doubt Dexter can hang on to the Mr. Olympia title. There are so many good guys out there now. If he slips just a tiny bit, or even if he doesn’t and one of these guys makes solid improvements, it’s over for him. I have nothing against the guy at all and I hate to make it sound like I want him to lose next year. It’s just like I said earlier, though. Changing up the winners from year to year makes it a lot more interesting. Of course, I am sure I would not feel that way if I were Mr. Olympia! Then I’d be like, fuck it, may the reign of the Priest last 1,000 years.
As of this writing in early October, I still have not hooked up with any women here in Australia. Sorry to disappoint those who live vicariously through my sexual adventures or whatever, but it’s just not high on my “to do” list at the moment. I must be getting old!
I Beat Mr. Olympia!
Back in 2002 when I won my first pro contest in San Francisco, I beat Dexter. I also beat Ronnie a few times early in both our pro careers. But I don’t gloat over that. It makes no difference. When you are talking about the best bodybuilders in the world, it all comes down to who nailed the condition on that particular day, and what the particular panel of judges sitting up front happen to like. People think it’s ridiculous when I say that anybody can be beaten by anybody else, but the history of our sport shows this to be true again and again.
So You Want A Piece Of Me, Shawn?
Shawn Ray has been talking about possibly coming out of retirement to compete in the 202 Showdown at next year’s Olympia. He’s been out since the 2001 O, and the last time I faced him was at the 2000 Mr. Olympia. It would be fantastic to share the stage with him and I know the battle between he and I would drum up a lot of hype for the event. For those of you who don’t know, we’ve gone back and forth at each other for years on the message boards and at times it’s been pretty nasty. I’m not saying it would be a two-man show, as there are plenty of other good guys under 202 also. But I am sure a lot of people would love to see the two grizzled veterans and old adversaries, Lee and Shawn, face off again after all these years to see who’s best.
Got a question for Lee, preferably a really stupid one? E-mail it to him at email@example.com and you could see it answered right here in MD!
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
By Shawn Ray
he year 2008 began as a promising one for a select few regarding bodybuilding, but as a nation, a country of people were left wondering if they could put food on their table, pay their mortgages, retire on schedule and worse yet, send their children off to war. Amazing how life can change year to year, while the sport of bodybuilding can give its fans something to cheer about! Kicking off the season in downtown th Los Angeles, California was the 18 annual Pro Iron Man Invitational and eventual winner from Denver, Colorado, Phil “The Denver Nugget” Heath. Phil has been on fire since turning pro a scant two years ago by virtue of winning the 2005 NPC USA Championships. Shortly thereafter, Phil went on to win the Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/AM, New York Pro and this year added the Iron Man to his resume of victories! More on Phil later. th Next up, the 20 Annual Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio where Dexter
“The Blade” Jackson would hold off the competition to win his third ASC title and the $130,000 check presented by MD publisher and sponsor, Steve Blechman! During the 20 years of this event, there have been only 11 men to hold this title. Dexter made sure he added this championship to his collection with a resounding victory over Phil Heath and Kai Greene landing in second and third place, respectively. A couple weeks later, a few of the competitors traveled to Melbourne, Australia where once again Dexter would reign supreme by way of defeating Melvin Anthony and Mohammad El Moussawi while adding $10,000 to his ever-growing bank account! The following week saw the athletes on a plane to New Zealand, where Dexter Jackson would once again repeat as champion, holding off Melvin Anthony and an improving Toney Freeman for an additional $10,000!The month of May would see the reemergence of a leaner, yet more muscular Kai Greene compete and win the New York Pro in New York City and walk off with the $15,000 victory check over Kevin English in second and German, Ronny Rockel, in third. The first-ever Shawn Ray 202 pounds and under New York Classic Dexter Jackson winning the 2008 ASC would also be held on the
same night. New York resident Kevin English would fight back “Dangerous” David Henry in second and New Jersey native, Jason Arntz, in third for the win! The Fourth of July would bring us to Houston, Texas for the first-annual Houston Pro where Nigerian-born Silvio Samuel would seal the victory, beating a vastly improved Craig Richardson from New Jersey and 20year Naval officer from Atlanta, Georgia— Big Leo Ingram. The addition of the 202-and-under class in Houston would crown rookie pro Ray Arde with the $3,000 victory over Tricky Jackson in second and Jeff “Box” Long in third.The hot summer month of August would take the IFBB to Tampa, Florida for the pro bodybuilding Weekly Tampa Pro Championships, promoted by Tim Gardner. Out of the shadows of Dexter Jackson this past spring would emerge the “X-Man, Toney Freeman for victory ” while a streamlined, noticeably lighter Dennis James landed in the runner-up slot just ahead of the Giant Killer David Henry in third place. Tampa would also play host to the 202-and-under class as well, where Tucson, Arizona native, David Henry, fought off a rookie pro for the win, but the rookie served notice of things to come in the form of James “Flex” Lewis from Wales. Jaroslav Horvath flew in from the Czech Republic to qualify for the Olympia
Shawn Ray—Telling It Like It Is
Showdown at the Expo Mr. Olympia weekend by finishing in third place. Dallas, Texas would play host to th the 10 -annual Europa Pro, where a rematch was brewing in the form of Toney Freeman and Dennis James. In their last clash, a disappointed DJ vowed revenge! It turns out DJ will have to wait until the Olympia in September to exact any type of revenge he may have had in mind, as the “X-Man” brought his “A” game to pull off the unanimous win! Dennis again would take home the cold runnerup check and trophy while rookie pro from Canada, Foud Abiad, took home third place and qualified for his firstever Mr. Olympia appearance. The IFBB would travel north to Atlantic City, New Jersey in September for the Muscular Development Atlantic City Pro, where Melvin Anthony, who one year ago placed a disappointing fourth, but now found himself in the winner’s circle and a new title to add to his previous New York Pro championship! Second-place finalist was last year’s champion, Johnnie Jackson, with Darrem Charles taking third place and qualifying for the Mr. Olympia. On this same evening the Masters Championships were held and 40-year-old Darrem Charles would hold back noticeably “off” 42-year-old Toney Freeman in second and monstrous Joel Stubbs from Barbados in third. Las Vegas, Nevada would bring everyone together for the “Grandrd daddy” of them all! The 43 -annual Joe Weider Mr. Olympia contest, where only 11 different men have held the title and two-time defending champion Jay Cutler would LOSE his crown and the $155,000 check to Dexter “The Blade” th Jackson on September 27 , 2008! For the fifth time in his pro career, Jay Cutler would play bridesmaid by way of finishing as the first runner-up to walk away with a cool $90,000 check to help ease the taste of defeat. Third place would find “The Denver Nugget” Phil Heath in his Olympia debut, replicating a feat that few have done in their first Olympia by taking home the bronze medallion. Fourth place belonged to the “Big Bad Wolf, Dennis ” Wolf of Germany, who was noticeably flat and in need of more muscle maturity and back thickness; no doubt the future could belong to this kid! Fifth place went to 42-year-old Toney Freeman, whom many felt could have beaten Wolf for fourth and arguably Phil Heath for third, depending on who you talked to. While Dexter Jackson accomplished something that the great Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone nor I could in our competitive years in the Olympia, he remained remarkably consistent in his run for the Olympia title! This may mark a change in the direction our sport is headed with the likes of last year’s Olympia runner-up Victor Martinez and New York Pro champion Kai Greene throwing their hats into the ring in ‘09! In summation of this year’s Mr. Olympia I’d say I agreed with the judges on most of their placements, however, my personal placements would have looked like this: Winner: Phil Heath Second: Dexter Jackson Third: Dennis Wolf Fourth: Toney Freeman Fifth: Jay Cutler Sixth: Silvio Samuel Between Dexter and Phil, you could toss a coin, but for me it came down to personal preference. While Dexter had his usual crisp, tight condition, I think he was better at the Arnold Classic. Phil, on the other hand, was much improved from the Arnold Classic and therefore stood out to me a tad more with what appeared to be additional size and better condition! Regardless, the contest is now history and Dexter Jackson sits on the throne, awaiting all comers for 2009, which I believe will be the most anticipated Olympia contest since 1998 in New York City, where Ronnie Coleman swept past eight other perennial Olympia contenders to win the first of his eight Sandow trophies!
Looking Back at 2008
Bodybuilder of the Year: Dexter Jackson, winner of the Arnold Classic, Australian Pro, New Zealand Pro, Mr. Olympia Contest and the Romanian Pro. Rookies of the Year: Tie… Fouad Abiad and Leo Ingram, both qualified at the Europa and Houston pro shows, respectively, and as first-year pros competed in their first Olympia contest! Most Contest Prize Money Winner: Dexter Jackson: ASC $130,000; Australian $10,000; New Zealand $10,000; Olympia $155,000; Romanian Pro $10,000;Total: $315,000. Plus, MuscleTech matches prize money winnings at the Australian, NZ and Romanian; $10,000 each show and an additional $50,000 for the Mr. O victory! Grand Total: $395,000! Not a bad year competing if your name is Dexter! Comeback Athlete of the Year: Toney Freeman Mr. Consistency: Silvio Samuel…Placed top six of every contest in 2008 and won the Houston Pro Championships while duplicating his seventh-place finish in the Mr. Olympia. “Never Say Never” Award: Darrem Charles, 40-year-old winner of the Masters Atlantic City Pro, as well as the winner of nine pro shows in nine years! Surprise of 2008: David Henry, second in the 202-and-under New York Pro; winner of the 202-and-under Tampa Pro; and winner of the first-ever Olympia Showdown Contest. Best Poser Award: Melvin Anthony January 2009
Melvin Anthony, 1st Place Atlantic City Pro
Shawn Ray— Telling It Like It Is
TEAM MD All-Star Seminar, loaded with talent and a wealth of information post Mr. Olympia Sunday at Gold’s Gym East (Same place next year, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Best Feud of the Year: Gustavo Badell vs. Silvio Samuel at the Olympia press conference. Verdict of the Year: GUILTY! Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan; O.J. Simpson. In the case of all three, justice has been served! Best Addition Award: 202-andunder class…This is arguably one of the more competitive additions to our sport. 2009 looks to be even more promising with the return of Kevin English, James “Flex” Lewis, Lee Priest, Richard Jones and others. Babies of the Year: Flex and Madeline Wheeler’s baby girl, Faith; Shawn and Kristie Ray’s baby girl, Bella Blu. Losses of the Year: RIP Ben , Weider, age 85. Ben was one-half of the founding fathers of modern bodybuilding along with his brother Joe. Canadian-born and raised, Ben was the retired IFBB president, husband, father of three sons and many other distinguished things, but we all knew and loved him for formulating the International Federation of Bodybuilding! His departure will certainly be missed for many years in our industry. RIP Steve Stone, age , 51. Former NPC Vice Chairman, competitor, NPC/IFBB expeditor, husband, friend and great guy. Passed away working Olympia EXPO Weekend doing what he loved most, serving and helping others; he will surely be missed by all who knew him. RIP Wag Bennett. Charles
Best New Event of the Year:
“Wag” Bennett, bodybuilder and trainer, was born on March 29, 1930. He died of cancer on September 17, 2008, age 78. He was the one who pretty much discovered Arnold before Joe Weider brought him to America. Joe Pearson, age 39. Joe won the NPC USA lightweight title in July and passed away while training on his treadmill. The coroner’s preliminary report stated that three arteries were clogged with plaque and caused blockages to his heart. Rest in peace, my friend; you were a great champion! Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell, age 30. IFBB pro figure champion was gunned down in a domestic dispute by a former boyfriend. A beautiful women and a great athlete who will be missed dearly by all who knew her. Delusional Bodybuilder Award: For the eighth-consecutive year, Shari Kamali. No one knows where to start but let’s end it right here: “Let it go, bro!” Best Cover Shot of the Year: Kai Greene in MD! Biggest “Non Event” of the Year: Lee Priest Comeback Contest! And so with that, 2008 comes to a close on the IFBB pro circuit, setting the stage for many more surprises and head-to-head clashes beginning the second week of January at the Pro Iron Man Invitational in Pasadena, California. Enjoy the holidays, my friends, as of this reading we will all be anticipating the coronation of our new President here in the United States come the New Year. My personal choice for “change” is Barack Obama, but whichever candidate wins the election may God continue to bless you and yours as well as America! Stay hungry, Shawn January 2009
By Branden Ray
Road tothe USAs
So I just experienced my very first Olympia weekend, and what a weekend it was. I want to first pay homage to a wonderful man, Steve Stone. My last interaction with Steve was actually at the USAs in Vegas and it was an example of how kind he was. Well, I was rushing to pack a few of my essentials to head off to prejudging, running late as usual. Kristy asked me one last time if I had everything and I said yes, even though I knew something was wrong. We rushed out to the UNLV campus and I arrived right on time for the athlete’s meeting, however, I didn’t have my competitor’s badge. This is the very badge that you’re told to guard with your life, because you will not be granted access without it. Guess what? I was not granted access. The woman at the door turned me away. I showed her my driver’s license, my competitor number; I mean I damned near emptied my wallet.
Now I’m freaking out and I think it’s the end of the world. I was able to borrow a female competitor’s badge (thank you, Holly Geersen!), but that wasn’t going to get me far because she needed it back. Now they’re really giving me a hard time at the door. My cortisol level is shooting through the roof and out of nowhere, Steve Stone shows up, puts his hands on the shoulder of the guard, and says, “It’s OK. Let him in. If he does anything bad I’ll take care of him.” He then winked at me, put his arm around my shoulder and walked with me into the meeting, telling me to calm down and enjoy the experience. Steve will be missed! Now, to the placing at the O. I had it as following: Dex, Heath, Freeman, Wolf and Jay. I was pumped when they announced Dex as Mr. O.; Dex is like a big brother to me and he told me at the USAs that if he lost the O, it would be my fault because I had him running all over Vegas right when his diet was starting. Whew, I’m happy that I don’t have to carry that guilt. Dexter’s back is extremely underrated. When you see him in the back relaxed or rear lat spread, his wings are damn near as wide as Toney Freeman’s, who is over a half a foot taller. Speaking of Toney, if you were in attendance, you would have witnessed the loudest boos when his placing was announced. Toney was absolutely impressive and displayed that impressive physique the best. His posing routine rocked, especially because the posing matched the words in the song. Whenever the song would go, “Pull your hair!” he would hit a rear pose grabbing the back of his head, but like Tommy from “Martin.” Toney, “You ain’t got not hair!” That’s my man, though, and I just couldn’t fathom the tallest guy onstage having the smallest waist…..a true genetic freak! January 2009
PHOTO BY PER BERNAL
I was very impressed with the women, as well. The figure girls all looked amazing. I must be honest though, I have no clue how to judge them. The female bodybuilders looked incredible as well and probably had the best-conditioned athlete onstage for the whole Olympia weekend, Iris Kyle. I also want to congratulate my friend, Lisa Aukland, who is a true example of class and elegance. She looked shredded when she stopped by my booth. I also saw Sherry Smith after the O and couldn’t believe how paper-thin her skin was. Cathy LeFrancois was as beautiful as ever and I enjoyed a great conversation with my big sis, Dayana Cadeau. To all of you guys hating on female bodybuilding, don’t get mad at them because they can teach us a thing or two about training and dieting. Support the women.
Now to the nitty-gritty. FST-7 is kicking my black ass! When you speak of brilliance and passion for the sport, you have to mention Hany Rambod. After the seminar, Hany adjusted the way that I trained my
back, right in Gold’s Flamingo in Vegas. He had me really arch my back on underhand lat pulldowns with my hands about 6 inches apart. His focus is to really pull my lower lats out. It felt like somebody took a torch to my lower lats! I had to pull the bar all the way down to my lower
pecs. I used to stop higher up for fear of incorporating my biceps, but that’s a sign that the weight is too heavy and you only stimulate the lower lats. We then did pullovers with the rope, once again with a serious arch in my back. Just those two exercises made my lats feel like I was training them for 24 hours straight. He’s very honest with his assessment and I like that. Give it to me raw, that’s the only way that I can make improvements. It reminds me of a house being rebuilt. You assess it, gut it out and rebuild it on its same foundation. I want to make the most of my genetics and he’s doing that. He also motivates me by reminding me that the guys I’ll be competing against want to beat me really bad. I think about that in the gym when I want to quit on the fifth set of my last 7 for FST and I push for my last 2 sets. I read the boards about this light-heavy and that guy and this…no worries. Hany, I’ll hold it down for you and take on all challengers. You guys have fun at the Nationals. I definitely respect all of you but only one will win. The rest of you who don’t, I’ll be waiting.
I worked the VPX booth with my fellow team members and good friends Antoine (Big AV) Valliant and Mike (Chi-town Shredder) Liberatore. It was great meeting many of you who read MD. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read my column that I write (as there are some who for some reason believe that we all have ghostwriters). One of my other highlights was being a part of the MD All-Star Seminar. I got the text from Shawn and jumped through the roof. It was a text that was meant for Branch and was accidentally sent to me because my name is right after his in Shawn’s phone. I received a text from Shawn about a guest appearance overseas. I ran around in a circle like a fool and called my best friend to tell him! Then Shawn hit me back and said, “My bad, lil’ bro; that was for Branch. No worries, your time will come.” Nevertheless it was an honor to be a part of the panel with guys I admire. You can tell from the video that Muscular Development is not a team, but a family. The Boss has incredible vision and is always there for his athletes. He really wants you to succeed and always checks up on you. We have many conversations about politics and the economy. In order to achieve what he has you have to be well rounded, and he along with Palumbo are two very intelligent guys whom I give the utmost respect to. Now that I also have the honor of really getting to know Shawn Ray, his legend transcends far beyond and above the posing routines to baby-making music (sorry, bro). He is so passionate about promoting the sport in a positive light and is so professional. When asked if he should come back, I always ask people why? He offers so much to the sport now and has already accomplished so much. Not to mention having a wonderful family. Every time we talk, he’s holding his daughter. Because of that, I look forward to life when the curtains on the stage close. January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com MD 401
DENNIS WOLF— THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
The Big Bad WOLF
By Dennis Wolf
The Top Five At The Mr. Olympia The Way I Saw It:
Dexter Me or Phil Me or Phil Toney Silvio or Melvin Yes, this means Jay would not have been in my top five. Sorry, just being honest!
Jay, Maybe It’s Time To Go. . .
I have heard that Jay plans on competing next year at the Mr. Olympia to try and get his title back. I really hope he reconsiders and retires. I know he’s still only 35, but he has been competing for 15 years with 12 years of those as a pro. Jay had a great career. He won the two biggest titles in the sport multiple times (two Olympias; three Arnold Classics). But now I think his body is giving out on him and he will never again have a real chance to win the Mr. Olympia again. Jay will do whatever he wants to, but in my opinion he should retire before he does any worse.
Dexter As Mr. O, A Real Shock!
As good as Dexter Jackson is, I really never thought he would win the Mr. Olympia. And as much as I respect The Blade, I don’t think he’ll remain Mr. Olympia. If I had looked the way I was supposed to this year instead of losing 15 pounds at the very end of my prep, I would have beaten him. And next year I feel the battle for the title is going to come down to me and Victor. If Heath gets better, I don’t think Dexter will be able to beat him, either. That gives him fourth place at best.
Proper Expo Attire: Whatever You Like
I saw on the MD No Bull Forum that Lee Priest was making fun of guys who wear very tight and revealing shirts to walk around the expo, and also the women who like to dress in very sexy outfits that show their bodies off. I guess it really bothers him and maybe he wants people to be more modest, or maybe he thinks only a guy who is built like a pro can show his muscles in public. I say everyone should dress in whatever way they want to. Maybe those guys and girls are very proud because they work very hard in the gym. And if they want to show it off, so what? I don’t get mad at those guys just because they are proud of a 17-inch arm and mine is 21. And how can you get mad at a very beautiful woman with a sexy body who likes to flaunt it?
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
First Things I Consumed After The Mr. Olympia Was Over:
• About a gallon of Gatorade and water (I was very dehydrated and my body soaked it all up) • Sushi • Chinese food • Cake • Ice cream
No Grand Prix Shows For Me
Once again, I am passing on the Grand Prix shows. This year, they are holding them in the Czech Republic, Slovakia (kind of scared to go there after seeing those “Hostel” movies) and the Netherlands. I hear they are going to have one in Germany next year, so that I would definitely do. It just makes more sense for me to make appearances after the Olympia rather than doing smaller contests where the money is a lot less.
The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did To Get Huge:
When I was starting out, I saw the movie “Rocky” and Sylvester Stallone ate raw eggs before going out to train with that very inspirational music. So I ate raw eggs, too! They didn’t make me feel too energetic, though. More like nauseated. I think I did throw up a few times just trying to get those slimy things down.
I Wish I Had A Dollar (Or A Euro) For Every Time Someone Asked Me:
“Do you work out?” (Sometimes I say I have just started; does it look like I have made any good muscles yet?) “How much can you lift?” (Not much, I only look strong but really you are probably stronger than me.)
January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com
Dennis Wolf— The People’s Choice
Holidays Coming Up (At The Time Of This Writing, Anyway!)
We don’t have Thanksgiving here in Germany, but we have Christmas. In fact, we’ve had it for hundreds of years before the USA did! My main plans for the holidays include spending some time with my family and seeing my parents. I will eat a lot of real good, tasty food and not feel a twinge of guilt. Christmas is really the only time of year I eat all the “bad” foods that bodybuilders avoid. Luckily, I do have the type of metabolism where I can eat that stuff for a couple weeks straight and hardly gain any fat. you need to have these days if you want to place well. I have much respect for Markus and consider him one of the best pros to ever come out of Europe, but I would hate to see him come back and do poorly against the newer guys. I can tell you this, though. My own retirement, God willing, is still far away. But once I decide to retire, that’s it. I will move on to other things and you won’t see me competing anymore. You know when it’s time to leave something behind for good, or at least you should. Markus was a great pro and we would all like to remember him that way.
On Tour And On Break From Heavy Training
Right after the Olympia, I headed off to tour Australia for some appearances. I did a little bit of training while I was there, but nothing major. For the rest of the year I will not be doing any heavy training at all. My body and my mind need a break after the rigors of my last heavy off-season and preparing for the Mr. Olympia. It all starts up again in January, so I need to be fresh and ready to work even harder than I did this last year.
A Stacked Arnold Classic Coming Up!
It looks now like the next Arnold Classic might actually have a better lineup than this recent Mr. Olympia. Victor is returning and you know he wants to win his second Arnold after a whole year away from the stage. Kai and Branch both missed the Olympia, so they will be hungry too. Aside from Jay and myself, everyone else in the top six from the O will probably be there: me, Phil Heath, Toney Freeman, Melvin Anthony and maybe even Dexter. He doesn’t seem to mind competing throughout the year, though I wonder if he will still feel that way now that he is Mr. Olympia. The last time a reigning Mr. Olympia also did the Arnold was when Ronnie won it in 2001, and that hurt him for the Olympia that fall. But maybe this is only something that affects the heavier guys and Dexter would be OK. Speaking of Ronnie, there have been rumors that he could come back at the 2009 Arnold, too. If all of these guys show up, it will make for a very interesting show and the toughest Arnold in many years.
Return Of The Rühler?
Rumors coming out of my country, Germany, hint that my former fellow Nutrex athlete Markus Ruhl may be coming out of retirement already for next spring. I don’t know if this is such a good idea for him. The last time he competed, at the 2007 Mr. Olympia, that very weird tear in the middle of his chest was very distracting. Also, he just wasn’t ever able to get that shredded look from the back that
I was really impressed by how much you brought up your lower lats from 2007 to 2008. I have somewhat “high” lats myself and would love to know what I can do to create the illusion of lats that insert lower. Do you have any tips or workout routines I can try? Thanks a lot; I did work very hard on my back and it’s nice to see that people take note of my efforts. Here’s a workout that should help you thicken up your lower lats: Reverse-Grip Cable Pulldowns (favorite of Dorian’s) Reverse-Grip Cable Rows With Lat Bar Deadlifts One-Arm Dumbbell Rows Barbell Rows 4 x 10-12 4 x 10-12 4 x 10-12 4 x 10-12 4 x 10-12
That was the routine I used as I prepared for the Mr. Olympia. I find that using a reverse grip really targets the lats down lower than a standard overhand grip. You will also get better results by pulling to a lower point than you normally do. On the pulldowns, I like to lean back a bit and pull the bar right under my pecs. With the seated rows, I pull the bar right under my bellybutton. Get a good stretch and a solid contraction of the lats on every rep. Remember, if you can’t feel them working, they probably aren’t. Train as heavy as you can, but never hesitate to cut the weight if you can’t feel the lats working. Good luck!
Got a question for Dennis? E-mail it to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could see it answered right here in MD!
ent.com la Cvelopm TE muscuFOrde OMPLERAGE! R VE
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ERIK FANKHOUSER—NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION
Erik “The House” Fankhouser
What is your diet like in the off-season and what is your off-season training split like? I have tried it all in the past when it comes to off-season eating. I remember after my first show, I made the rookie mistake of eating all I could get my hands on. I was eating pizza, ice cream, weight gainers...this approach only did one thing: gain too much fat. After my second show, I took a different approach. I tried to eat as clean as I could and in doing this, my off-season was more like a contest diet and I did not get the shock value of changing my diet up to a contest diet. Doing this made my contest diet even harder, because I felt like I had been dieting for a long time already. So after my third show I found the right way to do my offseason. The way I do my off-season diet now is a little bit of both worlds. I pretty much eat whatever I want, but in limits. I drink three shakes per day, two shakes being weight-gain shakes and one being just a whey shake with oats. For my other three meals, I eat solid food, but I don’t have anything written down. I just make sure I eat 10-16 ounces of meat or 8-12 whole eggs, and with my first two solid meals, I make sure I get carbs with them. Typical day looks like this: Meal 1: 10 whole eggs and 1 cup oats, Meal 2: Real Gains weight-gainer shake; 1 cup oats Meal 3: 12 ounces beef; one large sweet potato Meal 4: Real Gains weight-gainer shake; 1 cup oats Meal 5: 12 ounces ground turkey Meal 6: Whey shake; 1 cup oats
By Erik Fankhouser
I will do this diet five days a week, because I work five days a week. On my days off, I give myself two cheat meals per day to eat whatever I want. I usually do my breakfast meal and my dinner and cheat meals, because I like to get up early and make pancakes for the family. Also for dinner on one of the days, I like to eat out with the family. The key to a happy life is balance and a family who eats together stays together. My off-season training split is very simple. I do two days on, one day off rotation. The way I break my body parts up is different. I am focusing on my chest and back, so I train them more often. Here is how the cookie crumbles... Day 7: chest Day 1: chest Day 8: legs Day 2: arms/abs Day 9: off Day 3: off Day 10: back Day 4: back Day 11: arms/abs Day 5: shoulders Day 12: off Day 6: off I just keep rotating it in the direction so after a day off, I either have chest or back, then I alternate arms, shoulders and legs in the mix for the second day in a row. I really like doing this split. Try it and tell me what you think.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
I can only do strength training at the gym three times a week; what is the best split for me to do and what are the best exercises to do to maximize my time in the gym? Bro, three times a week, hitting the iron is tough, but it can be done. You need to make these workouts count since you don’t get as many as you should. Each and every rep should be done to the fullest. Here is the split I would recommend: Day 1: chest, shoulders and tri’s Day 2: back, bi’s Day 3: legs, abs If you are going to do a workout like this one, I would try to do the split spread out. Like Monday, Wednesday and Friday as the days you train. One of the reasons for this is if you do them three days straight, then you will have too many days off in a row. If I could give you one exercise for each muscle group to maximize your time at the gym, I would tell you stick to the core exercises. Bench, deadlifts, squats, skull-crushers and straight-bar curls are your best bets.
House, you made some awesome gains to your weak points this past year. What did you do differently, and what do you think the best leg-training exercise is for the outer sweep? One of the biggest things I did was I tried to feel the muscle work instead of just throwing weight around. It is great to lift heavy shit, but it is better to get a great pump for lifting heavy shit. I focused on slowing my reps down and doing more movements by feel, not by a set number of reps or even sets. If I got into a workout and I was feeling an exercise, I might just keep doing that exercise instead of just stopping because I reached my 4 sets. I also started during my contest prep doing a method of training where I worked myself up to 1 working set to failure. I might do 3 sets of 10, adding weight to each set, then the last set just go to failure and even throw in some forced reps or cheat reps while working on the negative. I feel that one of the biggest things I changed on my chest training was focusing on pushing the weight back up with the chest, not the arms. It took me awhile to get it, but I just thought of my chest muscles as big rubber bands that stretched out on the negative and pulled together on the positive. Thinking like this made me feel it in my chest more than ever before. Now to the leg part of the question. The best damn exercise for the outer sweep is close-stance leg press or close-stance Smith squats, hands down. When I do the Smith squats with my feet touching, my sweeps burn, bro. You can also hit different parts of the quad by changing the foot position on the leg extension. January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com MD 409
Eric Fankhouser— North American Champion
O CHECK t.com lardevelopmen E muscuFOR COMPLETAGE! ER T COV CONTES UT
This is one of my favorite, quick back workouts. Sometimes if I am in a jam and need to get a fast one in, I do something like this. I call this workout the 3 of 10x10 back workout from hell. I set a bar up in a power rack and do three different exercises straight for 10 sets of 10 reps. When I do back, I do the exercises in this order. I do bent-over rows for 10 reps, then deadlifts with the same bar for 10 reps, then 10 chins in the rack, then straight back to rows, deads and chins for 10 sets. That is 300 reps without a break; talk about a pump and the feeling of wanting to puke all at once…it doesn’t get any better than that, bro. You can do this with any body part, but be warned, you might not make it all the way through.
Happy New Year! I wish everybody new muscle growth and striations from head-to-toe during this New Year. January is game-on, bro. I can smell the Jan Tana in the air as the start of the season is coming up soon. I am taking this season off from competing, but I am taking it more serious than ever. I am going to pack on some more quality size in the areas I am lacking. I made some good steps last year, but this year, I am going to start to jump. They say you got to crawl before you walk, well I am done crawling and am on my feet, so I am go to step in the right direction. I still am very new to bodybuilding and learn different things each year. This year, I learned to grow. I got some of the best people in my corner who are going to help me this off-season, so all I got to say is let’s get it started. I took a few weeks off from training so when I hit the gym this month, I am going to be like a bat out of hell again. It has been very cool the last few days and when it gets cold I want to eat more; my body must want to grow again. I will be hitting up a ton of shows this year. I’ve got a schedule on my website of all the different places I will be and all the guest spots I will be doing. If you see me, make sure you say hello. I always like to put a name to a face. The Landlord, Andy B and I have already started to think of more ideas for our show this year in September. We got some good things lined up. I will let ya know the details as they get set in stone. If I could give you some advice for this New Year, I would have to tell you don’t ever go to bed mad at your wife or children; try to make things better before the day is over. Because we only have a limited time so be as happy as you can, because before you know it, it could all be gone.
By Evan Centopani
Do the pros really get skin rolling and fascia relief done on a regular basis or is that just for show? It seems kind of sketchy. What’s your opinion? I’ve gone for skin rolling and fascial relief and I can tell you unequivocally that it works. It hurts like hell at the beginning, because you can feel it being pulled off the muscle— which is the whole point, as it’s adhered— so be prepared for some pain. But once it’s freed up, the pain diminishes. I feel it’s beneficial to letting the muscle volumize with blood. I did it a lot for legs last year and I believe it contributed significantly to their improvement. The pumps I got were insane. For that particular type of massage, I recommend doing it preworkout so you can take advantage of the pump.
A DOOR OPENS
The Olympia was great. This was the most interesting show I’ve ever seen. During the top five awards, I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time. As a fan, and even more as a competitor, it was interesting to see how they were judged. I believe we were witness to the end of an era. The door has been opened for all competitors. It’s no longer just about mass. They clearly rewarded the most complete package and that’s the best thing that could have happened for this sport.
Being on the tall side, I’ve been fortunate that I’m not lanky. I’m not exactly a mass monster like Quincy Taylor or Paul Dillett, but I’ve never had problems putting on size. I think my genetics will allow me to hold 270-275 pounds with the same clean lines and small waist. Usually, taller guys have a hard time with their legs but over the past couple of years, I’ve been able to bring them up. One day they might even be a strong point. Would I prefer to be a shorter bodybuilder? Hmmm…it seems to me that most of the trophies are patterned after taller guys and I’ve always said that the goal is to look like the trophy. If you could be a tall bodybuilder and fill out your extremities, you’d pretty much be unbeatable. But that’s not to say that I don’t like the shorter bodybuilders— I have nothing but respect for anybody that can take their bodies to the extreme. In fact, some of my favorites are on the short side.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
2009 ARNOLD…SHAPING UP TO BE THE BEST EVER
The Arnold will be off the hook! It’s gonna be better than this year’s Olympia. Most of the same guys are gonna be in it plus Victor, Branch and Kai— who had to sit out the O due to injuries. Victor, Dexter, Dennis, Phil, Kai, Branch, Toney? Are you kidding me? I’d pay to see that battle!
At this time, it’s unclear if Dexter will defend. The majority opinion is probably that he should sit it out, but I could see him doing it. If he took the year off, it would be to come in bigger but will that really help him? Plus, with Phil making improvements by leaps and bounds, maybe the Arnold will favor Dexter, since it doesn’t give Phil that much time after the Olympia.
If Victor is 100 percent, I don’t see any reason why he can’t win it. He’s a freak! It won’t be a walk in the park, that’s for sure. He’s beaten Dexter the last two meetings by virtue of being a bigger version of Dex. I believe he’ll beat Phil with his superior structure. To me, Victor is a combination of the best of both Dexter and Phil.
EASY THERE, JARED
A couple of months back, I said that in the off-season, I like being as fat and happy as the next guy. But I also said that it’s not a 007 license to eat. Don’t go up too heavy because you’ll need to lose a great deal of fat, which means dieting earlier and slower to come in shape. Plus you run the risk of loose skin if you come down too fast. So if you start looking like a “before” candidate for those Jared Subway commercials, it might be time to pull in the reins there.
What a monster! So full and round, from head-to-toe— and the conditioning! He has a very dramatic look onstage. He grabs your attention immediately. He keeps getting better and better. It’s scary!
BEST SHORT BODYBUILDERS Kai Greene
Based on last year’s showings, and the little bit I know of him, he will be better than before. He won’t show up with the same physique you saw last year. He will be better and that’s a scary thought for the competition. He’ll be right up there. Danny Padilla-One of my all-time faves. Franco Columbu-A legend! Lee Labrada-Perfection! Shawn Ray-Awesome career and legacy. Lee Priest-Born to be a bodybuilder. I’ve seen pics of him as a teen and it’s obvious that this guy was put on this earth to do one thing. Flex Lewis-Very impressive. So young and already holding his own against veterans. He will be incredible—the next Lee Priest.
Branch has a totally different physique from Victor, Dexter, Phil and Kai. He’s in your face and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’ll be interesting to see where the judges place him in this lineup.
I’m always on the lookout for new pieces of equipment for the gym. Nebula makes this awesome piece that hits the hams just right (1520 glute/ham reverse hyper— yeah, it looks like a medieval torture device that belongs in a dungeon). I used one out in Jersey and loved it to death. It gets my hams right up where it ties in with the glutes. It’s nasty! I just had to get it for my gym, so I talked to the guys at Nebula and they gave me a great deal (and on a 45-degree hyperextension apparatus). They make unbelievable equipment. Scope it out!
He’s got size, shape— and when he’s on, conditioning. He could shake it up. And if Jay does it…Holy Shit! It’s gonna be crazy. I already know where I’ll be in March. January 2009
Evan Centopani— National Hero
UT muscularde The Montanari brothers (owners of the velopment.co FOR CO m gym) are awesome! When I told them I wantM CONTE ST COPLETE VERAG E! ed to bring in those new pieces of equipment, they said no problem; they’d make the space. They even offered to pay, but they’ve done so much I just couldn’t accept. These guys never charged me for membership from day one. They go to my shows and help me in every way imaginable. I even have my own key. Thanks for the support and friendship.
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
By Hany Rambod
he biggest contest of the year is now over. The dust has settled and now everyone is analyzing the show and beginning to speculate about next year’s Mr. Olympia. Before I get into how I saw this year’s Mr. O, I have to give credit to promoter Robin Chang. For the past few years, there have been numerous complaints about how the weekend was run. Concerns ranged from the host hotel, to the shuttle buses, to how the actual event was structured. This year, Robin and his crew had their system down pat and everything ran like a well-oiled machine. There were plenty of luxury buses and they all ran on time. Banners and ads for the event were all over town as well as inside the Orleans hotel and casino, the auditorium and the expo center. In short, it was a firstclass production all around. This year’s Mr. Olympia was highly anticipated for many reasons. First of all, it was the first time in 15 years that Ronnie Coleman was not competing. There was a weird sense among most that something was missing, since we are all so used to seeing Ronnie there. It was a lot like watching the “Tonight Show” right after Johnny Carson retired. But Ronnie had dominated the Mr. Olympia for nearly a decade. His absence offered more possibilities in terms of who could win. Second on most people’s minds was the question of whether Jay Cutler would be able to hold on to the title for another year. After the big controversy last year in which many felt Victor Martinez should
have been declared the rightful winner, the stage was set for another possible upset. With Victor out due to his knee injury earlier in the year, that challenge would have to come from someone else. Another popular topic all year long was the long-awaited Mr. Olympia debut of Phil Heath, who had qualified for the big show in both 2006 and 2007 but had decided to wait until he , felt he was truly ready to stand next to the very best in the world on equal footing. Another man surrounded by hype and publicity was Dennis Wolf, who had made a huge impression last year. Debates raged as to who was the better new guy, Dennis or Phil, and many couldn’t wait to see which one would edge out the other. And of course, we had Dexter Jackson, hot off his third Arnold Classic win earlier this year, being talked about as Jay’s biggest threat. With both men having entirely different types of physiques, it was going to be very interesting to see what would happen when they finally squared off. When it was all said and done, this was the top 10. ance that condition with the muchneeded lower body mass, Gustavo can be right back up in the top six again. As far as why Gustavo’s legs have been smaller over the past couple seasons, I can’t say. I have spoken with him a few times and he has never mentioned any type of injury. There could be any number of reasons. But at the end of the day, none of them matter. Badell needs to bring his legs back up to where they were, and show the elite level of conditioning he once had if he wants to make his way back up the ranks.
9. Mohammad El Moussawi
Congratulations to Mohammad for making the top 10 at his first Mr. Olympia, which is a phenomenal achievement. I don’t think he looked quite as good here as he did earlier this season at the Iron Man where he qualified, but he was close. With Mohammad’s type of physique, his condition needs to be spot-on if he wants to compare favorably with the bigger guys. He is neither the biggest nor the widest guy in the lineup, so he needs to play to his strengths: symmetry and condition. Mohammad doesn’t have any real weak points to speak of. He simply needs more of everything and he needs to stay full. When his type of physique comes in flat, it appears to be one-dimensional and easily gets lost among the bigger competitors. Look for El Moussawi to add some substantial size and continue his steady rise to the top echelon.
10. Gustavo Badell
This was the lowest Gustavo has placed since his Olympia debut in 2002, and a long way down from the top three he was in at the 2004 and 2005 Mr. Olympias. He needs to bring his legs back up to their former size and fullness, while regaining the crisp condition that made him a breakout star just a few years ago. If he can bal-
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
8. Dennis James
First of all, props to Dennis for totally revamping and streamlining his physique to better suit the newer judging standards. When raw bulk was being rewarded a few years ago, the Menace was competing at nearly 260 pounds at only 5’8” This year, he was . around the 240-pound mark and his midsection was much smaller. Though his proportions are much improved, I still feel Dennis could come in crisper. The biggest issue with Dennis seems to be that he comes out initially looking full and hard, and gradually fades right in front of your eyes. I’m not sure if this is just a matter of not filling out enough, but it was a real problem at the Europa. When he came out, Dennis looked like the clear-cut winner. But as the prejudging wore on, he flattened out and Toney Freeman overtook him for the win. Again, kudos to Dennis for making the changes he has so far to his physique. He’s one of the nicest guys in the sport and he still has a couple good years left in him to make his true mark. glutes and hamstrings. That area has always been Melvin’s Achilles’ heel and unfortunately for him that type of extreme conditioning is becoming more common. Melvin does possess some of the very best shape and symmetry of anyone out there today, but it makes it hard for him to be competitive when he turns around and lacks detail that the other guys have. Of course, my boy ‘Ice Cube’ brought down the house as always with a stellar posing routine. A lot of people don’t know that I worked with Melvin a few years ago when he was coming up the pro ranks. I called him “Ice Cube” because he had the same rebellious attitude and puffy cheeks as the rapper turned actor. So, congratulations to the Marvelous One for rocking the house with the best routine of the night by far. But I want to take this chance to challenge Melvin to step it up a notch and bring something new and different to the Arnold Classic with his next posing routine. I know he can do it. I’ll be in the first couple rows to cheer him on when he does. very well be a formidable contender. I still feel Dennis has enormous potential. This year it struck me that he actually reminds me of another German, Gunter Schlierkamp. Wolf has better shape, but they share a similar structure and stature. Both men are taller and wider than the majority of top pros. And lest you think I am putting Wolf down by comparing him to Gunter, keep in mind that Gunter was one of only two men to ever beat Ronnie Coleman during his reign as Mr. Olympia. Dennis is most like Gunter in that if he isn’t 100 percent on, he’s just not as impressive. He needs that perfect combination of fullness and dryness to truly be a threat. Dennis was lacking in fullness this time, and it took away that “wow factor” his physique has when he’s fuller and the muscles really pop with each pose. This was the first time Dennis ever worked with Chad Nicholls and it usually does take time to figure out how an individual will respond to different variables in training and nutrition. I have no doubt that Dennis and Chad will resolve the issues that caused him to be flat and will move forward. I still feel Dennis has all the potential in the world and can be one of the best in the world over the next few years. If Dennis nails that combination of fullness and condition the way he needs to, he will be much better than Gunter ever was. An Olympia win or two could certainly be in his future. It needs to be said that striking this balance is more difficult with younger physiques. When a competitor has that “old man muscle” like Dexter does, all he needs to do is worry about condition. The muscle sticks because it’s been seasoned so long, and flattening out is far less likely to happen. This could easily be the subject of a whole other article. But without fullness, Dennis Wolf lacks muscle separation, so he needs to get that back next time. Regardless, congratulations to Dennis for being fourth in the world. With a couple tweaks and modifications, the Mr. Olympia title could be his.
7. Silvio Samuel
The Matador was one of the bestconditioned men in the show. The issue with him seems to be more of a lack of deep muscle separation. Still, he deserves credit for being able to achieve the type of condition he did without losing size. It’s obvious when looking at Silvio to see that he trains hard and heavy. Others in the sport often rely on other factors, but Silvio is old school and believes in training harder than the guy you want to beat. He slipped down a couple places from last year, but this was a tougher lineup. And truthfully, Silvio could have been a couple places higher than seventh.
5. Toney Freeman
Toney’s conditioning has been off and on over the past year, but the XMan definitely finished this season off on a high note with his best showing ever. I still thought he was a little flat, but it’s just one of those things. I talked to his nutritionist, Dave Palumbo, and apparently Toney is extremely carb-sensitive. But he still looked fantastic and you have to give it up to the guy for being 42 years old and at the top of his game. It was unfortunate that he had a bad hiccup at last year’s Olympia when he barely made the top 15, but he more than redeemed himself this time around. This was the best I have ever seen the X-Man. All in all, I was very impressed with Toney and I’m glad he got his condition issues straightened out.
6. Melvin Anthony
Melvin looked very good, but the game is changing and he needs to change with it. In previous years, he was one of the few men up there with fantastic shape and symmetry among mass monsters like Ronnie, Jay and Ruhl. Now you have others in the top five like Dexter and Phil who also have that incredible shape and symmetry. What they also have, particularly when they turn around, are cross-striated
4. Dennis Wolf
We all saw pictures of the Big Bad Wolf a few weeks out from the show and were expecting a little more out of him than what we got. Before last year’s Mr. Olympia I said several times that he was a dark horse who could
3. Phil Heath
Saying this while being as unbiased as possible considering I am his coach,
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
I don’t think anybody would have complained if The Gift had placed higher. Many people felt he should have been second to Dexter, and there was even a contingent that thought he should have won the Mr. Olympia. Still, Heath placed third at his Mr. Olympia debut behind only Dexter Jackson and the reigning champion, Jay Cutler. This show was a high point in Phil’s career, and he was very emotional backstage following both the judging and the finals. The Gift had a lot of fans out there cheering for him, and he was thrilled to be there for them. If you were at the show, you saw how enthusiastic he was to be on the Olympia stage at last. He had come full-circle from being “discovered” by his friend Jay Cutler just three years ago as an amateur competing locally in Colorado to nearly beating his good friend for the Olympia title. It was literally a dream come true for Phil, and as a true fan of the sport, he savored every moment he was up there. Most people have no inkling of the trials and tribulations Phil faced getting ready for this show. His travel schedule had him back and forth to Europe several times, and he eventually got very sick after a trip to New York to meet with a sponsor. It was a very stressful prep, to say the least. All things considered, the end result was beyond our expectations. He nailed it for his first Mr. Olympia, and did a great job of living up to the tremendous hype and expectations surrounding him, which was no easy task. tighter and was down to 248. His condition was much better, but that only made the discrepancy in size between his left and right legs more obvious. Jay needs to come back much bigger. He needs to focus on looking like Jay Cutler, and not like Dexter or Phil. Both men compete in the range of 230-235 pounds, with smaller joints and better shape and symmetry. By trying to play their game and suck down to such a light bodyweight, Cutler loses his advantage of overwhelming size that made him Mr. Olympia in the first place. Some thought Jay should have been closer to fourth or fifth place, but I won’t comment on that. The show is over, and Jay was the runner-up. He knows he needs to make dramatic changes if he wants his title back next year. If his body is worn or tired out as many speculate, he may be better off taking 2009 completely off. Personally, I think Jay will be fine in a year as long as he goes back to the drawing board. Hopefully he will figure out what he needs to do to regain his best form. But whether he does or not, Jay Cutler is still a two-time Mr. Olympia. year to defend his title. I have all the respect in the world for Dexter and I know there were many times he didn’t get the placing many felt he deserved. So again, congratulations to him for achieving his career goal of becoming Mr. Olympia.
Next Year…The Stage Is Set For A True Battle!
I am sure Victor Martinez was kicking himself for getting hurt and missing this Olympia, as there’s a strong chance he could have that Sandow trophy on his mantle right now. But we need to see how that injured leg of his is holding up before we make any predictions. We’ll get a sneak preview of what he has in store for Dexter at the Arnold Classic. With him, Dexter and Phil, it will be very interesting to see three of the most aesthetic physiques today battling it out. Another big question mark is Kai Greene, who many felt was set to make a strong impression at the Olympia before he was sidelined with a hernia. He should also be competing at the Arnold, so we’ll also get an idea of what he could be bringing to Las Vegas. As of now, Phil Heath hasn’t decided whether or not he will be doing the Arnold. We may decide he would be better off taking that time off to grow and improve so that the package he brings to the 2009 Mr. Olympia could very well be the one that wins the show. As I write this in mid-October, Heath is still making his appearances following the Mr. Olympia and we haven’t had a chance to talk it all over yet. Whatever happens, the 2008 Mr. O is now in the history books and 2009 is already gearing up to be an awesome competition.
Note: My website is now up and running. Visit www.hanyrambod.com or www.fst-7 .com for previous articles, news, an interactive forum, video clips, and member profiles and blogs. You’ll also find updates on my current clients and who is preparing for upcoming contests. Free registration gives you full access to all of it. Got a question for Hany you would like to see answered here? E-mail him at HanyRambod@aol.com. Due to the high volume of e-mail he receives and limited editorial space, only selected questions will be answered and used.
1. Dexter Jackson
Congratulations to The Blade for winning the Mr. Olympia title. A lot of people were very surprised to see someone other than a “big guy” win. But the way I saw it, it was more like Jay lost than Dexter won. It was very reminiscent of how Ronnie lost to Jay in 2006. Ronnie wasn’t at his best, so by default, Jay became the champion. It’s actually disappointing to see how many times Mr. Olympia hasn’t been at his best in recent years at this event. As for Jay, he hasn’t been at his absolute best since he nearly beat Ronnie back in 2001. I don’t feel Dexter was as good here as he had been when he won the Arnold Classic earlier this year. His condition was about 1020 percent off of that, especially in the glutes and hams. Jackson did come in with more size, but wasn’t as impressive overall. I’m not taking anything away from Dexter, and this is just my personal opinion. I’m happy for Dexter that he won, but the victory was somewhat anticlimactic. He wasn’t at his best, and Jay definitely was nowhere near his best. Dexter will be back next
2. Jay Cutler
Obviously, Jay was not at his best on Friday night. He told me he was around 260 pounds, and his condition was a bit off. The more he posed, the more clear it became that nothing was “popping” the way it should have. If I had to guess, something might be going wrong with his prep in the last couple weeks. I saw him several times over the past year in his off-season when he actually looked better than he did here onstage. His body is somehow deteriorating over the last couple weeks, for whatever reason. I know it’s tough for a physique athlete when he doesn’t have a second set of eyes to keep him on track and dial him in. On the second night, Jay came in much
www.musculardevelopment.com January 2009
The Contest GURU
MY Post-Olympia Critique
ennis Wolf obviously is an incredibly gifted athlete and is genetically and potentially one of the best athletes I have ever seen, primarily due to the overall height and structure he has been blessed with. In my opinion, once we fill Dennis out, he will be able to win and keep the Olympia title as long as he wants; I just feel he is that good. There are very few athletes as tall as Dennis who possess not only the genetics, but the proportions, muscle bellies and small bone and joint structure that Dennis has. Because of this, his potential is unlimited, but the expectations everyone has for him because they know just how great Dennis can be are even greater. There are very few athletes I feel you can actually say are legendary in the sport or leave such an impact on people as being “one of the greatest”…Ronnie Coleman and Flex Wheeler, to name a few. However, I really feel Dennis Wolf will end up in this group. Is Dennis going to be the biggest athlete of all time? No, and is he structurally the very best to ever step foot onstage? Maybe not the best, but one of them. What Dennis possesses is the gift of being able to reach the top of each category; he has the possibility to be one of the best-conditioned, best-structured, most symmetrical and most completely-muscled athletes— and when he puts all these attributes together at once, it will put him in the history books as one of the greatest of all time. In terms of comments I heard January 2009
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
CHAD NICHOLLS—THE CONTEST GURU
during and immediately after the show, I was surprised and disappointed in people. Instead of looking at the improvements we made from last year to this year (overall fantastic conditioning, detail and separation, while adding a few more pounds, but still maintaining his small waistline), some were disappointed in the fact that he didn’t show up onstage with 30 more pounds. For Dennis the name of the game is going to be gradual gains… not just throwing on weight for the sake of saying he’s BIG. Anyone can do that, but very few with his height and structure can properly fill out and present themselves in the way Dennis can. In actuality, I have never seen people have higher expectations for an athlete than I have seen them have for Dennis Wolf. Though he looked incredible onstage this year, everyone was looking for him to be the arrival of the end-all, be-all most ultimate bodybuilder of all time. And while, yes, he does have that potential, for him to reach it during a single offseason is a completely unrealistic expectation. This seems like the main thing that will be looming over his head throughout his career until he hits it. Another situation Dennis is encountering is the fact that he has the potential to not only be the best, but to be the actual “cartoon character”…his build and physique have such cartoonish features that in order to actually fill out his physique to fit that actual superhuman picture, it is going to take a bit of time to achieve the look everyone is expecting from him. Back to the 2008 Olympia and his performance: was I satisfied with Dennis’ performance and overall package? I guess I can answer both yes and no to this question. In actuality, I should say, “Yes, I was happy with the package that Dennis displayed, but no, I wasn’t satisfied 100 percent. No matter how good any ” of my athletes look, I always know we can bring something better to the stage the next time. So in reality, I can say that I was happy with what we brought to the stage because I had an image in my mind of Dennis’ physique and where I thought we could bring it for this point in his career and for this particular show and that is what we accomplished. As well, only working with him since March of 2008 and the Olympia being our first show together, I felt we accomplished quite a bit in a short period of time and I learned a lot about his physique. There is still more for us to work on and improve upon. We enhanced his conditioning by about 25 pecent in comparison to 2007 and when you look at that in conjunction with the amount of size he maintained while bettering his conditioning (he was maybe 5 touch more size. Now that we have an entire year that includes a full off-season together to make more improvements, such an increase in size and fullness is a more feasible goal, while still improving upon Dennis’ overall conditioning and intricate detail. One way I explained this to people is that if Dennis would have had this year’s conditioning in 2007, he would have also been about 20 pounds lighter to achieve that type of conditioning (2007) and when you think of it in those terms, his improvements at the 2008 Mr. Olympia were sizable. In 2009 (and after another year of solid training and dieting together) you will see some major differences. I now know his body and how it works, so I already have his 2009 Olympia game plan in my thoughts. I had a lot of questions going into the 2008 Olympia as to how Dennis would respond and what would or wouldn’t work for him and now that we have one show under our belt, I have the answers I was looking for so we can repeat what worked, eliminate what didn’t work and change what needs to be changed in order to make our impact. As Dennis’ nutritionist, one of my jobs is to learn the questions that need to be answered in terms of his contest prep. The first show that a nutritionist and athlete work together is always a learning experience and I can tell you during this learning experience, I found the answers to all the questions I was looking for and with this in mind for 2009, I’ll be able to put those answers to good use. Remember, Dennis is not only a gifted athlete, but a young athlete; he’s got a lot of good years ahead of him and plenty of time to get where he needs to be. We aren’t making excuses, but we are just being realistic in what we can achieve on a seasonal basis in terms of gains and improvements and if it takes a bit of time to get there, then so be it. One thing I can promise is that when Dennis does fill out and reaches his peak…he will be Mr. Olympia! January 2009
Though he looked incredible onstage this year, everyone was looking for him to be the arrival of the end-all, be-all most ultimate bodybuilder of all time.
pounds heavier than last year), it is hard for many to actually notice the great amount of improvement he made until they take a photo from 2007 and compare it to the 2008 photos— then the improvements are more than apparent and this is where many people’s expectations were let down. I think people expected Dennis to not only be in 25 percent better conditioning, but they expected him to be 25 pounds bigger in addition to that conditioning. That would have been an unbelievable accomplishment had that been the end result and he would definitely be Mr. Olympia if this had been the case. It’s a “catch 22” situation; at that point in time, it was not possible to achieve both the conditioning and increase in size and fullness, so for this year, I was extremely happy with the increase in conditioning while adding a
Trainer of Champions of Champions
2008 Mr. Olympia: The Right Man Won!
From where I was sitting, dead center in the second row, Dexter Jackson was the solid choice for first place. After that, I didn’t completely agree with how the placings turned out. Here’s what my top five would have looked like: Dexter Phil Wolf or Toney (so close you could have flipped a coin) Jay Melvin or Silvio
Heath— The Man To Watch
When Dexter and Phil Heath were compared in the quarter-turns, Dexter’s overall shape and structure was superior. But when the two posed, I thought Phil killed Dexter from the back and on several body parts. If Phil improves again next year, I doubt Dexter will be able to hold him off. Heath needs to work on being able to hold his condition now that they seem to be settled into this two-day format for the show, too. I think he was too worried about being as full as possible and lost sharpness from Friday to Saturday.
Next Year’s Victor?
The question on everyone’s mind once Dexter won was would he be able to defend his title successfully next year against Victor? When Victor is at his best, it would be very tough for Dexter to beat him. Victor has a wonderful structure and shape, with the same small joints as Dexter, but with more height and overall mass. As long as Martinez keeps his waistline tight, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Dexter next year.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL
Charles Glass—Trainer of Champs
someday himself. Not only is he a master at the posing routine, but he’s one of the best of all time at his mandatory poses and transitions. He never hits any pose straight on— always a little twist to accentuate his strengths and hide any weaknesses. My only critique was that he was not as sharp as he could have been, and not nearly as sharp as he had been a couple weeks before when he won the Atlantic City show. My client Silvio had made phenomenal improvements. As far as condition, he was probably the best in the show. Everything was crisp and clear, and he was the only one who actually looked better on Saturday. If he had known how to show off his physique better, I think he would have been as high as second or third place. That might sound crazy, but hear me out. The way he put his elbows so far forward when hitting his back shots made him look narrow. He hits his side chest all wrong. In his side poses, Silvio sticks his leg out and appears even shorter than he already is. I was practically tearing my hair out watching him up there and seeing how he was blowing it with his amateur posing and presentation skills. The funny thing is, both Flex Wheeler and Shawn Ray had offered to help work with him on his posing. Instead, Silvio chose to work with Bob Cicherillo. Chick is a heck of a nice guy and a decent bodybuilder, but he was never known as a master poser. I am definitely going to make sure Silvio improves on this for next season. It’s insane to have a physique that’s so phenomenal and not display it properly. Dennis James is well on his way to being in the top five again. Playing the size game ruined his physique for a few years, but now he has seen the error of his ways and trimmed down to a much more streamlined, aesthetic look. Mohammad El Moussawi (not shown) made a very respectable Olympia debut in ninth place. His conditioning was among the best onstage, and his arms are pretty amazing. A little more separation in the quads, and some more mass in the back and chest and I can see him moving up. Finally, rounding out the top 10 we have former topthree man Gustavo Badell. Why his legs have come down so much in size I have no idea, but until he brings them back to what they were I’m afraid he might just keep moving
The Rest Of The Top Men
I am sure Jay Cutler will be back next year trying to get his title back, but I don’t know if he can pull it off again. His right arm and leg are smaller than the left. It’s been this way for a couple years now and shows no signs of getting any better. His lower back was soft and had folds of loose skin. And Jay’s waist looked wider and thicker than ever, with the obliques hanging over his trunks. Jay works very hard and is a true gentleman, but I have to wonder if his body is simply starting to show the strain of all the years of training and competing. Dennis Wolf’s condition was there, but he appeared smaller and lacked the “wow factor” he had in 2007. Whatever went wrong, he’s still a young guy and has time to get it right. Toney Freeman was very impressive with his conditioning and his excellent presentation. The man poses very well. The only issue with Toney is that even at 6’2” and 280 pounds shredded, he still needs more mass. Next to Wolf, he looked much smaller. I have known Melvin forever, since he was just a kid hanging around the pros at Gold’s Gym dreaming of being one
Charles Glass—Trainer of Champs
down the ranks. He also needs to bring his chest up a little. Gustavo has a huge ribcage and his waist is on the wider side, so more beef in the chest will help improve his taper. I am 17 years old and I was told that I should train on a powerlifting type of routine at least until I can bench press 300 pounds and squat and deadlift 400 pounds. At that point, it’s supposed to be OK to move on toward more of a bodybuilding routine. My goals are to win a bodybuilding contest before I am 20. I have been training for a year now doing mainly 1-3 reps on those three exercises, and I’m still not very close to hitting those numbers. I worry that I won’t even get to start training like a bodybuilder while I’m still a teenager. Should I stick with what I’m doing? I like the three powerlifts and do think they are a great way for beginners to build a solid foundation. Between just those three compound movements, you hit all the major muscle groups. At the same time, I don’t think you need to stick with them until you reach some random numbers decreed to you by this person you talked to. What if you were just really bad on one of those lifts, and it took you four or five years to reach that number? Would that mean you were doomed to wait it out and couldn’t incorporate any other exercises? That’s totally ridiculous. Not only do I think you can begin mixing in other movements, I also feel you should increase the number of repetitions. Very low reps will help you build strength, because they work the central nervous system hard, but they don’t stimulate much muscle growth. For that, you need to keep the muscle under tension longer, and that means your reps need to come up to 8-12. You can go heavier at time, but anything lower than 5-6 reps is just not going to be very effective at helping you gain muscle mass. Keep the powerlifts, but you should also add in some other great basics like chin-ups, barbell rows, military presses, weighted dips, incline dumbbell presses, barbell curls, skullcrushers and lying leg curls. Don’t do all these on one day! Separate your workouts so that maybe you could do chest, back and shoulders one day, take a day off, then do arms and legs, and have another day off. You are still too young and at too low of an experience level to get any more isolated than that. But you are ready to expand your training repertoire beyond just three exercises. All of the supplement and nutrition articles that I read have plans that revolve around people who train in the late afternoon or early evening. I get up at 3:15 in the morning to train before work. I think I read somewhere that you get up super early, too. I wouldn’t have the energy to train after work and commuting (2 hours each way). That plus the fact that I go to the gym to train, not for a social hour, and nothing pisses me off more than people hanging around a machine or bench that I need and people are using it but not really using it, if you know what I mean. There is no way I can get a solid meal in before I train. I do need some sleep, plus I think it would just be a big waste of food. What would you recommend? You say that there is no way to get a solid meal in before you train. Why is that, exactly? I wake up at 2 in the morning, and I have my egg whites and oatmeal. It takes me about 45 minutes to drive from where I live to Gold’s in Venice where I meet my first client and train with him at 4. You probably live a lot closer to your gym than I do, but I don’t see why you can’t go to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier. Is there some reason you have to stay up until a certain time, or is that just the schedule you choose to follow? These are all things to consider. One way you can save time is by cooking your food before you go to bed so that all you have to do when you wake up is microwave it and eat. If you want to train pretty soon after waking up, you could make “protein pancakes” like I do sometimes. You mix protein powder into whole-wheat pancake mix so that they are complete meals. If you have even less time, a whey protein shake and an apple would give you the amino acids and glycogen you needed for energy to train. There are a lot of ways to make this work if you just try being a bit more creative and stop with that stubborn mindset that says, “I have to get up at this time and there is no way I can eat before I go to the gym. Instead of dwelling on problems and using ” them as excuses, look for solutions! I’m just writing because I can’t seem to get my abs to show. I have tried EVERYTHING. Ketogenic diet, circuit training, carb cycling, HIT cardio, lowintensity cardio. Nothing seems to work. I certainly keep my waist trim, I’m only a 31 and a half-inch waist at 6’1” 193 pounds. My stomach is flat and the , rest of my body looks pretty good. But no full sixpack! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or if maybe there’s something genetically wrong with me. PLEASE help me out. Assuming your body fat is low, which it sounds like it is, I think it’s safe to say your problem is a lack of actual development in the abdominals. Ironically, almost everyone else has the opposite situation— adequate development of the muscles that can’t be seen due to an obscuring layer of body fat. You did not mention anything about what you do for abs, or if you even train them at all. What I would suggest is to work them three times a week. I would do 3 sets of 15-20 reps of hanging leg raises. If you aren’t strong enough to do them with straight legs, go ahead and bend your knees. It’s important to get the feet or knees up as high as possible, and to keep the movement slow and controlled rather than a spastic kicking motion. After those I would do 3 sets of machine crunches with a weight that limits you to failing somewhere between 15-20 reps. Get a full range of motion and be sure that your arms aren’t pulling and doing the work that your abs need. Finally, I would hit those abs with 3 sets of kneeling cable crunches with a rope attachment. Shoot for 15-20 reps again, being certain you get a stretch and a contraction on each rep. Don’t be tempted to train abs every day, because they are a mus-
cle and do need time to recover and grow. Within a few weeks, you should definitely start seeing a difference, and within a year, I bet you will finally see those nice clear blocks on your midsection that you have been missing all this time.
By Angela T. Frizalone
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January 2009 www.musculardevelopment.com MD 439
By John Romano
HAPPY NEW YEAR… NO MATTER WHAT!
2008 fuck’n sucked. I feel like the lone survivor of plane crash, and not by much. The economy is killing me…my townhouse is worth far less than I paid for it; two investment properties are in foreclosure; stocks are way down; and my son thinks I have a bush growing out back that flowers $100s. My ex-wife is finally gone. Except for the tens of thousands it cost to get rid of her, that’s good for me, but she abandoned our son, leaving me a single dad. It’s worth the strain but inspiration is at a premium…no time to do anything with it. My workload is heavier than it’s ever been and I’m being pulled in more directions than I have limbs. The only reason I go to the gym anymore is to thrash out my frustration. And if you’ve seen me lately you know I’ve been pretty frustrated. It was hard enough to get through the suicide this year of Shelley Beattie. But on top of that, we also got to deal with the murder/suicide of Amanda Savell, who was killed by that dirtbag, Dave Jacobs, and another one from Dr. Bruce Nadler and his wife. A slew of others also bit the dust, including, but not limited to: Eric Fromm, Steve Stone, Pinnacle founder Mel Rich and of course, Ben Weider. There were illness and injuries that sidelined several top pros this year and put a distinct asterisk next to this year’s Olympia: we knew Ronnie Coleman would be missing for the first time in over a decade, but also out were Branch Warren, Kai Greene and of course, Victor Martinez— the guy who would have won. Yesterday I was watching the news and saw the Dow tumble another few hundred points. You need sonar to find anything left in my 401K. My attorney called and said that the forbearance plan he tried to work out with the lender on my investment property was turned down, but his bill was due…and my son came home from guitar lessons complaining about the fact that he “needs” a Gibson Les Paul. Grrrrrrr…since eating out was out of the question, I went to the grocery store. Everything I picked up was more expensive than last week. “I wish I still lived in Mexico, I grumbled. Up and ” down the aisles, I was complaining under my breath, putting items down that I just couldn’t fathom spending that kind of money on. Six bucks for that little bag of almonds? Are you fucking kidding me? It was that, on top of the lawyer, on top of the property I would probably lose, on top of my 401K, on top of my kid who needs a $4,000 guitar, on top of my impending deadlines…FUUUUUCK!!! I felt like going home, drinking a bottle of tequila, and making out with a Glock. Then in the freezer aisle I came up behind a rather large woman. My dour attitude immediately had me bring to mind several insulting comments that I would of course keep to myself. As I passed her, I caught a glimpse of her face. She had obviously survived some sort of horrific accident. Her ears, the end of her nose and most of her lips were burned off and the rest of her face looked like it was spackled on with a putty knife and it was melting. Through two mangled things that used to be eyelids I could see her eyes and remarkably they sparkled, telling me she was happy and full of life! Instantly those remarks I had conjured up a second ago turned to admiration. How could anyone walk around looking happy with a face like that? Walking out of the store with my four bags of $140 worth of groceries, I thought: “You better count your blessings, motherfucker. It ain’t all that bad. ” Victor, Branch and Kai will be all healed up and in the Arnold 18 weeks from today. Those I know who died are still dead, but most of them lived a good life and every one of them is fondly remembered. Dexter did win an Olympia after starting life as a bantamweight, and Toney Freeman had an amazing year. Most of all, my son and I are healthy, our faces are intact and nothing is holding us back.There is even a new woman in our lives now who is bringing us nothing but love and joy and hope of a great tomorrow. My 401K will go back up by the time I need it, and if the bank wants that stupid condo back they can have it. As long as I’m in one piece, I have nothing to complain about. This morning I wrapped my hands around the chalk-caked knurl of an Olympic bar and pulled and excruciating set of deadlifts off the floor. I squatted down in front of the bar when I was done an watched a drop of sweat hit the bar that dripped off my nose. I looked up and into the mirror. The guy looking back wasn’t thrashing out his frustrations anymore. He was throwing down again an that’s the best feeling in the world. No matter what happens, 2009 is going to be a very good year!
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