Muscular Development 2009-11

July 13, 2017 | Author: sebab1 | Category: Violence, Sports, Nature
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Volume 46, Number 11, November 2009



Research: Training By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D.

256 Blood & Guts By Dorian Yates

106 Research: Supplements By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D.

270 Muscle Form+Function By Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM

114 Research: Nutrition By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D.

290 The Bodybuilding Alchemist By Oscar Ardon NEW!

142 Nutrition Performance MSG: A Novel Way of Increasing

312 Extreme Muscle Enhancement By Carlon M. Colker, M.D., FACN

326 Women’s Bodybuilding By Cheri Owen NEW! 328 The Predator By Kai Greene

Appetite in Bodybuilders By Robbie Durand, M.A.

150 Supplement Performance Whey Protein Hydrolysates Increase Blood Flow By Robbie Durand, M.A.

154 Sports Supplement Review MuscleTech’s Hydroxycut® Hardcore X: Unleash The Power of Thermogenesis!

332 The True Victor By Victor Martinez

By Robbie Durand, M.A.

336 Raw Power! By Rodney Roller NEW!

274 MuscleTech Research Report

340 Mass With Class By Branch Warren

286 Shred of Evidence By Anthony Almada

344 Mark of a Champion By Mark Alvisi 350 Beast From the East By Evan Centopani 356 The Big Bad Wolf: The People’s Choice By Dennis Wolf


134 Fat Attack EPO: A Surprising Fat-Loss Hormone By Dan Gwartney, M.D.

360 Erik ‘The House’ Fankhouser By Erik Fankhouser


364 The Pro Creator By Hany Rambod 370 Trainer of Champions By Charles Glass

Research: Fat Loss By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D.

120 Research: Drugs By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D. 262 Testosterone First Reported Case of Severe Liver Failure


Due to Anabolic Steroid Cardiomyopathy By Dan Gwartney, M.D.

294 The Anabolic Doc— Raw and Uncensored By Thomas O’Connor, M.D. NEW! 298 Anabolic Pharmacology Steroid of the Month: Dianabol By Seth Roberts

302 Anabolics Q&A By William Llewellyn 304 Anabolic Research Update By William Llewellyn 308 Anabolic Edge By Jose Antonio, Ph.D. 316 MD Walk-In Clinic By Dr. X 322 Busted! Legal Q&A By Rick Collins, J.D.


Research: Health & Performance By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D.

128 Research: Sex By Steve Blechman & Thomas Fahey, Ed.D. 146 Bodybuilding Science Thermal Therapy for Ultimate Muscle Recuperation By Robbie Durand, M.A.

152 Muscle Growth Update Casein Before Bedtime Increases Muscle Mass By Robbie Durand, M.A.

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Editor’s Letter By Steve Blechman


Mail Room Where Our Readers Rave & Rant


Industry Insider Buzz By Shawn Ray


MD People


The Gospel According To Lee By Lee Priest

70 By Gregg Valentino

278 Ramblin’ Freak By Gregg Valentino 376 Hot Shoppe By Angela T. Frizalone


378 Web Directory 380 MD Marketplace By Angela T. Frizalone & Manda Machado 396 Last Writes By Lee Priest




FEATURES 162 ALVISI MAKES HIS MARK Mark Alvisi Is the 2009 Overall USA Champion! By Ron Harris

176 THE REDEMPTION OF B-RAY Branden Ray Is Down,



But Far From Out By Flex Wheeler

188 GEE-FORCE! Middleweight USA Champ Daryl Gee Is Already A 202 Power to Reckon With By Ron Harris


202 RELENTLESS PURSUIT! Grigori Atoyan Proves Persistence Pays Off at the USA By Ron Harris

216 THE RAZOR’S EDGE! Tamer El Guindy Cuts His Competition to the Bone at the USA By Ron Harris

226 FEROCIOUS POTENTIAL! Seth Feroce Is Destined for Greatness By Ron Harris

242 THE GIRLS OF METROFLEX Photography By Per Bernal November 2009

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editor’s letter By Steve Blechman Publisher & Editor-in-Chief


he new wave is here. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, the time has come to make way for the new generation of bodybuilders. The bodybuilding universe has become more diverse, and MD is here to bring you the newest, and most exciting new pros and the most promising amateurs to hit the stage this year. We begin with the man on our cover, with his symmetrical physique and signature abdominal vacuum pose, which is rarely seen in the pro ranks today. They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. MD has seen the steady, determined steps of Mark Alvisi— we witnessed his narrow miss at the Nationals last year; we took pride in his resilience, work ethic and powerful will, as he stormed through countless legblasting workouts; we watched as he prepared for his Heavyweight and Overall USA win. We were with him on that last leg of the journey, when the apex was reached, and we stood proud as he accepted his pro card. We all knew Mark was a rising star, destined for greatness, and in “Alvisi Makes His Mark,” on page 162, Ron Harris gets him to open up about what it felt like to win the absolute toughest amateur bodybuilding contest in the world. Grigori Atoyan has proven that persistence pays off, and in “Relentless Pursuit,” see this year’s Super-heavyweight USA champion, on page 202. Ron Harris inter-

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views the thickly-muscled Armenian about the journey that led to achieving his pro card. The road has been a long one for Atoyan— 13 years long— and not until his 15th attempt, did he achieve his goal. Grigori began his lifelong passion for the iron at the age of 17, when he lived in the U.S.S.R.; his first ‘hero’ was Shawn Ray. Atoyan moved to Sacramento in 1993 and won his first NPC contest in 1996; thus began his quest for the pro ranks. His story is not to be missed! Daryl Gee is a power to be reckoned with and in “Gee-Force,” on page 188, Ron Harris tells us his story. Gee began training with a buddy in high school, but it wasn’t until college that he hooked up with other lifters, who shared their knowledge of nutrition and supplementation. But Gee didn’t compete until 2003; when he did, he discovered that “Once I got up there onstage, it just felt right.” This year, he placed as Middleweight Champion at the USA. How did he do it? “I’m a small-boned guy, a real hard-gainer; the only way I’ve been able to add muscle mass is to shock the muscles with higher intensity. Forced reps have been the best way to achieve that.” Check out Gee-Force’s story! Striations on top of striations, with lines and details in places most anatomy professors don’t even know about. That’s how Tamer ‘Razor’ El Guindy, winner of this year’s November 2009

USA Light-heavyweight class, has been described. His physique strengths also include an ideal structure with ultra-wide shoulders and a tiny 27-inch waist. In “The Razor’s Edge,” on page 216, Ron Harris gives us the keys to the ‘razor-sharp’ conditioning that brought El Guindy so close to winning his pro card. Branden Ray is down, but far from out. In “The Redemption of Branden Ray,” beginning on page 176, Flex Wheeler shares B-Ray’s story. Despite having some of the best proportions seen on any amateur in years, B-Ray got edged out of attaining his pro card, by the ridiculous conditioning of the aptly-nicknamed Tamer ‘Razor’ El Guindy. Shortly afterward, he was fired from his CNN job. It’s been a tough summer, but the ‘Brooklyn Knight’ is staying positive. How does he stay focused? “I have the gym. For an hour and a half every day, I don’t think about my problems.” Is he headed for the Nationals— and that elusive pro card? “That’s the plan,” says B-Ray, without hesitation. Seth Feroce is destined for greatness, and in “Ferocious Potential,” on page 226, Ron Harris talks with this most complete, shredded-to-the-bone freak, who displays thick muscle from top to bottom, front to back. Seth has been quietly building more and more mass and keeping it under wraps— until now. A heavyset kid growing up in Pittsburgh, he immersed himself in the world of bodybuilding in his teens when his dad first took him to York’s Gym. “My dad said once he saw the look in my eyes when I first walked in there and saw the big guys training, he knew he’d lost me.” Seth’s contest history is brief— but we know it’s just the beginning! This month we debut “Raw Power,” on page 336 by Rodney Roller, and “Anabolic Doc,” on page 294, by Thomas O’Connor, M.D. The rest of the issue is packed to the binder as usual with all the latest cutting-edge research and information on bodybuilding by the industry insiders who make it all happen. See you next month! Cover photos are by Per Bernal

November 2009

Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Steve Blechman Senior Science Editor Robbie Durand, MA Managing Editor Angela T. Frizalone Creative Director Alan Dittrich, Jr. Associate Editor Alan Golnick Associate Art Director Stephen Kolbasuk Assistant Editor Louise Powell Contributing Editors Carlon Colker, M.D.,Thomas Fahey Ph.D. Dan Gwartney, M.D. Executive Assistant Michele Gampel Photographers Chief Photographer: Per Bernal Bill Comstock Illustrators Bill Hamilton, 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

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mailroom Let’s Hear It for Evan! Way to go, MD, for putting Evan Centopani on the cover [September 2009]. What a triumph for Evan to win his first pro show! He really is the ‘Beast from the East,’ as he slaughtered the competition at the New York Po. Evan was like a hurricane or a tornado that came upon the contest. The sky opened up and a deep voice laid it on the competition: “Move over, chumps!” Wally, e-mail

Congratulations, Mark Alvisi Mark Alvisi is a man of his word. He said he would win the USA, and he delivered. Mark has one of the best looks in bodybuilding today: huge, symmetrical and pleasing to the eye. Mark represents the future of bodybuilding. He doesn’t look gross like some other bodybuilders. And some guys you see at bodybuilding shows are walking around so deprived of food and water, they look like they would keel over if a stiff wind came along. Not Mark Alvisi. He’s pumped and ready for action. His USA win was a well-deserved victory. Congratulations, Mark! Roger, e-mail

‘Basic’ Training I love to watch Kai [Greene] train. All the guys I’ve seen in the ‘old days’ did the same basic, bust-ass training that’s been the basis of every great physique over the years. And it was the basis for my own very modest gains, too. It’s the type of training that gives results, and it ain’t fancy and it ain’t brain science and it ain’t complex— you just have to do it consistently. Richard F. DiLorenzo, e-mail

Dorian Yates: A Classy Guy

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It’s great to see Dorian Yates’ ‘Blood and Guts’ column in MD each month. His column is one of the most thoughtful and informative sections of the magazine. Perhaps best of all, Dorian is a gentleman who has class. I’ve been training for 30 years and ‘class’ seems to be a dying concept in gyms. People used to be more polite, more courteous, and would put their weights away. Now you have guys who grunt and scream while they do their set. It’s like feeding time at the zoo. In fact, I’ve been to zoos where the animals were more polite than some gym members, and they— the animals— smelled better, too. Allan, e-mail

November 2009


Industry InsiderBuzz nsiderBuzz By Shawn Ray

Welcome Home, Adela; But Where’s Jen?

Pros Muscle Their Way Into Mr. O

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Missing In Action Richard Jones pulled another disappearing act after his return to the pro stage in Pittsburgh this past May, where he found himself in the th unfamiliar placement of 9 out of 12 competitors. He planned on competing in the Dexter Jackson/202 Pro in August, but the show came and went while Richard was MIA. Word on the street is that both of his parents have been ailing, and a few cross-country visits from California to his hometown, Boston, have taken a toll of his focus and any type of serious preparation for the contest stage had to be put on hold. Stay tuned; Richard said he is far from done as a competitor. We wish a speedy recovery for both parents.


These players were added to the Mr. Olympia lineup from three pro shows in August— the Jacksonville Pro, PBW Tampa and Europa: In the 202-pound division, Stan McQuay, John Hodgson, Lee Powell, Ricky ‘Tricky’ Jackson, David Henry, Daryl Gee, Kris Dim nd and Charles Dixon all made it to the 2 Annual Olympia Showdown in Sin City. This left the IFBB Atlantic City Pro— held a mere two weeks prior to Olympia Weekend— for the Welshman, James ‘Flex’ Lewis, to be added to this impressive list of pros, along with two more spots up for grabs to qualify to compete. I’ve been wrong before, but I’m betting the house that Lewis will qualify in Atlantic City, if not win the show to bring some additional United Kingdom flava to the Olympia EXPO! All of these bodybuilders were added to an impressive lineup of pros already qualified to compete in the Olympia Showdown at the Mr. th Olympia EXPO on Saturday, September 26 in Las Vegas, including Kevin English, Mark Dugdale and Eduardo Correa. This could be the highlight of the weekend— no doubt the best deal of the weekend, for the mere cost of an EXPO ticket on center stage. In the men’s open division, we saw Canadians Fouad Abiad and Ben Pakulski qualify for the big show at the Orleans Arena, by way of top-three finishes at the PBW Tampa Pro. The following weekend at the Europa Pro, we witnessed the return of Dennis James to the winner’s circle from the PBW Tampa Pro repeat that feat in backto-back weekends in Dallas, by besting 2005 NPC Nationals Champion Bill Wilmore and the ‘World’s Biggest Pilot,’ Joel Stubbs from the Bahamas. This year’s Mr. Olympia lineup was the deepest it’s been in years and the ‘late additions’ were interesting to watch. Go to for up-to-the-minute coverage and check out next month’s MD for more details!

Noticeably absent from this year’s Ms. Olympia Fitness competition was 10-year IFBB pro Jen Hendershott, who has not had a year off in 13 years since she began competing. What’s notable about her absence is the fact that she was the ‘reigning and defending’ Ms. Fitness Olympia champion from 2008, as well as the current Ms. Fitness International champion for 2009. Jen has been relatively busy with her Phat Camps she promotes, as well as taking a much-deserved break from the competition stage. We at MD know the lineup was weakened by her not being there this year, but she will have something to prove in 2010. Time will tell if she can regain her crown or if the ‘stork’ decides to pay her and her husband a visit. No, she is not pregnant— but with the extra time off, I’ve seen stranger things happen! Good luck, Jen! On the flipside, one Olympia champ decides to sit and another returns— in the form or former Ms. Fitness Olympia winner, Adela Garcia. Fresh off a year of recovering from knee surgery and a torn ACL, Adela barnstormed the competition in Dallas at st the Europa Pro by taking the 1 place and making a statement to all those would-be Olympia fitness ladies with aspirations of taking what Adela feels is her ‘vacated’ title. Welcome home, Ms. Garcia!

November 2009

! W N E M N U L O C

Jacksonville this past summer, many of his hardcore fans are hoping he nixes the idea. Some ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacks’ feel his quad, triceps and back are suffering from muscle tears and/or nerve damage. Upon closer observation, I’d have to agree with them. The photos posted online and Internet video clips clearly show one quad has atrophied more than the other; the triceps tear on one of his 24-inch arms is readily visible upon first blush. The ‘biggest, baddest back’ ever put on public display is but a shell of itself. Clearly, there is something going on back there— either a lat tear or nerve damage is making his once ‘most dominating’ pose the talk of the town, and not in a good way. While I am no doctor, the naked eye can see something is just not right and will no doubt hinder him in comparison poses, rather than favor him. In 2010, Big Ronnie will th be looking forward to his 47 birthday. Here’s wishing him well, whether or not he competes.

Muscle Camp Under Construction

Should Ronnie Compete Again? Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman has gone on record as stating that he will possibly return to the pro contest stage in 2010. After reviewing some of his latest guest-posing appearances in Pittsburgh and

Plans are ‘full steam ahead’ for a Muscle Camp in Boise, Idaho— with co-title sponsors GENr8 Nutrition and— slated for sometime in March 2010 during the weekend of the BFE (Boise Fitness Expo) Party. All the supplement company affiliates will gather, along with some of the biggest names in bodybuilding who are sponsored by these companies. Kris Gethin,’s online editor and I will be playing host to top pros— who will show fans and athletes the mechanics of training, nutrition, supplementation and competition. We are hoping to have IFBB personalities like Kevin Levrone, James ‘Flex’ Lewis, Marika Johansson, Flex Wheeler, Bob Cicherillo, Evan Centaponi, Mark Alvisi, Victor Martinez and more. Look for more breaking news online at

Rookies of the Year: Evan Centopani and Daryl Gee As of this writing, I have two rookies of the year: Evan Centopani and Daryl Gee. Evan won the 2007 NPC National Overall title, then took a year off in 2008 only to return and beat a tough field of IFBB veterans like Dennis James and Markus Ruhl to win the New York Pro— his first pro show— taking home $15,000 in prize money and qualifying for the Mr. Olympia. While Evan opted to sit out this year’s Mr. Olympia in favor of a return at the Arnold Classic in March 2010, he joined some elite pros— Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren, Darrem Charles and Melvin Anthony— in what he accomplished in his pro debut. November 2009

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Shawn Ray’s IndustryInsiderBuzz Daryl Gee was an amateur who took four years off from competition, only to return to the stage at the Los Angeles Championships in July to win the middleweight class and Overall titles, on his way to winning the middleweight class at the NPC USAs and an IFBB pro card as the st 1 runner-up Overall in that show! His third contest in as many weeks would land him on an IFBB pro stage, weighing a paltry 174 pounds in the newly-created 202-pound division in Jacksonville, Florida— landing in the number-two spot and nabbing an Olympia Showdown qualification to boot. Based on this placement ahead of veterans Tricky Jackson, Charles Dixon and Steve Namat, Daryl was onstage in the premier event of the year for 202-pound bodybuilders at the Olympia EXPO. What a ride! Enjoy it, kid, and congratulations!

Posedown Award A ‘Tricky’ Call The winners of the GENr8 Nutrition ‘Best Presentation Award’ at the Europa Pro Show in Dallas came down to two of the best showmen in the game. Ricky ‘Tricky’ Jackson, winner of the 202-pound division posedown and Marcus ‘The Comet’ Haley from the open division both vied for the $1,000 prize— sponsored by Muscular Development, Gaspari Nutrition, Pro Bodybuilding Weekly, Flexus Sports Products and Ed and Betty Pariso. The outcome was a TIE! These guys, popped, rocked, shook and shimmied their way into winning the prize, which Ed Pariso generously funded with an additional $1,000 based on the entertainment value and creativity each of these professionals brought to the show! Good job, guys, and congratulations!

Welcome, Wonderful Women New IFBB pros at Olympia Weekend included Tina Chandler, Isabelle Turell, and Nicole Duncan. They were some of the most excited women that weekend, as a portion of their dreams became reality. Time will tell if the waters are too deep at this level, or if they have found themselves at home among the world’s best. Good luck to all of them.

MD Supplement Store: Better Than Ever Be sure to watch for the new MD Supplement Store, which is being improved and upgraded at to serve you better! A welcome addition to help complete the best place for ‘one-stop shopping” at the #1 website in the world for bodybuilding!

Sacramento Pro A late addition to the men’s pro contest season is the Sacramento Pro. Longtime NPC/IFBB pro judges and contest promoters John Tuman and Ted Williams have added an IFBB pro men’s contest to their women’s pro figure and th NPC contest weekend on November 7 . John and Ted have a passion for helping the sport grow, and now some of the world’s best have reason to diet a bit longer— with hopes of early Olympia qualifications for 2010, prior to next year’s calendar kicking off with the Iron Man Pro in January, held in Los Angeles. Stay Hungry! S. Ray ■ For the latest breaking news and information, visit the forums, where updates are posted daily by top pros and rising stars of tomorrow. And don’t miss the ‘Team MD Radio Show’ on Mondays at 4 p.m. PST, 7 p.m. EST with Shawn Ray and Flex Wheeler.

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AccordingtoLEE By Lee Priest

He’s got an opinion— actually a lot of opinions— and he’s not afraid to express them. Being politically correct is not how Lee Priest rolls, so if you are easily offended, you may want to flip a couple pages!

Australian Men Make the World’s Worst Husbands? As an Aussie as well as a newlywed, this story caught my eye. An Oxford University study published in the Journal of Population Economics surveyed 13,500 men and woman ages 20 to 45 and found that Australian men helped the least with household chores and childcare, as compared to the dream hubbies from, in order of most helpful to least: Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, the USA, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, and Austria. Hmm— the title of the article was quite deceptive. By most accounts, there are close to 200 countries in the world and this study only seemed to include 13 of them. That’s like saying a Dodge Neon is the fastest car in the world, compared to a few economy models from Hyundai, Kia, and Saturn. You do see a lot of guys here who go straight from work to the pub to meet their mates and drink enough beer to float a yacht. A normal weekend for an Aussie man is to gather at a house with their buddies and drink even more whilst watching the footy (soccer to you) games on TV. I certainly don’t fit into this category, as my current wife and any former women I have known will attest to. I happen to be a clean freak and do actually enjoy doing housework. So there! My favorite quote from the article was when the researcher, a woman, naturally, pronounced “You might, in principle, expect to see women preferring to remain single, rather than face the prospect of spending more time doing household chores.” As if marriage is all about housework! What if the guy loves the woman and is out working his butt off 12 hours a day to support her and a few kids? Does he have to come home to scrub the floors,

One of the most sickening news items I read this summer was about an eight-year-old girl in Arizona who was raped by four teenage boys from her neighborhood. As if the heinous act weren’t repulsive enough, her parents blamed her for hanging around the boys and were

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so angry at how she had ‘shamed’ the family that they didn’t even want her anymore. All of the parties involved were refugees from the African nation of Liberia, where— and I am not making this up— rape was not even a crime punishable by law until just three years ago. That was not a misprint or typo, I said three years. This is absolutely insane, and I

don’t give a flying fuck what you want to say about cultural differences. How the hell can you blame a little girl for being raped? Her parents should be deported if that’s how they treat the child. This reminds me of that story I talked about a couple months ago from Afghanistan. A married woman was gang-raped and she was then stoned to death for— wait for it—

November 2009


Eight-Year-Old Gang-raped—and Parents Blame Her!

do the laundry, cook dinner, and bathe the rugrats as well— or else he’s a miserable, selfish bastard? I think there are both wonderful and shitty husbands in every country. I think this study didn’t include a lot of countries in places like Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where, if the women were allowed to speak under conditions of anonymity and didn’t have to worry about being punished, they would tell you what a really terrible husband is. It seems like the researchers took a very narrow view of ‘the world’ as being made up of only a few of the wealthier, more civilized countries. But you can’t get all up in arms over one survey. Next month, there will be another article telling you that French men are the worst husbands or something. The bottom line is that you can’t lump an entire country into a stereotype. If a woman wants to see whether or not a man will be helpful with housework, live with him for a bit, before getting married. If he’s a lazy slob who won’t lift a finger around the house then, chances are he’s not going to transform into Mr. Maid once you get a ring on his finger. As for men helping out with the kids, one good yardstick for that is just seeing how he is around kids. If a guy can’t stand kids and doesn’t want anything to do with them before he has them, it’s doubtful he’ll be an adoring, doting daddy once he has his own spawn. So ladies, regardless of what country you live in or what country your prospective husband is from, judge each man on an individual basis. Besides which— nobody mentioned the fact that these Swedish and Norwegian husbands who are so helpful with housework and childrearing may also happen to be big pussies. If you want that, just be a lesbian and do it right!

THE GOSPEL—ACCORDING TO LEE adultery! I thought we were living in 2009, but it seems like some of these countries are still stuck in the Dark Ages. As for these Liberians, if they wanted to live by their own barbaric laws and customs, why didn’t they stay in their armpit of a country? I get it— they want to enjoy the opportunities of the USA, and of course the welfare and Medicaid, but they don’t want to adapt to U.S. culture, where raping a child is a very serious criminal offense and the rapists are blamed, not the victims. Parents like those should not be allowed to have kids. What kind of values and beliefs do they teach them? Are daughters taught to submit to men, and sons told it’s acceptable, even their God-given right, to violate women on every possible level? In Afghanistan, you can actually have your wife killed if you just suspect she’s cheating on you. Doesn’t that make you glad the USA is spending billions of dollars and has thousands of troops deployed over there to keep them safe from terrorists? If I was the judge and jury in this situation in Arizona, I would put the father in jail, put the teenage boys in juvenile detention at least until they turn 18 and then possibly move them to adult prison where they can find out how much fun it is to be gang-raped, and I would try to find a good, loving home for the little girl, along with plenty of counseling.

‘Teenage’ Nationals Winner Was Actually 20 Years Old There was a bit of controversy after this year’s NPC Teenage Nationals when it came to light that the winner was actually 20 years old at the time he won. I’m really not sure who’s to blame here, as I don’t know for certain whether or not the promoter was aware of this fact or not. If he was aware of it and still let him compete, I have to shake my head. What’s the point of having a teenage contest if you don’t really have to be a teen to enter? Would you let a 39-year-old compete in the over-40 category, too? But for the sake of argument (and so I can do my usual ranting thing) and not necessarily speaking specifically about this case, allow me to comment on the scenario of a 20-year-old competing in a teenage division. At that stage of development, there is indeed a big difference, as a young man ages each progressive year, in many ways. This is why you can drink at 21 and not 20, for example. So indulge me as I address a young guy, knowingly competing at an unfair advantage. Why would you do something like this? Do you really want a trophy that badly? It’s like assholes taking drugs and competing in natural shows, beating legitimately drug-free athletes (not exactly a perfect analogy, but bear with me). Then the secret drug-user proudly gloats, “Hey look, I won!” Big deal, fuckhead. You won while using drugs against guys who weren’t!

I know there are plenty of guys who do this. If everyone in natural shows was actually taking drugs, I suppose it would be fair and a level playing field. But if you want to or feel the need to use drugs, why are you doing a natural show when there are plenty of non-tested contests out there? Is it because you take drugs and still don’t look very good? Is your physique nothing that a hard-working natural bodybuilder couldn’t achieve, so you are able to convincingly pass for a natty? Fucking losers, I swear. Now, in my humble opinion, competing in the teens when you’re 20 takes the cake. Did this kid forget his birthday or something? From the photos I saw, he looked even older, but that’s nothing new these days. A lot of these new young guys being promoted as phenomenal mass monsters look a good 10 years or more older than what their birth certificates would indicate. But that’s not important— the important thing is that they’re HUGE! So what if a kid is 21 or 22 and losing his hair, as long as he has 22-inch arms and 34-inch thighs! Not a very healthy look, but the ‘hardcore’ fans could care less about that. Let’s see if these young freaks are still around in 10 or 15 years. If not, no matter, because there will always be some other new young freak to fawn over. Entering a teen show as a 20-yearold— why stop there? Why not try your hand next time at the Masters, or throw a wig on and mix it up with the ladies? All that matters is that you win!

NASA Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Moon Landing— But Was It a Hoax? As a guy who doesn’t like to simply accept what I’m told as the Gospel truth (get it?), I have my doubts as to whether or not there really was a lunar landing in 1969, or in the other two Apollo missions to the moon that followed. Conspiracy theorists can be notoriously wacky, but they have made some very compelling arguments that at the very least cast shades of doubt on the alleged historic event. For one thing, you see the U.S. flag moving in the footage, when there is no atmosphere— and thus no wind— on the moon. Others have pointed out where they insist you can see wires above the astronauts, used to make them appear lighter and simulate the lower gravity up there. In some of the footage you can see the shadow of the lunar lander going one way, while the shadows of the astronauts at the bottom of the steps is facing in a different direction. If we had two suns instead of one, you could explain that one away. There are just too many strange facets to that footage for me to completely accept it as genuine. At the time of the moon landing, the USA was bitterly engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the ‘space race’ was a major battlefield, since

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November 2009

THE GOSPEL—ACCORDING TO LEE there was no actual war (thank God, or else the world may have been turned into a barren nuclear wasteland, unable to sustain any life aside from cockroaches). Would you really put it past the U.S. government to fake the whole thing, just to show their superiority over the Godless Communist Russkies? And if we did actually go to the moon— why is it we never went back after the three Apollo missions? They said it was too expensive. Nice try, but I’m not falling for it. Look at all the money NASA has blown with the Space Shuttle program, going back and forth to that stupid space station, and sending remote-control robot rovers to Mars. The U.S. government also somehow found the money to fund the Iraq war, bail out Wall Street and the automotive industry. Why didn’t they build some type of permanent space station on the moon? At least that one wouldn’t be doomed to eventually re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere like the one floating up there now is. Why didn’t they celeth brate the 40 anniversary of the moon landing by pointing the Hubble or some other high-power telescope back up there to show us the flag, the lunar lander, and all the other crap the astronauts supposedly left on the surface? Don’t tell me it couldn’t be done; that Hubble gadget takes pictures of galaxies billions of miles away! It all reminds me of an old ’70s movie called “Capricorn One,” that tells the story of a hoaxed manned mission to Mars. Check it out sometime on Netflix and it may just give you something to think about— something your government typically doesn’t encourage.

Henry Louis Gates, Racial Drama, and the Beer Summit On July 16, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates had returned home to Cambridge after a long trip in China filming a documentary. For some reason, he couldn’t get his front door open and he and a friend decided to break in. A concerned neighbor called the police to report a possible burglary in progress. When the cops showed up, an outraged professor Gates made a scene shouting about how it was typical treatment of a black man in America. Sergeant James Crowley arrested Gates for disorderly conduct and took him into custody. President Obama, apparently an acquaintance of Mr. Gates, sided with him and publicly criticized the Cambridge police department. Of course, it quickly turned into a big messy controversy over racial profiling by law enforcement. In the end, Obama invited Gates and Crowley to the White House to iron it all out over a beer, which the press immediately dubbed ‘The Beer Summit.’ Oh, brother. What the fuck? Again with the race card. Shit, it gets old over there in America. Pulling that race card does nothing but set everyone back and goes against the supposed racial harmony we’re all working toward. This Gates guy and his friend, both of whom happened to be black, were in fact breaking into his house though the front door. A neighbor sees it and does what all of us would want our own neighbors to do, rings up the

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police. Instead of calmly explaining what was going on when they showed up, Gates has a meltdown. Anybody should be arrested if he or she chooses to act in such an irrational and hostile manner. I don’t care if you’re black or an Eskimo, you should know better than to yell and act belligerently to the police— seeing as they have guns, badges, and the authority to cuff you and toss you in the back of their car. Gates should have been grateful he had a neighbor who actually gave a shit, instead of looking the other way and refusing to get involved when she saw a potential crime being committed. If I saw two guys breaking into a house, I would call the police too, regardless of their race, hairstyles, or anything else related to their appearance. All that’s relevant in a situation like that is what appears to be taking place: a crime. I should note that a couple weeks later, Gates did have a bouquet of flowers sent to the neighbor. What I do find even more outrageous is that Obama, with the U.S. economy in shambles and our soldiers fighting in wars raging in two different Middle Eastern nations, chose to take the time to pay attention to this incident and worse, to invite his old buddy to the White House to discuss it. What about all the other people being racially profiled, mistreated, harassed, and abused every day in the USA? They don’t get to go drink a beer with the President. The whole thing was such an obvious publicity stunt. Gates was out of

line when the cops showed up, so he was arrested. They never should have dropped the charges against him. If Gates thinks it’s so terrible being a black man in America, why not see how he likes it in Africa, a continent ravaged by poverty, famine, disease, wars, and political corruption? My wife is from South Africa, a nation ruled for many years by the bad white man. And yes, there was a lot of overt racism and oppression of the native people. They all thought their hell would turn to heaven once the black man got control back, but it didn’t quite work that way. The place went to shit. The whole country is on strike. The people get all kinds of free entitlements, but all they do is clamor for more, more, more! Blacks from poorer parts of South Africa come to the cities, willing to work for less money, and the city folks murder them to keep them from stealing their jobs. I’m so sick of all this crap. Look at the past, learn from it, and move on! Don’t live in the past and dwell on how unfair things were. I find it really hypocritical that blacks spent so much time fighting against segregation, and nowadays you have all sorts of pageants and awards shows specifically for blacks. If you had a White Miss America or an awards show for white musicians, that would immediately be reviled as racist. It’s wonderful for black people to be proud of who they are and celebrate the achievements of their race, but the only whites who do that are neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t

November 2009

THE GOSPEL—ACCORDING TO LEE approve of what those people preach. I’m just trying to make a point. It just seems really odd that it’s only OK to be proud of who you are if you’re a minority. If you’re not, that pride is called being a white supremacist. On a similar note, why is it acceptable for a black comedian to ridicule white people, mocking the way they walk, talk, dress, dance, etc., but if a white comedian ever did something similar he would be— pardon the pun— blacklisted? I suppose the reason given most often is the history of slavery. It is true— many slaves were kidnapped, forced to work for free, treated brutally, and even killed by white men. So the white man is bad, right? I don’t have a clue what the numbers would work out to for that in terms of deaths and lives stolen by servitude. But how many blacks have been slaughtered by other blacks in places like Rwanda, Uganda, Darfur, Ethiopia and Somalia? How many blacks have been murdered by each other in the USA in inner cities over the past 40 or 50 years in places like Detroit, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Gary, Indiana? Yet many of the black men and women in the USA who grew up in these environments surrounded by drugs, gangs, unemployment, and broken families somehow managed to do great things and change the world. Some of the greatest athletes and entertainers of the last few generations sprang from those places. So that’s why I can’t stand to hear the race card being brought up and hearing how awful it is to be a black American and how the White Devil continues to make their lives miserable and prevent them from achieving anything. Affirmative action was a huge mistake in my eyes. If you want to get a good job, be the best man or woman for that job. Study or do whatever it takes to be more qualified than the others who want that job. Plenty of white people live in poverty, too— don’t you watch “Jerry Springer”? Your life is what you make of it, and if you spend your life making excuses and waiting for someone to hand you what you want, you’ll

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never know happiness or success. If you believe the odds are stacked against you and you can’t succeed, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It sickens me when those types of blacks see others who have succeeded and sneer at them as being ‘sellouts’ or “Uncle Toms’ who aren’t ‘keeping it real.’ Yeah, real poor and ignorant. And before I get off this topic completely, I have to mention something that irks me— blacks who were born in America referring to themselves as ‘African-American.’ If

you were born in the USA, you’re an American. Otherwise, everybody would have to announce their ethnicity or nationality. “I’m an IrishAmerican, an Italian-American, a Vietnamese-American.” No! You’re an American, period! The only people who can legitimately call themselves African-American are those who have immigrated to the USA from Africa. OK, I’m done. Please save all your angry e-mails to MD, by the way. As I have said, I am not a racist at all— I hate all human beings equally!

Stupid Question of the Month! I need some help dealing with a situation I have gotten myself into. I met this new girl a couple weeks back and we have been having an awesome time, if you know what I mean. She has her own place, and that’s where we hang out. But now she is insisting on seeing where I live. The problem with that is, I still live at home. It’s the only way I can afford to lease my new Mercedes-Benz E550 coupe. She thinks I do something on the Internet and that I make 200 G’s a year, because that’s what I told her. But really, I am a personal trainer with only three to four steady clients. I don’t want more than that because it messes up my eating and training, and I do plan on being a pro bodybuilder someday. I’m only 25, so I have plenty of time. Anyway, what should I tell this girl so she stops being so nosy? Help a brother out! Well, well, well! You got yourself into this situation by lying from the get-go. Did you really think she wouldn’t find out the truth sooner or later? Bloody hell— living above your means and buying a Mercedes to look cool while living at home— you sound like a lot of immature twerps I have known. Get rid of the car, get your own place, and be a fucking man! Living at home with mommy and daddy is pretty sad for a guy your age. I could understand if you had just lost your job and were getting back on your feet or something, but that’s not it. And to say that you don’t want more than three or four clients— way to set the bar nice and high, you underachieving twat! More clients would mess up your training and eating. Poor little you! There’s this bitch called life and she’s going to slap you in the face, followed up by an even meaner bastard named reality. You say you want to be a pro. How many times have I heard that before? Have you ever even competed? I would sincerely ask you to send photos for an honest appraisal of your potential, but I can already tell you a career as a pro bodybuilder ain’t in your future. Pro douchebag— definitely. So to help you out with some advice, listen up. Come clean with your girlfriend and tell her the truth. Be sure to apologize for being a big fat liar. If she loves you, it won’t matter what you do for a living, where you live, or what you drive. She could also be so angry and disgusted at the lies that she’s all done with you— or it’s also possible that she was only with you because she thought you had money. In that case, she’s a user and you shouldn’t go for that type of woman anyway. They will take you for whatever they can get and then move on to the next idiot— take it from someone who knows from experience! So be truthful from now on, not only to potential mates but also to yourself. Sit down and honestly ask yourself what you want in life and if the path you are on today is going to take you there or not. Right now it sounds to me like you’re cruising down a dead-end street— time to make a U-turn, my friend. Can’t get enough of the outspoken Mr. Priest? Go to Forums, and check out The Lee Priest Zone, his very own section of the No Bull forum.

November 2009


muscular By Gregg Valentino “Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot and I know where to find him.”….YUP, I’M ON THE MD “NO BULL” FORUM EVERY DAY….MEET ME THERE!!!….BY THE WAY >> THE MD STORE IS NOW OPEN….FUCKING INSANE!!!....From the most popular bodybuilding magazine on the planet > MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT to the “No Bull” Radio Show!!!…From unique, and up-to-the-minute Bodybuilding News and Articles found only on our site, to the incredible Photo Galleries and Videos on MDTV…From the fastest-growing Bodybuilding Community and MD CyberStore, where you will find exclusive MD-branded merchandise plus thousands of your favorite sports nutrition products from the best

brands in the industry.…All at incredible prices!!!! is your “No Bull” Bodybuilding Headquarters for everything that is hardcore Bodybuilding!!!! YA KNOW, THEY


Originally Posted by marka aka Mark Alvisi >>> I believe that doing cardio even in the off-season helps you grow, because it helps keep your metabolism elevated as well as keeps your cardiovascular endurance strong so you can train harder and recover faster. You need to feed the muscles with good calories and burn the fat with intense training and cardio. It is also better to not let your body fat climb too high or you will have to work harder to burn it off later, and may lose muscle doing it. Keep in mind this is what works for my body. Some guys don’t have to do cardio to stay pretty lean off-season. The bottom line is if you want to lower your overall body fat regardless of where you are holding it, you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. That does not mean starve yourself, or your metabolism will slow and you will burn muscle. Your best bet is to do cardio first thing in the a.m before you eat. Five times a week is a good start. You should start with 45 minutes to an hour, depending on what you are doing now for length of time. I like using the StepMill. You could also use an elliptical machine or treadmill with the elevation at 10 or more. Shoot for a heart rate of 65% to 70% of your max heart rate. (220 minus your age) x 65% or 75% Good luck. SWEET!!!…GREAT ADVICE. THANKS MARK, YOU FUCKING ROCK, BRO!!!!!...Forum members make a “mental note….” oh shit, I see you’re out of

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paper!!!!….HERE IS A QUOTE FROM THE MD PRO FORUM FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE MD PROS, EVAN CENTAPONI > “I do cardio when I feel like I should. There is no schedule. I use the treadmill when I do it. I ate five precontest meals because 5 whole food meals is a lot different than 3 whole food meals and 3 shakes.”….Evan Centopani. HOW ABOUT A FORUM MEMBER ASKING EUGENE MISHIN FOR AN ARM WORKOUT >> Eugene, I was wondering what kind of exercises are you using for during your arm workouts? Originally Posted by EUGENE MISHIN….I do a total of 4 exercises for arms, 2 for bi’s and 2 for tri’s. • Hammer curls for bi’s — 4 sets of 8-10 • Preacher bench for bi’s — 4 sets of 8-10 • Rope pushdown for tri’s — 4 sets of 8-10 • Dip machine for tri’s — 4 sets pyramid 15 reps to 6 reps ANOTHER QUESTION FOR THE HUMONGOUS RUSSIAN >> Eugene, what do you think is the most important thing to know about calf training? 1. Start to train them first when you come to the gym. 2. Change exercises every workout. 3. Change amount of reps and sets every workout

November 2009 (high reps, low weight….low reps, heavy weight) 4. Do supersets HERE IS A MD.COM QUOTE FROM MD ‘SUPER’ COVER STAR AND MY PAL, EVAN CENTAPONI…“I deadlift almost every week. Maybe once every 8 or so weeks I may skip them. I think barbell rows are superior to dumbbell rows, but if you were to do one, I would most likely skip the other....alternate them.”….Evan Centaponi AND AS ALWAYS, I LIKE TO GIVE YOU 5 QUICK Q&A’s FROM MY FRIEND SHAWN RAY,TAKEN FROM HIS Q&A THREAD ONLY ON THE MD FORUM: Q. Do you think three days on then a day off would be better than just one day of rest a week? A. When I competed I did 3 on 1 off. Now I do Mon. to Fri. Q. What do you think about all these guys keeping their diets a ‘secret?’ A. I never cared what other guys ate or took, I only cared about what benefited me. Some guys need a Guru/Trainer, no hard no foul, I didn’t. Q. What was the heaviest you weighed in the off-season when you were competing? A. I went up to 242lbs after the 97 Olympia for the 98 Olympia. I came in at 218lbs but lost a lot of sharp crispness I usually displayed and came in 5th. Q. Do you think doing cardio right after a hard and heavy leg workout would be overtraining? A. I personally never had a problem doing cadio after great leg workouts! Actually, it helps loosen up the pump sometimes. I walk or I ride the stationary bike, it’s not like I run or anything. 4.0 incline at 4.0 speed. Q. How did you eat your egg whites, back in the day? A. Scrambled. Sometimes I add chopped chicken breast, canned tuna or ground beef for extra protein. I’VE LEARNED ONE THING TRAINING AS A MAN IN HIS LATE 40s >>> Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy….A BIG > FUCK OFF…SEE YA ON THE FORUM!!!

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Hi, Valarie, I’m Mr. Right. Someone said you were looking for me…Hi. Can I domesticate you?….WOW, THIS MONTH’S BABE OF THE MONTH VALARIE BECK IS MY TYPE OF GIRL, WITH HER NATURAL GOOD LOOKS, NOT TOO OVERLY MUSCLED AND SWEET SMILE….OOPS, SHE IS TOO YOUNG FOR ME....SORRY ABOUT THAT, I GET CARRIED AWAY SOMETIMES, FORGIVE ME MS. HOTTIE GIRL VALARIE…Damn girl, were you arrested earlier? It’s gotta be illegal to look that!!! Name: Valarie Beck Forum Name: lilfitgirl Age: 21 Zodiac Sign: Leo Hometown: Monroeville, Ohio Height: 5’5 Measurements: 34, 27, 33 Eyes: Hazel Off-season Weight: 122 Competition Weight: 115 Favorite Food: steak Favorite Junk Food: ice cream Favorite Quote: “Obsession is what lazy people call dedication.” —Unknown Favorite Makeup: Cover Girl mascara Sports/Activities/Hobbies: huge football fan, full-time student at the University of Toledo, spending time with friends and family, anything outdoorsy (hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, etc.) and lifting of course! Favorite TV Show: “Grey’s Anatomy” Favorite Music: everything! (metal, country, pop, rap, easy listening, etc.) Biggest influence in your life: my family Favorite Body Part to train: arms Your Best Asset (body part): long, lean legs Future plans / Goals: start competing spring of 2010 as a natural figure or bikini (depending on how my training comes along); become a personal trainer. My name is Valarie Beck; I am a 21-year-old college student at the University of Toledo majoring in early childhood education. I have always been an athletic person and enjoyed every aspect sports offers. In junior high I was a four-season athlete with volleyball, basketball, track and summer league softball. In high school I was a member of the fall and winter dance team and ran track in the spring. My first year in college was quite the adjustment, not

November 2009 being in so many activities, and my body suffered for it. I gained the dreaded ‘freshman 15 lbs.’ I soon realized how unhappy I was with myself and started doing simple cardio at the local rec center a few times a week. I saw some results, but wasn’t meeting my goal. One of my best guy friends talked me into lifting weights along with my cardio to help burn more fat and tone up. After the first week of lifting weights, I was hooked! Lifting and time at the gym has since become one of my top priorities in life. I absolutely love watching my body grow and change. After giving myself completely to this lifestyle, I thought I should do something with it, so I applied to be a promo model at the Arnold Classic. I have been a promo model at the Arnold Classic the past two years (2008 & 2009) and will be in 2010. Now I want to take this to the next level and step onstage for the first time in spring of 2010. Another goal of mine that I will be meeting soon is to become a personal trainer. I already have many people asking me for advice on training, and I want to be able to give them professional advice. I will be taking a personal trainer course along with my full class schedule this coming fall at the University of Toledo. Many people question and judge the lifestyle I live, but I’m not doing this for them...I’m in this for me. YO’ VALARIE,YOU GOT ME ON MY KNEES RIGHT NOW. Are your feet tired? They should be, you’ve been running around in my mind all day…OOOPS, THERE I GO AGAIN, I CANT HELP MYSELF, YOU’RE JUST TOO DAMN HOT!!!!! Name: Joe Pietaro MD Forum Member Screen Name: Joe Pietaro (formerly MuscleSport Mag) Hometown: Long Island, NY Age: 42 Years Bodybuilding: 23 years Goal for the Future: Turn back the clock Favorite Bodybuilders: Rich Gaspari, Jay Cutler, Dan Lurie I consider myself a lucky guy. A sports nut my entire life, I’m actually earning a living writing about that exact subject. Covering the last three Super Bowls and multiple baseball playoff games has been everything that I could have imagined and then some. Being a bit of a throwback, my favorite place to visit is Wrigley Field. They can build all the new ballparks they like, but give me one of the historical originals any day. Even while I was interviewing the likes of Derek Jeter and Eli Manning, I still had the itch for bodybuilding. As a teenager, I got hooked on working out and reading the muscle magazines and that transcended into adulthood. I wanted to cover the big bodybuilding shows just like the other main events. I’ve been to the last two Arnold Classics and last year’s Mr. Olympia and enjoyed them just as much— if not more— than many of the other sporting events. I immersed myself into the bodybuilding scene as a journalist, and that made me decide to launch my own online publication, MuscleSport Mag, which covers both of my passions. Now that I find myself working with MD, the sky’s the limit. I feel as if my mainstream sports experience gives me a different insight into this industry and I’m confident that will help me establish myself even further and become a better writer. The key to this profession is to separate yourself from the pack, and I’m working toward that. Not bad for a kid from Brooklyn.

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November 2009

Word Essay

By David Burton

his month we had a number of excellent entries to this contest; eight essays were competing for this month’s prize and coming out on top with a third of the overall votes was Big Bri’s essay. It tells the story of his struggle with diabetes and how a bodybuilding lifestyle helped him take back control of his symptoms. Enough said now, let’s give it up for Big Bri!


Living, and Succeeding with Diabetes by Big Bri In August 1997, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I vividly remember the day that I was diagnosed. I was at work and I did not have any balance. When I was walking, I was using the wall to hold me up. My supervisor saw me and asked me if I was OK? I was very disoriented and I said, “I don’t know?” I ended up being rushed to the hospital where I stayed for 3 days. I was put on a few oral medications: prandin, glucophage, and metformin. I had good and bad days trying to control my sugars; it was very hard for me to follow the “diet” they gave me. But, in August 2002, I tried a diet called “Sugar Busters”. This worked very well. My sugar was under control and the diet was manageable. I lost about 20 pounds over a few months. The doctor and I at the Clinic did not get along. In August 2004, I moved to another doctor and I have seen him since. In January 2005, some of my medicines were interacting with each other and my blood sugar was dropping very low and my energy level was nonexistent. I found out that I had gone into lactic acidosis. It was shutting down my kidneys. Again, I was hospitalized One day, I woke up and I went to stand up, everything spun around and I fell on to the floor. I could not stand up

as I had zero muscle coordination. After about 10 minutes I was able to get up, I made it to my bathroom where I keep Smarties in case I have a low blood sugar attack. When I got to work I researched this and found that my sugar was somewhere between 34 and 40. I was close to passing out going into a diabetic coma. This terrified me. I have not had a low sugar attack since. I just went and saw my doctor the other day, after almost a year because I don’t have insurance. He was so proud of everything that I had done and how well I could read my body signals now. I have no circulation problems and or nerve damage from the diabetes, which is exceptional. After seeing my doctor, I can now cut my insulin dose in half and ELIMINATE some other medication that I was taking. Through my weight loss and exercise I have made my body more receptive to the insulin that my body produces. One day soon I hope to be FREE of the medication and control it all through diet. I owe a lot of the changes in my body due to the exercise and the nutritional advice that I have gained since joining MD. Since November 2008, I started dieting again. I was as high as 290 pounds. Two weeks ago, around the 8th of July, I was weighing 258 pounds. A total of 32 pounds lost over roughly 8 months.

Big Bri tells a great story, and getting this amount of info condensed into 500 words is no mean feat, but he managed to do this and to get his story across, with great impact. Big Bri is managing to control an illness which is blighting the western world, Diabetes is reaching almost epic proportions and costs millions in health care costs every year, yet with a few changes to a person’s lifestyle it can be kept under control and keep the need for medication to a bare minimum. Adhering to this lifestyle has helped Big Bri, and his dedication is to be commended. Hiding behind the scenes, but still being a helpful part of his journey are the members of the Muscular Development forums. Big Bri has a very long personal journal thread in the member journals section of the site; for anybody interested in reading more about his progress, his thread can be accessed at Congratulations to Big Bri— and as always, I look forward to more excellent article entries next month! ■

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November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD



‘The Glove’ Speeds Recovery and Increases Training Volume During Weight Training The Glove is a thermal transfer device developed by scientists from Stanford University that literally sucks heat from the body without constricting the surface blood vessels. The device is a negative pressure small chamber with a water-cooled cone inside. Athletes grasp the cylinder during rest intervals between exercises (e.g., squats, intervals on the track), which lowers muscle temperature. A University of New Mexico study, led by Young Sub Kwon, found that using The Glove during rest intervals between sets increased repetitions and total exercise volumes during repeated sets to exhaustion in the bench press. College-age men did 4 sets of bench presses to failure, with 3-minute rest intervals, during which they cooled the hand with The Glove, heated the hand with The Glove, or rested normally. Heat causes lost energy in the muscles, which promotes fatigue. The Glove works by tightening the link between fuel breakdown and energy available for muscle contraction by reducing muscle temperature. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 27, 2009)

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Improving Your Bench Press for the NFL Combine Test Max reps to failure on the bench press is a common measure of strength and muscle endurance and is included in the NFL combine test. Zach Wagner and colleagues from West Point showed that the prime mover muscles are increasingly activated during the exercise with increasing reps. Bench press endurance was highly related to onerep maximum capacity, bodyweight, and mass. During the test, muscle contraction velocity and power output slowed with fatigue, but there were no differences between muscle fiber activation in any muscle groups as the test progressed. The best way to increase performance on a bench press rep test is to get big and strong. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Abdominal Crunches Activate Core Muscles Better Than Planks Core muscle development is central to successful bodybuilding and serves

as the foundation for peak performance in almost all sports. Many personal trainers deemphasize traditional abdominal exercises such as crunches, in favor of Pilates exercises such as planks. Anthony Caterisano and co-investigators from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina found that crunches activated the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscle) and external obliques (side ab muscles) 20 percent greater than planks. They measured muscle activation using electromyography. Crunches build core muscle strength better than planks. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 41: 198-199, 2009)

Eccentric Strength Increases More Than Concentric Strength During Intense Weight Training When muscles exert force, they contract eccentrically when they lengthen and concentrically when they shorten. Muscles can exert more force eccentrically than concentrically, particularly at fast movement speeds. During standard weight-training exercises, muscles contract at higher percentages of maximum during the concentric phase of the lift because eccentric muscle strength capacity is greater. However, Danish researchers led by Emil Sundstrup found that gains were greater in eccentric than concentric strength during a 12-week weight-training program using standard lifts (squat, hack squat, knee extensions, leg curls, and calf raises). This study showed the importance of including eccentric muscle contractions in strength-training programs. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, May 28, 2009) November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Training Elastic Bands Increase Bench Press Strength Most elite powerlifters use elastic bands or chains to provide variable resistance during the lifts. Athletes attach them to the bar and the resistance increases during the exercise as the bands stretch or the chains come off the floor. Limited research supports their use. Matthew Muller from Kent State University and colleagues found that elastic band training increased bench press strength more than traditional bench press training alone. During a sixweek training program, men did either five sets of five repetitions in the bench at 85 percent effort using bands, or at 100 percent effort without bands. Strength gains were nearly 8 percent greater when using bands. The study showed that elastic band assist training is an effective way to improve weightlifting strength. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Multiple Sets Best For Beginning Weight Trainers Most weight-training studies on beginners or untrained people showed that multiple sets produce no more benefits than single-set workouts. Critics say that these studies were poorly supervised and that multiple sets would be superior if people trained hard. Brazilian researchers, using untrained college-age men, found that multiple sets produced greater strength gains than single sets. The subjects performed 8-12 repetitions of knee extensions and elbow flexions on a resistance machine (isokinetic dynamometer) for one or three sets during a six-week training period. Multiple-set programs were best for beginning weight trainers. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

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Anabolic Hormone Response to Weight Training Greater in Men than Women Increased levels of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and IGF-1, are critical for the training responses that increase muscle mass and strength. For example, studies by Shalender Bhasin from Boston University found that increases in muscle hypertrophy were directly proportional to blood testosterone levels. Men have larger muscles than women, so the response of anabolic hormones to training might be significant in determining the training response. A study from Springfield College in Massachusetts, led by Jason Sawyer, found marked gender differences in testosterone and IGF-1 following a weight-training workout. The authors speculated that gender differences in mechanical stress during the exercise might have accounted for the differences in hormonal response. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

in blood pressure in the aorta (large artery leaving the heart), carotid artery (supplies the brain), or whole-body blood vessel resistance, following a sixweek weight-training program. Weight training decreased blood pressure equally in both racial groups. Weight training is valuable for improving cardiovascular function and reducing blood pressure. (Paper presented at American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

No Racial Differences In Blood Pressure Responses To Weight Training African-American men have a higher risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and type II diabetes. Compared to Caucasian men, African-Americans tend to have stiffer large central arteries, impaired blood flow control in smaller arteries, and higher blood pressure. Weight training increases blood vessel stiffness, so it is unclear whether racial differences exist in response to resistive exercise. Kevin Heffernan and co-workers from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign found no racial differences November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Fat Loss Obesity Suppresses Testicular Function Obesity is bad for your sex life. Most women don’t like fat guys, and excess adipose tissue interferes with metabolic health that controls erections and testosterone levels. Australian researchers, in a review of literature, concluded that obese men tend to have lower testosterone and the biologically-active free testosterone. To make matters worse, agelinked declines in testosterone occur faster in overweight and obese men. Obesity increases risk factors linked to low testosterone levels such as obstructive sleep apnea, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. High body fat levels, particularly in the abdomen, interfere with hormones that control the reproductive system and decrease sperm quality. Weight loss increases testosterone and free testosterone and improves reproductive health. (Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, in press; published online June 18, 2009)

The Thyroid Gland and Obesity

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Follistatin Promotes Fat Cell Growth Follistatin is a chemical produced by almost every cell in the body. It is of great interest to bodybuilders because it inhibits myostatin— a chemical that prevents muscle growth. Researchers from the Ohio State University found that mice given a single dose of 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 research captured the imagination of bodybuilders and strength athletes, and supplement companies advertise follistatin or follistatinboosters on the Internet. Even if you could buy the real stuff, taking follistatin supplements might not be such a good idea. Swedish researchers from the Karolinska Institute showed that follistatin promoted fat cell growth and could contribute to chronic obesity and insulin resistance. In other words, follistatin could make you stronger, but it might also make you look like a tank. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 94: 3003-3009, 2009)

Portion Size Influences Food Intake Would you consume more calories if given a plate containing 10 large cheeseburgers or a plate containing 20 mini cheeseburgers (the burgers on both plates contained the same number of calories)? According to a study from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, you would eat more when faced with the larger portion sizes. People were given large (15 grams) and small (5 grams) portions of chocolate custard, but allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Those who received the larger portions ate 10 percent more calories. Cafeteria studies using college students found similar results. Students ate less food when given smaller portions, even though they could eat as much as they wanted. Parents trying to help kids lose weight should serve small portions at dinner and let them take seconds. They might eat less and lose weight. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90: 269-275, 2009)

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The thyroid is a large hormonesecreting gland that lies just below the Adam’s apple. It secretes thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), that help regulate metabolic rate. Thyroidstimulating hormone (TSH), released by the pituitary gland in the brain, controls the release of thyroid hormones. T3 and T4 increase oxygen consumption and caloric expenditure, help regulate protein synthesis, promote sugar release from the cells, and stimulate fat breakdown. Many bodybuilders take thyroid hormone supplements to help them lose weight. Thomas Reinehr, from the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany, in a review of litera-

ture, concluded that TSH and T3 increase in obese people in an attempt to normalize weight. Rapid weight loss causes decreases in TSH and T3, which at least partially accounts for the difficulty in maintaining lost weight. Changes in thyroid hormones seem to be a consequence, rather than a cause of obesity. (Molecular Cellular Endocrinology, in press; published online June 18, 2009)

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Fat Loss Elevated IGF-1 Does Not Suppress Growth Hormone in Obesity Many bodybuilders take growth hormone (GH) to build muscle and lose fat. GH is a potent fat burner, which makes it popular with the ‘total makeover’ set as well as athletes. Increased GH levels stimulate IGF-1 release mainly in the liver. Many of the beneficial effects of GH are actually caused by IGF-1. However, GH levels decline in obesity and IGF-1 levels stay the same. Danish and American researchers showed that IGF-1 and its binding protein were not related to the degree of obesity in women. The study showed no feedback between growth hormone and IGF-1 in obesity. GH and IGF-1 are readily available on the black market. Bodybuilders should be careful when using these drugs in combination to decrease body fat, because we don’t fully understand how the two hormones interact. (Journal Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 94: 3093-3097, 2009)

Mini-Fast Plus Exercise Promotes Fat Loss Most people have a difficult time trying to lose weight, and more than 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it back again within 12 months. Our genes are programmed to protect us from starvation. The body perceives low-calorie diets as an assault on its well-being. Weight regulation centers in the brain preserve energy stores by slowing down metabolic rate and increasing appetite. Is it possible to fool Mother Nature? Mexican researchers from the Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana found that exercising after short fasts (12-14 hours) promoted fat loss.

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Exercise involved prolonged, moderate-intensity aerobics. Participants practiced this procedure 3-5 times per week for 12 weeks. The average person in the study lost 16 pounds. The body uses available fuels and will mobilize fat stores when carbohydrates are not readily available. We need more research to determine if mini-fasts plus exercise is a viable weight loss method. (Medical Hypotheses, in press; published online July 3, 2009)

Do Chemicals in the Environment Make You Fat? Energy balance and the principle of conservation of energy is one of the first lessons you learn in a college nutrition course. In a nutshell, you get fat if you take in more energy than you expend. Likewise, you lose weight when energy expenditure exceeds energy intake. If weight management were that simple, we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, suggested that obesogens— environmental chemicals that alter cellular sensors controlling metabolic rate and food intake— interfere with energy balance and promote fat storage. Exposure to these chemicals during critical growth periods might condemn people to a lifetime of obesity. Understanding and managing obesogens is a major public health issue. (Molecular Endocrinology, 23: 1127-1134, 2009)

may have dangerous metabolic and cardiovascular side effects. Japanese researchers, in a study on mice, showed that low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets increased chemicals in the blood that trigger blood clots. Blood clots are implicated in most heart attacks and strokes. Blood-clotting abnormalities are usually included as part of the Metabolic Syndrome, a group of medical conditions such as abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure that increase the risk of coronary artery disease. While low-carbohydrate diets cause weight loss in the short run, they are no more effective than low-calorie mixed diets or lowcalorie, high-carbohydrate diets after 12 months. We need more studies to determine the possible effects of low-carb diets on blood clotting. (Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, in press; published online July 23, 2009)

Low-Carbohydrate Diets May Promote Blood Clots High-fat, low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets, such as the Atkins diet, are extremely popular for short-term weight loss. Many medical experts have criticized them because they

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By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD

Health Obesity Rate Hits All-time High Last year, 26.1 percent of Americans were obese, compared to 25.6 percent in 2007. A 2009 report issued by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed that U.S. is in the midst of a public health disaster that is on par with the economic meltdown. Adult and childhood obesity rates increased 2-3 times during the past 30 years. In 2008, obesity rates increased in 23 states and didn’t decrease in even one state. Mississippi and Alabama are the fattest states, with obesity rates of 32.5 percent and 31 percent, while Colorado is the skinniest at 18.9 percent. Health care costs expanded at an alarming rate during the past 10 years, in part due to the obesity epidemic. The economic downturn has increased the incidence of psychological depression and made it more difficult for families to purchase healthy foods, so it is likely that the obesity rate will continue to increase. (, July 2009)

Risk factors of heart attack and stroke include high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes. Add low testosterone levels to the list. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine, in a review of literature, concluded that low testosterone levels increase the risk of

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moting disorders that include high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, abdominal fat deposition, and blood clotting abnormalities. He stopped short of recommending testosterone supplements to treat the problem. Supplementing testosterone in aging men has been a controversial subject since the hormone was first isolated in 1934. Prescriptions for testosterone increased threefold in the last 10 years, but many physicians worry that the benefits do not offset the side effects. Leading a healthier lifestyle will enhance metabolic health and increase testosterone, reduce body fat, boost muscle and bone mass, improve blood sugar regulation, and reduce the risk of the Metabolic Syndrome. You can improve testosterone metabolism by living a healthier lifestyle— even if you take testosterone supplements. (Journal Andrology, 30: 370-376, 2009)

Exercise Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Low Testosterone Linked to Metabolic Syndrome Low testosterone is an important marker of poor metabolic health. Andrét Guay from Harvard Medical School, in a review of literature, concluded that low testosterone levels increase the risk of the Metabolic Syndrome— a cluster of disease-pro-

Regular moderate-intensity exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death, but its effects on the risk of cancer are less clear. A 16-year-long study in Finland showed that moderate-intensity physical activity reduced the risk of cancer by nearly 50 percent. Scientists examined more than 2,500 men with no history of cancer at the beginning of the study and reexamined them nearly 17 years later. Exercising regularly at a moderate intensity (5.2 Mets: equivalent to a brisk walk) for 30 minutes at a time provided protection against the disease. Exercise was most protective against lung and gastrointestinal cancers. The study showed that regular physical activity reduced the risk of the deadliest and most common types of cancer. (British Journal Sports Medicine, in press; published online July 28, 2009)

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Illustrated by Jerry Beck/

Low Testosterone Increases Heart Attack Risk

cardiovascular disease and premature death from all causes. Other negative health consequences include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and strength, bone loss, chronic fatigue, and depression. Low testosterone levels in aging men are a significant public health issue that has received little attention. (International Journal Impotence Research, 21: 261264, 2009)

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Supplements Whey Protein Boosts Muscle Protein Synthesis Best Scientists, coaches, and athletes argue endlessly about the best protein supplement for enhancing muscle protein synthesis. Whey and soy proteins are digested faster than casein, so supplement makers often mix blends to maximize amino acid availability for as long as possible. However, little research supports the use of one type of protein over another. Researchers from McMaster University in Canada found that a supplement containing whey protein hydrolysate accelerated muscle protein synthesis at rest and after weight training better than soy or casein protein. The researchers speculated that whey protein promoted muscle protein synthesis best because it was digested faster and was better able to increase blood levels of leucine, which is a critical signaling compound for promoting protein synthesis. (Journal of Applied Physiology, in press; published online July 9, 2009)

Timed Casein Supplementation Has No Effect on Strength Gains

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Potassium Citrate Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones During Atkins Diet The Atkins diet, which is high in proteins and fats and low in carbohydrates, is extremely effective for promoting weight loss, particularly during the first three to six months of dieting. While the diet generally promotes positive changes in metabolism, it often causes high cholesterol, constipation, and kidney stones. Kidney stones are excruciatingly painful. In addition to the Atkins diet, they are also common in people who take calcium supplements and consume low-fiber diets.

A Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study showed that potassium citrate supplements prevented kidney stones in children consuming low-carbohydrate diets, by making the urine more alkaline and preventing the formation of calcium crystals. The treatment was highly effective. Consider taking potassium citrate supplements to prevent kidney stones when following low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets, or if you are susceptible to kidney stones. (Pediatrics, 124: e300-e304, 2009)

Lysine Reduces Blood Sugar Response High-sugar beverages, such as energy drinks, cause rapid increases in blood glucose (blood sugar) and trigger insulin release from the pancreas. The insulin response is critical for moving sugar from the blood into the cells but can cause a yo-yo effect on blood sugar. Rapidly fluctuating levels of blood glucose and insulin can wreak havoc in athletes who must maintain high energy levels and adequate blood sugar concentrations for sustained practices and competitions. Insulin spikes can also promote fat storage when caloric consumption from the energy beverage exceeds energy expenditure during exercise. Scientists from the University of Minnesota found that consuming the amino acid lysine with glucose resulted in a blunted blood sugar response without affecting insulin release. During training, including lysine in an energy replacement supplement might help maintain a more stable blood sugar level, which would prevent hunger, sustain energy levels, and prevent fat accumulation. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 90: 315-320, 2009) November 2009

Illustrated by Jerry Beck/

Casein protein is absorbed more slowly than either soy or whey protein. Altering the time that athletes take casein supplements might maximize muscle protein synthesis and strength gains, resulting from a weight-training program. A study from the University of Tartu in Estonia showed that supplement timing had no effect on strength gains or lean body mass in college-

aged males who lifted weights during two eight-week training periods. During the first eight-week session, they took the supplements in the morning and five hours after training. During the second session, they consumed the protein in the morning, immediately after training, and in the evening. Supplement timing had no effect on muscle strength, lean body mass or body fat. (Nutrition Research 29: 405413, 2009)

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Supplements Maltodextrin Preserves Muscle Glycogen During Prolonged Exercise Carbohydrates are the principle fuels during exercise at intensities above 65 percent of maximum effort. Since the 1960s, we’ve known that high-carbohydrate diets promote endurance capacity better than low-carbohydrate or mixed diets. While fats contain more energy per gram than carbohydrates, they take longer to metabolize. Consequently, carbohydrates provide more energy per liter of oxygen consumed than fats. In other words, carbohydrates are faster fuels. Unfortunately, we store only about 400 grams of glycogen throughout the body, which limits endurance capacity. Popular energy drinks contain carbohydrates to help provide fuels for prolonged exercise. When first introduced, these drinks contained the glucose polymer maltodextrin, because it could deliver large amounts of glucose (sugar) without being overly sweet-tasting. Gradually, maltodextrin was replaced by high-fructose corn syrup in most sports drinks, because it was cheaper. In a study on rats, Brazilian researchers showed that pre-exercise feeding with maltodextrin preserved muscle glycogen in active muscles. In humans, this effect would help athletes involved in prolonged endurance events recover faster and exercise more intensely during subsequent workouts. (JEPonline, 12: 30-38, 2009)

Medium-Chain Triglycerides Boost Endurance Capacity Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been called nutritional optimizers and ‘fatless fat.’ They provide a lot of energy in a small volume, just like fat, yet are absorbed and used rapidly, just like carbohydrates. They may also

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reduce body fat, improve carbohydrate and protein metabolism, enhance absorption of essential minerals, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood triglycerides and cholesterol. Japanese researchers found that endurance capacity was higher following two weeks on a diet high in MCTs (6 grams per day for two weeks) than following a diet low in MCTs. The exercise consisted of 40 minutes on a stationary bike at 60 percent effort, followed by exercise to exhaustion at 80 percent effort. Blood lactate and perception of effort were lower during exercise following the high MCT diet. These results do not agree with other studies in the literature. (Journal Nutritional Science Vitaminology, 55: 120-125, 2009)

Waxy Maize Starch Maintains Blood Sugar Bodybuilding involves a delicate balance between increasing muscle mass and minimizing fat. During building phases, protein and calorie intake are critical for turning on chemical pathways that promote muscle protein synthesis. Unfortunately, unbridled caloric intake also leads to increased fat deposition. When trying to lose fat, hunger is the bodybuilder’s enemy. They must continue intense training regimens, while maintaining energy levels and restricting calorie intake. Waxy maize starch (WM) is a complex carbohydrate that helps stabilize blood sugar, without increasing insulin and causing wild fluctuations in hunger and satiety. A Purdue University study showed that consuming a supplement containing WM caused lower blood sugar and insulin responses than drinking a beverage containing maltodextrin and table sugar or eating white bread. Waxy maize starch effectively sustains blood sugar and prevents hunger. It might be a useful supplement for bodybuilders. (Nutrition Research, 29: 383390, 2009)

Coenzyme Q10 Increases Interval Sprint Capacity Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like chemical that helps supply energy to the cells. Some athletes experience coenzyme Q10 depletion during training and might benefit from supplements. Scientists from Selcuk University School of Medicine in Turkey found that men who took 100 milligrams per day of oral coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) increased performance during repeated sprints on a stationary bike (5 Wingate tests; all-out 30-second sprints), compared to when they took a placebo (fake CoQ10). CoQ10 increased peak power and average power and reduced the perception of fatigue. A Japanese study found that Coenzyme Q10 (100 or 300 milligrams per day for eight days) improved performance and reduced the perception of fatigue during intense endurance exercise and interval training. The larger dose produced the greatest effects. Coenzyme Q10, particularly in doses of 300 milligrams per day, might prevent fatigue and boost performance during intense sprint exercise, but we need more research before we can recommend it as an effective performanceenhancing supplement. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, in press; published online July 28, 2009) November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Nutrition No Benefit Linking Dextrose and Creatine

Leucine Supplement Does Not Increase Lower-Body Workout Volume Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that’s used as a building block for proteins, acts as a chemical signaler for protein synthesis, and helps maintain blood sugar through its conversion into glucose in the liver. Intensely training athletes can sometimes become leucine deficient, which makes it a possible effective performance-enhancing supplement. Baylor University researchers found that large doses of leucine (40 mg per kilogram bodyweight) had no effect on training volume during an intense lower-body workout. Many recent studies have demonstrated the critical role of leucine in exercise performance and adaptation to training. However, most studies have failed to find a beneficial effect from leucine beyond the effects of training alone. (Paper presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

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Caffeine Does Not Alter the Relationship Between Heart Rate And Oxygen Consumption During Exercise Many athletes take caffeine to jumpstart their workouts. Caffeine is a mild stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure at rest. A study from Minnesota State University at Mankato found that caffeine (6 mg per kilogram bodyweight) did not affect the relationship between heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. However, caffeine increased oxygen consumption slightly. Many studies found that caffeine boosts endurance and high-intensity exercise performance. Caffeine might work by altering the perception of fatigue. Caffeine is no longer on the ban substances list in Olympic sports but its use is still limited by the NCAA. (Paper presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Creatine monohydrate supplements have been around for more than 15 years. While highly popular, creatine is relatively cheap, so it’s not all that profitable for supplement makers. In an effort to stay competitive and increase profits, companies have tried to bind creatine to various substances to speed its uptake and effectiveness. A Creighton University study compared the effects of creatine versus creatine plus dextrose on creatine retention in muscle. Dextrose triggers insulin release, which could enhance creatine uptake. They found that both forms of creatine are equally effective. Bodybuilders should buy bulk creatine monohydrate from a reputable manufacturer and forget about the bells and whistles. (Paper presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Glutamine Supplements Protect Muscles From Inflammation Glutamine is vital for a strong immune system and recovery from intense exercise. It also protects the muscles from inflammation because of its role in generating heat shock proteins (HSP) that help organize new proteins and speed the removal of injured cells and tissues. Stresses increasing HSPs include muscle cell damage from high tension, high cell temperature, reduced pH (cell acidity), inadequate blood flow, oxidative stress (free radical damage), and depleted energy stores. Researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in a study on mice, found that glutamine supplements preserved muscle strength in artificially-inflamed muscles. While controversial, we have some evidence that glut- November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Nutrition amine supplements boost immune function and protect tissues from inflammation. (Paper presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Protein-Carb Supplements Do Not Boost Muscle Protein Synthesis at Rest or After Exercise Muscle growth requires muscle tension, amino acids, calories, carbohydrates, anabolic hormones, and rest. Take away any of these and training progress grinds to a halt. Many recent studies found that taking protein and amino acid supplements before or after weight training promoted protein synthesis. This practice increases the availability of amino acids, which are used to build new proteins. Also, key amino acids such as leucine activate important biochemical pathways (i.e., the mTOR pathway) that trigger protein synthesis. Not all studies have found that supplementing protein close to workout times has any beneficial effects. Aaron Staples and colleagues from McMaster University in Canada found that supplementing protein and carbohydrate following a weight workout did not boost protein synthesis more than the workout itself. We need more research to help decide this controversial issue. (Paper presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, May 28, 2009)

Low-Glycemic Index Meal Boosts Performance Cycling time trials are prolonged, high-intensity events requiring ready availability of carbohydrates for fuel. Carbohydrates come from stored glycogen in the muscles, liver glycogen, gluconeogenesis (liver converts various fuels to blood sugar), and dietary

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intake of carbohydrates. British researchers found that a 40kilometer cycling time trial was 4 percent faster, following a low-glycemic index meal after a high-glycemic index meal. Both meals contained 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight. Glycemic index is a measure of how fast foods increase blood sugar. Low glycemic index meals provided more sustained glucose release, which might spare scarce muscle and liver glycogen during intense, prolonged exercise. These results may not apply to short-term, high-intensity exercise. (International Journal Sports Physiology Performance, 4: 331-344, 2009)

No Difference Between Highor Low-Glycemic Index Meals on High-Intensity Exercise Performance

The Mediterranean Diet Reduces Abdominal Fat The Mediterranean diet is high in pasta, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and wine. People living in Mediterranean countries have the lowest heart disease rates and greatest longevity in the world. Diet may play an important role in their excellent health. A large study of nearly 500,000 men and women age 25 to 70 living in 10 European countries found a reduced risk of abdominal obesity in people who followed the Mediterranean diet. The relationship was strongest in men from northern European countries. People living in France, Norway, and Sweden were the thinnest, while those living in Greece and Spain were the fattest. Europeans were considerably leaner than Americans. The Mediterranean diet has positive effects on metabolic health and preventing obesity. (Journal Nutrition, 139: 1-10, 2009)

Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a meal increases blood sugar. Foods such as white bread, table sugar, and corn syrup have highglycemic indexes and cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Foods higher in fat and fiber have lower glycemic indexes and provide dietary carbohydrates more slowly. A study from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada showed that the glycemic index of a pre-exercise meal had no effect on performance during 90 minutes of intermittent high-intensity exercise on a treadmill. The test subjects perform better after consuming either meal compared to fasting. A good pre-game meal is important for performance in either intense or endurance exercise. The study showed that consuming calories was more important than the composition of the meal. (International Journal of Sports Physiology Performance, 4: 367-380, 2009) November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Drugs Link Between Steroids and Preoccupation with Building Muscle? Many high school and college women suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, which are related to distorted body image. These women starve themselves or ‘eat-and-purge’ because they think they are overweight— even when they are not. An increasing number of men have a similar condition called muscle dysmorphia. These men are preoccupied with their bodies and think they are not lean or muscular enough. Lebur Rohman from St. George’s University of London in the U.K. summarized the literature on muscle dysmorphia and its possible link with anabolic steroid use. Men with this condition have a compulsive need to work out and diet. They will evade important social and work responsibilities to maintain their workout schedule. They often take drugs and supplements they know are unhealthy in order to attain their goal. We think that there is another perspective on this ‘problem.’ While many men undoubtedly have unrealistic body images, extreme focus and dedication are required to reach championship levels. In champions, preoccupation and dedication are considered admirable, while these qualities are classified as illnesses in less-accomplished people. (Eating Disorders, 17: 187-199, 2009)

tive test for marijuana, even weeks or months after smoking it. Australian researchers, led by Jonathon Arnold from the University of Sydney, were able to detect THC in rats several days after giving the animals the equivalent of 10 marijuana cigarettes. They speculated that humans who use the drug regularly could test positive for THC when dieting or experiencing emotional stress. This effect might also be significant for other drugs such as nandrolone (an anabolic steroid). (British Journal Pharmacology, in press; published online August 14, 2009)

THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes you high. Once in the body, it is absorbed quickly in the fat cells. Gradually, it moves back into the bloodstream, where it is metabolized and eliminated. Rapid fat loss during dieting increases the rate that THC enters the bloodstream, which can result in a posi-

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A 50-year-old former bodybuilder had surgery to remove a malignant tumor near his spinal column. During the surgery, he experienced a sudden drop in blood pressure while receiving anesthesia. The surgeons reported thickening of the valve and walls in the left chamber of the heart and an

NSCA Issues Position Statement on Anabolic Steroids and Growth Hormone The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one of the premier professional organizations for strength coaches and research on strength and conditioning. In August 2009, the NSCA issued a position statement regarding anabolic steroids and growth hormone use in sports. The elements of the report included: 1. Steroids increase lean mass, muscle mass, and strength. 2. Steroids plus weight training work better together than either one alone. 3. The side effects of these drugs have not been systematically studied, but there are numerous reports of a variety of possible side effects. 4. Women and men experience similar effects from steroids, but women also experience masculinizing effects such deepening of the voice and clitoral

November 2009

Illustrated by Jerry Beck/

Physicians Blame Dieting Increases Steroids for the Risk of Near Death of Positive Drug Tests Ex-Bodybuilder

increase in the size of the wall separating the left and right sides of the heart. The patient reported taking anabolic steroids 15 years before. The surgeons speculated that steroids might have caused the ex-bodybuilder’s heart problems. Intense weight training causes high pressure loads in the heart. These loads increase when lifting heavier weights. It could be argued that steroids caused the heart problems, because they allowed the exathlete to lift unusually heavy weights when he was younger. However, heavy weightlifting increases heart size and the stiffness of the arteries regardless of steroid use. Which was the culprit: heavy weight training or steroids, which allowed the athlete to lift unusually heavy weights? Also, did the steroids contribute to enlargement of the heart independently of heavy weightlifting? (Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, 23: 208-210, 2009)

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Drugs enlargement. 5. In children, steroids can cause premature closure of the bone growth centers, which results in retarded growth. 6. Steroids are Schedule III substances. Illicit use can have serious legal consequences. 7. Combining growth hormone with weight training causes few changes in muscle mass and strength beyond weight training alone. 8. Growth hormone side effects increase with dosage. 9. Anabolic drug use has decreased in high school students during the past few years. Hiring qualified, certified coaches is the best way to prevent drug use in athletes. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 23: 1-59, 2009)

Drug Police Seeking Growth Hormone Test Athletes first started using growth hormone (GH) in the early 1980s. The drug was harvested from cadavers and was extremely expensive. Early studies showed that GH had little effect on athletic performance, but athletes discovered that the combination of GH and anabolic steroids was dynamite. While GH has been on the banned substances list since 1989, the world anti-doping Association (WADA) did not introduce a GH test until the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The test could only detect GH for 24 hours after injection, so an athlete would have to be an idiot to get popped. The ideal scenario for drug testers would be a urine test that could detect minute amounts of the drug. Currently, that’s little more than a distant dream. A promising test measuring connective tissue changes was reported last year, but WADA has not adopted it. Growth hormone will continue to be a problem drug for Olympic sports until WADA scientists develop an effective test to detect it. (Growth Hormone & IGF Research, in press; published online May 2009)

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Growth Hormone Builds Muscle and Cuts Fat Growth hormone (GH), along with its helper hormone IGF-1, has important long-term and short-term effects on protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Increases in GH during exercise appear to be important for triggering the training response. In GH-deficient adults, supplementing the hormone increases muscle mass, physical performance, and decreases body fat. In studies lasting as long as 10 years, administration of GH supplements in older adults slowed many of the effects of aging, such as decreased muscle mass and increased fat. In healthy athletes, GH decreases body fat and prevents protein loss during intense training, but these effects are small and controversial. Chronically high levels of GH seen in acromegaly show that excessive long-term administration of the hormone does not improve physical performance. However, short-term supplementation could benefit athletes. (Growth Hormone & IGF Research, in press; published online May 2009)

GH Remains the Anabolic Drug of Choice for Olympic Athletes Why is growth hormone so popular with elite athletes? The answer is simple: there is no effective test to detect it. Random drug tests make it very dangerous to take anabolic steroids, because they can be detected for one week to more than six months. However, available research suggests that GH provides only small benefits to athletes. Even though athletes can once again get GH from China, it is still expensive and importing it is risky (both legally and medically). GH might increase connective tissue strength, which allows athletes to train harder, prevents soft tissue injury, and speeds the healing rate following injury. While the effectiveness of GH is unclear, at this time athletes can take it with little risk of detection. (Growth Hormone & IGF Research, in press; published online May 2009)

Drugs That Turn On Anabolic Genes In 2002, the human genome project identified the human genes. Sports governing bodies such as the International Olympic Committee feared that implanting the gene variants that controlled physical performance would allow athletes to develop superhuman strength, power, and endurance. Since then, we’ve discovered that such elaborate techniques may not be necessary. Drugs can increase the activity of specific genes that control many aspects of human performance. For example, drugs that influence the activity of genes controlling the powerful growth factor IGF-1 can trigger increases in muscle mass and strength without altering the gene itself. At this point, we don’t know much about the effectiveness of these techniques for improving athletic performance, their long-term and short-term side effects, or how to detect their use in athletes. (Growth Hormone & IGF Research, in press; published online May 2009)

November 2009

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Sex Regular Sex Important for Sperm Quality Every bodybuilder knows that when it comes to muscle, you use it or lose it. The same goes for your reproductive system. Australian researchers, led by David Greening from the Sydney InVitro Fertilization Clinic, showed that sperm quality improved by 20 percent in men who ejaculated daily for seven days. The researchers concluded that couples trying to conceive should have sexual intercourse daily for seven days prior to ovulation. Previously, urologists recommended that couples abstain from sex for 5-7 days before ovulation so that men could build up sperm volume. It appears that older sperm is more susceptible to DNA damage, which can decrease the chances of fertilization and increase the risk of birth defects. (Paper presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, June 2009)

Most Women Use Vibrators

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Until recently, most women had a healthy bush— and that signaled to men that they were nearing the ‘Promised Land.’ Things have changed. Nowadays women clear-cut their nether regions to the point where you sometimes question whether you’re having sex with a pre-pubertal girl. It appears that hairless loins are here to stay. A Scottish study speculated that the wide distribution of porno movies accounts for the sudden disappearance of pubic hair. Throughout history, art (the ancient version of porno videos) showed men and women with minimal pubic hair. Victorian modesty caused people to cover up, which promoted genital hair growth. With the Sexual Revolution that began in the ‘60s, the full bushes of early Playboy models gradually led to today’s genital deforestation. Most women perceive removal of pubic hair as sexy and sanitary. They believe that hair removal increases sexual pleasure by increasing sensitivity, improving the beauty of the sex organs, and making it easier to identify the hood of the clitoris. We need more research to help us understand this pressing public health issue. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 2102-2110, 2009)

Guys with ED Have Shorter Dicks More than 50 percent of men over 40 years of age have moderate-tosevere erectile dysfunction (ED). To add insult to injury, they also have shorter penises. Egyptian researchers from Cairo University, in a study of more than 1,000 men, found that stretched penis length was more than one-half-inch shorter in men with ED than in normal men (4.4 inches vs. 5.1 inches), while stretched penis girth was similar (3.4 vs. 3.5 inches). In both groups, penis length and girth were highly related. The study agreed with research on men from North America, showing that the foot-long club celebrated in porno movies is largely a myth. Few men are hung like race horses. Male porno film stars with mutant dicks have given inferiority complexes to a whole generation of young men raised on adult films. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 2305-2310, 2009)

Is ED a Disability? Several large-scale studies found that regular sex is one of the most important factors promoting happiness. What happens if contaminants in the workplace cause sexual problems that

November 2009

Illustrated by Jerry Beck/

Does your significant other carry a picture of her vibrator in her wallet instead of you? A study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University showed that a majority of women aged 18-60 use vibrators. That means that if she’s not using the sex toy with you, her vibrator is getting more action than you are. On a brighter note, women who use vibrators are sexually better adjusted than those who don’t. Vibrator users scored higher on measures of sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and overall sexual function. Few women reported side effects from vibrator use. The study involved a sample of 3,800 women chosen to represent a cross-section of Americans. The research showed that if you are looking for a highly sexual woman, ask her if she uses a vibrator. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 1857-1866,2009)

The Deforestation of Our Nation’s Crotches

By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey, EdD


Sex interfere with quality of life? Many studies have shown a link between erectile dysfunction (ED), obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and recreational drug use. Chemicals in the workplace, such as lead, organic solvents, and pesticides, and job-related emotional stress can also promote ED. Should work-linked ED be grounds for disability payments? While scientists can build a reasonable case between work stresses, contaminants, and bad sex, it’s unlikely the government will do anything about it, given the present economic climate. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 23402342, 2009)

Guys With Fat Guts Can’t Get It Up Most women don’t like guys with fat guts. Belly fat is unsightly and guys with beer bellies usually don’t have game. They also have erection problems. A Canadian study from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario found that men with large waist circumferences or obese body mass indexes (a measure of weight to height) were 50 percent more likely to have erectile dysfunction than leaner men. The study involved 3,941 men 20 years or older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Men who exercised at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes per week and maintained a waist circumference of 40 inches or less usually maintained normal erection function, regardless of total body fat. The best way to keep it up is to lose the gut and exercise regularly. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 1990-1998, 2009)

High Cortisol Levels Linked to Sexual Problems in Men Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands, which are located on the top of each kidney.

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During times of stress, the adrenals release cortisol to help provide fuel for emergencies and promote tissue healing inflammation. Chronically high levels of cortisol can suppress the immune system and cause cellular destruction throughout the body. Japanese researchers showed that high cortisol levels can also interfere with sexual function. They measured saliva and blood levels of cortisol and testosterone and found that elevated cortisol levels impaired the capacity for erections, decreased sexual desire, and interfered with satisfaction during intercourse. They found no relationship between testosterone levels and sexual function. The link between elevated cortisol and bad sex was low and might not be clinically significant. (International Journal of Impotence Research, 21: 207-212, 2009)

Beer Glasses Affect Men More Than Women How many times have you gone to bed with a ‘10’ and woke up with a ‘2’? According to British researchers from Brunel University, this is much more likely to happen to a man than to a woman. While casual sex is relatively common in men and women, women have higher standards. They asked nearly 1,000 male and female students from the U.S., Germany, and Italy to rate the likelihood of having a one-night stand with someone who propositioned them and was either slightly unattractive, moderately attractive, or exceptionally attractive. Looks had no effect on a man’s decision to have casual sex, while most women required that her potential sex partner be exceptionally attractive. The study also found differences between countries. Italian and American men would sleep with anything that moved, while German men were more selective. (Medical News Today, August 12, 2009)

November 2009


By Dan Gwartney, M.D.

EPO: A Surprising Fat-Loss Hormone It

altering behavior, affecting stem Testosterone causes a greater prois impossible not to be amazed cell differentiation away from duction of red blood cells by stimulatby the human body, though we developing fat, and increasing ing the production of a hormone all take our own for granted 1 5 sebum production in the skin, etc. called erythropoietin (EPO). most days. Record-setting athletic performances create a sense of awe, Many hormones stimulate different Conversely, EPO stimulates testosas individuals demonstrate the reactions, depending on the specifterone production, demonstrating a potential and capabilities of the ic tissue the hormone interacts mutually supportive relationship 6 human form. Unfortunately, people with. Most people tend to focus on between the two hormones. In the the most apparent example of horfail to experience the same awe in bone marrow, where red blood cells mone function— testosterone being are created and mature, EPO and more mundane acts, becoming a muscle builder. jaded or even disappointed in the testosterone work together to stimu7 form and function of their late the appropriate genes. This technique will blur the definition of own body. EPO is produced by spedoping, as altering hormone or enzyme cialized cells in the kidneys. Though the list is endless, one amazing feature of levels by inserting new genes into a per- EPO production increases durthe human body is its sense ing conditions of low oxygen, son’s DNA changes that person’s abilities, such as high altitudes during of economy. When one conby changing the very blueprint that siders all the interaction, mountain climbing or skiing. communication, and defines who that person is at the most This response is more proresponse that takes place in nounced, with greater testosbasic level. the billions of cells that terone concentration, in men 8 comprise the body, it is amazing Testosterone also increases the with high-altitude sickness. that 23 pairs of chromosomes production of oxygen-carrying red Elite endurance athletes manufacture 2,3 (structures containing DNA-based blood cells. In fact, one of the first ‘altitude chambers’ to sleep in, basigenes) can contain all that informaclinical uses of anabolic steroids cally a bubble chamber that creates a tion. Though there are unfortunate was in the treatment of anemia partial vacuum, making the body 4 cases of genetic mishaps, the relia(low red blood cell count). Anemia adapt to a high altitude-like condition, bility of creating healthy people is is often seen in women (particularly increasing EPO and red blood cell 9 amazing. those with heavy menstrual bleedproduction. This allows them to comTo prevent the need for huning) and people with kidney dispete more intensely. Of course, many dreds of chromosomes, the body ease. In fact, an elevated hematathletes continue to use the pharmarelies on many chemicals to perocrit (a measure of red blood cells ceutical version of EPO and newer form more than one function. One as a percentage of blood) is one of analogs of the drug, even though example readily understood by the more common side effects drug testing has caught up to the 10 readers of this magazine is the mul- among users of anabolic-andropractice. tifunctional spectrum of testosgenic steroids (AAS). It rarely causA recent study published in the terone’s effects. Testosterone is es problems, and is frequently Public Library of Science reported the most commonly known as a musoverlooked during clinical lab effect of EPO on body fat and weight 11 cle-building hormone, but it also reviews. In predisposed people, loss in mice. It was previously aids in sperm maturation, strengthelevated hematocrit (polycythemia) reported that EPO given to chronically ening bone, dilating blood vessels, could lead to circulatory problems. ill, dialysis-dependent patients (peo-

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Fatattack ple whose kidneys do not function) is associated with a decrease in body mass index (BMI) and LDL (bad) cholesterol; increased exercise tolerance, activity, and muscle growth; as well as improved glucose control with a lower fasting blood glucose and 12-18 increased insulin sensitivity. Clearly, there is much more to EPO beyond increasing oxygen delivery for anemic patients or sports doping. This group of scientists altered the mice to overproduce EPO by transferring the EPO gene (cDNA) to a leg muscle, increasing circulating (blood) concentration 100-fold; not 100 percent, which would be doubling the amount in the blood, but 100fold— or 10,000 percent! These animals were compared to normal mice, the two groups (EPO versus normal) being assigned to consume either a normal ‘mouse-chow’ or a high-fat diet that causes obesity. After a 12-week trial, EPO-treated animals showed significant, practically incredible, results compared to their untreated peers. In just three months, obese EPO mice lost 23 percent of bodyweight, with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans revealing that the prior fat mass was reduced 28 percent by 11 volume. The reduction in fat resulted in metabolic changes that improved glucose control back to normal levels. Obese mice and humans typically have poor blood sugar control, with high fasting sugar and insulin levels. Perhaps even more exciting was the effect EPO had on muscles. In muscles that were transfected (had the cDNA containing the EPO gene transferred into the muscle cell), muscle volume increased 14 percent, compared to the opposite-side leg that was not transfected, with no change in protein concentration— suggesting that the increase was due to muscle hypertrophy and not edema 11 (fluid retention). However, the mus-

cle did not generate more force or have more stamina, so it does not appear to make a stronger or more aerobically-fit muscle, despite the increase in size. Additionally, the treated muscle was 25 percent more vascular, increasing gas exchange (oxygen for carbon dioxide), waste removal (lactic acid), and nutrient delivery (glucose, amino acids). Lastly, various enzyme pathways were stimulated in the EPO-treated muscles, including anabolic pathways and fat-burning/thermogenic processes. EPO-treated muscle burned fat for calories/heat at a rate that was nearly double that of untreated muscle, with a lesser dependence on sugar as 11 an energy source. This study is an interesting step toward gene manipulation for treating conditions such as obesity or sarcopenia (loss of lean mass). As promising as it is with the mention of muscle growth and fat loss, it does not appear to have immediatelyapplicable use in humans. Recall that the most beneficial effects were seen only in the treated muscles, not the whole body. Further, the growth in muscle was not accompanied by an increase in strength. Lastly, the potential risk of polycythemia (overly thick blood due to red blood cell overgrowth) at a dose necessary to produce a body-wide effect is significant. The most interesting revelation could be the potential relationship this finding has to the anabolic and fat-reducing effects of testosterone and other androgens. It is possible that a minor effect of AAS-induced muscle growth and fat loss is related to the increase in EPO production, as these hormones stimulate the EPO apparatus in the kidneys— or, increased activity in EPO-based reactions as androgens and EPO appear to cooperate in certain processes. Some may point to the extremely

Some may point to the extremely low body fat of elite cyclists who maintain high EPO through highaltitude-simulating sleeping chambers, or by injecting EPO and related drugs. November 2009

Fatattack low body fat of elite cyclists who maintain high EPO through high-altitude-simulating sleeping chambers, or by injecting EPO and related drugs. Remember, this group expends thousands of calories daily in aerobic exercise. Gene doping and gene therapy are part of the future of sports and medicine. This study offers a glimpse at what may be pending in the next decade. Certainly, athletes and anti-doping agencies are closely following the performance-

enhancing effect and physique changes that may be brought about through gene doping. This technique will blur the definition of doping, as altering hormone or enzyme levels by inserting new genes into a person’s DNA changes that person’s abilities, by changing the very blueprint that defines who that person is at the most basic level. Certainly, there will be as much controversy as there are potential gene-transfection techniques. ■

References: 1. Saad F, Gooren L. The role of testosterone in the metabolic syndrome: a review. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 2009 Mar;114(1-2):40-3. 2. Molinari PF. Erythropoietic mechanism of androgens: a critical review and clinical implications. Haematologica, 1982 Jun;67(3):442-60. 3. Shahidi NT. Androgens and erythropoiesis. N Engl J Med, 1973 Jul 12;289(2):72-80. 4. Navarro JF, Mora C. Androgen therapy for anemia in elderly uremic patients. Int Urol Nephrol, 2001;32:549-57. 5. Malgor LA, Fisher JW. Effects of testosterone on erythropoietin production in isolated perfused kidneys. Am J Physiol, 1970;218:1732-6. 6. Juul SE. Nonerythropoietic roles of erythropoietin in the fetus and neonate. Clin Perinatol, 2000 Sep;27(3):527-41. 7. Perretta M. Molecular action of erythropoietin on RNA synthesis: 30 years of study. Arch Biol Med Exp, (Santiago) 1988 Jun;21(1):203-17. 8. Geddes L. Superhuman: what gives elite athletes the edge? New Scientist, 25 July 2007., accessed August 13, 2009. 9. Gonzales GF, Gasco M, et al. High serum testosterone levels are associated with excessive erythrocytosis of chronic mountain sickness in men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2009 Jun;296(6):E1319-25. 10. Czerwinski B. Tour de France stage-winner Mikel Astarloza tests positive for EPO. USA Today, 31 July 2009., accessed August 13, 2009. 11. Hojman P, Brolin C, et al. Erythropoietin over-expression protects against dietinduced obesity in mice through increased fat oxidation in muscles. PLoS One, 2009 Jun 12;4(6):e5894. 12. Eschbach JW, Abdulhadi MH, et al. Recombinant human erythropoietin in anemic patients with end-stage renal disease. Results of a phase III multicenter clinical trial. Ann Int Med, 1989;111:992-1000. 13. Tuzcu A, Bahceci M, et al. The comparison of insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic hemodialysis patients treated with and without recombinant human erythropoietin. Horm Met Res, 2004;36:716-720. 14. Allegra V, Martimbianco L, et al. Lipid and apolipoprotein patterns during erythropoietin therapy: roles of erythropoietin, route of administration, and diet. Nephrol Dial Transplant, 1997;12:924-932. 15. Borissova AM, Djambazova A, et al. Effect of erythropoietin on the metabolic state and peripheral insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients on haemodialysis. Nephrol Dial Transplant, 1993;8:93. 16. Allegra V, Mengozzi G, et al. Early and late effects of erythropoietin on glucose metabolism in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Am J Nephrol, 1996;16:304-308. 17. Gunga HC, Fries D, et al. Austrian Moderate Altitude Study (AMAS 2000) - fluid shifts, erythropoiesis, and angiogenesis in patients with metabolic syndrome at moderate altitude (congruent with 1700 m). Eur J Appl Physiol, 2003;88:497-505. 18. Schobersberger W, Schmid P, et al. Austrian Moderate Altitude Study 2000 (AMAS 2000). The effects of moderate altitude (1700 m) on cardiovascular and metabolic variables in patients with metabolic syndrome. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2003;88:506-514. November 2009

Nutrition Performance

By Robbie Durand, M.A. Senior Web Editor

A Novel Way of Increasing Appetite in Bodybuilders recently spent a few days with IFBB pro Kai Greene, and can this guy eat! I filmed him for a workout, which can be found on along with many videos from other pros. After his workout, Kai immediately ate two full-sized chicken breasts and a bowl of rice— and we were going to dinner in 40 minutes. When we arrived at the restaurant he ate two steaks, a baked potato, vegetables, and ordered another steak to go. This guy’s appetite is amazing. Most bodybuilders have problems putting on size because they just don’t have the appetite. Is there anything a bodybuilder can do to increase his appetite? According to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is being examined as a way 6 to enhance appetite in the elderly. Also known as sodium glutamate, MSG is a sodium salt of the nonessential amino acid glutamic acid. MSG is a food additive that enhances flavor in food. It has virtually no flavor of its own, but through neurological mechanisms, causes people to experience a more intense flavor from the foods they


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eat that contain MSG. MSG was first identified as a flavor enhancer by the Japanese researcher Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. He identified the flavor-enhancing substance of seaweed, recognizing that Asians used seaweed for flavoring for thousands of years. Use of MSG was minimal in the United States until after World War II, when it was introduced to the U.S. food industry as a flavoring agent that our military discovered made Japanese army rations more palatable than our own.

One study looked at the effect of MSG supplementation of food for the elderly who have lost their appetite. MSG supplementation caused an increased intake of certain foods.

Medical Use for MSG? MSG is used extensively throughout the world as a flavor enhancer. A team of scientists in the Faculty of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid discovered that when given to rats, MSG produces a massive 40 percent increase in appetite. The scientists thought that MSG affects the arcuate nucleus (area of the brain involving appetite control), preventing proper functioning of the body’s appetite control mechanisms. According to this hypothesis, people (and children) who consume foods with large quantities of MSG just feel more and more hungry the more they eat. Glutamate is an amino acid that enhances the flavor of natural ingredients, and is present in most of the fresh food we eat. The Spanish scientists fear that MSG use could compound the already rising problem of obesity, particularly when MSG is used as an additive to enhance the flavor of processed foods or foods served in restaurants, or even at home. Food companies are obliged by law to list E-621 (number code for

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NutritionPerformance food additives) in the ingredients, but they do not have to specify the quantity used. Food additives improve specific flavor characteristics such as continuity, mouthfulness, effect, mildness, and thickness. They also improve the overall preference for food. One of the major problems that doctors face in hospitals with elderly patients is that the patients can’t maintain their bodyweight, as they just don’t want to eat. One of the physiological problems of the elderly is a general decrease in the sensitivity of the senses, including taste. Several studies investigated the use of MSG to enhance the flavor of food and get patients to eat more. One study looked at the effect of MSG supplementation of food for the elderly who have lost their appetite. MSG supplementation caused an increased intake of cer1 tain foods. In another study, intake of energy and nutrients was measured in hospitalized elderly subjects given food with or without added MSG (0.6 percent) for six months. Although total energy intake did not change, higher intake of the foods containing added MSG (soups, meats, vegetables) was observed, and the intake of foods without added MSG (e.g., desserts) was low. Another study of 62 middle-aged patients with diabetes mellitus 2 reported similar findings. The combination of MSG and food flavors increased food intake and improved nutritional status in 43 hospitalized elderly patients whose bodyweights 3 were reduced by disease. Interestingly, MSG may enhance the intake of protein. Healthy adults who supplemented a protein-rich liquid diet with 0.5 percent MSG increased the gastric emptying rate (how quickly foods are emptied from the stomach). Of interest, this action of MSG occurred only in a protein-rich liquid diet and not when it was added to an equicaloric car4 bohydrate (no protein) liquid diet. In another study, it was reported that 0.5 percent MSG supplementa-

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tion of a similar protein-rich liquid diet reduced post-ingestive abdominal discomfort, such as stomach fullness and heaviness, in healthy adult volunteers older than 45. Such findings suggest that dietary MSG supplementation in elderly subjects experiencing clinically-significant gastric disorders might improve stomach function and overall nutri5 tion. Some people have sensitivity to MSG that is associated with a wide range of side effects including headaches/migraines, lethargy, sleepiness, anxiety, panic attacks, mental confusion/disorientation, and insomnia. MSG may not be the healthiest of things to consume, but if you are looking to increase your appetite, small amounts of MSG may rev up your appetite and help you consume more food. Research and data on the usefulness of MSG supplementation of institutionalized diets for improving nutritional status and well-being in elderly individuals is still fairly preliminary. ■ References: 1. Bellisle F, Monneuse MO, Chabert M, Larue-Achagiotis C, Lanteaume MT, Louis-Syrvestre J. Monosodium glutamate as a palatability enhancer in the European diet. Physiol Behav, 1991;49:869-73. 2. Bellisle F, Dalixa M, Chapppuis AS, et al. Monosodium glutamate affects mealtime food selection in diabetic patients. Appetite, 1996;26: 267-76. 3. Schiffman SS. Sensory enhancement of foods for the elderly with monosodium glutamate and flavors. Food Rev Int, 1998;14:321-33. 4. Zai H, Kusano M, Hosaka H, et al. Glutamate added to a high-energy highprotein liquid diet promotes gastric emptying. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009;89:431-5. 5. Tanaka T, Fujita S, Kawai M, et al. Effect of dietary free glutamate on the postprandial sensation for protein-rich liquid diet. Jpn J Taste Smell Res, 2006;13:415-6. 6. Shigeru Yamamoto, Miki Tomoe, Kenji Toyama, Misako Kawai, and Hisayuki Uneyama, Can dietary supplementation of monosodium glutamate improve the health of the elderly? Am J Clin Nutr, 2009;90(suppl):844S-9S.

November 2009

bodybuilding science

By Robbie Durand, M.A. Senior Web Editor

Thermal Therapy for Ultimate Muscle Recuperation S

aunas and hot tubs have been touted for years as a way to rejuvenate the body. Sauna sessions or thermal heat are used to facilitate sweating, but you sweat in the gym. Do you really need a sauna? For most bodybuilders, saunas and hot tubs are things we know we should incorporate into our workout program, but just don’t incorporate them as much as we should.

Health Benefits of Thermal Therapy When researching the literature on the recuperative effect of thermal therapy generated by hot tubs and saunas, I was amazed at how the therapeutic effect could enhance muscle recuperation in men. Studies examining the use of saunas found that they: • Reduce levels of stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin, and increase the pleasure and well-being 1 hormone beta-endorphin. • Increase testosterone and growth hormone (GH) in 2 men. • Reduce the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin F2-alpha, and protect against oxidative stress and free 3 radical damage. Regular saunas, when combined with exercise therapy, can efficiently clear organic chemicals, solvents, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and even PCBs and heavy met4-6 als from the body. Use moderation when spending time in a sauna; and too much time there can cause an exacerbated stress response.

Can Cranking Up the Heat Make You Bigger? In a recent study in Orthopaedic Science, researchers reported that muscles of animals exposed to heat stressstimulated increases in heat shock proteins not only caused the activation of satellite cells, but also increased protein synthesis during the regeneration of injured skeletal

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muscle. Skeletal muscle stem cells are responsible for the repair and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle. It was strongly suggested by the researchers that the application of heat to injured or damaged muscle may facilitate recovery and enhanced satellite cell activation, leading to enhanced muscle mass. Want more? In the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers reported that intermittent heat application (30 minutes on alternating days) to the muscles of rats enhanced muscle hypertrophy. You might want to go steal grandma’s heating pad after reading these research papers! Heat shock proteins were previously shown to increase 16-19 muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle mass. In fact, a single bout of heat stress has been demonstrated to increase muscle mass and protein synthesis. Heat shock proteins are stimulated by many factors. They were originally found to increase with the application of heat— hence, ‘heat shock proteins.’

Thermal Therapy Boosts Nitric Oxide Production New research elucidates why thermal therapy such as saunas and hot tubs may be so beneficial to bodybuilders— thermal therapy increases nitric oxide production. Several studies have reported the importance of nitric oxide for muscle recuperation and satellite cell activity. Thermal therapy is currently being used to treat various cardiovascular disease symptoms. In subjects with cardiovascular risk factors who underwent daily sauna treatment for two weeks (15 minutes of 60°C infrared sauna followed by 30 minutes covered with blankets), endothelium-dependent vasodilation increased 10 significantly— meaning more blood flow to the tissues. Thermal therapy may also help to reduce blood pressure through the enhancement of nitric oxide production. In a series of investigations with moderately-hypertensive patients, twice-weekly sauna bathing for three months was associated with significant reduction in resting systolic and

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bodybuildingscience resting diastolic pressure, averaging 20-23 mmHg and 14-18 7-9 mmHg, respectively. These reductions in blood pressure were at least as large as those seen in control groups asked to run twice weekly. This means that sitting in the sauna is going to facilitate the production of nitric oxide, which may enhance muscle recuperation.

Thermal Therapy May Increase Insulin Sensitivity to the Same Extent as Exercise Being insulin-sensitive means that cells are highly responsive to the actions of insulin, which is a good thing. A previous study reported that fish oils, which enhance insulin sensitivity, led to increased muscle mass. The study found that after five weeks, animals with the marine omega-3 diet showed increased sensitivity to insulin, which improved protein metabolism. Animals fed the marine omega-3 diet used twice the amount of amino acids to synthesize proteins, especially in muscle. New studies suggest that thermal therapy may enhance insulin sensitivity as well as exercise. Sauna therapy resembles exercise training in that it induces a temporary increase in cardiac output (amount of blood 11 produced by the heart per minute) and workload. Some doctors are starting to use saunas as a way to reap the health benefits of exercise in older adults who can’t handle exercise. In individuals too physically impaired to achieve effective aerobic training, regular thermal therapy might References: 1. Vescovi PP, Coiro V, Volpi R, Giannini A, Passeri M (1992). Hyperthermia in sauna is unable to increase the plasma levels of ACTH/cortisol, beta-endorphin and prolactin in cocaine addicts. J Endocrinol Invest, 15 (9): 671-5. 2. Kukkonen-Harjula K, Oja P, Laustiola K, Vuori I, Jolkkonen J, Siitonen S, Vapaatalo H. Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 1989;58(5):543-50. 3. Masuda A, Miyata M, Kihara T, Minagoe S, Tei C (2004). Repeated sauna therapy reduces urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F(2alpha). Japanese Heart Journal, 45 (2): 297-303. doi:10.1536/jhj.45.297. 4. Krop J (1998). Chemical sensitivity after intoxication at work with solvents: response to sauna therapy. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, NY) 4 (1): 77-86. doi:10.1089/acm.1998.4.1-77. 5. Kilburn KH, Warsaw RH, Shields MG (1989). Neurobehavioral dysfunction in firemen exposed to polycholorinated biphenyls (PCBs): possible improvement after detoxification. Arch Environ Health, 44 (6): 345-50. 6. Rea WJ, Pan Y, Johnson AR (1991). Clearing of toxic volatile hydrocarbons from humans. Boletín de la Asociación Médica de

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be a feasible alternative, providing somewhat similar benefits for vascular health— as suggested by Tei and 12 colleagues. Granted, there is little reason to suspect that thermal therapy would provide the weight-control benefits associated with aerobic training. Surprisingly, however, Tei reports that obese subjects tend to lose body fat during several weeks of daily sauna treatment. Whether this observation can be replicated in well-controlled trials remains to be seen. It seems that sauna/hot tub therapy may not only be relaxing, but may enhance nitric oxide (NO) production— which can enhance muscle recuperation. A decrease in NO production with aging may be a contributing factor in the decrease of muscle mass with aging. Previous research has shown that blunting production of NO decreases muscle hypertrophy during 13,14 muscle overload. Other researchers reported that NO is a primary sig15 nal for satellite cell activation. NO is an important regulator of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is a 2 cytokine with various cellular functions on muscle. Specific to skeletal muscle hypertrophy, HGF activates satellite cells and may be responsible for causing satellite cells to migrate to the injured area. A previous research study reported that stretching a muscle induced hypertrophy via release of HGF; the researchers found that the release of HGF was dependent on NO concentrations. Getting into the sauna or hot tub may be one therapeutic means of recuperation from intense exercise that bodybuilders can benefit from. ■

Puerto Rico, 83 (7): 321-4. 7. Winterfeld HJ, Strangfeld D, Siewert H. Effect of sauna and walking series on blood pressure, peripheral microcirculation and performance behavior in essential hypertension. Inn Med, 1983;38:494-7. 8. Winterfeld HJ, Siewert H, Strangfeld D, Warnke H, Kruse J, Engelmann U. Potential use of the sauna in the long-term treatment of hypertensive cardiovascular circulation disorders – a comparison with kinesiotherapy. Med Prax, 1992;81:1016-20. 9. Winterfeld HJ, Siewert H, Strangfeld D, Bohm J, Aurisch R, Engelmann U, et al. Sauna therapy in coronary heart disease with hypertension after bypass operation, in heart aneurysm operation and in essential hypertension. Inn Med, 1993;48:247-50. 10. Imamura M, Biro S, Kihara T, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Otsuji Y, et al. Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2001;38:1083-8. 11. Vuori I. Sauna bather’s circulation. Annu Clin Res, 1988;20:249-56. 12. Biro S, Masuda A, Kihara T, Tei C. Clinical implications of thermal therapy in lifestyle-related diseases. Exp Biol Med, (Maywood) 2003;228:1245-9. 13. 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. 14. 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. 15. 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. 16. Kojima A, Goto K, Morioka S, Naito T, Akema T, Fujiya H, Sugiura T, Ohira Y, Beppu M, Aoki H, Yoshioka T. Heat stress facilitates the regeneration of injured skeletal muscle in rats. J Orthop Sci, 2007 Jan;12(1):74-82. Epub 2007 Jan 31. 17. Goto K, Honda M, Kobayashi T, Uehara K, Kojima A, Akema T, et al. Heat stress facilitates the recovery of atrophied soleus muscle in rats. Jpn J Physiol, 2004;54:285-93. 18. Kobayashi T, Uehara K, Goto K, Kojima A, Honda M, Akema T, et al. Muscular hypertrophy is induced by heat stress in rat skeletal muscles. St Marianna Med J, 2003;31:131-8. 19. Kobayashi T, Goto K, Kojima A, Akema T, Uehara K, Aoki H, et al. Possible role of calcineurin in heating-related increase of rat muscle mass. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2005;331:1301-9.

November 2009

Supplement Performance

By Robbie Durand, M.A Senior Web Editor.

Whey Protein Hydrolysates Increase Blood Flow hey protein is not only a ‘fast-acting’ protein as it has been known for years, but it has many more applications for bodybuilding. It may help you get better pumps in the gym. The vascular endothelium is a single-cell layer in blood vessels that influences vascular health and risk of disease by regulating vasoconstriction and vasodilation, blood pressure, blood clotting, etc. Bioactive peptides derived from food, especially milk proteins, exert a wide range of biological actions including decreased blood pressure and improved endothelial function. Milk is a rich source of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides. ACE inhibition prevents the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor. Many people with high blood pressure are prescribed ACEinhibitor drugs to lower blood pressure, but bodybuilders may get a similar effect with whey protein hydrolysate. Most bodybuilders take a nitric oxide (NO) product before exercise to increase muscle pumps, but taking a new and novel whey protein


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shake may also help with getting better pumps. A researcher from the University of Connecticut investigated a new whey protein hydrolysate and its effects on vasodilation. The active whey supplement was a proprietary peptide isolated from a whey protein

Many people with high blood pressure are prescribed ACEinhibitor drugs to lower blood pressure, but bodybuilders may get a similar effect with whey protein hydrolysate. hydrolysate. Subjects consumed one serving a day of NOP-47 or a placebo for two weeks. At the end of the study, researchers found that acute ingestion of NOP-47 significantly increased blood vessel dilation at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, post-ingestion. This means the daily ingestion of a whey protein hydrolysate may be a

great way to facilitate blood flow in the gym, as a single serving enhanced vasodilation 90 minutes after consumption. Ballard KD, Bruno RS, Seip RL, Quann EE, Volk BM, Freidenreich DJ, Kawiecki DM, Kupchak BR, Chung MY, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS. Acute ingestion of a novel whey-derived peptide improves vascular endothelial responses in healthy individuals: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J, 2009 Jul 22;8:34.

BounceBack Reduces Muscle Soreness After Eccentric Exercise Being sore is a way of life in bodybuilding— like walking up a flight of stairs in torture after a grueling leg day. But bodybuilders may not need to suffer anymore. In this month’s Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers tested the validity of a supplement called BounceBack to reduce muscle soreness. BounceBack is a proprietary dietary supplement with antioxidants and a potent blend of anti-inflammatory agents, proteolytic enzymes, curcumin, phytosterols from

November 2009

unsaponifiable avocado and soybean oils, vitamin C, and resveratrol. Subjects took two capsules daily, which contained 258 milligrams of a proteolytic enzyme blend that included bromelain and proteases from Aspergillus melleus and A. oryzae. The two capsules also had 421 milligrams of turmeric extract (root/rhizome; standardized to 95 percent curcumoids), 90 milligrams of a phytosterol blend (beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol), 20 milligrams vitamin C and 6 milligrams of Japanese knotweed extract (root; standardized to 20 percent resveratrol). After supplementing with BounceBack, subjects performed a bout of heavy eccentric squats. The subjects took the supplement for 30 days before retesting, using the exact same protocol. At the end of the study, BounceBack capsules reduced pain and tenderness. There was no reduction in serum markers of inflammation, muscle damage or muscle flexion. BounceBack may be a useful alternative to non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) for

reducing muscle soreness and relieving the symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VJ, Sandoval E. BounceBack capsules for reduction of DOMS after eccentric exercise: a randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled, crossover pilot study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2009 Jun 5;6:14.

TestoSurge Increases Testosterone In a poster presentation at the 2009 ISSN in New Orleans, researchers reported a new supplement for increasing testosterone. TestoSurge is a proprietary substance extracted from Fenugreek (Trigonella foenun-graecum) seeds and is patent-pending by INDUS Biotech. A study examined 30 resistancetrained males (it is important that they used people who were already lifting weights) who completed all phases of the study. Subjects were matched according to total bodyweight and randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to ingest either 500 milligrams of a placebo or TestoSurge, once daily for eight weeks.

TestoSurge caused an increase in one-repetition maximum (1-RM) bench press and leg press, and lean body mass, in addition to increases in total and bioavailable testosterone. It was concluded that daily 500-milligram supplementation with TestoSurge significantly impacted body fat percentage, total testosterone and bioavailable testosterone, when compared to a placebo in a double-blind fashion. These changes were attained without any clinical side effects. TestoSurge looks promising for athletes looking to increase natural testosterone levels and enhance muscle mass. ■ Chris Poole, Brandon Bushey, Earnest Pena, Eric Constancio, Tyler Jones, Fanny Dufour, Natalie Ervin, Brittany Clemens, Darryn Willoughby, Richard Kreider, Cliffa Foster, Lem Taylor, and Colin Wilborn. Effects of TestoSurge supplementation on strength, body composition and hormonal profiles during an 8-week resistance training program from 2009 International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference and Expo New Orleans, LA, USA. 14-15 June 2009.

MuscleGrowth Update

By Robbie Durand, M.A. Senior Web Editor

Casein Before Bedtime Increases Muscle Mass U

nless you have been living under a rock these last few years, bodybuilders have come to know that whey protein is described as a ‘fast-acting’ protein, whereas casein is classified as a ‘slow-acting’ protein. Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein because it forms a ‘gel’ in the gut, which results in a steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream over time. Research shows that when you consume casein, you will reach a peak in blood amino acids and protein synthesis between three to four hours. The total release of amino acids in the bloodstream, however, can last as long as seven hours after ingestion of casein protein. For years, bodybuilders have been saying to take whey protein immediately post-exercise to get a rapid increase in protein synthesis, but take a casein protein powder at bedtime to maintain a steady supply of amino acids while you sleep. That sounds good in theory, but is there any proof to validate taking a casein supplement later in the day enhances muscle growth? Based on a new study, I can finally say YES!

grams of carbohydrates, and approximately 0.2 grams of fats. The daily dose was divided into 2 equal portions. The subjects were divided up into two supplementation groups: Group A: Subjects consumed the casein protein supplement between breakfast and lunch (at 10:00 AM) and after lunch, 10 minutes before the training session (at 3.50 PM). Group B: The casein supplement was first ingested in the morning as in group A and then in the evening 2.5 hours after dinner and at least 1.5 hours before bedtime, that is, at 10:30 PM. The supplement was administered according to the same timetable on training and rest days.

When is the Best Time to Take Casein Protein? Researchers examined two different timing frequencies of casein over an eight-week period in conjunction with a heavy resistance exercise program. Body mass, body composition, and muscular strength were measured 3 to 4 days before the beginning of training and supplementation (Pre), during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) between the two eight-week periods (Post 8), and 3 to 4 days after the end of the second 8-week period (Post 16). The subjects consumed a protein supplement (Protec™, Eiselt Research, Sweden) twice a day. The protein contained 70 grams of protein (82 percent casein), approximately 0.8

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Casein Before Bedtime Increases Muscle Mass Greater Than After Exercise! At the end of eight weeks, researchers found that the group that consumed casein closer to bedtime had increased muscle mass, compared to the group that consumed the casein earlier in the day before exercise. Additionally, the increase in fat-free mass in groups that consumed casein later in the day was related to the increase in squat strength. So the big question that the researchers had to address was why would consuming a casein protein powder later in the evening result in greater increases in muscle mass, compared to consuming it earlier in the day? In group B, the daily protein intake was spread more evenly over time, due to the ingestion of the second portion of the supplement late in the evening, approximately 2.5 hours after dinner— whereas in Group A, the last protein shake was consumed at 3:50 pm. The subjects in Group B spaced out the consumption of the protein shakes. This means prolonged duration of moderate aminos in the system each day could lead to greater increases in muscle mass over several weeks. So it seems that taking a casein protein powder before bed is ultimately going to help you put on more muscle mass than taking a casein protein powder earlier in the day. Burk A, Timpmann S, Medijainen L, Vähi M, Oöpik V. Time-divided ingestion pattern of casein-based protein supplement stimulates an increase in fat-free body mass during resistance training in young untrained men. Nutr Res, 2009 Jun;29(6):405-13.

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Does Lifting Heavier Cause Greater Increase in Protein Synthesis Rates? Olympic lifters and powerlifters train to move heavy weight— but does lifting heavier weight result in a greater increase in protein synthesis rate? Without even taking a muscle biopsy, bodybuilders have considerably more muscle mass than either Olympic lifters or powerlifters, so there is your proof… Hold on— this is MD, you can’t just say something without backing it up with the facts! A recent study examined protein synthesis rates, post-exercise, after different training protocols with increasingly heavier weights being used. The researchers examined how protein synthesis was affected after using 1-RM between 20-90 percent. Interestingly, there was a stimulation of protein synthesis up until 60 percent of a 1-RM, thereafter no further increases in protein synthesis occurred. Interestingly, increases in protein synthesis occurred the same at 60 percent of a 1-RM as it did at using 90 percent of a 1-RM. Lifting heavier is necessary for muscle growth, but if it was strictly weight as the limiting factor, then powerlifters and Olympic lifters would have greater muscle mass— which clearly they don’t. The research suggests that there are no additional increases in protein synthesis when using weights greater than 60 percent of a 1-RM. ■ Kumar V, Selby A, Rankin D, Patel R, Atherton P, Hildebrandt W, Williams J, Smith K, Seynnes O, Hiscock N, Rennie MJ. Age-related differences in the dose-response relationship of muscle protein synthesis to resistance exercise in young and old men. J Physiol, 2009 Jan 15;587(Pt 1):211-7.

MD 000

Sports Supplement Product Review




Unleash The Power of Thermogenesis! ®

Hydroxycut Hardcore X is the latest creation from the researchers at MuscleTech, which will undoubtedly redefine a category and lead the way for an entirely new generation of thermogenics. Thermogenesis is the process by which the body generates heat, or energy, by increasing the metabolic rate above normal. Thermogenesis is activated by a few different mechanisms, including supplements, nutrition, exercise, exposure to cold, and also dietary supplements. ® Hydroxycut Hardcore X utilizes a scientifically-engineered multi-platform technology to stimulate the enzymatic response involved in thermogenesis and the fat-uncoupling ® process. In plain English, Hydroxycut Hardcore X turns you into a ‘fat-burning ® machine.’ Hydroxycut Hardcore X rapidrelease liquid micro-dispersion capsules contain key ingredients that have been shown to: • Increase Norepinephrine By Up To An Average Of 92 Percent • Accelerate Metabolism • Enhance Muscle Performance • Increase Uncoupling Proteins

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Sports Supplement Product Review dence that during high-intensity exercise in highly-fit men and women, caffeine ingestion increases oxygen uptake and enhances 4,5,8 5 fatty acids and decreases the perception of pain during exercise. In men, caffeine has recently been been found to increase testosterone 6 response during exercise. Cayenne— Capsaicin is the major pungent ingredient in red-hot cayenne peppers. In humans, a large increase in energy expenditure is seen immediately after a meal containing red pepper vs. 9 controls. Capsaicin has been reported to increase thermogenesis 10 by dose-dependently enhancing catecholamine secretion. In addition, human studies demonstrated that the increase in thermogenesis is abolished after administration of beta-adrenergic blockers such as propranolol, which implies that capsaicin-induced thermo10 genesis is likely based on beta-adrenergic stimulation. Thus, administration of capsaicin favors an increase in lipid mobilization and a decrease in adipose tissue mass. 11 Choline— Choline is a lipotropic agent, and its supplementation has been shown to enhance synthesis and release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction (where nerves release the 12 chemical transmitter for muscle to contract). Current research underscores the importance of choline in proper functioning of the human body. It appears that maintaining free-blood choline concentrations is necessary for optimal cognitive and muscular performance. A decline in plasma choline concentration has been observed in athletes after intense exercise. Therefore, choline supplementation may improve acetylcholine balance and prevent decrement in physical performance. The possible synergistic interaction between carnitine and choline has been known for several years. L-carnitine transfers long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides, into mitochondria (a cell’s energy powerhouse)— where they may be oxidized to produce energy. L-carnitine is a very popular supplement that promotes growth and development. It is also used for fat burning, increasing energy, and improving resistance to muscle fatigue. It was found that choline supplementation results in significant conservation of carnitine in humans, which means choline enhances 11,13 the fat-oxidizing properties of carnitine. Choline supplementation promoted tissue carnitine accretion, particularly in skeletal muscle. In 3. Lipidrol: L-Tyrosine ((2S)-2-Amino-3-(4addition, a choline-supplemented diet decreased the percentage of Hydroxyphenyl) propanoic Acid, L-Leucine ((2S)-2body fat and increased the percentage of protein— without signifi11 Amino-4-Methylpentanoic Acid, Trans-Ferulic Acid cantly changing bodyweight. ((E)-3-(4-Hydroxy-3-Methoxyphenyl)prop-2-Enoic Tyrosine— L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid (protein buildAcid, L-Carnosine (2-(3 Aminopropanoylamino)-3ing block) that the body synthesizes from phenylalanine, another (1H-Imidazol-5-Yl)propanoic Acid), L-Arginine amino acid. Tyrosine is also the precursor of several neurotransmitPyroglutamate, Myristic Acid (Tetradecanoic Acid). ters, including L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine 4. Capsicore: Capsicum Annuum (Cayenne) (all of which stimulate metabolism). Tyrosine has several beneficial (Fruit). effects on mood and maintaining well-being, which is especially To briefly sum up some of the major ingredients important during the diet phase when less calories are being con® in Hydroxycut Hardcore X, here is the supportsumed. Tyrosine has been evaluated in two previous studies to pre14,15,16 ing literature: vent mental declines in performance in the sleep-deprived state. Caffeine— A wonder drug in terms of metaboMethionine— Methionine, an essential amino acid, is used as a lism and exercise performance. Forget Guarana methyl-group donor in many metabolic reactions. Methionine is a and Goto Kola— nothing increases metabolic rate lipotropic amino acid, which reduces fat and aids in lowering choleslike good old caffeine. Back in 1990, researchers terol. Methionine is the source of sulfur that is required for the synfound that caffeine dose-dependently increased thesis of other substances that are important for the efficient produc7 resting energy expenditure. The researchers found tion of energy in the body such as choline, creatine and carnitine. It that the degree of energy expenditure was directly detoxifies amines, which are byproducts of protein metabolism. related to the blood caffeine levels. There is eviMethionine seems to act as a catalyst for choline and inositol, thus

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Sports Supplement Product Review speeding up their function. Methionine has been shown to reduce fat and aid in lowering cholesterol. It aids in reducing liver fat, and increases the body’s metabolism. Because of its ability to remove and transport fat out of your body, it is essential for weight loss. Betaine— Betaine is a derivative of the amino acid glycine. It is a significant component of many foods including wheat, spinach, beets, and shellfish. As a nutritional aid, betaine has been shown to be lipotropic— i.e., causing fat loss— by promoting the oxidization of lipids. It has also been noted to increase appetite, and in animals it has been shown to promote lean mass. Due to a reduction in calories, many competitors experience a drop in workout intensity and may notice a reduction in the number of repetitions they perform. ® Betaine is included in Hydroxycut Hardcore X to enhance muscle performance. A recent study indicates that two weeks of betaine ingestion can significantly improve muscle endurance in a lower-body workout, by increasing the number of repetitions performed in the squat exercise, and improve the quality of the workout by increasing the number of repetitions performed at 90 percent of the subject’s maximal mean and peak power outputs. These improvements appear to occur within one week of supplementation. These performance improvements were realized 17 within seven days of supplementation. Oleic Acid— Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable sources. Oleic acid appears to convert into a hormone called OEA in the small intestine. OEA helps to communicate satiety signals (the messages that tell your brain you’re full). In previous animal research, OEA has been found to: ®

Hydroxycut Hardcore X’s key thermogenic compounds rapidly increased plasma norepinephrine concentration by up to 92 percent! Norepinephrine is the body’s primary fat-breakdown hormone— without it, you can forget about losing fat.

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• Slow ‘gastric emptying.’ This slows the rate by which food passes through the stomach and allows us to feel 18 fuller longer. • Possibly alter the way fat is digested and utilized. This may also play a role in the weight-reducing effect of this 18 interesting hormone.

Hydroxycut® Hardcore X is Backed by Scientific Research ®

When developing the Hydroxycut Hardcore X formula, Team MuscleTech™ researchers included an ingredient that was clinically researched and shown to help you get shredded. ! To find out more about MuscleTech products, visit References: 1. Benefits N, et al. (1995). Clin Pharmacol Ther, 58:684. 2. Ngondi J, et al. (2009). Lipids Health Dis, 8:7. 3. Lafontan M, Berlan M. Fat cell adrenergic receptors and the control of white and brown fat cell function. J Lipid Res, 1993 Jul;34(7):1057-91. Review. 4. Stich V, De Glisezinski I, Crampes F, Hejnova J, Cottet-Emard JM, Galitzky J, Lafontan M, Riviere D, Berlan M. Activation of alpha(2)-adrenergic receptors impairs exercise-induced lipolysis in SCAT of obese subjects. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2000 Aug;279(2):R499-504. 5. Bell DG and McLellan TM. Exercise endurance 1, 3, and 6 h after ingestion in caffeine users and nonusers. J Appl Physiol, 93:1227-1234. 2002. 6. Spriet LL, Maclean DA, Dyke DJ, Hultman E, Cederblad G, Graham TE. Caffeine ingestion and muscle metabolism during prolonged exercise in humans. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 262:E891-E898. 1992. 7. 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. 8. Astrup A, Toubro S, Cannon S, Hein P, Breum L, Madsen J. Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr, 1990 May;51(5):75967. 9. Kawada T, Watanabe T, Takaishi T, Tanaka T, and Iwai K. Capsaicin-induced beta-adrenergic action on energy metabolism in rats: influence of capsaicin on oxygen consumption, the respiratory quotient, and substrate utilization. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 183: 250-256, 1986. 10. Yoshioka M, Lim K, Kikuzato S, Kiyonaga A, Tanaka H, Shindo M, Suzuki M. Effects of red-pepper diet on the energy metabolism in men. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, (Tokyo) 41: 647-656, 1995. 11. Kawada T, Watanabe T, Takaishi T, Tanaka T, and Iwai K. Capsaicin-induced beta-adrenergic action on energy metabolism in rats: influence of capsaicin on oxygen consumption, the respiratory quotient, and substrate utilization. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 183: 250-256, 1986. 12. Daily JW, Hongu N, Mynatt RL, Sachan DS. Choline supplementation increases tissue concentrations of carnitine and lowers body fat in guinea pigs. J Nutr Biochem, 1998;9:464-470. 13. Zeisel SH, Blusztajn JK. Choline and human nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr, 1994;14:269-296. 14. Dodson WL, Sachan DS. Choline supplementation reduces urinary carnitine excretion in humans. Am J Clin Nutr, 1996;63:904-910. 15. Neri DF, Wiegmenn, D, Stanny RR, Shappell SA, McCardie A, Mckay DL. (1995) The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 66, 313-319. 16. Magill RA, Waters WF, Bray GA, Volaufova J, Smith SR, Lieberman HR, McNevin N, Ryan DH. Effects of tyrosine, phentermine, caffeine D-amphetamine, and placebo on cognitive and motor performance deficits during sleep deprivation. Nutr Neurosci, 2003 Aug;6(4):237-46. 17. Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Rashti SL, Faigenbaum AD. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2009 Feb 27;6:7. 18. Yang Y, Chen M, Georgeson KE, Harmon CM. Mechanism of oleoylethanolamide on fatty acid uptake in small intestine after food intake and body weight reduction. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2007 Jan;292(1):R235-41. November 2009

MARK ALVISI IS THE 2009 OVERALL USA CHAMPION! Interview by Ron Harris, Photography by Per Bernal It’s not often that we are able to follow an amateur through his final months leading up to becoming a professional bodybuilder. But with Mark Alvisi, we’ve all been able to do that right here on the pages of MD, as well as on our website. You didn’t have to be Nostradamus to pick Mark as a rising star destined for greatness if you saw him last year at either the USA, his breakout show, or the Nationals, where he took a painfully close second place to Mike Liberatore in the Heavyweights. Between his obvious genetic gifts and his powerful will and work ethic, it was only a matter of time before Mark graduated to the pro ranks. Sadly, we have all seen athletes like this that either never made it or took much longer than anticipated to hit that next level. Not Alvisi. After his narrow miss at the Nationals last November, he put his nose to the grindstone and did what it took to make sure that the next time he got onstage, there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that they were looking at the clear-cut champion. Though he’s already a proud member of Team MD, please welcome Team MD’s newest professional bodybuilder: Mark Alvisi!

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“I didn’t feel any pressure other than what I put on myself. The confidence I had throughout the prep came from knowing I was doing everything I had to do to look like a champion.” —Mark Alvisi

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RH: First off, congratulations to you, Mark. You just won the Overall at one of the absolute toughest amateur bodybuilding contests in the world. I know you probably felt a few different emotions when you won, but which ones were strongest? MA: There were two major hurdles I had to face, which were winning my class first and then the Overall. I was much more concerned about winning my class, because obviously if I didn’t do that then the second challenge wouldn’t even happen. I knew Lee Banks looked really good and that he would push me for the class. So if I could get past him and win the Heavyweights, I knew I would be strong enough to get the Overall. The craziest moment was when they were announcing the class placings. As soon as third was called out, I had a flashback to the 2008 Nationals when it was just me and Mike Liberatore up there waiting to see whose name would be called out for second. I was totally re-living that moment in time. In my head, all I was thinking was, “Don’t say my name next!” When I heard Lee Banks’ name next, I didn’t feel excited to win like you would imagine. My head and shoulders dropped, and I had an overwhelming feeling of relief, like a piano had just been lifted off my chest. Right after that, I thought wow, I really pulled it off after all. At that point I started getting excited about going for the Overall in a few minutes. RH: So was that less stressful? MA: It was, for sure. In looking at the other class winners, I felt confident that I had the best combination of size, symmetry, and condition that the judges would like. Up until they were done comparing us, it was all business. But once we went into the Overall posedown, the pressure was off and I decided to have fun with it. I noticed pretty quickly that the other guys were following me wherever I went onstage. They were crowding in on me so much that I couldn’t even hit my poses. So I moved to different areas and waved them over, like, Come guys— over here now! It was a cool feeling to know that I was literally the guy they were all chasing. RH: Has it sunk in yet that you won the USA and you’re a pro? Do you feel any differently? MA: I do know that I won, but I’ve never been here before. It’s all new. It does sink in a little more each day as more people e-mail, call, and come up to congratulate me. The crazy thing is that all of a sudden I feel like I’m under a microscope. People say they heard I was here or there, all these sightings, like I’m some kind of celebrity. There goes my privacy! RH: The USA has produced some of the best and most popular pros of the last 20 years, men like November 2009

Flex Wheeler, Chris Cormier, Phil Heath, Melvin Anthony, Mike Matarazzo, Eddie Robinson, and Dennis James. How does it feel to be in the company of a roll call like that? MA: It’s unbelievable to be on that list of guys. I have looked up to all of them. Some USA champions have been the best pros in the sport, and they’ve all paved the way for me. And it’s a trip to think that I will become part of that same legacy. Young guys coming up will look up to me. And long after I’m gone, my name will still be on that list of USA winners. It’s a real honor. RH: Getting back to the Overall for just a minute, who among the other class winners do you think was closest to you— or do you actually know from the scoresheets? MA: Daryl Gee, the middleweight, was closest. I thought he looked amazing for a middle. I want to commend and congratulate him. He had great shape, round muscles, and was in top condition. Daryl actually had a lot of the same strong points that I did, he’s just not as tall or heavy. For his height, he looks phenomenal. I wasn’t surprised when he took second the next weekend as a pro at the Jacksonville 202 show. He’s going to do really well as a 202 over the next few years. RH: You were definitely a favorite to win the USA. How did that affect you psychologically? Was it a mental boost of confidence— was it added pressure— or a little bit of both? MA: I didn’t feel any pressure other than what I put on myself. The confidence I had throughout the prep came from knowing I was doing everything I had to do to look like a champion. I showed the judges what they wanted to see, and everything worked out the way it was planned. RH: Some people suggested that you should jump right into one of the pro shows happening in August, like the Tampa Pro or the Europa. Tampa is right there in your own state of Florida and you would only have had to diet for another three weeks, so was that something you considered? MA: Everybody was asking me that from the minute I won. I talked it over with Hany and also ran it by Steve Blechman. The consensus was that it didn’t make any sense to rush in and compete, just to say I did a pro show or that I placed. My ultimate goal is to win my first show, the way Flex, Heath, and Evan did. I’m not ready to do that yet. There are some pretty decorated pros doing the Tampa show, and I am realistic enough to know that I couldn’t beat them right now. I need time to improve. It’s foolish to bring a knife to a gunfight. RH: I know you work very hard for Gaspari Nutrition year-round, but most readers probably have no concept of how much traveling you actually do. What kind of challenges did that present for you? How tough was it to maintain your optimal schedule of eating, training, and sleeping?

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“I think I brought my legs up the most. My quads and hams were fuller and harder, and my thighs had better sweep. I also saw a lot more fullness, roundness, and detail in my shoulders and arms. You could really see it in my front relaxed stance.”

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MA: The biggest challenge by far is the eating. Once you’re away from home and your own environment, things aren’t as easy. I like being near my own kitchen, my own grocery stores— I even have a butcher who knows me and makes up all my custom meat orders the way I need them. So whenever I travel, first I have to scout out where I’m going to get my food. Then, how and where do I cook it? I got myself a little grill similar to the Foreman one that I take everywhere. I find a place to buy chicken breasts, beef, fish, whatever. It takes advance planning to get all your meals, or it could be a disaster. That actually happened to me in Las Vegas right before the USA. Apparently there are no grocery stores in Vegas. I found the nearest Costco and called a cab because I hadn’t rented a car. I had the cab driver wait for me while I shopped and spent 175 bucks on meat and potatoes, then he took me back. The car ride was 105 bucks. RH: Damn, dude, that sucks. MA: And like I was saying before, you have to cook the food, and that also means bringing not only the grill but utensils and containers. That all has to travel with you, and you pay extra now for heavier luggage. Then sometimes the refrigerator in the hotel room isn’t big enough for you, or you can’t even get a refrigerator. So yeah, the eating part would definitely be the biggest pain in the ass for any traveling bodybuilder on a diet. I have been doing all my appearances so far in the U.S., but now I have requests from promoters in places like Poland, Dubai, and the United Kingdom. I’m excited because I’ve never been to any of them, but part of me is also starting to worry about the food. RH: From all the guys I’ve ever talked to, you don’t have anything to worry about when you go to the Middle East. All the guys who go to that Oxygen Gym in Kuwait say the meals and transportation are all taken care of very well. MA: Yeah, I heard they treat pro bodybuilders like royalty. That should be a nice change of pace! The only thing I’m dreading about Dubai is the 17-hour-long flight. RH: Yeah, good luck with that. Let’s talk a bit about your prep for this show. Compared to past diets, how hard was this one? MA: In one sense it was, because I never started double cardio sessions so far out before— 12 weeks. But Hany made

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sure I kept my food intake up. My strength also stayed consistent, and I was even getting stronger on a lot of things during the diet, which was unusual. That all changed at three weeks out. Hany cut my carbs down, had me crank up the cardio intensity, and that’s when the party was over. I was digging hard to make it through those days. I pulled all my energy together for my workouts so they were still at 100 percent, but the rest of the day and night my energy levels were up and down— mostly down. RH: Were you doing more or less cardio than you did last year for the USA and Nationals? MA: Tough to say because it was different. I was doing 45 minutes first thing in the morning and again before I went to bed. Hany didn’t want me doing any more because I train legs twice a week. Those are double splits, with quads in the morning and hams and calves later on. That burns up a lot of calories, especially with the 7s at the end of a body part. I was doing two hours of cardio a day toward the end of my prep for the 2008 USA, but this way let me come down in weight more gradually. RH: Speaking of weight, I haven’t even asked you about that. What did you weigh for this USA versus last year? MA: I weighed in for the 2008 USA at 205. At the Nationals four months later I was 211. For this USA I was 216 pounds. RH: Nice! Eleven pounds of muscle in a year— you have to be happy about that. One last question about your cardio— does Hany make you do that damned StepMill? I loathe that thing. MA: He did, but I actually prefer the StepMill anyway. It doesn’t beat up my knees and ankles at all, and it’s a lot easier to get my heart rate up to where it needs to be, as opposed to trying to accomplish that on a treadmill or a bike. I’d have to be hauling ass on those things. I don’t mean that the StepMill is easy. Everyone knows it’s a bitch, especially when you’re low on energy and haven’t eaten since the night before. RH: How did your weight training change toward the end? Did you still continue doing FST-7 all the way through to the show? MA: No changes, I did FST-7 all the way through. It’s a very difficult way to train when you’re tired and depleted, but it’s what I had to do to come in with the look I needed. RH: You did use FST-7 for almost a full year prior to this win. In what areas of your physique did you see the most improvement? MA: I think I brought my legs up the most. My quads and hams were fuller and harder, and my thighs had better sweep. I also saw a lot more fullness, roundness, and detail in my shoulders and arms. You could really see it in my front relaxed stance.

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RH: I know from talking to other clients of Hany’s like Branden Ray that he has you do a lot of posing practice. Did that pay off at the show? MA: Oh yeah! The judges worked us heavyweights hard. It was a tough class and they kept moving us around, so we were up there a while. Other guys were bending over and huffing and puffing for air, but I was fine. A lot of people told me my presentation was much better this year. RH: Some people scoff at using a coach, but what are the most useful aspects of having someone like Hany Rambod on your team as a resource? What’s the difference between doing it on your own and working with Hany? MA: He’s a second set of eyes, a second opinion when you need one. A great coach becomes more valuable the closer you get to the show. That’s when subtle decisions can make a big difference. Should I do cardio today? Should I eat more, less? There are some days when you wake up and all of a sudden your weight is down four or five pounds, out of nowhere. On your own, you might panic and not know what you should do. I could call Hany up on a day like that and he would know exactly how to proceed. He might tell me to skip my morning cardio and add 150 grams of carbs to my meals that day to avoid going catabolic and losing muscle. I can honestly say I did not lose any lean mass during this prep. You walk a fine line between dialing into perfect contest condition and losing muscle mass, and someone like Hany keeps you on the right side of that line. RH: And of course, the final week must be when Hany comes into play the most. MA: Yeah, you have the whole process of filling out and getting rid of the subcutaneous water. Manipulating your carbs and water just right to achieve the desired look isn’t easy. Trying to do it on your own can stress you out, and stress makes you hold water! Guys panic because when you’re that lean, the water moves around and you can literally look great one minute and smooth five minutes later. With an experienced coach who knows your body to guide you, there is no stress. I let Hany worry about it! RH: Do you have any idea yet when you want to make your pro debut? And, what types of improvements do you want to make by that time? MA: Nothing is set in stone at all right now. I want to take a good, solid off-season and put on about another eight to 10 pounds of muscle first. That would be ideal. I think I would look really good onstage at 225 pounds. Tentatively, assuming the pro schedule is the same next year, I am possibly thinking about the Tampa Pro, then

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“I gotta thank my sponsors, Gaspari Nutrition and MD. I have to thank Steve Blechman and MD for all the exposure and publicity. The contracts from both Gaspari and MD helped out financially, because this is a very expensive sport to participate in between the food, the supplements, and a good coach. I am grateful to have some help reaching my goals.”

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maybe a couple more right after. I want more overall size, more thickness and detail in my back, more rear delts, more calves, and more legs. I have long legs, so they take a while to really fill out. RH: This is an individual sport, but I am sure there were a few people who were instrumental in your winning. Who would you like to thank? MA: I gotta thank my sponsors, Gaspari Nutrition and MD. Rich Gaspari lightened up my workload the last two months and made sure any traveling I did was limited to Florida so I could focus on getting ready for the USA. I have to thank Steve Blechman and MD for all the exposure and publicity. The contracts from both Gaspari and MD helped out financially, because this is a very expensive sport to participate in between the food, the supplements, and a good coach, it all adds up and I am grateful to have some help reaching my goals. Thanks to my girlfriend Lauren Pearlman for being there for me through everything, and thanks to all the fans who believed in me and were always so positive. ■

Contest History 2001 NABF Florida Supernatural 2001 NABF American Nationals 2001 Musclemania 2002 Musclemania 2002 Musclemania Superbody 2003 NPC Southern States 2006 NPC Southern States 2006 NPC USA Championships 2007 IFBB Arnold Amateur 2008 NPC USA Championships 2008 NPC Nationals 2009 NPC USA Championships

Overall Champion Professional Winner 3rd, Welterweight 10th, Professional Middleweight & Overall nd 2 , Light-heavyweight 2nd, Light-heavyweight Did not place Heavyweight Winner 4th, Heavyweight 2nd, Heavyweight Heavyweight & Overall

Contest Diet— 6 Weeks Out 5 a.m.

45 minutes cardio on StepMill, abs, and stretching 7 a.m. Carton of liquid egg whites (48 grams protein), 1 cup oatmeal 9 a.m. 8 ounces (all meat amounts are cooked weight) extra-lean ground beef 50 grams brown rice* 11:30 a.m. 8 ounces ground chicken breast 50 grams brown rice 1 p.m. Weight training 2:15 p.m. Carton of egg whites 3:45 p.m. 8 ounces extra-lean ground beef 50 grams brown rice 6 p.m. 8 ounces ground chicken breast 50 grams brown rice 8:30 p.m. 8 ounces extra-lean ground beef 50 grams brown rice 10 p.m. 45 minutes cardio on StepMill *Carb amounts were decreased as the show got closer.

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• T H Y A E R


INTERVIEW BY FLEX WHEELER PHOTOGRAPHY BY PER BERNAL If you’ve been reading MD over the past year, you know that one of the most popular monthly features has been Branden Ray’s “Road to the USA” column. After taking second place last year, he was on a mission, with the help of The Pro Creator Hany Rambod, to take his rightful place in the pro ranks. But things didn’t go as planned. B-Ray, despite having some of the most pleasing shape and proportions seen on an amateur in years, got edged out by the ridiculous condition of the aptly-nicknamed Tamer ‘Razor’ El Guindy. As if that weren’t enough, he was fired shortly afterward— on his 28th birthday, no less— from the job at CNN he held for five years. It’s been a rough summer for Branden, but somehow he’s keeping a positive attitude and remains optimistic about his future.

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FW: Let’s start with the lead-up to the USA. How was your physique shaping up in the final couple weeks? What improvements did you see from the year before? BR: Flex, I made what I felt were huge improvements in that year. Unfortunately, they didn’t show onstage. I was very happy with my conditioning. In the videos posted up on MD before the show, you could see I was dead on. Even in Vegas I did a precontest interview with your colleague Shawn Ray and posed for that in my hotel room, and again you could clearly see my condition was dead on. But onstage I looked like crap. FW: You said on the MD No Bull Forum that your stage color was what ultimately messed you up. Elaborate on that situation if you would. BR: That was a huge part of it, yes. Not being dark enough is a problem for a lot of competitors, but I had the opposite problem of being too dark. As you know, I’m not light-skinned in the first place. FW: Correct. BR: Being too dark actually works against you, especially once the oil is on and you’re under those bright stage lights. But getting back to what happened, Jan Tana was doing the spray tan for the competitors and this was the first time I had ever had that done. Tamer El Guindy and Chulsey Graham’s appointments had been right before mine, and while I was getting sprayed, they were already standing in front of fans and drying off. My skin must be a lot drier than most people’s, because it just soaked up this tanning product. I dried off before those two guys! So I said well, I guess I better do another coat. You can never be too dark, right? Wrong. My skin soaked that up too, of course. The stuff made me so dark onstage that my true condition couldn’t be seen. But I swear to you, my glutes and hams were shredded, my Christmas tree was perfectly dialed in, all that. Hany Rambod will attest to that, and he doesn’t lie. Another issue I had with this particular tanning product was that my skin had some type of allergic reaction to it and I started breaking out. FW: It had to have been heartbreaking to see the stage shots from the show and realize just how badly these issues obscured your cuts. BR: Flex, it killed me, because it looked like I hadn’t worked hard enough to get in shape. But I tell you, I busted my ass for this show. I was doing 45 to 60 minutes on the StepMill twice a day. My condition was exactly where it needed to be. Even the other guys backstage saw that. They were all congratulating me, long before the show was over, for winning! But things looked different out there onstage. FW: The color wasn’t the only issue, though. You dropped a lot of weight in that last week before the show. You weighed in at only 188 pounds, and a lot of the

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fullness and roundness I normally see on you in the off-season was gone. What happened there, bro? BR: Three weeks out from the show, I was looking awesome at about 215. Kevin Levrone has moved back to the East Coast and trains at my gym, and he took a look at me. Kevin said all I needed to do was drop my water and I was ready to rock. FW: I should point out that everyone says that, but Kevin actually has an eye for these things as a former Mr. Olympia competitor. He knows the difference between fat and water; most people don’t. BR: Right. But I kept on pushing for that extra level of freaky conditioning, because I wasn’t about to leave anything to chance. I’d already been second place and I had no intention of leaving the USA with anything but a pro card. When I got off the plane in Las Vegas, I was 200 pounds on the dime. I have to preface everything I say next by saying that just like last year when Dexter worked with me, this was the first time Hany worked with me and he hadn’t really learned how my metabolism responds to various factors. I don’t care how great any coach or guru is, they still need to learn how each individual client’s body responds. You saw it last year with Chad and Dennis Wolf, too. FW: OK, I think we get the picture. You don’t want to throw Hany under the bus. BR: Exactly. So I get off the plane at 200 pounds. Hany is all about condition, because it usually does win shows. He was concerned that I was holding a little water from the flight and was very determined to get rid of it. He had me go do more cardio and sit in a sauna, and eat only fish. When I woke up the next morning, I had dropped 11 pounds. I was sharper, but I was a lot flatter, too. That can’t happen again. I need to stay full, and I need to be at the top

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of the light-heavyweight class to look my best. I am absolutely certain that if I had been 198 onstage and the color had not been a problem, I would be talking to you now about my win. FW: That’s tough, dude, really tough. As a competitor, I know exactly how second place can feel just as bad as last place. Can you break it down for the readers who may not understand that? BR: It feels like ‘first loser.’ This was a tough class. I want to make that clear. We had an amazing group of light-heavies at this year’s USA, and the judges did a great job of moving us around so we all got a fair look. So when it came down at the end to me and Tamer, I was very excited. I was thinking, “Yes, I can win this!” Then I heard my name and my heart almost stopped. There was this moment of confusion where I was mixed up and wasn’t sure if I had been announced as first or second— but right away, I realized what had happened. FW: Why do you feel Tamer El Guindy beat you? BR: It was totally on condition. Last year, when Curtis Bryant beat me for the class, he simply dominated me. He killed me on condition and muscle maturity, and he had a very complete physique. What I’m about to say about Tamer, you have to understand is only in reference to his physique. I like Tamer as a person. He’s a very nice guy and I know he works very hard. And he also had a big disappointment that night when he didn’t get one of the three pro cards. Tamer’s physique is not proportionate. His shoulders overpower his entire torso. The reason that really gets me is that I was told that my shoulders were starting to overshadow my torso, so I actually stopped training them for a few months, then here comes this guy with these ridiculous shoulders and he beats me? Even my mom, who knows very little about any of this November 2009

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stuff, came up to me after prejudging and said, “Why are that man’s shoulders so big? They look funny.” He also needs a lot more hams. But you know, I can’t blame Tamer for beating me, and I don’t. If I had presented my physique onstage the way it should have looked, it would have been a different story. And it will be a different story in a couple months at the Nationals. FW: As soon as the show was over, actually probably before the theater was even empty, there were people starting threads about how you were ‘over-hyped,’ which is their snide way of saying you weren’t as good as MD made you out to be. How do ignorant comments like that make you feel? BR: You know, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. This is a subjective sport and people have different tastes and preferences. I never thought I would be in this position of having so much publicity and going into a big contest as a favorite. And I never in my wildest dreams imagined that some people would be rooting against me as a result! But I embrace the high expectations people had and still have for me. I take the honest critiques to heart, and even the negative comments still motivate me to be better. A lot of the people who go online and spent all this time talking about how I was over-hyped have never even seen me in person. They’ve never seen me compete, seen me train, or even met me at an expo. They should really take that time and energy and apply it in the gym so they can look better. You don’t see the pros and top amateurs posting all this stuff, because they’re too busy working on their physiques to worry about it so much. But again, I know that my physique is not the ideal to everybody, and I take the good with the bad. I’m grateful to have the publicity and recognition that I do have and I can’t expect everyone to be a fan. FW: I guess it comes down to something I dealt with all the November 2009

years I competed as a pro. When you have great genetics, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you lose, they call you lazy and say you’re not focused enough; you don’t work as hard as the other top guys because you rely on your genetics. But if you win, they give you no credit and dismiss it like, ‘Well, he’s a genetic freak anyway, of course he won.’ Are you starting to get a lot of this? BR: Well, I do find it amusing when I hear comments like “If I had his genetics, I’d be Mr. Olympia by now!” Really, you would? I only started competing two years ago, and this USA was only my fourth contest! I understand that some people could be resentful or jealous because I do have great

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genetics for bodybuilding. When I was growing up, I wanted to be six-foot-six and become a basketball superstar like my idol, Michael Jordan. My mom knew it wasn’t gonna happen. Everyone in our family is on the short side, so I wasn’t going to see six feet, much less six-six. But she constantly told me that it didn’t matter. We’re all meant to do or be something, it’s just a matter of finding that thing you were meant to do or be. I was meant to be a bodybuilder. I didn’t hate the tall guys just because I didn’t get that height. I focused on what I was good at, or could be good at, instead. Not every guy who has a passion for bodybuilding will have the type of genetics to be a champion at it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still train and improve and be a fan of the sport. You don’t have to hate the guys who do have the better genetics. FW: What’s the plan now? Are you heading to Nationals? How are you going to make sure you walk away with a pro card this time? BR: That’s the plan. Mistakes were made, and there was a lot of frustration and disappointment to deal with, but the important thing is to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. I know that if I show up looking the way I should, I’m going to be very, very tough for anybody else out there right now as an amateur light-heavyweight to beat. FW: If you did turn pro, would you want to jump into the 202s, or take time off and put on more mass first and then hit the Opens? BR: I would love to make my pro debut in New York, where I’m from, and do it as a 202. But I would not limit myself to staying in that class after that. I’m a young guy and I am still growing and filling out. I am certain I can eventually put on significantly more mass and still retain my

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shape and proportions. FW: Now we move on to the other major piece of drama. You were fired on your 28th birthday, which was shortly after the USA, right? I’m not sure how much you can actually talk about due to pending litigation, but what happened there? BR: Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can talk about, because a discrimination case is in the works. Once the smoke clears and there is definite closure to the situation, I will be glad to talk all about it here in MD. FW: Just to make this clear, your discrimination case has nothing to do with race, but the fact that you are a top-level bodybuilder, correct? BR: Yes, but I can’t go into any more detail than that at this time, sorry. FW: Your job at CNN was the reason you lived in the D.C. area. Now that you’re no longer working there, do you have any plans to head back up to your old stomping grounds, Brooklyn? BR: No, but there is a possibility I may relocate to another area of the country. Nothing is definite yet. FW: Getting fired from a good job had to have been a heavy blow, but has any good come out of it yet? BR: In some ways, it’s a blessing. I know it would be the end of the world for some guys, but I still have my working relationships with MD and VPX. I don’t have any kids, and I live a pretty simple life, so the temporary loss of income isn’t devastating to me. I

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landed a food sponsor recently, so things like my beef and chicken are covered. As any bodybuilder knows, those are major weekly expenses. And you know, I have more time now to focus on training for the Nationals. All my workouts, meals, and sleep are perfectly on schedule. So yeah, every cloud has a silver lining like they say. I never wanted to lose my job, but life goes on. It has to. FW: A lot of people have to deal with unexpected adversities and challenges. It sounds like you’re doing a great job of keeping your head up, so do you have any words or advice to others out there dealing with their own problems and trying to stay positive? BR: I have the support of my amazing girlfriend and my friends, and more than that, I have the gym. For an hour and a half to two hours every day, I don’t think about my problems or anything else. I focus on the training; the weights, the feel in the muscles, all the things I love and the real reason I do this. I’m only onstage what— two, three, four days a year? The rest of the time, I’m a gym rat, like so many of the MD readers out there. The gym is my sanctuary. When I’m in there, anything is possible and I know that with my hard work and dedication, I am only going to get better. FW: I know you will, B-Ray. Looking forward to watching you shut ’em all down at the Nationals, bro. BR: Thanks Flex, I appreciate that. ■

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MW USA Champ Daryl Gee is Already a 202 Power to Reckon With By Ron Harris, Photgraphy by Per Bernal

Ready to Turn Pro, But Not Compete as a Pro? It’s become common practice over the last few years to take a full year off after turning professional before making your IFBB debut. Evan Centopani won the NPC Nationals in November of 2007, but didn’t get on a pro stage until May of 2009. Mike Liberatore got his pro card at the ’08 Nationals, but won’t be making his pro debut until spring of 2010. It wasn’t always this way. Back in the ’90s, I remember the guys would start making use of their new pro status pretty fast. If they won the USA, North American, or Nationals, guys like Flex Wheeler, Chris Cormier, Mike Francois, Kevin Levrone, Porter Cottrell, and Paul Dillett were on a pro stage the very next year. You don’t see that too often anymore. Today’s bodybuilders rarely seem to feel they are ready to get up on a pro stage when they earn their pro card by winning a national contest. But Daryl Gee hasn’t been following much of a ‘traditional’ path this year, the first season he’s competed since 2005. First of all, you’re supposed to be a familiar face to the judges to win your class at a big pro qualifier like the USA. Few judges on the panel knew who Daryl Gee was, as he’d only been on a national stage once and that had been almost four years ago. But if you do somehow manage to win the middles at the USA, your amateur status ain’t changing just yet— if you believe conventional rhetoric. As a middleweight, supposedly the only show you have a prayer to turn pro at is the NPC Nationals, since all class winners there earn a card. The USA is really supposed to only be good for getting publicity and giv-

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ing you some nice momentum heading into the Nationals. Even this year, when the USA was to award three pro cards for the first time (it was only in 1999 that a second card was given out in addition to the Overall for the first time), nobody expected those cards to go to anyone but the top three heaviest weight class winners. A middleweight has never turned professional at the USA in the entire history of the contest. That all changed this year when Daryl Gee, a northern California transplant now living in New York City, stormed into Vegas hot off an Overall win at the prestigious NPC Los Angeles the weekend before. With incredible muscle size, shape, and condition, the judges felt he was a worthy recipient of one of the trio of cards up for grabs. Then, in an unheard-of move, Gee went into the very first pro show being held after the USA— which was just one week later in Jacksonville, Florida. There, in a field of 13 202-pound IFBB professionals, some of whom have been in the pro ranks for as long as seven years, he took a very close second place to another man making his pro debut, Stan McQuay. The only difference was that Stan outweighed him by over 20 pounds and had close to three years since turning pro to prepare mentally and physically for this day. Daryl had six days! Let’s get all this straight. An unknown isn’t supposed to win his class at the USA. A middleweight isn’t supposed to get one of the pro cards. And a guy who just turned pro the weekend before isn’t supposed to do well at a pro show. I guess nobody told Daryl, huh? I’m sure a lot of you were like me when you heard all this crazy news. You wondered, who is this dude and where has he been hiding? MD put me on the case to find out.

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At Last, A Real Hard-gainer You Can Identity With! Many of the pros are such genetic freaks when it comes to how easily they put on muscle mass when they started out that it almost seems as if they belong to a different species than the rest of us poor slobs. For example, Dennis James literally gained one pound of muscle every day for the first month, once he began pumping iron. Daryl Gee has more in common with the common man. A standout tennis player in high school, he began training with his buddy Matt in Junior year, simply as something to do to stay out of trouble. “Kids we knew were getting into drugs, gangs, just a lot of bad stuff,” he explains. Matt was excited to try out the routines he saw in magazines and what he saw on Shawn Ray’s workout show on ESPN, and Daryl did enjoy the feel of the weights. But in a glaring example of just how impor-

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tant nutrition is, Gee’s ignorance in the subject kept him from making gains. “We would train at night, and then I would simply go right to bed without eating, in that catabolic state— breaking the muscle down and not giving it any fuel to recover and grow.” After two years of working out, Daryl’s bodyweight had hardly budged— from 135 to 138 pounds at his current height of 5‘4“. It wasn’t until he went off to college to earn a degree in Criminal Justice (a field he never wound up working in) that he finally met others into lifting who shared their knowledge about eating and supplementation.

Discovered at the Olympia Expo and Urged to Compete Near the end of college, Daryl almost became a Federal agent for the Department of Treasury, but after a technicality demanded he re-take his entrance exam, he

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Training Split Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:

Chest and triceps Quads and hams Back, calves, and forearms Shoulders and triceps OFF OFF Rack deadlifts, calves, abs, forearms

Contest History 2003 Contra Costa 2005 Contra Costa 2005 California Championships 2005 NPC Nationals 2009 Los Angeles Championships 2009 USA Championships 2009 IFBB Jacksonville Pro 202

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Novice winner 2 , Lightweights Middleweight winner Welterweight winner 3rd, Middleweights Middleweight and Overall Middleweight Champion 2nd place November 2009

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cream, and nachos seemed like too much of a sacrifice for a trophy at the time.” Meanwhile, he was a fan of the sport and had started attending the Mr. Olympia Weekend every year since 1999. Occasionally, freelance photographers and others would compliment his physique, but Daryl never paid much attention. That changed in 2002 when he was approached by Bill Geiger, then the editor of Muscle and Fitness magazine. “Bill couldn’t believe that I had never competed,” Daryl says. “He thought I had a great look, and asked me to shoot for his magazine. I was blown away by that. Finally I said hey, if the editor of the biggest fitness magazine in the world thinks I’m good enough to have my pictures in there, I guess I should compete. I didn’t want to look back years later and wonder how I would have done in a show.”

took that as a sign to try something different. He became certified by four different personal training organizations and went to work as a trainer— but eventually found that wasn’t for him either. “I always put 110 percent into motivating and pushing my clients, but few of them were willing to make the same commitment back or even stay with training, period. The revolving door aspect of clients coming and going, which is the nature of that business, really discouraged me and I got out after six months.” Instead, he went to work as a supplement company sales rep and began applying the knowledge he had gained in training and nutrition to his own physique. As it took on the look of a bodybuilder, various people encouraged him to try competing, but Daryl wasn’t ready. “I knew I would have to go on a pretty long, strict diet, and that idea didn’t appeal to me one bit,” he admits. “Giving up some of my favorite foods like pizza, ice

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On a Roll, Then Dropping Off the Map After a six-week low-carb diet that indeed made him tired and moody, Daryl entered a big regional show in his area called the Contra Costa. He won the Novice division and took second in the Men’s open, but more importantly, he had discovered how much he liked competing. “Once I was up there on stage, it just felt right,” he says. He also got a much better idea of what he was up against, and it was clear to him he needed more size before he competed again. Gee took off 2004 and returned to the show in ’05 to win the middleweights, and hit the Cal and become its first champ in the new welterweight division but missing the Overall to David Truley, who was featured several months later here in MD. Daryl finished the season off with a stab at the NPC Nationals, placing third as a middleweight. He had no idea at the time it would be his last contest for almost four years. “I took a job as a recruiter, more commonly known as a headhunter,” Gee says. “The workdays were often up to 12 hours long and I was constantly on the road.” He kept up his training and did continue to make gains, but he knew that competing was out of the question with such a grueling schedule.

2009: The Comeback Things turned around last year when Daryl left his native San Francisco area to take a job in New York City as the Sales and Marketing Director for a book publishing company. With a desk job and less stress, he was able to get

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G-Forced Reps When asked to briefly summarize his training style, Daryl made it clear that he learned the hard way (through several injuries over the years) not to ever use a weight that he could handle for fewer than six or seven reps on his own. After that, he frequently employs the one technique he feels has been the most productive of his entire training career: forced reps. “If you look at my bone structure and my joints, it’s obvious I’m a small-boned guy,” he says. “I am a true hard-gainer, and the only way I have been able to keep adding muscle mass is to shock the muscles with higher levels of intensity. For me, forced reps have been the absolute best way to achieve that.” He’s quick to point out that forced reps are often bastardized and rendered useless out of ignorance or ego. “They work very well if you do them after hitting failure on your own, but if you are using so much weight that all your reps are forced reps with a spotter helping, you defeat the purpose.”

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all his meals in on time again and the itch to get back on stage grew stronger. “I put a plan together to do the Atlantic States show here in New York to re-qualify, then the Junior Nationals two weeks later in Chicago,” he says. But just before Gee was to start his diet, he suffered a slight tear in his elbow tendon and couldn’t train for five weeks. “It was the longest I had gone without lifting in 17 years, and it was tough. I started dieting and got slowly back into training, but I had to wait and see how I was looking before I figured out my new plan.” As the weeks went on, the west coast was looking more and more like his best bet. “The L.A. was coming up, and that’s where a lot of guys qualify for the USA a week later,” he explains. “It’s a show with great exposure and I also thought it would be nice to start my comeback in my home state.” By now you know how it went. Gee swept his class and the Overall in L.A. and turned pro just a week later. Daryl contemplated several options to compete soon as a 202. “I knew there was a pro show in Sacramento coming up, but I wasn’t sure if they would have a 202 class,” he says. “Tampa was also a pos- November 2009

sibility, but I knew it would have a rough lineup because Dave Henry was doing it. Jacksonville was only a few days away, but it seemed like my best bet.” His head still spinning but buoyed by the reassurance of respected industry figures like Jon Lindsay, Bill Comstock, and Larry Pepe, Daryl decided to seize the opportunity and fly to Florida for a third contest in as many weekends— but with a major difference. This was no amateur contest.

High Praise From The Jaguar West coast NPC bodybuilders know that promoter Jon ‘Jaguar’ Lindsay has been around the sport an awfully long time and has seen a shitload of great physiques over the years, many of them in events he’s put on. That’s why Daryl was so flattered after his Los Angeles win when Jon let him know he was the best L.A. champ he’s ever seen. Former L.A. winners include Bob Paris, J.J. Marsh, Richard Jones, Will Harris, and Mark Dugdale. A week later, he paid Gee another humbling compliment. “Jon told me I was the best USA Middleweight winner he’d ever seen,” he says. Among the past holders of that distinction are Stan McQuay, Vinny Galanti, Johnny Stewart, and John Sherman. “It meant a lot coming from him,” Daryl tells us. “And it did help give me the confidence to decide to jump right into the pro show a week later in Jacksonville.”

Welcome to the Big Leagues, Kid One thing Daryl still regretted about his contests in 2005 was that he had virtually no recollection of them. “I was so focused and intense about winning that I never enjoyed the experience at all,” he laments. “This time I wanted to enjoy every minute and soak it up, because you only make your pro debut once.” So despite being depleted and dehydrated, Daryl remained lighthearted and friendly to all, including his fellow competitors. “I had a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts with me to eat before pumping up, and all the other guys just stared when I opened that up. So I shared my doughnuts and had a laugh when I told them the first round of Krispy Kremes was on me, the rookie, but after that they were five bucks each!” It turned out to be a weekend full of memories worth cherishing, as Daryl took second place. “After four years away from the sport, I won a big regional show, turned pro, and qualified for the Olympia all in just three weeks,” he sums up. “Even I couldn’t believe it was all really happening.”

Olympia-bound and Nothing to Lose And is Daryl Gee going to compete in Las Vegas? You know he is! “It’s all still a big whirlwind, but I’m very excited about stepping on the Olympia stage. I’ve looked up to the reigning champion Dave Henry for a

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long time. The guy is just sickeningly thick and massive, and that back— that’s what I visualize every time I work my back.” Lats are one area Daryl knows he needs to improve as well as his hamstrings, but he relishes the challenge and looks forward to what he can do over the next few years. “At 176 pounds I still have a lot of room to grow as a 202 Pro,” he clarifies. “Right now I’m in a great place. I’m the new guy going into this show against the veterans, and I have nothing to lose. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m just getting started.” Indeed he is. 202s and fans of the 202 division, are you ready? A new force is gathering strength to become a formidable threat— and it’s called Gee-Force! ■

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Grigori Atoyan Proves Persistence Pays Off at the USA By Ron Harris, Photography by Per Bernal

Not An Overnight Success— Unless It Was A Long-ass Night! Getting beyond physiques, I personally find it hard to root for a guy like Phil Heath (whose physique I do happen to be a fan of). Not only was he winning contests within a very short time after he started training, but he won the Overall at the USA in his very first attempt at a pro card. The vast majority of competitive bodybuilders out there can’t really identify with a story like his. ‘Gift,’ indeed! As a competitor, it took me nearly 20 years of dogged attempts just to win my first Overall at a regional NPC show. So who do I root for? Someone like Grigori Atoyan, that’s who! The immigrant from Armenia started his quest for a pro card six years ago, and not until his 15th attempt did he finally achieve that goal. Along the way, he came maddeningly close on several occasions: runner-up four times at pro qualifiers, and a class win without the required Overall needed to graduate out of the amateurs at another. Most people would have said “Screw this,” at some point over those years and all those disappointments. But as Grigori says, “I don’t know how to quit.”

Back in the U.S.S.R. Grigori grew up in the Republic of Armenia when it was still part of the massive U.S.S.R. Fairly athletic, he swam competitively and played soccer into his teen years. At 17, Grigori was a year away from his mandatory military service, and went to a local Olympic weightlifting gym to toughen up for the Red Army. Under the rule of Mikhail Gorbachev and his Glasnost and Perestroika reforms, Russia had started to lift the Iron Curtain ever so slightly to allow some Western movies and music trickle in, and Atoyan had been

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awed by the physiques of ’80s action heroes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. “I remember seeing them and saying to myself, man! I would love to look like those guys,” he remembers. Luckily for Greg (as most of his friends call him), the coach at this place was Armen Gevorkyan, a former Olympic weightlifting champion who also knew a little bit about bodybuildng— a sport frowned upon in the Soviet Union as being ‘capitalist.’ Armen was great with the kids who filled his Spartan gym, and told Atoyan, “I’m going to make you love training so much that if you ever go a day without it, you’ll feel sick to your stomach!” To this day, Greg admits to feeling guilty whenever he misses a workout. With a single bench, a few bars, and two pairs of dumbbells, Grigori recalls that it often took four to five hours to complete a training session, due to waiting your turn and changing weights. But regardless, this was the place he began his lifelong passion for the iron. “We did the Olympic lifts because it was required to use the place, but we also did bench presses, squats, military presses, deadlifts, shrugs, curls— all basic stuff that was perfect for a young guy to start off on.” An older guy used to come around town with items

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smuggled in from America such as Marlboro cigarettes and Levi’s jeans. One day he also had some bodybuilding photos, and one Greg saw made an immediate impression. “It was Shawn Ray with his trophy, after winning the 1987 California Championships,” he remembers. “He was hitting this side pose and his triceps looked absolutely amazing, just bulging out of nowhere. From then on, any time me and my friends would do anything for triceps, we’d encourage each other to get more reps by saying come on man, Shawn Ray triceps!” Shawn, I know you have to feel good about that. In the year Greg spent at his first gym, he went from 150 to 165 pounds and was excited about making further gains. But it was time to fulfill his military obligation, and unfortunately for him, it was a very bad time to be joining the army.

Hard Times, and Escape to California In 1991, the Soviet Union broke apart and Armenia immediately re-established its independence after nearly 70 years. Almost immediately, a full-scale war broke out with neighboring Azerbaijan that would last nearly four years and put Armenia through tremendous hardship. “There was rarely any electricity or running water, and food was so scarce that you would always see long lines in the November 2009

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streets just for some bread or a bit of butter,” Grigori wistfully remembers. Luckily, Atoyan had cousins living in Sacramento, and in 1993 he left for a new life in the USA. Speaking very little English, one of his first priorities was finding a gym so he could at least start training regularly again after the chaotic war years. At the same time, he was not thrilled with his job delivering pizzas (which Ronnie Coleman also did, incidentally), and was on the lookout for something better. The local 24-Hour Fitness had a sign saying they were hiring trainers, and Grigori immediately saw an opportunity to work in the business he loved. Despite initial rejections, Atoyan persevered— a quality that would become his hallmark— until they acquiesced and gave him a shot, despite his language issues. Soon he met a 285-pound bodybuilder training there named Bill Cambra, and the 165-pound Greg told him of his desire to compete in bodybuilding.

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CONTEST HIGHLIGHTS 1996 TNBF Natural California Invitational 1997 NPC Contra Costa 1997 NPC California 2001 NPC Iron Man 2002 NPC California 2003 NPC USA Championships 2003 NPC Nationals 2004 NPC USA Championships 2004 NPC Nationals 2005 NPC USA Championships 2005 NPC Nationals 2006 NPC USA Championships 2006 IFBB North American 2006 NPC Nationals 2007 NPC USA Championships 2007 IFBB North American 2007 NPC Nationals 2008 NPC USA Championships 2008 IFBB North American 2009 NPC USA Championship* 2009 IFBB Tampa Bay Pro 2009 IFBB Europa Supershow *Earned pro status.

Short and Overall 3rd, Novice Middleweight 3rd, Middleweight 2nd, Heavyweight Heavyweight and Overall 9th, Heavyweight 10th, Heavyweight 4th, Heavyeight 2nd, Heavyweight 4th, Heavyweight 9th, Heavyweight 4th, Heavyweight 2nd, Heavyweight 11th, Heavyweight 2nd, Super Heavyweight Super-Heavyweight Winner 2nd, Super-Heavyweight 3rd, Super-Heavyweight 11th, Super-Heavyweight Super-Heavyweight Winner 17th place

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“I told him I thought in about a year I might be big enough to compete, but he just laughed at that,” Grigori says. “Bill said bodybuilders never think they’re big enough— the way to go was to just do a show and then that would be all the motivation I would ever need to keep doing it and keep improving.” With Cambra’s guidance on dieting and posing, Atoyan entered a local natural show and won the Overall. Two weeks later, reality smacked him in the face when he entered the middleweight division at the NPC Sacramento and failed to place. “I saw how these guys looked and said, I’m in the big leagues now. I couldn’t come back until I had put on some serious size.”

The Quest Begins, and The Road is Long Little did Grigori know that 13 years would pass from his first NPC contest until he finally earned professional status. He worked hard in the gym and grew into a lightheavyweight, a heavyweight, and by 2007, a super-heavyweight. In 15 of his local shows before he got to the national level, he placed third on seven different occasions. It was a landmark occasion when he finally took second place at the 2001 Iron Man amateur show. Six months after that, Atoyan won the California— the same title that had been a steppingstone for men like Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, Chris Cormier, and Melvin Anthony. That same year, he started competing nationally, bypassing the junior shows and going directly to pro qualifiers. Along the way, there

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were various disappointments. Perhaps the most devastating was his second place to Capriese Murray at the 2004 NPC Nationals, a show Atoyan had achieved his best-ever condition for and honestly felt he should have won. So forlorn was he over the loss that he actually quit training entirely for three months until his father, Harutyan, gave him a much-needed kick in the ass. “My dad told me he had told me to quit all this weightlifting stuff when I was a kid, and I wouldn’t listen,” he says. “And now you’ve come this far at it and you want to quit?”

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The next day, he was back in the gym, and one of Atoyan’s biggest regrets is that his father didn’t live to see him finally win his pro card. “He passed away three weeks before the 2005 USA, and I almost didn’t compete,” he intimates. “But my mom pushed me, because she knew that’s what dad would have wanted.” As it turned out, winning the Heavyweights at that show was a futile effort for Grigori and the others due to a newcomer from Colorado they were already calling ‘The Gift’— Phil Heath. MD 209

GRIGORIAN CHANT: PUMP UP THE VOLUME! Brief workouts may have been the keys to success for champions like Dorian Yates, the late Mike Mentzer, and the reigning 202 King Dave Henry, but Grigori Atoyan prefers to bomb his muscle groups with higher volume. Here’s a look at typical numbers of sets he will perform for given body parts: Back: Chest: Biceps: Triceps: Shoulders and traps: Quads: Hams: Calves:

Persistence Pays off At Last Even though it’s a clear indication of his character and steel willpower that Grigori continued striving toward his goal, despite so many shattered expectations, he shrugs off any praise by pointing out others with similar degrees of fierce determination. “Bob Cicherillo competed at the national level for 13 years before he won the USA,’ he says. “And there’s Sean Allan, who’s also been at this a long time. A lot of guys out there work very hard, you

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just don’t hear as much about them as the ones who experience success right away.”

Putting That Pro Card to Use A.S.A.P. Greg had been waiting so long and dreamt so many times of stepping on an IFBB stage that as soon he pinched himself after the USA to make sure it was all really happening, he didn’t waste another minute. The next pro show was two weeks later in Tampa, and Atoyan was going to do it despite his own appre-

24-28 sets 20-24 sets 16 sets 16 sets 30-32 sets 16 sets 12 sets 8 sets

hensions and the advice of some to hold off. “A lot of people said I should just wait until the spring shows in 2010,” he shares. “But I had waited long enough to be a pro already. I’ll be 37 in November. Forget about waiting, I want to get up there now and see how I really look next to these guys.” Ironically, once Grigori got to the show and was backstage in the pump-up area, it struck him that he knew and had competed against a lot of these pros already. “It was almost like a reunion from past November 2009

USAs and Nationals, with Bill Wilmore, Leo Ingram, Ben White, Lionel Brown—I was competing with Lionel back in 2001 at the amateur Iron Man show, for goodness’ sake,” he laughs. Though he wasn’t happy with either the way he looked there or his showing (17th place out of 30), Atoyan conferred with his coach and good friend George Farah to make some changes that boosted him up to 11th place the following weekend in an even tougher lineup at the Europa show in Dallas.

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The Next Part of His Journey Had Begun Things are really taking off now for Grigori Atoyan. He’s finally a pro after so many years of busting his ass and refusing to give up after being knocked down over and over again. His two Max Muscle retail stores are doing well, with one now featuring a private personal training studio. Grigori’s marriage is now in its 16th year, and he has two great teenage sons who are immensely proud of dad. He’s got a contract with CytoGenix, and the future looks bright.

When asked what his ultimate goal in the sport is, he cautions me first not to laugh. After assuring him I would never be so rude, he quietly confided that he wants nothing less than to become Mr. Olympia one day. “I know I’m not 25 years old, and I still have to work my way up to that level, and it will be tough. But I don’t think anything is impossible if you put your mind to it, you’re willing to work harder than the next guy, and you never quit.” Amen to that, brother. Amen to that. ■ MD 211

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TRAINING SPLIT: Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:

Back Chest Arms Shoulders and traps Legs and calves Arms OFF

QUICK FACTS: Full name: Grigori Atoyan Nickname: Greg Date of birth: November 21, 1972 Height: 5’8” Off-season weight: 256 Contest weight: 230 Current residence: Sacramento, California Years training: 19 Occupation: Owner of Max Muscle retail stores in Rockland, CA and Rancho Cordova, CA Marital status: Married 16 years to Narine Children: Sons— Harutyan (15), and Martik (13) Favorite clean meal: Breakfast— oatmeal and egg whites Favorite cheat meal: “I guess pizza or cheesecake— but I really love a great omelet with the works, meat and tons of cheese.”

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Who Does Tamer Look Up To on Today’s Pro Stage? Though he’s almost one of them himself, Tamer has a great deal of respect for several of the men currently occupying ‘A-list’ positions in pro bodybuilding. “A lot of people look at Kai Greene today and see his success, but they forget the years of hard work he put in to get there,” he says. “For the first two years he was a pro, Kai couldn’t even get a look from the judges. Many guys give up in frustration, which is what happens with a lot of pros who you hardly ever hear about again. But Kai changed his physique through tremendous heart and determination and it paid off.” When it comes to physiques, Tamer admires the new guard, featuring classic shape and proportions. “I look at Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, and Phil Heath, and it gives me a great feeling about the direction our sport is headed for the future,” El Guindy states. “They all have good mass, but they remind me more of the golden era when small waists, classic lines, and beautiful proportions were equally valued. Our sport was in a mass craze for a long time, but thankfully that seems to have shifted.” Tamer himself is grateful, because the size game is one he never wanted to play. “I don’t want to be 230 or 250 pounds, because that would ruin my physique,” he explains. “Also, I feel that for our sport to grow in popularity, it needs to have more attainable physiques that people can see and say, hey— I’d like to look like that. With all due respect to the huge guys like Ronnie and Jay, most people think that’s just too much, too extreme. Bodybuilding has always been the most popular when the physiques had a more classic look that people could aspire to, like in the days of Steve Reeves, Arnold, and Frank Zane.”

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Contest Hpisto


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t 8th, Middleweigh ight we vy th ea t-h 10 , Ligh ht ig we vy nd ea t-h gh 2 , Li t gh 10th, Middlewei ight 5th, Light-heavywe t gh ei nd ew dl 2 , Mid ight 4th, Light-heavywe ht Champion ig Light-heavywe

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Ch lves Hamstrings & ca Back s Chest & shoulder s m Ar Legs OFF

The Boy from Brazil Tamer was born 32 years ago in Sao Paulo Brazil to Moustafa, a dentist and former lawyer who had emigrated from his native Egypt, and Iara, a biochemist whose family had originally hailed from Italy. They stressed education as his top priority, and young Tamer focused his studies on biology and chemistry. He also excelled as an athlete in basketball, swimming, track and field, and especially at the Brazilian national sport of soccer. At 14, El Guindy began going to the gym to improve his performance on the soccer field. Once he ran across photos in magazines of Lee Haney, the late Mohammed Benaziza, and Dorian Yates, it was only a matter of time before he lost interest in becoming the next Pelè or Beckham. “I knew right then and there that I wanted to look like those guys,” Tamer recalls. Though he was able to pick

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the brains of a couple local bodybuilders and get his hands on some magazines, solid training and nutrition information was lacking in Brazil at the time, as it continues to be today, according to Tamer. “My friend and I read that the pros would eat bananas before workouts, so we started eating 10 of them before heading to the gym,” he says, laughing. “I would be sick to my stomach the whole time working out, but I figured, hey— this is what it takes to be one of those guys in the magazines.”

Living His Passion— and Finding True Love, in Seattle It really wasn’t until he moved to Seattle at the age of 20 to continue his education that Tamer’s bodybuilding and personal life really fell into place. First, he met fellow immigrant (from the Ukraine) Zhanna Rhotar, now an

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IFBB Figure and Bikini Pro, while they were both running for Student Body President. Among other things, they had the fitness lifestyle in common, and quickly hit it off. Now engaged, they have been inseparable for over 12 years. “I’ve been with Zhanna since she was 17,” he says, “so we really can say we’ve grown up together.” While in Seattle, they were privileged to be mentored by another Lithuanian, Ms. Olympia Valentina Chepiga, and her husband at the time, Oleg, himself a Ukrainian bodybuilding champion. It wasn’t long before he started competing locally, including several tries at the tough Emerald Cup, the largest regional show in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating college, Tamer had also taken a position with Gold’s Gym Corporate as an international consultant. “I would travel to various locations in Europe and the Middle East and stay as long as it took to help a new franchise get up and running successfully. But eventually, the constant flying and living out of hotels began to wear on El Guindy, and he wanted out. “I still dreamed of becoming a professional bodybuilder, and I knew I would never achieve that goal living on the road. I needed more stability.” When the opportunity presented itself for him and Zhanna to go in as partners on a Gold’s Gym in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2005, California, he jumped on it and they packed their bags for Orange County. “It turned out to be a perfect situation for us,” he informs us. “We manage the gym, train clients, and also have the opportunity to pursue our goals in the industry.”

THE KEYS TO RAZOR-SHARP CONDITION Who better to ask about the secrets to getting shredded than the poster boy for razor cuts? Tamer sees two main keys to achieving extreme condition. The first you can’t do anything about, but the second one is entirely up to you. “Genetics are important for getting that incredibly dry look,” he concedes. “Some people do have thinner skin than others, which allows all the striations and details to show more. But much more important is what the great Dorian Yates referred to as mental toughness. You do have to be willing to endure more pain and suffering than the other guys you’ll be competing against. I wanted to win the USA so badly that I kept dieting and pushing for better and better condition, long past the point where most other competitors would have said, OK, that’s good enough. The diet and the cardio take more of a toll on you both mentally and physically past that point, and most guys just won’t go there— which is why few bodybuilders ever compete in that extreme type of condition.”

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The Pro Creator’s ‘Special Project’ Tamer stepped up to the national level that same year, and placed 10th as a middleweight at the USA. He was wise enough to recognize that he would make faster progress with the guidance of an expert. That’s when he began working with Hany Rambod, a decision that he knows has had a powerful impact. “I consider myself one of Hany’s special projects, because he got me early in my career and has been able to develop me since then.” Back then, Rambod’s FST-7 training system was in its infancy and didn’t even have a name yet, but Tamer was fortunate enough to have been a test subject from day one. Within a year, he had not only moved up a weight class to the light-heavies, but also cracked the November 2009

top five at the USA. The following year’s USA almost proved disastrous, as a last-minute illness threatened to knock him back down to middleweight. “Hany and I argued back and forth about what to do,” he says. “He said I wasn’t the biggest light-heavy anyway, so I should capitalize on my condition and lines and drop down to middles. I was dead set against it, but as luck would have it I wound up weighing in as a middleweight anyway— and took second to Jose Raymond.” El Guindy tried things on his own in 2008, but was unhappy with the package he brought, despite still earning fourth place in the light-heavyweights. As soon as the show was over, Tamer decided to get back with Hany— and that he was going to win the USA in 2009.

time to time. If you can’t handle that, you shouldn’t compete. All I can do is keep coming back better and better, and my day will come.”

A Work in Progress with Great Promise Tamer has his eye on the upcoming NPC Nationals, a show he’s never competed in. He isn’t foolish enough to think for one minute that the momentum of taking second at the USA will ensure victory there. “That’s a very dangerous way to think,” he says. Not only does Tamer plan on continuing to bring the spectacular condition that has become his trademark, but he’s also working his butt off to build a more complete physique.

The 52-week Contest Diet! Contest diets can range anywhere from six weeks to 16 on average. I’ve even heard of 20 weeks. But would you believe Tamer dieted a full year for this recent USA? “After the 2008 USA, I did some reevaluating,” he says. “Did I want to be one of those guys who places in the top five for a few years and then retires? Or did I really want to be a pro? If so, I had to do everything in my power to make that happen.” Tamer did not eat one morsel of junk food for a full 12 months, even though he enjoys items like pizza and fastfood burgers as much as the rest of us. While he normally would let himself bloat up to 245 pounds in the off-season (“I usually looked more like a powerlifter for nine months out of the year,” he quips), he did not let his weight get over 210-214. Every meal was meticulously recorded down to the last grams of protein, fat, and carbs in a journal, and Tamer also kept up his cardio. The ‘official’ diet started at 12 weeks out from the USA, but thanks to his extra efforts and discipline, El Guindy never had to do anything extreme in terms of cutting calories or doing excessive amounts of cardio. By the time he was down to 200 pounds, Tamer could already see clear striations in his glutes— but he knew that wasn’t good enough to guarantee beating someone as genetically gifted as Branden Ray. “I had objectively studied all the top lightheavies, and the only one I felt could realistically beat me was him,” Tamer reveals. “But I knew condition would be his Achilles’ heel— and if I came in with condition that blew his away, I stood a very good chance of winning.”

Close Enough That He Could Smell the Ink on a New Pro Card By now you know the rest of that story. Tamer did defeat Ray, but the victory was short-lived, as he left the Overall posedown without a pro card. “I’m not ashamed to say it— I sat there backstage and I cried for a good 10 minutes with Zhanna hugging me,” he says. “To work so very hard for a whole year, to come so close, but still fall short— it was such a disappointment.” Surprisingly, Tamer harbors no bitterness toward the controversial decision. “I don’t really believe in the whole politics nonsense,” he tells us. “Any sport that involves referees or judges has controversial decisions from

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“My legs have always been good, and my shoulders responded like crazy from the first time I touched a weight,” he explains. “They are so wide and round that they overpower my chest and arms, even though I barely do anything for them anymore.” Once he fills out his chest, makes his back even better, and most of all brings up his arms to match those melon delts, Tamer knows he can be a very competitive pro. “I compete now at 188 pounds, and by the time I am 200 in the same condition, I will be ready to hang with the best in the 202s.” I tend to agree with that prediction, and I know the growing number of Tamer’s fans are anxious to see it happen. All class winners at the Nationals earn pro status. So the big question now is, will ‘The Razor’ be able to slash his way to another light-heavyweight win this November? !

An Inch on Your Arms in One Day? Seriously, Dude? Tamer was the subject of one of the few training articles in another magazine that I have actually read in the past year. It caught my attention, as someone whose arms suck ass, as it promised to deliver a full inch of new mass gained on the biceps and triceps as the result of a oneday program. He started with a relaxed arm measurement of 17 7/8” and a flexed measurement of 18¾”. After doing a brief arm workout every 20 minutes for six consecutive hours and taking enough supplements to choke a blue whale, the final numbers were 18½” relaxed, and 19½” flexed. The skeptic in me, as well as the poor soul desperate to boost his own guns to respectable dimensions at some point before they bury me six feet underground, just had to know how much of that was simple inflammation and how much Tamer actually kept. “I actually put on very close to a halfinch of permanent new size,” he told me. “Obviously it’s a shock treatment you can’t do too often, and you do need to commit pretty much an entire day to doing nothing but work your arms and take a ton of supplements— you will feel like a true meathead by the end.”

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By Ron Harris, Photography by Per Bernal

Where Did This Guy Come From? Those of us who work in the industry usually have a pretty good idea of who the better amateurs out there are at any given moment. At the very least, I typically know who the decent guys on the East Coast are, either from seeing them at regional shows or because they post on MD, admittedly a place trafficked more heavily by bodybuilders from that part of the USA, as it’s based in New York. But when Steve Blechman called me up shortly after the NPC Pittsburgh show this past May to ask what I thought about the winner, Seth Feroce, I had no idea who he was talking about. Once I jumped online and checked out MD’s coverage of the show, I was at once genuinely impressed and mystified. How had I never heard of this new freak, shredded down to the bone at 5‘6“, 198 with no weak body parts, thick from top to bottom and front to back?

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It’s like I always say: for every freak we know about, there are always a lot more somewhere out there, slowly biding their time and waiting until they feel totally ready before unleashing their brutal physiques on us. Seth Feroce is a perfect example: a diamond in the rough, who was quietly building more and more mass for years and keeping it all under wraps— until now.

From Jiggly to Jacked As a child growing up in Pittsburgh, Seth was a heavyset kid, though he was probably destined to be muscular sooner or later. Both of his parents are short and muscular and former athletes, and his mom’s nickname on the high school track team was actually ‘Thunder Thighs,’ in refer-

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ence to her powerful-looking quads and hams. Feroce attended a Catholic private school until eighth grade, but by seventh grade he was already planning to play football once he got to public school. With that in mind, he dusted off his dad’s old weight set in the attic, had Pops show him the basics, and started learning how to train. When he got to high school, he played fullback and linebacker that first and only year on the football team. His coaches also convinced Seth to join the wrestling team once that started up after football. By now, Seth had outgrown the confines of his attic set-up and wanted to go to a real gym. The place his dad took him to was called York’s Gym, a little hardcore hole-in-the-wall November 2009

owned by four brothers who were all very good local natural bodybuilders. “My dad said once he saw the look in my eyes when I first walked in there and saw the big guys training, he knew he had lost me,” Seth laughs. Indeed, Feroce soon immersed himself in bodybuilding, inspired by stars of the day like Dorian Yates, Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, and Nasser El Sonbaty. His parents did find it strange

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when their 15-year-old son pinned up photos of these muscle men on his bedroom walls rather than bikini babes— but they could see how passionate he was already about bodybuilding.

Growing Boy Seth had learned all about crash dieting as a wrestler, and the former fat kid was now pleased with his newly November 2009

lean, 165-pound body and the attention it garnered at school. He became obsessed with seeing more and more definition, and his weight dropped down to 150 pounds. He may never have grown into the freak you see today if it hadn’t been for the intervention of a few older bodybuilders at the gym. “They told me it’s not good to be that lean all the time,” he relates. “A young kid like me should be eating like a horse and growing like a weed, and I was missing out on that golden opportunity.” Along with their solid advice on proper exercise form and good bodybuilding nutrition, Seth began to grow. By the time he was ready to leave for college, Feroce was up to 180 pounds with abs. A friend of his made a point of telling him that college was the perfect time to put on muscle before the responsibilities of the real world start getting in the way. He took this recommendation to heart and in the first two years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (where he met his wife Elise in the school library), Seth put on another 40 pounds.

Not Ready for Prime Time? Even back in high school, the guys at York’s Gym had tried to talk Seth into competing. But he was too nervous, too shy, and most of all, didn’t feel his physique was good enough to put on display. Even a few years later when he had built far more mass, Feroce was still hesitant and lacked the confidence to don a pair of posing trunks. “I saw how amateurs were criticized— more like ripped apart I should say— if they were missing any body parts,” he explains. “I didn’t want people talking that kind of shit

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ing as the actual win for Seth, a longtime bodybuilding fan, was being backstage with guys he idolized, like Branch Warren, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Kai Greene, Phil Heath, and Dennis Wolf. “I was like a kid in a candy store,” he confides. “The guest posers were all top names, and it was also cool to be back there with the pros, competing in the 202s and seeing them up close. That’s the division I see myself in soon, God willing.”

Short-term Goals Seth recognizes that his physique still needs work before it’s ready to do battle with the pros, and he’s busy in the gym, making that happen. “The more I look at pictures, I realize I need a bigger back,” he begins. “Your back can never really be too wide and thick. I want to fill out my biceps more, harden and tighten my hams, and about me, so I simply couldn’t commit to a show until I felt I was complete.” He had attended Jim Manion’s Pittsburgh contest a few times, and at the 2008 show his then-girlfriend, now wife Elise, had finally had enough. “She told me I would have won if I had dieted down and competed,” Seth says. “When I started to argue with her about it, she cut me off and told me to just shut up and do the show next year.” Wives are good like that. Now living in Cleveland, Seth buckled down and chose the NPC Northern Kentucky as a warm-up show this March for the target show in Pittsburgh on May 2. Coming in at 208 pounds, he won the Heavyweight class, but missed the Overall. Soliciting feedback from the judges, Feroce was shocked at what they told him. “They said if I had dropped 10 more pounds and come in sharper, I would have had the Overall easily,” he says. “I was already feeling so depleted from the diet that I really couldn’t possibly imagine doing that, but I did.” In Pittsburgh, he was indeed 198 pounds and untouchable, having worked his new coach Hany Rambod for the final two weeks to dial it all in. Equally excit-

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harden up my quads so they have that mature look that guys like Branch and Kai’s do.” Hany has also made his evaluation and wants to see Seth thicken his upper pecs and front delts as well. “You can never be too satisfied with your physique as a bodybuilder,” Feroce notes. “The day you do that, is the day you get beat.”

The Five-year Plan Seth is taking things one step at a time, as any wise man would do. Right now his next goal is the light-heavyweight class at the Nationals. Meanwhile, he keeps busy as a personal trainer at UXL Sports and Fitness

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The Day Seth Stopped Being All About The Weight Major injuries like muscle tears and herniated disks have derailed the careers of countless bodybuilders from name pros to average Joes. If a guy is lucky, he learns to practice caution in the gym before he’s struck down. That day came two years ago for Seth Feroce, while training chest. “I had wanted to bench press 500 pounds for a long time, and I was getTraining Split ting very close,” he begins. “One day I was working up to attempting it and Monday: Chest, light triceps, calves Tuesday: Back, light biceps, abs had 425 on the bar. Coming up on the fifth rep, I heard something in my Wednesday: Quads chest that sounded just like a rubber band snapping. My training partner Thursday: OFF helped me rack it, and I said Holy shit, dude, I think I just tore my pec.” Friday: Shoulders The area under his armpit soon turned black and blue, but Seth was Saturday: a.m. Heavy arms / p.m. Hams lucky to have only torn the pec very slightly. It was enough to make him Sunday: OFF change his mindset about super-heavy lifting. “From then on, I used strict form and didn’t ever try to max out anymore on anything,” he tells us. “On squats, I had done 645 for a few reps, and after that I kept it around 455-585 at most and used other techniques like drop sets to increase the intensity. On the bench press I was even more careful. I don’t go heavier than 365, and overall I use a higher rep range than I used to. In the off-season, I keep it in the 6-12 range, and in the final weeks before a show, it goes up to 12-20. That’s definitely not the time you want to be trying for new personal records.”

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in Cleveland, while helping out at home with his two-year-old daughter, Adalynne. Seth graduated with a degree in Safety Sciences and had moved to Ohio for a job enforcing EPA and OSHA regulations that he’s since moved on from. “My wife and I want to get back to Pittsburgh soon, because that’s where both our families are and I just love the city,” he says. As we said, once he turns pro, he looks forward to competing in the 202s against excellent athletes like Dave Henry, Kevin English, Flex Lewis, and Jason Arntz for a while before he outgrows that class. “I stood next to Branch Warren at the Pittsburgh show and we were literally eye to eye,” he comments. “Except Branch was about 70 pounds heavier! That’s the type of mass I want to carry eventually.” His family continues to be major supporters, especially his dad and brother Jake. “My dad is funny, because he will go to the store on the exact day every new issue of MD comes out on the newsstand and tell me all about it,” Seth tells us. “He gives me these pep talks comparing me to Evan Centopani and telling me I can be just as good as him one day soon.” Seth was very grateful to be featured this month in MD, which happens to be his favorite magazine. “It’s the number-one bodybuilding magazine in the world, and I can’t thank Steve Blechman enough for putting me in it. Everyone I have met in the industry so far has been so cool and so supportive, I just feel blessed.” Glad to oblige Seth, and if it makes you feel even better, I am pretty sure this won’t be the last time we see you here. ■

Evan’s Döppelganger? As I spoke to Seth Feroce, I could not help but notice more than a couple eerie parallels to MD’s own Evan Centopani. Among the most notable were: • Grew up on the East Coast, of Italian heritage • Was overweight as a kid • Inspired by Dorian Yates and particularly his “Blood and Guts” training video • Started training to get in shape for high school football • Played football only in freshman year of high school; gave it up for bodybuilding • Acquired most of his muscle mass in college • Waited years until his physique was truly ready to compete • Won first national qualifier at age 23 • Guided by top industry ‘guru’ preparing for first national show

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Contest History (Yes, it’s brief!) 2009 NPC Northern Kentucky 2009 NPC Pittsburgh Championships

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Heavyweight winner Light-heavyweight & Overall

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Presented by

Photography by by Photography


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BLOOD&GUTS By Dorian Yates

MD is immensely proud to welcome one of bodybuilding’s true icons to our family. In addition to winning the Mr. Olympia six times, Dorian Yates is respected as one of the hardest-training bodybuilders who has ever lived. Equally feared for his keen intellect and unwavering discipline as he was for his incredible physique during his Olympia reign, Dorian is widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable men in the industry when it comes to areas such as training, nutrition, the psychology of bodybuilding and more. It’s been a long time coming, but at last we are able to bring you the man once known as ‘The Shadow’— the one and only Dorian Yates!

Training Questions and Answers You wrote that if you didn’t feel fully recovered that you would skip a workout or even abort it at the warm-up stage. But what if your training partner Leroy felt great and ready to go? Would you call Leroy that morning (or tell him at the gym) that you’re not training that day? How did he respond? Did he train anyway, or did he just do what you decided because, after all, you were Mr. Olympia and your partnership was mainly about you and he should be privileged to train with you, and so he accepted that you were the one who made these decisions? What about the opposite scenario? What if Leroy felt like crap but you felt great? Did he suck it up and train because, again, it was more about him being there for you to assist you toward being Mr. Olympia, and his needs and progress were secondary? I ask because my workout partner and I frequently had this issue and we finally resolved it by just

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sticking to a set schedule, unless neither of us felt fully recovered. We found that it wasn’t fair for one of us to skip a workout, if the other guy was feeling great and was ready to go. Normally I would have a sense by the morning of the workout that I wasn’t feeling up to training and I would call Leroy to reschedule for the next day. But I should make something clear, that I don’t think very many people were even aware of. For my last three years as Mr. Olympia, Leroy was my employee. He quit his job in construction and came to work part-time at my gym and also as my training partner. Since great training partners are tough to come by and my workouts as Mr. Olympia were of vital importance to me, it was a sound investment in my eyes. So it wasn’t merely a situation of me viewing my workouts as being more important than his. And truth be told, whenever I delayed a back or leg workout, by far our two most demanding days, he usually breathed a sigh of relief!

Another thing I don’t think was really clear was that Leroy really had no aspirations of being a pro bodybuilder. He did love to train hard and challenge himself that way, but competing was never something he particularly cared for. The dieting aspect was what put him off the most. Then again, who among us enjoys that? Leroy qualified for the British Championships on several occasions, but didn’t choose to go for his pro card. That contest was typically a few weeks after the Mr. Olympia, and he preferred traveling to the States to support me at my show and have a good time. He certainly didn’t want to have to worry about hauling chicken breasts and rice cakes around all over the place and eating every two hours on the dot. It sounds like you and your training partner came to a nice compromise on how to handle those times when one of you isn’t feeling the fire. In your book you described your first routine as mainly free weights, and you wrote that if you had to do it all over again, you would follow the same program. But then you explained about the three changes you made to your workouts (increased rep range, non-explosive execution, and specific to my question, incorporating more machines), and how you strongly recommend that we incorporate these three aspects into our workouts immediately. This always seemed like a bit of a contradiction and I always wanted to ask you to clarify. So would you recommend a beginner or intermediate follow your first free-weight routine, or immediately incorporate machines (i.e. November 2009

Hammer for chest, shoulders and back as opposed to barbells and dumbbells, etc.)? Perhaps I wasn’t entirely clear on that subject in my book. I think beginners and intermediates should definitely use mainly free weights, as they are excellent tools to build a solid base of strength and mass. And if you look at my training routines even later on, they still featured plenty of free weights. For instance, chest workouts typically began with a barbell incline or decline press, and my second pressing movement would be done with a machine. This makes sense because we all tend to lose some of our balance and coordination as a muscle fatigues. I should also note that slowing down my rep speed and incorporating more machines was done in my case out of necessity, as I was starting to accumulate injuries as my career went on. And by the time I had won my second Mr. Olympia in 1993, I didn’t really need much more mass. For beginners and others still attempting to build more size, free weights should still form the core of your workouts, with machines acting in a complementary role.


You always pre-exhausted your quads and half the time you pre-exhausted your back, but never your chest or delts. Why? Also, didn’t you find that by pre-exhausting your quads and back that it was difficult to accurately track your progress and make strength gains on the compound exercises that followed, due to the muscles being at different levels of pre-exhaustion from one workout to the next? Didn’t this result in inconsistent strength gains (or even perceived losses)? Simply put, pre-exhausting chest or shoulders never felt right to me, and I’ll explain why. Because I had built a very high level of strength, the amount of weight I would have required to fatigue my chest on a pec deck, starting fresh, would have been such that it would have placed inordinate stress on my shoulder joints. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t do a splendid job of working the peak contraction point and so on, but you have to weigh the risk-benefit ratio in such circumstances. Having had shoulder problems before and not wishing to derail my training with any more, I chose not to take that chance. Dumbbell flyes could be another option, but I never felt they were totally effective at isolating the pecs. It’s impossible to take the triceps out of a flye movement, as they must act as stabilizing muscles. The third option would be cable crossovers. And again, I faced the same problem as with the pec deck in that the amount of resistance I could handle would be potentially dangerous to my shoulder joints. For all these reasons, I preferred to do isolation November 2009

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DORIAN YATES-BLOOD&GUTS movements for chest later in the session, rather than first thing. Shoulders presented an almost identical issue. Were I to do lateral raises first in my routine, I would have needed at least 80- or 90-pound dumbbells to reach failure in my preferred rep range of 6-10. The shoulder joints are simply far more prone to injury in certain types of movements when you go very heavy. As for tracking my strength gains, as long as I consistently performed the exercises in a certain order, which I did, this was never an issue. It would only be problematic if one were to regularly switch the order of the movements; for example doing presses initially in some workouts and as a second or third exercise at others. For delts, you wrote that you prefer Smith machine presses instead of dumbbell presses. You explained that you have to expend a lot of energy balancing the dumbbells, which was dangerous and also took focus away from the delts. In contrast, you explained that the Smith machine offers the advantage of being guided so you didn’t have to worry about balancing the weight, and therefore allowed you to feel it in your delts much more than dumbbell presses. This makes a lot of sense, so my question is why didn’t you also use the Smith machine for chest movements like decline, flat and/or incline presses, as well as rows, standard and stiff-legged deadlifts, and any other movement that the Smith machine could simulate a barbell movement? That’s a good question, mate! The points about the overhead dumbbell press are correct. By the time I was competing in the Mr. Olympia contest, I was capable of pressing a pair of 150s or 160s, strength-wise. But getting such a heavy pair of dumbbells up into a pressing position is a whole process in itself, and not an entirely safe one. It’s bad enough to risk injury doing your set, but imagine how foolish you’d feel getting hurt before the set even commenced! Another exercise I had used earlier

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on was behind-the-neck barbell presses. I cringe to think about it now, but at one point I could handle 365 pounds on that particular exercise— one which I later learned was quite bad for the rotator cuffs, due to the unnatural position of external rotation the shoulders are put in. The exercises I used the Smith machine most for were military presses and squats. Only after I had retired did I actually learn that the Smith machine was not nearly as safe as I had believed it to be. In speaking with an expert on strength training and injuries, I found out that because the Smith machine always moves in a perfectly straight vertical line, regular use of it can lead to ‘pattern overload,’ or using the same pattern too frequently. Moreover, this straight line is fine in a motion like squatting, but not so in a movement such as the bench press. When pressing a barbell in a bench press, the natural line of motion has a slight curve to it. Constantly deviating from that natural motion can and often does lead to shoulder problems. Ironically, many trainers with a preexisting injury mistakenly assume that a Smith machine is a safer option. In fact, dumbbells and barbells would be a better choice because they allow more freedom of movement. So with all that in mind, use the Smith machine sparingly and don’t assume it to be safer than free weights. As for rows and deadlifts, the barbell versions always had a better feel for me. And if you ever do find me to be contradicting advice I gave out 10 years ago or more, it’s usually because I have learned things since then. Older and wiser is the way it’s supposed to be, right? Some machines offer the advantage of a peak contraction/resistance where free weights offer almost none— for example, peck deck machine vs. dumbbell flyes. Is there a reason why you always did flyes instead of the peck deck machine? I didn’t always do dumbbell flyes, though I did feel they did the best job of working the belly of the pectoral muscles. I actually preferred cables to the pec deck, but essentially I used

just about all the available equipment in the gym at one time or another. If you watched my “Blood and Guts” DVD, I did both dumbbell flyes and cable crossovers in that particular chest workout that we filmed. One thing I do want to add is that I often see trainers using pec decks or cable crossovers and not pausing at all at the instance of peak contraction. This is a total waste and a failure to capitalize on the unique advantages of those pieces of equipment. Did you have problems doing standing calf raises after trashing your quads? I find that my quads are so fatigued after training them that they begin shaking uncontrollably halfway through my set of standing calf raises, which takes away from the calves being fully stimulated. I now train calves on a separate day. And what about working hamstrings at a different workout than quads? I never had that problem. I should also note that calves were never a problem body part for me. When I started competing, my hamstrings and calves were actually proportionately larger than my quadriceps, which is usually the opposite of what most bodybuilders seem to experience. So for me, the standard practice of doing quads first in a leg workout and putting most of my energy into those exercises was actually the best course of action. I also tried working hamstrings separately from quads for a little while, but went right back to doing legs all in one workout. I wasn’t able to use any more weight on my hamstring exercises that way, as I had imagined I would. But worse than that, I felt far more strain on my tendons doing hamstrings fresh as opposed to after hitting quads and getting those pumped, which seemed to properly warm up the aforementioned tendons. As for calves, even when doing them at the very end as I did, I was able to use 1,200 or 1,300 pounds on standing raises. Had I done them fresh, I can only guess it would have taken at least a couple hundred pounds more. After a certain point, it becomes more of a challenge to add extra resistance to November 2009

machines. For most bodybuilders with average genetics for calves, it makes more sense to either do them first thing on leg day, or on a completely different day as you are doing.


Why do you recommend higher reps for quads and abs? I’m not an exercise physiologist, but from a large amount of anecdotal evidence gathered both in my own training and from that of many other successful bodybuilders, the quadriceps do seem to respond better to a higher rep range than the upper body muscles do. I do know that the lower body has a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fiber makeup, which would lend further credence to the case for higher reps. I remember that when I was first starting out in bodybuilding in the early 1980s, very heavy squats were in vogue. We had a new crop of top bodybuilders like Tom Platz, Tim Belknap, and a NABBA Mr. Universe who probably would have made an excellent IFBB pro named Jeff King, who all displayed a level of extreme development in the quadriceps never before seen. I tried squatting very heavy for 6-8 reps as was the training fashion at the time, but all I got were knee and hip problems. Only when I increased the rep range of 10-12 did I start to see significant growth in my quads. Over my career I typically worked quads in the 12-15 rep range, though I would occasionally do as many as 20 reps. I never did less than 10. With my abs, the reason I did higher reps was because I was only using my bodyweight as resistance and that’s how many reps it took me to reach failure. I had tried weighted abdominal movements earlier on in my career and found that they thickened up my oblique muscles and therefore contributed to a wider waist— not a desirable outcome for an aspiring champion bodybuilder. How were you able to track rep increases if Leroy’s hands were constantly on the bar during many of your sets? I assume you had him do this from a safety standpoint, but, for example, how did you know if you actually got 5 or 6 reps by yourself before Leroy

began giving you any help with forced reps? Also, you wrote that you enter your workout numbers into your logbook after each workout. I find that if I don’t do it after each set, I’d never remember the weight, number of reps, number of forced reps, number of negatives, etc. for every set. How did you remember all of these details without writing them down immediately? Leroy’s hands were always right there on the bar, but that was for safety purposes as well as to maintain the

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flow of the set. He never applied any pressure unless and until it was needed. For example, if a spotter’s hands are nowhere near the bar, it will inevitably take a second or two once the bar gets stuck, due to the trainer reaching failure before his hands are there to assist. In that case, the trainer won’t get any further reps without tremendous assistance. I preferred to have Leroy keep his hands on the bar so that the second he felt the movement slow down enough, he would apply just enough pressure for me to complete another MD 259

DORIAN YATES-BLOOD&GUTS rep, and no more. I didn’t want to get stuck on the static contraction, you see. Once the set was complete, I would always ask Leroy how much help he had provided, and he replied honestly. So if I had done seven reps on my own and one with a bit of his help, I would note that in my journal. As for how I was able to remember such numbers and details even a couple hours later, that comes back to how important my workouts were to me. They were essentially my job, and my workouts weren’t overly long either. So keeping those numbers in my head for another hour or two was never a problem. Obviously if you feel you need to, you should write the weights and reps down immediately upon completion of each set. Did Leroy always scream throughout each workout like he did in the “Blood & Guts” video or was that mainly for the camera? I ask because you wrote that you don’t like to have someone yell and scream at you during your set, that instead you prefer nothing or just a simple and low-key, “Come on, you got it” at the most. Well you are certainly learning a lot more about the mysterious Leroy this month than I bet most of you ever cared to! My good friend happened to be a Sergeant Major in the Royal British Army Reserves, which is similar to what you call a Drill Sergeant in your U.S. military. He was very much accustomed to barking out orders and so on, so I don’t think he even realized that he did this in our workouts as well. Truth be told, I was in a zone during my sets and blocked it all out as background noise regardless. Only when I saw the DVD later did I realize how vocal Leroy actually was when we trained. I performed reverse-grip barbell rows for years, using the style you recommend (upper body at a 70° angle), but unfortunately I never felt the target muscle (lower lats) get that much out of it. I was expending so much effort trying stabilize my upper body and maintain the

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desist with it. As for the 70° barbell proper 70° angle, that my lower rows, they do put the lats in a stronger back and erectors seemed to pulling position and also put less fatigue prior to my lower lats stress on the lower back than the congetting sufficient stimulation. It ventional style where the torso is pargot to the point where I felt my allel to the floor. lower back was getting strained, I have to wonder if you might have and I’d actually feel some lower some undiagnosed injury or condition back pain (not the good muscle with your lower back that may not be soreness pain) the following day apparent during a deadlift movement, or two. (I regularly train lower but does become aggravated when back with deadlifts, so my lower pulling from a different angle. But back is not weak by any means). Recently, I began using spider that’s all beside the point, as you have clearly discovered a superior option rows, the rowing machine for yourself. Just because an exercise where your upper torso is supwas perfect for Dorian Yates does not ported, which takes the lower automatically mean it’s suited to back and erectors out of the everyone, and vice versa. Using an movement, thus allowing my example I have discussed before, barlower lats to receive much more bell squats were never the best exerstimulation. I immediately felt a cise for my thighs, but clearly they tremendous difference, as I have worked wonders for gents like finally felt the stress go to my Tom Platz and Branch Warren. ■ lower lats like never before. I got a great pump and was sore for several days. DY Nutrition Launches! My rationale for deciding It’s been a hectic few months preparing on spider rows was thinking for it, but at last I am launching Dorian about compound chest exerYates Nutrition throughout Europe and the cises. The most basic comUSA. By the time you read this, my prodpound chest exercises are ucts will be available at GNC and on performed while lying on They have our backs on a bench, so already been selling in Europe for a short the inverse of this for back time, and several managed to achieve a exercises would be lying on cult-like status. our fronts on a bench. What One product is NOX Pump. Users is your opinion of spider report incredible muscle pumps as well rows and this theory? Do as a powerful stimulant effect, increased you feel you could have mental focus, and improved mood. My achieved the same degree TemPro protein powder features an of back development as you advanced blend of various fast and slowdid had you performed spirelease proteins, and we are the only der rows in place of barbell company I know of that uses all natural rows, and kept the rest of flavorings. your routine the same (i.e., Finally, the CRX Cuts fat burner prodcontinued doing deadlifts uct is truly unique as a multi-angle therfor lower back and erectors, mogenic, as it features a compound that etc.)? Why or why not? elevates brain chemistry in the area that You seem to have answered controls pleasure. This compound has your own question, mate! If you been used successfully in clinical trials as ever find an exercise that works a means of fighting various addictions perfectly for you, by all means ranging from smoking to drinking, and continue with it, regardless of most pertinent for bodybuilders, overeatwhether it’s advocated by me or ing. I’m very excited to get these products anyone else. By the same token, off the ground at last and available to if there is a movement that those who can benefit from them. ■ either you can’t feel the target muscle working properly on or You can check out my new company worse, seems to be dangerous DY Nutrition, and our products at for you, immediately cease and November 2009

Testosterone By Dan Gwartney, M.D.

First Reported Case

Severe Liver Failure Due to Anabolic Steroid Cardiomyopathy E

ach month, this column provides new findings relating to testosterone and other androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS), or periodic reviews of AAS and adjunct drugs (aromatase inhibitors, hCG, etc.). Many of the topics discuss studies confirming the efficacy of AAS at building muscle mass or strength; others intend to broaden the understanding of the cellular, systemic, or biochemical mechanisms AAS stimulate or repress. However, the most important function of a public media outlet is to inform vulnerable populations of risks specific to their behavior. The politics of AAS have created a seemingly irreversible polarization of opinion; advocates ignoring any potential hazards compete against pundits claiming that AAS are one of the greatest threats to the health and morality of society and our children. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the two camps. Most readers of Muscular Development lean more toward the advocate position. For the person whose goals include improving strength, muscle mass, body composition, and vigor, AAS are so effective as to cause many users to forgive or overlook any known or suspected risks and side effects. Compounding the complacency among users is the

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failure to recognize that most of the serious threats are covert (hidden from plain sight) and aside from mood disorders, commonly follow long-term use of supraphysiologic dosing and polypharmacy (high-dose cycles stacking numerous AAS and other drugs).

WADA member Dr. Wadler was unable to respond to the question, “Where are the bodies?” when asked about the presumably exaggerated claims of health risks related to AAS. Deaths and hospitalizations associated with AAS use are rarely reported. In an HBO “Real Sports” June 2005 segment, WADA member Dr. Wadler was unable to respond to the question, “Where are the bodies?” when asked about the presumably exaggerated claims of health risks related to AAS. Many gain a false sense of security from the low incidence of AAS-related injury. This makes communicating potential hazards even more critical, particularly

when the risk is previously unreported and represents an emerging understanding. Over the last decade or so, reports of changes in heart function and structure have filtered into clinical journals with surprisingly little 1-8 notice from the media. This may be due to the complex, poorly understood processes involved in these cases, in addition to the overstated/inaccurate threat of AAS-induced cardiovascular disease. Most relate heart damage associated with AAS use to plaque buildup, due to adverse (unhealthy) changes in cholesterol values, primarily lowering 9 good cholesterol (HDL). In fact, cardiovascular risk appears to be seen at both extremes of circulating (blood) testosterone concentrations. Men with low testosterone demonstrate unhealthy changes in cholesterol, as do many 10 who use supraphysiologic doses. However, as most AAS users are moderate in dose and duration, and commonly pursue healthier eating and exercise habits than most Americans, there has been no identified increased rate of heart attacks or strokes among the collective group 11 of AAS users. Yet, a growing recognition of subclinical heart damage among AAS users is emerging; though again it

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Testosterone has escaped the notice of the press. Throughout the history of sport, tragic and unexpected deaths have occurred in young, healthy athletes. The risk of sudden cardiac death (unexpected death due to immediate heart failure) has been known and the underlying cause is often unde12,13 termined. One can imagine the frustration and fear of family members dealing with the death of a promising, healthy, athletic child or teen; sudden cardiac death also occurs in adult athletes. In nearly every case, an autopsy is performed; extensive tissue and fluid analysis augment the internal and external examination. At times, when no other cause is evident, any abnormality is considered to contribute to, if not outright cause, the fatal event. If an already controversial factor is present (e.g., dehydration, Atkins diet, ephedra, AAS, etc.), then the media, parents, team officials, sporting organization, 14 etc. are quick to place blame. Unfortunately, blaming the ‘whipping boy’ factor may lead to an inaccurate diagnosis and fail to provide the family and public with critical relevant and accurate information. This is not to say that any of the above listed, as well as other factors, may not have played a role in athlete deaths. Rather, it points out the essential need to make every effort to factually determine what may have caused a sudden and premature death in a young and presumably healthy person. AAS have become the whipping boy of performance-enhancing agents. When an AAS user suffers harm, dies, or is violent and harms others, the drugs are immediately 15 blamed. Clinicians, the public, and the press are so conditioned to AAS being the cause of harm that little to no investigation is made to justify the claims, or even look for other relevant factors. Again, in specific cases, AAS may have contributed to or possibly caused certain adverse events. However, to immediately discount any other cause would demonstrate poor clinical judgment. With those caveats, it is also

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equally important to understand the possible harm that may be caused by AAS use, especially over the longterm, or in users who use the drugs in a manner that is extremely deviant from the natural or physiologic presentation (extremely high doses for long-term or continuous cycles, particularly using androgens other than testosterone, such as trenbolone, stanozolol, etc).

AAS have become the whipping boy of performanceenhancing agents. When an AAS user suffers harm, dies, or is violent and harms others, the drugs are immediately blamed. Most people are familiar with the saying, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” This phrase suggests that rumors and suspicions usually have some basis in fact. Several reports looking for changes in heart structure or function have been published 1-8 over the years. Early studies looking for signs of functional changes in the human heart were inconclusive, showing no significant differences between AAS users, former users, 16 and non-users. Later, it was discovered that AAS users were more likely to show an abnormal thickening in the heart wall that separates the two main chambers (concentric hypertrophy) which is different from ‘athlete’s heart,’ known clinically as eccentric 17-20 hypertrophy. The difference between the two is that runners and others who develop athlete’s heart (eccentric hypertrophy) do not decrease the amount of blood that the heart can move with each heartbeat. Concentric hypertrophy differs by having the separating wall of the heart thicken, which makes that portion of the heart muscle more vulnerable to ischemic damage (less oxygen available to the working muscle, due to low blood flow in that specific area) and also

encroaches upon the heart chamber, reducing the amount of blood moved with each heartbeat. Concentric hypertrophy can arise in people who experience high blood pressure or perform movements that create a lot of pressure and strain. Powerlifters are a good example. In the presence of AAS, growth hormone, and possibly other drugs, this hypertrophy can become quite pro21 nounced and dangerous. Medical technology has improved quite a bit in the last decade as imaging devices have higher resolution and better imaging processing. This should be of no surprise to consumers who have watched cameras go from 3.1 megapixels to 12 megapixels during the same period. Barely detectable changes in the electrical rhythm of the heart has been seen in current AAS users; in individuals with an undiagnosed heart rhythm abnormality (e.g., Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome), this could precipitate a harmful or 17,18 fatal event. When the heart does not beat properly, it fails to meet the circulatory needs of the body. This can lead to progressive fatigue, edema (water retention), and other more serious effects. A type of scarring called fibrosis has also been reported in young AAS users that may impair the heart’s ability to pump, allow for dangerous points of inflammation, or create ‘short-circuits’ in the heart’s 6 electrical system. Altered heart rhythm or impaired blood flow due to AAS-associated changes could go unnoticed for years until a critical event occurs. Recently, two cases of serious cardiac disorders in a current and former AAS user respectively appeared in the medical literature. The first involves a 40-year-old male bodybuilder with a long-term history of AAS use, including several 22 familiar oral and injectable AAS. The report stated that this person used 500-700 mg trenbolone enanthate weekly as part of his recent cycles. Approximately a month prior to being admitted to the hospital, he began to experience increasing

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Testosterone fatigue affecting his workouts and general well-being. The feeling became so bad he stopped working out and stopped all AAS. Despite this, he developed a loss of appetite, recurrent vomiting, pain under the ribs on the right side, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). His initial labs revealed excessively high liver enzyme values, LDH, acute kidney failure, and slow clotting. His liver was enlarged; other causes of liver damage were ruled out, including infectious agents and other livertoxic drugs. The patient was transferred to the liver transplant team with a diagnosis of anabolic steroidinduced toxic hepatitis. In other words, they were getting ready to take out his liver and replace it with one from an organ donor. While he was awaiting surgery, he was receiving normal I.V. fluid support and developed fluid in the lungs and an increase in central venous pressure (representing a backup of blood in the large veins). When an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) was performed, it showed the heart was enlarged and working very poorly. The function of the heart is measured by the ejection fraction, the percentage of blood that is pumped out of the left ventricular chamber with each beat. Imagine a water gun with a 10 ml bladder. When you squeeze the trigger, about 8 ml is shot out of the water gun nozzle. This would represent an 80 percent ejection fraction. If the water gun is cheaply made and only shoots out 3 ml, this would represent a 30 percent ejection fraction. If you are in a water-gun battle with your nephews, you’d soon realize your water gun bites. The heart has a normal ejection fraction of 55-70 percent; when this falls below 35 percent or so, the heart is no longer delivering oxygenated blood to the body sufficient to meet the metabolic demand. At this point, the person enters congestive heart failure and begins to experience organ damage. At 15 percent, such as seen in this case, blood flow is sluggish and organs are starved

for oxygen. Blood can clot in the heart or veins, and vital organs can begin to fail (including the kidneys and liver as seen in this case). Indeed, two large clots were seen in the heart chamber, which increases the risk of life-threatening emboli (clots blocking the blood flow to the heart, brain, and other tissue). Rather than taking out the man’s liver, supportive medical therapy was provided to improve the function of the heart and slowly break down the clots. In short course, the man was stable with improved heart function (an ejection fraction of 25 percent); his liver function dramatically and rapidly improved, even with his long-standing history of oral AAS use, and released to go home. At the time the report was written, he was still in heart failure, which was believed to have been caused by long-term AAS use. Similar reports are rare but present in the literature, including a similar case in a 41-year-old male AAS user that was published the month this 1 article was written. The second case occurred years after AAS use and went undiagnosed until a most inopportune moment. In this case, a 50-year-old former professional bodybuilder was undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor located near his 23 spine. As he was being placed under anesthesia, his blood pressure dropped to a life-threatening low pressure. Due to the seriousness of his procedure, his surgery continued with the physicians providing additional support to keep his blood pressure in a safe range. It was discovered that he suffered from concentric hypertrophy and was unable to tolerate the challenge of the anesthesia. This event could have been prepared for if the patient’s history had been properly communicated to or inquired about by the anesthesia 24 team. Nearly all athletes suffer from fatigue from time to time. When it persists, it is more commonly a sign of overtraining or sleep deprivation; even depression and anemia needs

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Testosterone to be considered. However, when one has been using high-dose AAS for several years, it is important to consider that the heart may have been affected. These two gentlemen, who represent many of the readers of this magazine, were not even aware of a problem until things were very serious. These conditions are particularly worrisome, as monitoring cholesterol or coming from a family with no history of heart problems would not detect a progressing problem and may offer a false sense of security. Those who have used AAS for several years or more need to be sensitive to the possibility of heart damage when unexplained fatigue sets in, or fluid builds up around the ankles (edema). Whenever problems arise, it is important to be open and honest with one’s physician so that they may investigate possible problems that they otherwise might not consider. ■ References: 1. Ahlgrim C, Guglin M. Anabolics and cardiomyopathy in a bodybuilder: case report and literature review. J Card Fail, 2009 Aug;15(6):496-500. 2. Clark BM, Schofield RS. Dilated cardiomyopathy and acute liver injury associated with combined use of ephedra, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, and anabolic steroids. Pharmacotherapy, 2005 May;25(5):756-61. 3. Vogt AM, Geyer H, et al. [Cardiomyopathy associated with uncontrolled self medication of anabolic steroids] (Article in German) Z Kardiol, 2002 Apr;91(4):357-62. 4. Sullivan ML, Martinez CM, et al. The cardiac toxicity of anabolic steroids. Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 1998 Jul-Aug;41(1):1-15. 5. Ferrera PC, Putnam DL, et al. Anabolic steroid use as the possible precipitant of dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiology, 1997 Mar-Apr;88(2):218-20. 6. Nieminen MS, Rämö MP, et al. Serious cardiovascular side effects of large doses of anabolic steroids in weight lifters. Eur Heart J, 1996 Oct;17(10):1576-83. 7. Schollert PV, Bendixen PM. [Dilated cardiomyopathy in a user of anabolic steroids] (Article in Danish) Ugeskr Laeger, 1993 Apr 19;155(16):1217-8. 8. Fineschi V, Riezzo I, et al. Sudden cardiac death during anabolic steroid abuse: morphologic and toxicologic findings in two fatal cases of bodybuilders. Int J Legal Med, 2007 Jan;121(1):48-53. 9. Kantor MA, Bianchini A, et al. Androgens reduce HDL2-cholesterol and increase hepatic triglyceride lipase activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1985 Aug;17(4):462-5. 10. Manolakou P, Angelopoulou R, et al. The effects of endogenous and exogenous androgens on cardiovascular disease risk factors and progression. Reprod Biol Endocrinol, 2009 May 12;7:44. 11. Singh AB, Hsia S, et al. The effects of varying doses of T on insulin sensitivity, plasma lipids, apolipoproteins, and C-reactive protein in healthy young men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2002 Jan;87(1):136-43. 12. Thiene G, Basso C, et al. Is prevention of sudden death in young athletes feasible? Cardiologia, 1999 Jun;44(6):497-505. 13. McGrew CA. Sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2003 Oct;33(10):589-93. 14. Williams C. Vikings raise ephedra as ‘causal link’ to Stringer’s fatal heatstroke. USA Today 25 February 2003. Available at:, accessed August 10, 2009. 15. Donaldson-Evans C. Wrestler Chris Benoit Double Murder-Suicide: Was It ‘Roid Rage’? 27 June 2007. Available at:,2933,286834,00.html, accessed August 10, 2009. 16. Hartgens F, Cheriex EC, et al. Prospective echocardiographic assessment of androgenicanabolic steroids effects on cardiac structure and function in strength athletes. Int J Sports Med, 2003 Jul;24(5):344-51. 17. Krieg A, Scharhag J, et al. Cardiac tissue Doppler imaging in sports medicine. Sports Med, 2007;37(1):15-30. 18. Kasikcioglu E, Oflaz H, et al. Androgenic anabolic steroids also impair right ventricular function. Int J Cardiol, 2009 May 1;134(1):123-5. 19. Dickerman RD, Schaller F, et al. Left ventricular size and function in elite bodybuilders using anabolic steroids. Clin J Sport Med, 1997 Apr;7(2):90-3. 20. Di Bello V, Giorgi D, et al. Effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids on weight-lifters’ myocardium: an ultrasonic videodensitometric study. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1999 Apr;31(4):514-21. 21. Dickerman RD, Schaller F, et al. Left ventricular wall thickening does occur in elite power athletes with or without anabolic steroid use. Cardiology, 1998 Oct;90(2):145-8. 22. Bispo M, Valente A, et al. Anabolic steroid-induced cardiomyopathy underlying acute liver failure in a young bodybuilder. World J Gastroenterol, 2009;15:2920-22. 23. Matyal R, Panzica P, et al. Severe hemodynamic instability during general anesthesia in a professional bodybuilder. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth, 2009 Apr;23(2):208-10. 24. Kam PC, Yarrow M. Anabolic steroid abuse: physiological and anaesthetic considerations. Anaesthesia, 2005 Jul;60(7):685-92.

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Muscleform &function

By Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM, Illustrations by William P. Hamilton, CMI

Propel to Titanic Triceps ou can’t expect that bench presses, dips and shoulder presses or even skull-crushers will take care of both building mass and carving grooves deep enough into the posterior part of your upper extremity to take home multiple trophies. These types of two-joint movement exercises do activate the triceps, but a lot of other muscles get in on the action as well. To rise to the top of the podium, you must acquire hardness, shape and symmetry in your triceps, and this is best achieved by isolation exercises. Imagine how much better your side chest shot will be if it is framed with ripped striations of carved flesh across the posterior and sides of your upper arm. Exercises like cable French presses provide direct and constant tension contractions without much activation of accessory muscles, and this provides an excellent means to achieve titanic triceps.


Muscle Structure and Function The muscle fibers in each of the three heads of the triceps connect to a single triceps tendon that crosses the elbow joint. After crossing the elbow, this tendon attaches to the ulna bone of the forearm. Contraction of the triceps brachii muscle causes extension of the forearm at the elbow (straightens the elbow joint). The long head of the triceps brachii (the ‘inner head’) begins on the scapula (shoulder blade), just below the head of the humerus at the shoulder joint. This muscle belly crosses the shoulder joint posteriorly, so that the arm must be moved into shoulder flexion (i.e., arms and elbows lifted high over your head) if you want to fully activate the long head of the triceps.

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The lateral head of triceps brachii creates the outside (lateral) boundary of triceps. Its fibers run from a small section of bone on the posterior part of the humerus (upper arm bone) starting about two-thirds of the way toward the shoulder joint and stopping short of the shoulder joint. The medial head of the triceps brachii is deep and it is located between the other two heads of the triceps. It attaches to two-thirds of the upper and posterior parts of the humerus bone. This muscle head provides enormous depth to the top part of the triceps muscle (closer to the shoulder).

Cable French Presses With A Rope Be sure to first warm up your elbows with a couple of light sets before pulverizing the triceps with heavier French presses. Sore elbows will not help your quest for arm greatness and in fact if your elbows are painful, this will interfere with your chest and shoulder development as well. 1. Attach a rope with two ends to it like a ‘Y’, to the bottom pulley of the weight stack. 2. Stand vertically, facing away from the pulley station and grab the rope in both hands. Place the rope behind your head. Your elbows and little fingers should be pointing upward at the ceiling. Your feet should be placed at shoulder-width. 3. Move your upper arms beside your head so that they are perpendicular to the floor (elbows should point toward the ceiling). Keep your arms close to your head and pull the rope upward by straightening the elbows. 4. Slowly lower the rope behind your head and neck. This should take about three seconds. The elbows should

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continue to point upward during the descent of the weight stack. 5. Continue to lower the rope behind your head and neck, until your knuckles just barely contact the upper part of your trapezius muscle. Pause in this bottom position for a count of two. In this position, your triceps are fully stretched, and stretch under a load is a good way to help encourage muscle growth. 6. Straighten the elbows back to the starting position, but do this more forcefully, so that it takes about one and a half seconds to return your hands back to the starting position over your head. 7. Don’t straighten your elbows completely, but stop just short of a full lockout. If you do lock your elbows, you will eliminate the constant tension that would otherwise be placed on the triceps and thereby eliminate the greatest advantage of using a cable machine. Immediately start on the next repetition and continue in a slow, controlled fashion until the set is completed. This exercise will particularly pulverize the lateral head of the triceps just as strongly as the long head.The constant tension will be particularly difficult to push yourself through if you have not done much of this before. Be prepared for a bit of temporary pain, but thinking ‘hardness’ and ‘ripped’ will push you through your pain barrier. You can get a good stretch of the long head of the triceps muscle if you keep your elbows close together during the exercise and if you slowly lower the rope behind your head as far as possible. While the medial head will not be affected very much by the position of your arms, the effectiveness of activation of the lateral head will be improved if the elbows are kept closer to the head (it will also be a harder exercise than if the elbows move away from the side

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of the head). Do not let the elbows come forward or drift out to the sides or you will reduce the stretch on the long head and lateral heads, and transfer much of the work to the medial head of the triceps. Cable French presses with a rope will add new shape and symmetry to your triceps, and one that will stretch the tape measure to the maximum. The constant tension on your triceps with this exercise will make your posterior arms feel like you are literally burning and etching new contours into both the inner long head and outer lateral heads of your triceps. Maximal development of these heads of the triceps muscle is important if you want to possess a mindblowing posterior arm, and with cable French Presses, you are well on your way. ■ References: Bazzucchi I, Sbriccoli P, Marzattinocci G and Felici F. Coactivation of the elbow antagonist muscles is not affected by the speed of movement in isokinetic exercise. Muscle Nerve, 33: 191-199, 2006. Bilodeau M. Central fatigue in continuous and intermittent contractions of triceps brachii. Muscle Nerve, 34: 205-213, 2006. Gjovaag TF and Dahl HA. Effect of training with different intensities and volumes on muscle fibre enzyme activity and cross sectional area in the m. triceps brachii. Eur J Appl Physiol, 103: 399-409, 2008. Ikegawa S, Funato K, Tsunoda N, Kanehisa H, Fukunaga T and Kawakami Y. Muscle force per cross-sectional area is inversely related with pennation angle in strength trained athletes. J Strength Cond Res, 22: 128-131, 2008. Kofler M, Stetkarova I and Wissel J. Nociceptive EMG suppression in triceps brachii muscle in humans. Clin Neurophysiol, 115: 1052-1056, 2004. Moore, K.L. and A.F. Dalley. Clinically-oriented Anatomy, Fourth Edition. 1999, Lippinot, Williams & Wilkins, pp. 720-781 Popadic Gacesa JZ, Kozic DB, Dragnic NR, Jakovljevic DG, Brodie DA and Grujic NG. Changes of functional status and volume of triceps brachii measured by magnetic resonance imaging after maximal resistance training. J Magn Reson Imaging, 29: 671-676, 2009. Standring, Susan, Gray’s Anatomy, text, 39th edition, CV Mosby, Churchill Livingstone, 2005.

November 2009

MuscleTech RESEARCH REPORT By Team MuscleTech Research and Development


I’ve been doing some research on the benefits of increased testosterone for muscle and strength gains. But I’m confused— once testosterone is increased, how do I know my muscles are absorbing it?


I’m glad to see you’re doing your research on increasing testosterone. Testosterone has been studied by the medical community for decades, and it’s without question one of the most powerful hormones in the human body. It’s true that increased testosterone levels lead to an environment that is extremely conducive to muscle and strength gains. However, very few products have been designed to increase testosterone levels and help bodybuilders, like you, benefit

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from this increase. There are a number of testosterone-boosting products on the market, but the majority of them are onedimensional in that they may increase testosterone, but they’re not designed to help your muscles utilize it. That’s why you should use a dualphase testosterone booster that is not only designed to boost testosterone levels, but also engineered to drive the testosterone into your muscles through increased androgen receptor concentration. Team MuscleTech researchers kept this in mind when they formulated the most innovative testosterone booster ™ ever— CryoTest . They utilized a powerful compound based on research that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports

Nutrition. This compound was shown to increase testosterone to maximum physiological levels in only 14 days! This level represents the highest level of testosterone within the normal male range— anything higher would be supraphysiological. Additionally, this compound was also shown to decrease DHT levels. As you already know, an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can lead to negative side effects like acne and baldness. In addition to boosting testosterone levels, it’s crucial to drive that testosterone into your muscles. This is why Team MuscleTech formulated CryoTest with another cutting-edge compound that was researched at the University of Connecticut. This compound is scientifically proven to increase androgen receptor concentration, which can lead to more testosterone being absorbed by your muscles. This final step is what separates CryoTest from the other testosterone boosters on the market. Testosterone is no joke. If you’re serious about bodybuilding, then it’s essential that you maximize testosterone and drive it into muscles. With CryoTest you can do just that, giving you the extraordinary benefit of creating an environment that promotes rapid muscle growth! If you’re ready to experience the raw power of testosterone, get on CryoTest. !

November 2009

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. Welcome to Loser-ville…. Population: YOU!!!!.….YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT….YOU HEARD ME, I SAID YOU….AAAAAHHHH JUST PLAYING….SIMMER DOWN…..YO’, TIME TO REPRESENT, MD’s HOUSE OF THE ‘RAMBLIN FREAK’…..I’M GLAD TO SEE YA HERE AGAIN!!...AND AS ALWAYS >> Welcome to the toilet I call home!….Please come on in…my sink is your urinal!!!!!!….AHHH, WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER, You’re all just like a pay toilet, you don’t give a shit for nothing!!!….Yo’, am I truly nothing???...Could my father and all the neighborhood children be right????.…Yo’, I called my father the other day and he said to me, “Hey Gregg, I saw your magazine column on the newsstand today.”…. So I asked him, “Which column was it, Ramblin Freak or”…. My dad then shouted to my sister, “Hey, what was the name of that magazine column Gregg writes that I don’t like????”…..DAMN, I KNEW RIGHT THEN AND THERE THAT I AM A SUCCESS!!!!....Hey, I spent 7 years in high school, trust me I’m NO DUMMY!!!....NOW I JUST WANNA SAY “BEING MISUNDERSTOOD IS THE FATE OF ALL GENIUSES.”…..OOOOOWA. I JUST KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING.…“DON’T TELL ME FUCKING VALENTINO THE RAMBLIN IDIOT THINKS HE IS A GENIUS”…. AM I SAYING I AM A GENIUS?….HELL FUCKING NO….“BUT I DID SLEEP IN A HOLIDAY INN LAST NIGHT”….

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magazines….she punished me by bending me over her knee and spanking my bare ass ‘till her hand was hurting so bad she had to stop….but all it did was ‘piss me off’ because she could have switched hands and spanked me some more!!!!...wink.…If you can’t keep it in your pants, then keep it in your family!!! Confucius say: >“Man who scratches his ass should not bite fingernails.”….Valentino Says > “FUCK THAT, It’s my ass and my fingernails, I don’t care…. I’m still gonna bite them!!!” DOCTOR COLKER IN DA-HOUSE!!! Well, I chalked up some more Frequent Loser Miles today >>>OH YEAH BABE, I SAW MY OLD PAL DOCTOR CARLON COLKER TODAY….I WAS AT HIS OFFICE FOR A QUICK CHECK-UP….COLKER WAS WORKING WITH THIS REALLY HOT YOUNG FRESH OUTTA MED SCHOOL FEMALE UROLOGIST….I MEAN SHE WAS DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS AND EXTREMELY SEXY LOOKING…..SHE TOOK ONE LOOK AT ME NAKED AND SAID, “GREGG YOU REALLY HAVE TO STOP MASTURBATING”.… I ASKED HER, “WHY???, DR. COLKER TOLD ME IT WAS GOOD FOR ME, WHY SHOULD I STOP??” SHE THEN SAID, “BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO EXAMINE YOU.”....AHHH, GOTCHA!!!!....NO, NO….THAT’S AN OLD JOKE, AND IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN. BUT I WAS AT MY BOY DR. COLKER’S OFFICE GETTING A CHECK-UP AND I BROUGHT MERCEDES WITH ME, WHICH WAS A BIG MISTAKE!!…. OH YEAH BABE, I’M NOW ONE YEAR FROM TURNING 50 YEARS OLD, I KNOW, I KNOW, I DON’T LOOK IT, RIGHT???....OH SHUT UP, I DO NOT!!!!!....SO ANYWAY, I AM STARTING TO FEEL OLD, I GOT THE HORMONE LEVELS OF A 65-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, I REALLY DO NEED HRT (HORMONE REPLACEMENT THEARPY, YA FRIGGIN’ MEATBALL)….I’M BEYOND THE HELP OF JUST SUPPLENTS ALONE….I MEAN, ‘HORMONE WISE!!!’....BUT I’M NOT READY TO GO TO THAT LEVEL (HRT) YET!!!….MY PAST JUICE ABUSE

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RUINED MY HORMONE LEVELS, BUT I GOTTA ADMIT, IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED BACK IN THE DAY!!...MY AGE HAS FINALLY HIT ME, I’M JUST FUCKED BODY-WISE RIGHT NOW, EVERYTHING ACHES AND NOT EVERYTHING WORKS THEY WAY I WANT IT TOO!!!… Anyway, Dr. Colker X-rayed my head and found nothing!!!....I even made a joke >> I showed my boy Dr. Colker a few gray hairs on my head (the few hairs I got up there) and said to him, “Hey Carlon, I’m now officially one year from 50 years old , I even got the few gray hairs on my head to prove it, soon I’ll be old enough to collect Social Security!!!”.... That’s when Mercedes said, “Gregg, why don’t you just show him your dead dick so you can also get disability!!!”….TYPICAL WOMAN, KICK A MAN WHEN HE IS DOWN AND CAN’T GET IT UP!!!

RIGHT NOW MY DICK *MARKUS REMINDS ME OF Dolly Parton’s bra straps…It has a job to do, but at times I feel it’s totally incapable of doing it!!!! NOW JUST LIKE BARRY BONDS, I GOT *MARKUS WITH AN *ASTERISK NEXT TO MY DICK’S NAME BECAUSE MY PAST STEROID USAGE AND MY AGE HAVE FINNALLY CAUGHT UP WITH MY DEAD DICK!!! THESE DAYS, The strongest thing I put into my body are sausage and peppers!!!…YUM!!!.. RIGHT NOW MY DICK *MARKUS REMINDS ME OF Dolly Parton’s bra straps…It has a job to do, but at times I feel it’s totally incapable of doing it!!!! I CALL MY DICK *MARKUS BECAUSE I’M USED TO HAVING AN “ATHLETE BETWEEN MY LEGS” LIKE *MARKUS RUHL (MY DICK’S NAMESAKE)....YA SEE, BACK IN THE DAY I COULD ‘GET IT UP’ AND ‘TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS’ (FUCK) A FEW TIMES IN ONE DAY!!!....YES,



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By Anthony L. Almada, MSc, FISSN

Shred of Evidence Show Me The Proof!


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Another 18 minutes later (I timed it), he pushed his plate away and I thought, “Wait for it…” He started rubbing his left pec with his right hand and I could tell through the tent-like shirt he was flexing it. He then started scrutinizing his forearms with his eyes, as if he was sprouting hair a lá The Wolf Man. I asked with a very innocent, unknowing voice, “What are you doing?” (I knew what was happening.) “Are you all right…?” The big man replied, with a tone of fearful excitement, almost shakingly stating, “I don’t know what the $#@^ is going on right now, but I feel totally pumped in my pecs, my forearms, even my lats— and I didn’t train any of these body parts today!” I probed with a question few would be willing to ask his Largeness. “Are you living better through chemistry this month?” “NO!” he blasted back. I removed the veil of ignorance and offered, “Do you want my take on this ‘pump’ you’re feeling?” He nodded so positively that I felt the wind come off his head as it jutted up and down. “OK,” as I pulled out a pen and snagged a large piece of paper from my folder. “I’m going to walk you through this and maybe you’ll think differently in relation to what

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“I’ll have the 16-oz. Porterhouse, with a double order of roasted jumbo potatoes… and would you please bring some more bread?” This was the utterance from my good, large friend, all 265 pounds of him— mostly muscle, but not yet ready for any posing trunks. “When did you abandon the carbophobic diet?” I tossed in, half in semiamazement and half wanting to stir the pot into a juicy chat. “Last week I decided to give up low-carb dieting and see if it improved my training intensity and recovery. This is my first HIGH-carb meal.” I calculated a payload of over 80 grams of protein and 300 grams of carbs. The slab o’ steak and pool table rack of potatoes arrived 18 minutes later— almost too late to contain my chatty, ravenous dining partner. I sat back in amazement for a solid four minutes— watching him lean over his plate and morph into an eating machine. He was speechless only because he was fixated on his food, like a lion devouring a fresh kill, the only difference being his reassurance that no one would try to take it away from him. His head then popped up, like a marine mammal ascending from the depths, and he breached with, “Aren’t you going to eat”?”

you eat before and after you train.” On the paper, I drew a sketch of a muscle belly (obvious to my friend) and at a right angle next to it, I drew what looked like the schematic of teams competing in a series of playoff games: 32 teams going to 16, to 8, to 4 and then the last 2 into the final game. At the bottom of this drawing, I added in a thick, separate line that started from the final 2 ‘teams’ and then followed along to the starting 32. This made him look like a confused puppy, to which I said, “These are the blood vessels that feed your muscle. Blood flows in the opposite direction, though— from the final two teams to the starting 32.” A few inches across from that, I drew what looked like a raisin. I then drew a one-way arrow from the shriveled grape to the big 32 teams network. “This is your pancreas [the raisin], which makes and releases insulin and is represented by the arrow. The insulin enters the blood and then is delivered to the muscle through the 32 teams network,” I finished. “So what’s going on— why am I so pumped up right now?!” he demanded. I told him that exercise and eating certain foods or meals produce a similar response: increases in blood flow and direction of blood to supply nutrients and hormones (like 1 insulin). He lived for muscle pumps during training— he could relate, but not from eating— he had been lowcarbing for most of his past two years— with the exception of the two shows he had been in, in the previous year. I told him that eating mixed 2 meals, or any food that produces a notable insulin spike, could divert blood from the thick line— the minimal amount of blood supplying muscles at rest or away from meals— to the thin lines, where the 32 and 16 teams were playing. “This 32 teams drawing kinda looks like a

Shred of Evidence —Show Me The Proof! candle holder or a menorah and the ends where all the candles represent the ends of the blood vessels that feed the muscles”, he added smartly. He was getting it. I then told him that the feeling of muscle fullness or ‘pump’ he noticed was related to insulin opening up blood vessels and also increasing the flow of blood and nutrients through them. If the blood vessels are delivering more insulin, glucose (from digested/absorbed carbs), amino acids, and other nutrients, the effects of these would be accelerated and amplified: anti-catabolic and anabolic responses. I then shared with him that blocking the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) not only reduces the nutrient blood flow ampli3 fication — it also reduces the anabol4 ic/anti-catabolic actions of insulin. I knew he was understanding my shabby tabletop art project— despite him continuing to look at his forearms and squeeze his pecs— when he asked, “If I took a NO product, would that help?” “Good question”, I replied. “Arginine could do this; arginine AKG has not been tested for this and did not increase muscle pumps, and Lcitrulline may be your best bet if you take anything— because it raises blood arginine higher than rapid or sustained 5 release L-arginine itself. But your best bet is to simply combine some carbs with your protein shake or eat mixed meals— carbs and protein— given that the insulin spike is the key driver. Spiking your insulin before training 6 could also augment muscle pumps. ‘I’ for insulin is your connection to NO, and to muscle pumps and nutrient delivery.” My friend smiled as if he had just found a new exercise that created an intense pump. ■ References: 1. Baron AD, et al. Diabetes, 2000;49:76874. 2. Vincent MA, et al. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2006;290:E1191-7. 3. Clark MG. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2008;295:732-50. 4. Timmerman KL, et al. FASEB J, 2009;23:991.21. 5. Schwedhelm E, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 2007;65:51-9. 6. Tipton KD, et al. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2001;281:197-206.

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The Secrets to Becoming A Champion M

any years ago, I picked up my first bodybuilding magazine and began my journey into the world of bodybuilding. From the pages of the magazines, champions sprang to life in my imagination. Never had I seen larger-than-life humans pushing monstrous poundages and looking huge, and so unreal that shivers ran down my spine. “Man, this is awesome!” I said to myself. I thought, “All I have to do is follow the way they train, the way they eat, copy their habits and very soon I could look like them.” I was willing eat whatever, train superhard and I felt that in no time I would look just like them. It seemed so simple then. You became a champion by training hard, eating right and winning contests. After years passed, I observed that many bodybuilders who made it into the magazines enjoyed the limelight for a short time, then vanished— while others never made it at all, and very few went on to win many competitions and established themselves among the elite in the world of bodybuilding. What made one man fall behind while the other was propelled to the top? Men like Lee Labrada beat physical giants like Paul Dillett, or guys like Silvio Samuel beat huge mon-

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sters like Toney Freeman. Then there were those who never lived up to the hype or potential like Chris Cook, Matt Mendenhall, Edgar Fletcher, Franco Santoriello, and many more. It wasn’t until I began preparing for my first contest in 1989 that I learned how many errors, mistakes and obstacles accompanied contest preparation. It became more apparent when I began coaching others for

competitions. I realized that you must pull from your inner strength and draw upon all your genetic potential and talent to pull your physique together, dial it in and present it in perfect peak shape on contest day. What were the underlying things that held it all together so that you come in at your best on contest day, and win? Your mind, your thoughts, and your attitude.

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! W N E M N U L O C

Throughout my 20-plus years of involvement in the sport, I have learned that real bodybuilding success depends on the way we think. Maybe you have heard the following phrases, “Thoughts become things,” “As you think, so shall you be,” or “We become what we think about all day long.” Bodybuilding and self-image are intertwined. They feed off each other. If we like or approve of the way we look and feel, we create a strong positive self-image. This is developed by constantly having and enforcing positive thoughts, positive feelings, expectations and experiences. How do we do this? It’s very simple. We do this by beginning to think of the way we want to look or repeatedly reaffirming to yourself that you are getting bigger, better, leaner, more conditioned and more symmetrical. The mind is like a VCR storing all life experiences and information received from your five senses. When you have a doubt or feel unsure about yourself, replay an experience that made you feel awesome— like a real winner. This visualization can be of the time you won or placed well at a show, or when you had a great training session. Positive and empowering thoughts create a positive and powerful individual. Negative thoughts do the oppoNovember 2009

site. If you don’t think good or positive thoughts about yourself and if you don’t like yourself, who else will?

The Power of Proper Mindset The elite athletes of any sport have spoken highly about the power of proper mindset, or the mind being the most important factor that allowed them to succeed. You can go on YouTube and find interviews with Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all crediting their success to the power of the mind. It is their mind that created their beliefs. It is their beliefs that created no limits for them. And backed up by hard work, drive and determination, they rose to the top of their sport— unchallenged and unbeaten. It is not only in sports. It is in music, art, movies— anything that was created by human hands had to first be a thought and believed in the human mind. So how do we tap into the part of the human mind and create the ideal life for us, and attract everything we always desired? By following a few simple steps. These steps have been used since the beginning of time. They have been used to create fire, create the wheel, create pyramids, and to cre-

ate the Internet. And more things are being created. The human mind has allowed men to go to the moon and return to Earth safely. It is by harnessing the power of the mind that we can create anything we desire in our life. The first step is to make a choice, or decide what you want or who you want to be. It could be a goal, a desired outcome, or what I like to call ‘the end result.’ In this first step, you are stating what you want or desire to manifest in your life. For example, it could be winning your upcoming show in four months. Make the goal believable for you. One tool that I have learned from coaching others to reach their goals is to buy a spiral notebook and write down what your goals are. Write these goals daily to impress them in your subconscious mind. By simply doing this for 30 days, something will begin to happen. You will start to make progress and begin to attract energy and resources into your life to help you achieve your goals. You will make progress at a rapid rate— so fast that it will seem a little scary. Everything will begin to change in a very positive way. In every case this has been done, this has worked miraculously well. By writing down your goals every day, you will change your life. Here are some rules on how to write down your goals. Your goal must be written and described in the positive, present, and personal tense. Your subconscious mind is only activated by affirmative statements phrased in the present tense. You, therefore, write down your goals as though you already accomplished them. Don’t worry about how the goal is going to be reached. Just state your goal and write it in your journal as if it already occurred. As time passes, the how will be answered. Writing down your goals and goalsetting are your first steps in success in any undertaking. Have you ever wondered why so many worked so hard and honestly, without achieving anything in particular? And others don’t seem to work hard, yet they seem to get everything? “They have the magic touch,” or “Everything he touches turns to

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THEBODYBUILDINGALCHEMIST gold.” You’ve heard these phrases before. Have you ever noticed that a man who becomes successful tends to continue to become successful? On the other hand, have you noticed how a person who is a failure tends to continue to fail? It’s because of goals. Some of us have them, some don’t. Some people with goals succeed because they know where they are going. Now think of a ship leaving a harbor with a complete voyage map and plan. The captain and crew know exactly where it’s going and how long it will take. Now let’s take another ship just like the first. Only let’s not put a captain or a crew at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We’ll just start the engines and let it go. I think you would agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it would either sink or end up on some deserted beach, as a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it doesn’t have guidance or destination. It’s the same thing with a human being. The second step is belief or what some people call ‘unwavering faith’ that their goal will occur and manifest. Belief is the cornerstone of our society. It is also the center of all religions. You must trust and know that your goal will be attained. See your goals being achieved in your thoughts. Envision them. This is when we begin to visualize and create images in our minds to support our beliefs. The two best times of the day to visualize are upon rising in the morning and before you go to bed at night. These are the two times when you are uninterrupted and can spend at least 10 minutes focusing on the end result. If your goal is to win your upcoming show or event, envision yourself onstage in the best condition of your life, and your name being called out for first place. Looking out into the audience, see your family proud of you. Doing this twice daily will intensify your belief and create a clear vision in your mind.

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Making Your Goals A Reality If you stop at step two, then you will only be a dreamer. Too many stop there. They do not understand the necessity of present action in realizing the vision, and bringing their goals into manifestation. So the third step is action. Take action to achieve your goal. If it is to lose body fat, and get in shape, then begin to implement a cardio program or begin a diet or hire a trainer/coach to guide you. By simply meditating, wishing or only visualizing— but taking no action— you will never reach your goal. You must take steps toward your goal or take actions that will get you closer to what you want. Lastly, the only quality that absolutely guarantees success in business, sports, and in life is this indomitable willpower and the willingness to stick to it when everything in you wants to stop and rest— or go back and do something else. Successful people keep moving forward even if they make mistakes. They don’t quit. So, the last step in this process is perseverance. We all face obstacles or adversities, despite our best efforts. Whenever we embark on attaining a goal, we soon begin to face difficulties and challenges that may make attaining the goal difficult. The higher and the more challenging the goal you set for yourself, the more disappointment and adversity you will experience. It is impossible to grow to our full potential, except to the degree that we face adversity and learn from it. All of the great lessons in life come as a result of setbacks and temporary defeats, which we have done our best to avoid. Adversity is the test that you must pass to accomplish anything worthwhile. An ancient Roman poet said, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant. The very best qualities of strength, courage, character and persistence are brought out in you when you face your greatest challenges, and you respond to them positively and constructively. Everyone faces difficulties every

step of the way. The difference between the high achiever and the low achiever is simply that the high achiever utilizes adversity and struggles for growth, while the low achiever allows difficulty and adversity to overwhelm them. The way you respond to disappointment is usually an accurate predictor of how likely you are to achieve great success. If you respond to disappointment by learning the very most from it, then by putting it behind you and pressing forward, you’re very likely to accomplish great things in the course of your life. Your greater successes almost always come one step beyond when everything inside of you says to quit. So never give up, press on ahead and give it your absolute best shot. These are my steps to achieve success in anything you do, and these are the secrets to becoming a great champion. Now it’s up to you. I have given you the same tools that I have given many champions who have come before you. You can embrace it and change your life. You can attain everything that has eluded you your whole life.

For Kai Greene, Nothing Is Impossible I’m writing this month’s column from Las Vegas, approximately five weeks before the Mr. Olympia. I have been here for the past two weeks training my star pupil, Kai Greene, who has embraced my principles and changed his life. In 2006, he was th th placing 20 in the Iron Man and 19 in the New York Pro. In three short years, by following my teachings and working hard, he has won four pro shows including the Arnold Classic. He is now one of the favorites to win the Mr. Olympia. So, I leave it up to you. Do you think that mindset and mind principles work? Or do you still need more proof? If you do, then come to Las Vegas on September 25-26 for the Mr. Olympia contest and watch Kai Greene prove that with the proper mindset, strong belief, and perseverance— nothing is impossible. Go Team MD! !

November 2009

TheAnabolicDoc AndUncensored By Thomas O’Connor, M.D.

Who Is The Anabolic Doc? I was wondering if you could tell us a little about who you are, what type of people you work with and what your column is going to focus on? My name is Dr. Tom O’Connor. I am board-certified in internal medicine. I am 44 years old and I am a physician and a competitive powerlifter who competes at the National level. I have benched-pressed over 500 pounds as a masters lifter. I did my pre-med studies at Syracuse University and then went to the Guadalajara University of Medicine. I completed my medical studies at New York Medical College. As my thirst for knowledge grew, I conducted my residency training in internal medicine at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine. I currently work there as a clinical instructor of medicine, educating medical students and residents in many areas of clinical medicine.This makes me without a doubt the strongest

I am bench pressing more in my 40s than many of you in your 20s could only dream of. I will teach you the real secrets of getting stronger in the gym— not like many of the bullshit programs that flood bodybuilding magazines, that have no scientific basis. 294 MD

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academic medical doctor in the world! The reality is that there are tens of thousands of men (and women) using anabolic agents, and their health is suffering. These are drugs! Is there a doctor in the house? My special medical practice focuses mainly on athletes of all sports who are using pharmaceuticals to enhance their performance. My job is to take athletes, powerlifters and now bodybuilders and keep them healthy— that is the bottom line. The reality of sports is that performance-enhancing drugs is the name of the game. Whether they drug test or not, athletes and lifters of all sports will take steroids and whatever else they can get their hands on, to improve their performance. Plus, it doesn’t matter if it’s illegal or not, athletes will do whatever it takes— even risk being locked in a jail cell, to get bigger arms and run faster. An ‘anabolic community’— the group of athletes/bodybuilders using drugs to improve their performance— needs a medical figurehead whom they can trust. A ‘real’ active clinical physician who will understand them

and protect their health! NO MORE BULLSHIT! How many times have you gone to your doctor and told him/her that you are using steroids— only to have him look down on you and tell you to get off them, because it will kill you— with absolutely no medical or scientific rationale behind his condemnations? Does this physician try to protect your health and try to wean you to prescription testosterone? He should! As a physician, he also has an obligation to make sure you are healthy. And he lets you walk out the door with dangerous levels of blood pressure and other metabolic problems unaddressed! This plea is so crucial, and has fallen on deaf ears— NO MORE! I am here to change all of that— and I DO NOT GIVE STEROIDS! SO DON’T PISS ME OFF AND THINK YOU WILL COME TO ME TO GET JUICED UP— FORGET IT! I LOVE MY LIFTER PATIENTS AND I LISTEN TO YOU AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH! I will guide you, and there is no FDA ban on listening to a person on anabolic steroids and giving advice on how to protect their health! As a matter of fact, this is what the medical community should be doing! We take better care of heroin addicts than we do our fathers, broth-

ers and husbands who are on anabolic steroids! And when I treat your blood pressure and other metabolic conditions, you will be stronger— not to mention, you’ll avoid a stroke or heart attack later! I have seen it all! Trust me, I have the biggest and strongest SOBs in the world, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop to be with them! And I know all the dirty underground issues that these men are going through and I have learned how to protect them! It has taken years, both in the medical wards and in the most hardcore sweatshop gyms all over the world! I work with many pharmaceuticallyenhanced athletes, because I am sick and tired of the bullshit and utter lies in the media that attack steroid users, defaming their characters for little more than wanting to be the best and perform at the highest level. Right now in the United States, there is no other medical doctor qualified and board-certified in internal medicine who understands the arcane medical issues related to anabolic steroid use. I am willing to take a stand and defend our brothers in iron and also maintain their health with their chosen path in life. That is their right and guess what? Anabolic steroid use is on the rise! I am ashamed of other doctors who go along with the media circus and scrutinize athletes who want to improve their performance and physiques through responsible steroid use. I am taking a stand as a doctor first and a hardcore powerlifter second, who will stick up and defend the bodybuilder and strength athlete— even though I will get attacked by the November 2009

media and fellow colleagues in the medical profession. Let it be known that I never break any laws! I just heal. Would I be so stupid to do this, only to get investigated and shut down? I am proud that I spend hours with my private lifter patients and care for them in a fashion that leads to improved health! I am not some bullshit anti-aging doctor! I only take patients who are very serious about their life and health and want me to keep them healthy! I am the future of bridging the medical community with chemicallyenhanced athletes. I am the medical figurehead of the ‘anabolic community’ who will do my best to help educate you on side effects and maintaining optimal health from a medical perspective. As for the people I work with, they come from all sports. I have many world-class powerlifters who work with me. I am talking about guys who are squatting over 1,000 pounds and benching over 800. I also have in my roster some top-level strongmen who have competed in the World’s Strongest Man competitions. I work with the biggest and strongest men who walk the planet— and they put their trust in me to optimize their health. I have also recently taken on some professional bodybuilders and fitness competitors. The majority of my clientele are men, but I do also work with women as well. Our sisters in iron also need very specific care in relation to male hormonal supplementation and to minimize side effects. Of course, I cannot divulge these names because of the privacy policy I am committed to, but you can be assured that I am working with the upper echelon of athletes in the United States and Canada. I am willing to work with athletes of any sport who need true medical care from a doctor who knows the drugs that they use inside and out, and not just from a medical textbook point of view. For those of you who decide to be one of my clients, you can talk to me about anything and everything. What

! W N E M N LU O C

You will be listening to my response to what is currently going on in this ‘media war on anabolics’ that is taking place in this country.

you will tell me will be confidential, discreet and professional. Even for the most hardcore users, don’t be shy. If you are using a gram of testosterone per day and running 16 IU of GH daily, I will not make you feel like your current doctor. I will not lecture you on how you are going to die tomorrow and all the other drama many other doctors are known for. I am here to stand by you, help you, heal you, and do all in my power to make sure you stay healthy. It is in my utmost concern to do my best to protect your health from every angle possible. The ‘anabolic community’ needs a real MD who has the experience with internal medicine in relation to performance-enhancing drugs on the scale I have dealt with in my practice. I also work with the aging population of the United States. As you know, the ‘baby boomers’ is a very large segment of society, and with them becoming ever interested in hormone replacement therapy, I have my hands full. I am an expert in men’s health issues and understand endocrinology and its relationship to supplementation with testosterone therapy. I work with many individuals who are not lifters but come to me to monitor their hormone and blood profiles. So as you can see, I work with a wide range of clientele, from profes

sional athletes to senior citizens, who want to feel 18 again through clinical hormonal therapy. Now my column is going to be very well-rounded and will cover many areas. As a medical doctor, I will MD 295

TheAnabolicDOC— be touching on different health conditions and even case studies of my patients to help educate you like never before. I will discuss true clinical cases of what I do with my patients and report this progress in my column. I will relate these clinical vignettes through evidenced-based medicine. I will also discuss my advanced knowledge of power training because I have the credentials to back this up as well. I am bench pressing more in my 40s than many of you in your 20s could only dream of. I will teach you the real secrets of getting stronger in the gym— not like many of the bullshit programs that flood bodybuilding magazines, that have no scientific basis. If you think cable crossovers and incline dumbbell flyes will make you improve your bench, you have another think coming! I will go indepth on advanced Soviet and Bulgarian-era training methodologies that will not only increase your strength, but will help pack on more dense muscle than ever before. I will also discuss performance enhancement with you and what is really going on in the sports scene. I really love when I hear a pro bodybuilder telling people that his heaviest stack he ever did was about 800 milligrams total of testosterone and 2 IU of GH before going into the Olympia, and how he is some genetic freak. I will even discuss different stacks in relation to what people are doing, and answer your anabolic performance questions. If you want to believe fairy tales like the above scenario, then my column is not for you! If you are that gullible, I have a bridge in New York that I want to sell you. Just so you know, I am a supernice guy, but don’t try and bullshit a bullshitter. I am frank and to the point, so don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining because I am not an idiot. I can be your best buddy but I can also be the biggest ball-breaker you ever met. I know what goes on behind the scenes because I have lived this in my gym life and in my medical practice. This magazine is based on a ‘No Bullshit’ stance and you can bet your bottom dollar I will not bullshit you, either. I am going to give you the cold, hard facts and I am not afraid to tell it like it is.

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and Uncensored

I will also discuss holistic nutrition, anti-aging techniques and life extension ideas. I have vast amounts of knowledge in areas that bodybuilders have never even heard of to help improve their performance and even prevent side effects from steroid use. The art of holistic nutrition is something that I have not seen touched in bodybuilding magazines, and is an area that I have profound knowledge in.

My special medical practice focuses mainly on athletes of all sports who are using pharmaceuticals to enhance their performance. My job is to take athletes, powerlifters and now bodybuilders and keep them healthy— that is the bottom line. I combine cutting-edge medicine from the East and the West to provide you with the best of both worlds. Nothing I hate more is when I see a doctor prescribe medication for a health condition, only to totally ignore the nutritional aspect of that condition, which in the large majority of cases plays a huge role. I will teach you true clinical anabolic steroid medicine from the science end and also from the reality of what athletes use and their doses. I will teach you the secrets of health and longevity so that you avoid side effects before they start. I will be discussing and answering questions that may be inclined for some begin-

ners as well as those veteran users looking to learn more advanced information. I will also discuss the reality of the drugs in sports agenda. If you think I will keep my mouth shut on what is going on in the media in this country, then think again. I am outspoken and straightforward and rest assured, you will be listening to my response to what is currently going on in this ‘media war on anabolics’ that is taking place in this country. You can look forward to some really cutting-edge stuff on this front. To gain further trust in my abilities, you also should know that I am wellversed in the reality this anabolic culture. I am not a doctor who is all textbooks, but then has little understanding what the reality is of what is going on. I have my ear to the street and have spent my time in gyms all across this country. The main reason why you can put your faith in me is the fact that I know these pharmaceuticals from a medical perspective, but I also understand them on a level that relates to what is currently going on with professional athletes. I am in touch with this reality and can relate to this on a personal level. Lastly, you can expect many of the stories I have lived and experienced in my time in the Iron Game. I have been in this for over 30 years and I have seen it all. I have lived in Amsterdam as well as different parts of Europe, but I currently live in Connecticut. You will love some of the stories that I will bring you in upcoming issues about my time in the ‘RedLight District’ and that is a guarantee. You can look forward to some really interesting information from a wide variety of topics that will be candid, uncensored and in its rawest form. You can rest assured that I will share with you many crazy gym antics and hardcore steroid stories that will truly entertain. I am a medical doctor who lives in the trenches of the underground culture of strength and performance enhancement. I don’t just talk the talk; I can also walk the walk— so get ready for one crazy ride! ■ For more information on what I do, see my website November 2009


Anabolic Pharmacology Pharmacology By Seth Roberts, M.A.

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effects. Anabolic pharmacology is the study of drugs that have growth-promoting effects on muscle. This column will explore anabolic pharmacology by profiling a different anabolic drug and its effects each month. The focus of discussion this month will be the anabolic androgenic steroid, Dianabol.



ethandrostenolone is a derivative of testosterone, with double bonds at the 1 and 4 positions, as well as being C-17 alpha alkylated. Methandrostenolone was originally produced under the tradename Dianabol, by which it is often referred. Dbol has been one of the most popular oral androgens ever since its release. It has the reputation of being a very effective anabolic steroid (especially in combination with deca durabolin), with fairly rapid weight gain, bloating and a marked increase in appetite. There has been some disagreement over whether Dbol converts to estrogenic metabolites.


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Though there is little evidence in the literature, it is pretty apparent from anecdotal experience that Dbol is in fact converted to methylestradiol to some degree. Gynecomastia appears to be quite common with the use of this steroid. There is evidence in the literature of the formation of 5-alpha (and 5-beta) reduced metabolites from methandrostenolone and this is expressed in the fact that 1,2,3,4 Dbol is considered to be quite androgenic. The 5-alpha reduced form of methandrostenolone, methyl-1-test, is known for inducing massive bloating and high blood pressure at higher doses, likely as a result of inhibition of the 11-beta hydroxylase enzyme. SHBG binding of this drug is moderate, so a good portion of the 5,6 absorbed quantity of this drug circulates in the free state. The binding affinity of methandrostenolone is low and people have speculated that it acts through a non-AR mediated effect. A more recent journal article has shown that even though the binding affinities of some AAS are low, 7 they are still adequate to activate the receptor. Additionally, methandrostenolone has several active metabolites that likely have more potent AR affinity. There is a small amount of interaction with the progesterone receptor, but no direct effect on the glucocorticoid receptor. This steroid has been shown to increase levels of CBG, while at the same time, increasing serum cortisol and 8 non-protein bound cortisol levels. This could be the mechanism for the marked increase in appetite seen by those

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AnabolicPharmacology using Dbol. Increase in the level of CBG is a common effect with estrogenic compounds, while androgens tend to decrease CBG levels, demonstrating the propensity of methandrostenolone to convert to methylestradiol. The increased cortisol levels could also contribute to the extreme amounts of water retention that users experience with this drug. Dbol decreases TBG levels less than fluoxymesterone 8 but with a slightly greater increase in TBPA. Methandrostenolone is orally-active, due to the presence of the C-17 methyl group. As such, this compound is livertoxic, but many do not consider it to be much of a concern, because users tend to consume doses in the 20 to 30 mg range and some report Dbol to be effective in doses as low as 5 mg per day. A study in the literature reported a gain of just over 5 pounds with just three weeks of methandrostenolone 9 dosed at only 5 mg twice daily. Larger doses are not uncommon (up to 100 mg per day) but with larger doses, liver toxicity could become a concern. This drug has been shown to build up red blood cells in a similar manner to 10 most other androgens with similar efficacy. ■ Seth Roberts is a former pharmaceutical research scientist, with over 10 years of pharmacological research in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. Seth’s new book, ANABOLIC PHARMACOLOGY, is available at [©Seth Roberts, 2009. All rights reserved. For informational purposes only, not to be considered as medical advice or an endorsement of the use of illegal substances.]

References: 1. Schanzer W: Metabolism of anabolic androgenic steroids. Clin Chem, Jul;42(7):1001-20, 1996. 2. Schanzer W, Delahaut P, Geyer H, Machnik M, Horning S: Longterm detection and identification of metandienone and stanozolol abuse in athletes by gas chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Biomed Appl, Dec 6;687(1):93-108, 1996. 3. Schanzer W, Geyer H, Donike M: Metabolism of metandienone in man: identification and synthesis of conjugated excreted urinary metabolites, determination of excretion rates and gas chromatographicmass spectrometric identification of bis-hydroxylated metabolites. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, Apr;38(4):441-64, 1991. 4. Massé R, Bi HG, Ayotte C, Du P, Gélinas H, Dugal R. Studies on anabolic steroids. V. Sequential reduction of methandienone and structurally related steroid A-ring substituents in humans: gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric study of the corresponding urinary metabolites. J Chromatogr, 562(1-2):323-40, 1991. 5. Saartok T, Dahlberg E, Gustafsson JA: Relative binding affinity of anabolic-androgenic steroids: comparison of the binding to the androgen receptors in skeletal muscle and in prostate, as well as to sex hormone-binding globulin. Endocrinology, Jun;114(6):2100-6, 1984. 6. Bicíková M, Hampl R, Stárka L. Binding of synthetic anabolic steroids to testosterone-estradiol binding globulin and to rat prostate cytosol. Endocrinol Exp, 11(2):85-90, 1977. 7. Feldkoren BI, Andersson S. Anabolic-androgenic steroid interaction with rat androgen receptor in vivo and in vitro: a comparative study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 94(5):481-7, 2005. 8. Barbosa J, Seal US, Doe RP: Effects of anabolic steroids on hormone-binding proteins, serum cortisol and serum nonprotein-bound cortisol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Feb;32(2):232-40, 1971. 9. Johnson LC, O’Shea JP. Anabolic steroid: effects on strength development. Science, 164(882):957-9, 1969. 10. Sanchez-Medal L, Gomez-Leal A, Duarte L, Guadalupe Rico M. Anabolic androgenic steroids in the treatment of acquired aplastic anemia. Blood, 34(3):283-300, 1969.



ANABOLICS Q&A is a monthly session with William Llewellyn, author of the bestselling anabolic steroid reference guide, William Llewellyn’s ANABOLICS, 9 th edition. William is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the use of performance-enhancing substances by athletes and bodybuilders. If you have a drug or supplement-related question that you would like to direct to William, don’t hold back. Please e-mail it to [email protected]. William will answer the most interesting and pertinent questions right here each month.

Lyka Dianabol

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much and how pure it is would be anyone’s guess. Remember, there are always risks with underground products beyond dosage, such as the potential for heavy metal or other drug contamination.

Does Gyno Return? Q: Can gynecomastia return after my mammary gland has been removed from surgery? I specifically want to know if it will return if I take steroids (e.g., testosterone, Anadrol) again. A: It is possible to have gynecomastia return. First, you need to understand there are usually two things at play with this cosmetic disorder. One is an increase in the size of the mammary glands themselves. This forms the hard fibrous tissue growth that characterizes true gynecomastia, and is the feature that necessitates (cosmetically anyway) gynecomastia surgery. The second aspect is the buildup of fat tissue. Often the nipple area will become puffy and misshapen, due to an increase in fat mass. While this can look very much the same, it can occur without any true gynecomastia formation. When fat mass is the sole issue, we call the disorder pseudo-gynecomastia or lipomastia. Sometimes diet and exercise alone can clear this issue up. You want to know if it can return after surgery has been completed to remove the excess mammary gland tissue. The answer is yes. Returning to steroid use can be a problem, but it might not be the same as it was before. Let me explain. To begin with, lipomastia could always return, even if the glands themselves are not being overstimulated again. So you should always keep an eye on what is happening with your body fat level, and try to avoid situations

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Q: What do you think about this methandrostenolone from Lyka Labs? Is this company real? A: Lyka Labs Ltd. is the name a real drug company in Mumbai, India. This company, however, does not appear to make methandrostenolone. The real Lyka Labs doesn’t offer any steroids at all, in fact. Instead, they sell a variety of other medications, such as antibiotics and antivirals under their label. They also offer bulk generic drug manufacturing for other companies, but I highly doubt this extends to anabolic steroids. In short, it is safe to say they didn’t make your product. With this knowledge, it would be most appropriate to call your product a counterfeit steroid. After all, the maker has stolen the name of a real company, in an effort to give their product credibility with buyers. This is the textbook definition of a counterfeit. Most people at this point, however, actually consider the Lyka steroids to be from an underground lab, not simply counterfeits. They have been around for several years now, and are very prominent on the black market in certain parts of Europe. Most dealers and savvy buyers know exactly what the Lyka products are. Common information seems to suggest they originate from a clandestine lab in Eastern Europe. Are they any good? I could never say for sure with an underground product. Thus far, however, I would say that there seem to be few complaints. If I had to gamble I would expect your product contains real methandrostenolone. How

where you are storing a lot of fat mass. While you have had the excess glandular material removed, you still have mammary tissue remaining. This can again be stimulated to grow from steroids, just as it was in the past. Removing some of the tissue doesn’t prevent the rest from growing just the same. I would say, however, that I generally find that most people don’t have the problem a second time. This might be a benefit of the excised tissue (maybe the area being less sensitive to estrogen overall), or perhaps just personal awareness of the problem (and conscious avoidance). In short, you can get it again, but you don’t have to, if you are careful.

Clonidine for GH Boost? Q: What do you think about using clonidine to increase levels of growth hormone? Is it effective? Worth the money? A: Clonidine HCL (most commonly known by the brand name Catapres) is a drug that can indeed increase growth hormone levels. While it may do this, however, I am not a fan of using it for this purpose. Let me explain. To begin with, let’s discuss exactly what clonidine is. Clonidine is an alpha-2 receptor agonist. Its main clinical use is to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). The drug helps lower blood pressure by a couple of mechanisms, including a reduction in heart rate and a relaxation of vascular resistance. It also has several other common medical uses not really worth explaining here. Clonidine does reliably increase blood GH levels, at least for short peaks after administration. In fact, there is a medical diagnostic test that involves the administration of clonidine, to see how strong the GH response is; it helps diagnose certain types of GH deficiency. But studies don’t support the idea that this acute hormone increase translates into tangible value as a growth-promoting drug. In one study with a group of children with short stature but normal November 2009

GH levels, clonidine did not increase IGF-1 levels or linear growth (J Pediatr, 1993 Jan;122(1):32-6). The use of somatropin (synthetically manufactured GH), however, did increase height in these children. Clonidine also has a number of potential side effects when used for this purpose, including hypotension (low blood pressure), which can be serious. You also have to remember when this idea got started. It was many years (actually a couple of decades) ago, when recombinant growth hormone was yet to break the growth hormone market open worldwide. Cadaver GH (extracted from corpses) was available, but scarcely. And it was highly expensive— generally too expensive to use unless there was a true medical need for it (and insurance to cover it). Those looking for the anabolic aid of the seemingly all-powerful ‘growth hormone’ were usually left to experiment with alternatives. Today, recombinant HGH is readily available. More so, it is sold for a small fraction of the cost that cadaver GH once was, and is much safer (it is not biological in origin) in comparison. We also know a lot more about the (true) value of GH today, and how to harness it. In short, this was a different year for GH. So my first issue with it is that you are talking about using a drug that influences blood pressure and the cardiovascular system, for the sake of its mere temporary (spike-inducing) effects on GH. We can’t even say for sure if these temporary spikes would help you build muscle; it may simply not be enough to have a noticeable effect. The second is that you would be doing this, and adding the risk of a new cardiovascular drug, when you could simply invest a bit more money in the tried-and-tested drug somatropin instead. Of course, I am not recommending you take GH, and I know GH isn’t necessarily cheap, either. But I can tell you that if it were me, I’d much rather consider recombinant HGH than clonidine. ! Know Your Gear! William th Llewellyn’s ANABOLICS 9 Edition is available now. Order your copy of this monster steroid reference guide today for 25 percent off, by calling 888-918-7888 or visiting



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.

Cuba: Sugar, Cigars, and Designer Steroids? C

uba is known for a lot of things. This island nation to our south is a key exporter of sugar, tin, fish, medicinal products, and coffee. And of course, any discussion of Cuba must include Cuban cigars, which are world famous. We cannot legally import them into the United States due to a trade embargo, which makes them even more desirable to some. Is it possible that in the coming years, Cuba may become a key exporter of another highly-desired commodity— newlydesigned anabolic steroids? While I may be jumping the gun a little bit, it seems that Cuban scientists have been synthesizing some new steroids. One only wonders if this was done with an interest in finding new drugs to sell on the medicinal market. Last month, there was a medical study from Cuba examining several 1 new anabolic steroid compounds. There were eight steroids being investigated in total. All of these steroids were modified at the 9-alpha position by the substitution of a hydrogen atom with fluorine (they are 9-alpha fluoro steroids). This modification helps to protect the anabolic steroid from deactivation by the liver. Provided the steroid was otherwise active, this modification should increase its biological activity and relative potency. These newly-investigated steroids were also modified with the addition of an 11-beta hydroxyl group. A primary effect of this modification is

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to block steroid interaction with the aromatase enzyme, preventing its conversion to estrogen.

Is it possible that in the coming years, Cuba may become a key exporter of another highly-desired commodity— newly-designed anabolic steroids? Chemical nerds may be noticing that these steroids look familiar. There is already a commercially-available steroid that carries both 11-beta hydroxy and 9-alpha fluoro groups on its structure. This steroid is fluoxymesterone, better known by its brand name Halotestin. This is a very potent oral steroid, possessing marked anabolic and androgenic properties. It seems to be a strong androgen relative to most other steroids, and is usually taken during cutting phases of training, or when strength is desired over bulk mass. The fact that fluoxymesterone doesn’t convert to estrogen also lends it to being more of a lean musclebuilding steroid, as opposed to one for

sheer size. Fluoxymesterone is also liver-toxic (hepatotoxic), due in part to its 17-alpha methyl group. This modification is widely known for increasing both the oral bioavailability and liver toxicity of steroids. It is interesting that the researchers set out to identify other active 11-beta hydroxy, 9-alpha fluoro steroids. The series of compounds studied all lack the 17-alpha methyl group present in fluoxymesterone. This suggests that they may be specifically looking for similar compounds that possess less hepatotoxicity. Perhaps this is an effort to find a safer therapeutic alternative to fluoxymesterone, which has fallen out of favor in the medical community in recent years— largely due to its toxic properties and a reduced interest in anabolic/androgenic medications. If developed, one would expect such a drug could also be of interest to bodybuilders and athletes for the same reason. While fluoxymesterone has many desirable properties, it is also perceived as having the drawback of being a ‘harsh’ steroid. Two steroids out of the eight were shown to be particularly potent. These are 3beta,11beta-Dihydroxy-9alpha-fluoro-5alpha-androstane-17-one (A) and 3beta-acetoxy-9alpha-fluoro-11betahydroxy-5alpha-androstane 17betaisobutyrate (B). While it is too early to say for sure how well these would work in humans and at what dosages,

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AnabolicResearchUpdate -ISOBUTY




many new designer steroids have appeared on the underground market. There are essentially no roadblocks to the production of a new drug in this illicit and unregulated market, other than finding a manufacturer to synthesize the raw steroid material for you, based on a picture of its structure. The fact that these steroids were recently made for this investigation suggests that there are probably no great technical hurdles to their synthesis. Either way, it is very interesting from a research standpoint to see new drugs being synthesized and investigated. I wonder if we will see more new steroids being investigated by our mysterious neighbors.

Cold Packs and Anabolic Hormones Steroids A and B were recently synthesized and tested by researchers in Cuba. Both are close derivatives of fluoxymesterone (Steroid C). Although not tested during this study, the last compound (Steroid D) would probably be the most potent form of these non-methylated 5-alpha derivatives of fluoxymesterone.

I can speculate on some of the properties of these steroids. Neither steroid will convert to estrogen, and thus should not produce significant water retention or fat gain. Instead, they should be more prone to lean muscle growth and strength— as expected. Liver toxicity should also be reduced, but this will probably not be complete, as the 9-alpha fluoro group may impart some hepatotoxicity. I’ve included the structure of what I believe would be the most potent form of this new fluoxymesterone derivative (D), although this is just speculation on my part. It is especially difficult to speculate on the potency of these drugs, because they break from most traditional steroids. For one thing, both lack a ketone group at carbon 3. This is generally necessary for strong androgen receptor binding, and is present on all but a small number of commerciallyavailable steroids. One of the two drugs is also a 17-keto steroid. This should make it inherently inactive (completely), as the 17-beta hydroxy group is absolutely necessary for androgen receptor binding. These groups are subject to enzymatic modifica-

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tion in the body, however. Both of these compounds can, likewise, probably be converted back to ‘traditional’ 3-keto, 17beta-hydroxy steroids to some degree. Ultimately, these steroids may both turn out to be potent, but perhaps should be technically classified as prohormones. The objective of this work in Cuba seems to be the development of some form of injectable fluoxymesterone-like drug. Along with the reduced commercial interest in pharmaceutical anabolic steroids in recent years, there has been a steady reduction in the availability of injectable non-testosterone androgens on the global market. This may be illustrated by the global removal of drostanolone (Masteron) from clinical medicine. Should a Cuban pharmaceutical producer release a fluoxymesteronelike injectable steroid, and that drug is able to make its way to the global black market, one would expect it to become very popular, very quickly. Even if the steroid is never developed by a legitimate company, one wonders if the release of this study will spark the interest of some clandestine steroid manufacturer. After all,

What do you do after a grueling workout? Do you take a shower, eat, and get on with your day? Or do you notice enough pain to do what many do— soothe the muscles with a cold pack? While the use of ice/cold packs post-training may feel good, new research questions the value of this practice. Researchers at the Sackler School of Medicine in Israel recently examined the effect of cold pack application after interval sprint training in a group of com2 petitive male handball players. The investigators wanted to see if the application would have any effect on circulating anabolic hormones. The results were quite enlightening. Exercise produced the expected increase in the anabolic hormones testosterone, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), and growth hormone. The use of a cold pack after exercise, however, resulted in a significant reduction in serum IGF-1. Since this is one of the body’s key regulators of muscle cell hypertrophy/hyperplasia, a reduction may interfere with recovery and athletic performance. This study suggests that while the numbing sensation of a cold pack may feel very good when applied to muscles after training, it might not be the best thing to do if you want to recover and grow optimally. ■ References: 1. Synthesis and anabolic/androgenic evaluation of novel 9alpha-fluorosteroids. Reyes-Moreno M, Ruiz-García JA, et al. Eur J Med Chem, 2009 Jul 1. [Epub] 2. Effect of local cold-pack application on systemic anabolic and inflammatory response to sprint-interval training: a prospective comparative trial. Nemet D, Meckel Y et al. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2009 Aug 4. [Epub] Know Your Gear! William Llewellyn’s ANABOLICS 9th Edition (2009) is available now. Order your copy of this 800page anabolic steroid reference guide today by calling 888-918-7888 or visiting

November 2009


By Jos´e Antonio, Ph.D.

Rising Androgens, Sagging Man Boobs G

on two different occasions, separated by one to three ynecomastia is becoming increasingly common, so 1 says a recent article on What I didn’t weeks. Rest preceded one trial (i.e., the control [CON] trial), and a high-volume upper-body RE protocol designed to know about this malady, aka ‘bitch tits,’ ‘man increase circulating T preceded the other trial (i.e., high-T boobs,’ ‘moobs’ and assorted other nicknames, is that it [HT] trial). comes in many forms. Researchers discovered that circulating T concentrations Sometimes you see old men with it, but that’s just remained stable during CON. Alternately, HT significantly because they’re fat and apparently haven’t seen commerincreased T concentrations above resting values by 16 percials for the ‘Perfect Pushup’ and rushed out to buy and use cent. Muscle AR content during the HT trial exceeded the the contraption. Type II gynecomastia (aka ‘gyno’) may be corresponding CON value. So according to this study, the drug-induced, as seen in professional bodybuilders who acute rise in testosterone seen with weight training actually use high-dose androgens. If you have enough androgen 2 potentiates the rise in AR levels. circulating in your body, some of it When testosterone eventually gets converted to estrogen. And that results in ‘moobs,’ my friend. binds to the androgen Give Some T to Men Then there is category called ‘type IV’ receptor, it acts as a With Metabolic gyno, with is the result of muscle hyper‘key’ that unlocks the Syndrome trophy. Now, this one makes no sense. Men with the Metabolic Syndrome genetic machinery in (MetS) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) often When did having large pectoralis major your muscle cells or have low testosterone levels. Of course, muscles become a ‘bad’ clinical condition? For the ‘moobs’ that are due to fibers. Hence, your this can occur for a variety of reasons. excessive fat accumulation, surgery is muscles grow faster But what if you actually gave these guys often required to remove the excess fat. exogenous testosterone? That’s right. than Brock Lesnar Of course, to help avoid ‘moobs,’ don’t Juice ‘em up a little! can say, “Horseshoe use androgens or use androgens that Well, that’s what scientists did in a don’t aromatize. up his ass” on nation- single-blind, 52-week randomized clinial pay-per-view TV. cal trial. The effect of a supervised diet and exercise (D&E) program, with or Weight Training and without transdermal testosterone administration, was testthe AR ed to see what effect it had on MetS. The androgen receptor (AR) is the key to unlocking Researchers used a 50-milligram testosterone gel, once amazing skeletal muscle hypertrophy. When testosterone daily. No glucose-lowering agents were administered prior binds to the androgen receptor, it acts as a ‘key’ that to or during the study period. Serum testosterone, fasting unlocks the genetic machinery in your muscle cells or plasma glucose, HDL cholesterol, triglyceride concentrafibers. When it unlocks the genetic machinery, your nucleus tions, and waist circumference improved in both groups (the ‘brains’ of your cells) spits out a message telling your after 52 weeks of treatment. But giving them additional muscle fibers to make more protein. And hence, your mustestosterone significantly improved these measures even cles grow faster than Brock Lesnar can say, “Horseshoe up further, compared to D&E alone. Additionally, testosterone his ass” on national pay-per-view TV. treatment improved insulin sensitivity, adiponectin and A recent study looked at the effect of endogenous circuhigh-sensitivity C-reactive protein. lating testosterone (T) on muscle androgen receptor (AR) That’s right. Giving anabolic steroids to patients under a response to acute resistance exercise (RE). In this study, six supervised D&E program results in greater therapeutic healthy young men did a knee-extension exercise protocol

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AnabolicEdge improvements of glycemic control, and reverses the MetS after 52 weeks 3 of treatment. Wow. You mean, T can actually be good for you?

Testosterone Lessens Cardiovascular Disease Risk In short-term studies, testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to protect male subjects from exercise-induced ischaemia and modify cardiovascular risk factors such as insulin resistance, fat mass and lipid profiles. In a recent study, scientists looked at the effect of testosterone therapy (Nebido) compared to placebo on exercise-induced ischaemia, lipid profiles, carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and body composition— during 12 months of treatment in men with low testosterone levels and angina. You read that right— a year of treatment with testosterone. Hmm. I wonder if this stuff is as lethal as the mainstream idiotic press makes it out to be. Let’s check out the data. According to the investigators, “The protective effect of testosterone on myocardial ischaemia is maintained throughout treatment, without decrement. Previously noted potentially beneficial effects of testosterone on body composition were confirmed, and there 4 were no adverse effects.” You’re not going blind. There were no side effects, and it helped protect the heart.

Testosterone Goes Up With Moderate Exercise In super-elite endurance athletes, it seems that all that exercise actually depresses serum testosterone. As an adaptive response to exercise, this makes sense. Endurance athletes typically do not want to have hypertrophied muscles. It would just slow them down. But for those of you who worry that doing cardio in the gym might depress the big T, there’s no need to worry. Here’s the proof. Fifteen young, healthy men performed an endurance-training regimen for five weeks on a cycle ergometer. Before and after the exercise

program, all participants completed a maximal incremental test. Levels of testosterone (T) and sex hormonebinding globulin (SHBG) samples were measured at rest, before and after the training. The training program resulted in 3.7 percent improvement of maximal oxygen uptake, and 8.2 percent improvement of power output. But here’s the kicker. This was accompanied by a significant increase in T, as well as a significant decrease in SHBG concentration. So it’s clear that short-term, moderate-intensity and low-volume endurance training can significantly increase testosterone concentration in previously 5 untrained men. I’d imagine that as long as you’re not training for endurance events per se, your T levels should be fine. Combining low-intensity endurance work with high-intensity interval training is a great way to promote fat loss. ! Jose Antonio, Ph.D., is vice president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has a Ph.D. in muscle physiology and is chief executive of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. References: 1. 2. Spiering BA, Kraemer WJ, Vingren JL, et al. Elevated endogenous testosterone concentrations potentiate muscle androgen receptor responses to resistance exercise. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 2009;114:195-9. 3. Heufelder AE, Saad F, Bunck MC, Gooren LJ. 52-Week Treatment with Diet and Exercise Plus Transdermal Testosterone Reverses the Metabolic Syndrome and Improves Glycaemic Control in Men with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes and Subnormal Plasma Testosterone. J Androl, 2009. 4. Mathur A, Malkin C, Saeed B, Muthusamy R, Jones T, Channer K. Long term benefits of testosterone replacement therapy on angina thresholdand atheroma in men. Eur J Endocrinol, 2009. 5. Grandys M, Majerczak J, Duda K, Zapart-Bukowska J, Kulpa J, Zoladz JA. Endurance training of moderate intensity increases testosterone concentration in young, healthy men. Int J Sports Med, 2009;30:489-95.

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ExtremeMuscle Enhancement By Carlon M. Colker, M.D. FACN

Some Like It Y

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summer while being toasty warm in the winter! I mean shit, ears ago, my old man worked in Philadelphia. It gave when I look back, I can never forget the blustery winter days me the opportunity to frequent the city of brotherly in there when it felt like my frikkin fingers were going to love, as it is otherwise known. Not surprisingly, when stick to the bar like a kid’s tongue on a winter lamppost! down there to visit Dad as a young college student, I spent Back then it was so damn cold in that gym I had to cough to plenty of time soaking up American history— while cheating find my nuts. To get through the session I had on more on my diet with a more than a few Philly cheesesteaks (for sweatshirts than Sly did in Rocky, trying to convince all of us you connoisseurs, I have to say I like both Pat’s and Geno’s, he was a heavyweight. Lord only knows how, through my with a slight preference toward Geno’s). But, like any hard‘Michelin Man’ layers, I managed to nurture a pump. But I core gym rat, I found time to train down there as well. guess I did. While kicking around Passyunk in South Philly, I’d comSummer wasn’t much better there. I pensate for my cheesesteak binges at It was so humid one used to step into the place from the one of my favorite hardcore bodybuilding haunts in the country, Body World. year, I’d literally step sweltering heat and it would seriously It’s been in operation for decades, in inside and immediate- be 20 degrees hotter and stuffier in there than it was outside. In fact, it was so what used to be one of the worst neighly begin pouring buck- humid one year, I’d literally step inside borhoods in the area. While New York’s own Madison Avenue was featuring ets off my nose like and immediately begin pouring buckets my nose like some kind of a whore Calvin Klein’s flagship store, Barneys some kind of a whore off walking into a church. Back then, to ease uptown, and no less than two floors of Prada, Philadelphia’s Passyunk was offer- walking into a church. your sweat bath and sauna-lungs, all they supplied was a single area fan. It ing crack den row houses, heroin was here that I trained in the equivalent of climate extremes. addicts, and violent street thugs. Comfortably nestled That part about training there sucked and I much preferred amidst all this anarchy was Body World. the fall weather when I was down there, as this was someIn fairness, since way back when, the neighborhood has improved considerably and is now accessible without what more moderate in terms of climate. So while I suffered through it when I had to, I certainly tried to avoid these the need for a handgun or a police escort. Though still hardcore, Body World has also gone through some changes. The environment is still very much dungeon-like and the place abounds with hardcore bodybuilding equipment from long-since lost manufacturers. Yet the place has been noticeably cleaned up to appeal to the ‘fitness’ set. As such, it’s now called “Body World Fitness” and even has a website ( Very cute, but they spelled my name wrong on their home page where they are apparently using an old quote of mine, acknowledging them in an April 2007 article I did on the top 10 hardcore haunts. All I can say to them is that it’s no problem for my bodybuilding brethren to do this, but maybe this time around you meatheads could take another stab at spelling my name correctly! At any rate, in recent years I also noticed another MetroFLEX Gym change— the gym is now climate controlled! I’m talking Arlington, TX about luxuriating in air-conditioned surroundings in the

ExtremeMuscle Enhancement extremes. Yet this experience, like so many other odd adven- exerting themselves on one of a sea of treadmills. They tend to move just enough to get heated up. This is so tures in my life, taught me something about myself. often mistakenly perceived of as ‘abnormal’ for them. So Training in extreme heat, at least for me, was better they start pushing collectively for climate relief. As a than training in extreme cold. Even though the heat and result, gyms have gone into some kind of deep freeze. humidity sucked the strength out of me and flattened my High-trafficked commercial gyms tend to maintain the pump as I perspired like some kind of farm animal, I still environment like a meat locker. The end result is that the preferred it over battling bitter cold. Unlike the extreme fit set of minimally-clothed bodybuilders sporting a low cold, the heat did manage to wipe me out the rest of the percent of body fat must suffer the cold blast. day, yet it remained my preference. Maybe it was a funcGiven all this, just what temperature should you train tion of warming up faster, due to the pro-circulatory at for optimal muscular growth in response to weight effects of the heat. Perhaps it was just my joints feeling training? In my experience, though I’ve learned through more lubricated and less stiff. Maybe having to wear less the years that my perfect environmental sleeping temperclothing made me more comfortable, enhanced my range ature is 69 degrees Fahrenheit (20.56 degrees Celsius), of motion, and provided the motivation of being able to purely in terms of ambient temperature, my ideal bodysee yourself. Maybe it was all these reasons. Of course, as building training environment should be kept between 70 I always say, everyone is different and I imagine that there and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21.1 to 23.9 degrees are plenty of people out there who, if forced to pick a prefCelsius). But there is another major factor of equal imporerence from these extremes, would pick the cold. tance, and that is the amount of air circulation. Stagnant I remember vividly one clown I used to see train air makes 75 degrees feel like 90 degrees. If you feel like decades ago named Bob Henry, who displayed an unusuyou are not getting enough air, just imagine how your al penchant for actually enjoying the cold. Like many gym muscles feel. rats, this guy was a real character. First off, despite being Throughout the years, one of my favorite training envijuiced to the gills, Bob sported a terrible physique. On the ronments has always been, and continues to be, Gold’s off-chance we suffered the misfortune of spotting him in Gym in Venice Beach, California. As impressive as the histhe locker room without his layers, what was revealed tory of this Mecca of bodybuilding truly is, it so often does was pale white skin, matted back hair, crowned off with a not get credited for having one of the big fat belly and peculiar oversized Even though the heat most superb environments to train in. sneakers. His chest, arms, and legs and humidity sucked Though not the original building that were so surprisingly pathetic we all wondered if he was missing his ass the strength out of me housed the first Gold’s Gym, it remains with the needle and instead injecting and flattened my pump a relatively old structure. Like a few of remaining older gyms across the all that juice into his shoes. But all that as I perspired like some the country, the building is a former waredidn’t stop him from walking out of the kind of farm animal, I house space. locker room with 16 sweatshirts on and Most of the older gyms were proceeding to open the gym door in still preferred it over housed and built in warehouse districts the dead of winter while turning the air battling bitter cold. which were famous for larger and less conditioning on high. desirable space, only to find that in time these spaces Some more understanding people tolerated his shit, became incredibly valuable. Thus they found themselves akin to sympathy for a patient with an overactive thyroid. I pushed out in favor of shopping malls and yuppy houspersonally simply thought he was nuts and just liked to ing. Yet like Bob Bonham’s Strong and Shapely Gym in stay covered up and padded like some kind of sumo New Jersey, Gold’s Gym in Venice beach survives. With wrestler in winter clothes. We all tried to keep the laughs high ceilings and massive bay doors in back that are under wraps because he really wasn’t a bad guy when almost always wide open during operating hours, Gold’s you actually spoke with him. But he was as nutty as a provides that perfect southern California warmth with just fruitcake. The fact remains if he’d just remove a dozen or the right amount of refreshing ocean breeze. so layers, he would have been just fine and the rest of us It is no wonder to me that whenever I have spoken to would not have to suffer his crap. Of course without his Arnold about the old days at Gold’s Gym, World Gym, or layers, he probably would have felt small. other similar southern California bodybuilding training It’s a funny story, but things are so much different now. haunts, he so often reminisces of all things about how Back in those days, the gym owners would take your perfect the environment was for training and how it money, let you in, and that was the end of it. You didn’t seems every day to this very day when the warm sun hits complain because the gym was what it was. If you didn’t him coupled with the ocean breeze, he remembers and like it, the door was always there. These days, gyms are big business, so they actually try and cater to the clientele. falls in love with it all over again. ■ More recently I’ve noticed gyms cranking up air condiDr. Colker’s book, Extreme Muscle Enhancement: tioning in an effort to make the clientele more comfortBodybuilding’s Most Powerful Techniques is available able. Usually the people they are targeting are the relaby calling 1-800-310-1555 or ordering the book online at tively unfit weekend warriors wearing quasi-street clothes with sneakers and flipping magazines, while minimally

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By Doctor X

MDWalk-InClinic Walk-in clinics offer convenience and occasionally good medical advice, assuming you survive the aerosolized spray of contagions saturating the waiting room. What walk-in clinics do not offer is a substitute for preventative health or primary care. This “Walk-In Clinic” column is a collection of questions and experiences encountered by a number of physicians who have treated bodybuilders, athletes and gym rats using performanceenhancing drugs (PED). Any identifying information has been deleted and details generalized to maintain the confidential nature of the relationship. The “Walk-In Clinic” is not designed to provide medical advice or guidance to its readers. It is a representation of problems and questions that PED users ask doctors, physician assistants, clinic nurses, athletic trainers, coaches and pharmacists. The responses do not come from the perspective of hardcore drug users, but health professionals who attempt to understand the drive to excel that causes people to take risks. This column is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to any individual. It provides general information for educational purposes

only. The information provided in this column is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and readers should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of one’s personal physician or other health care provider. Contributors are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product obtained through this column. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN. If you believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your physician or other health care provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on or a linked website. Never rely on information in this column in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other health care provider to assist you in interpreting any information in Muscular Development and/or on or in the linked websites, or in applying the information to your individual case. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore, the information in this column or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided in this column or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.

My girlfriend confronted me about using steroids. She doesn’t like the idea anymore, not that anything has happened. Ironically, she approached me at the gym because she was attracted to my physique. We’ve been together about two years, during which I have done about four or five cycles. I don’t have any prolems with anger or side effects, my libido doesn’t change much, and I can certainly afford the drugs. I told my girlfriend that I am going to keep using because I like the strength, look, and confidence I gain when I am oncycle. She says I am addicted to steroids and calls me a ‘juice-aholic.’ Do people get addicted to steroids? What should I tell my girlfriend? The topic of addiction as it relates to androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) is a very controversial topic that is being debated among experts even now. The initial arguments for placing AAS within the purview of Controlled Substance regulation were considered to be weak and inappropriate, as elegantly described in Rick Collins’ book, Legal Muscle. One of the

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criteria for scheduling a drug as a controlled substance was evidence of a potential for addiction. At the time, this was not documented, causing many authoritative and enforcement agencies to argue against the presiding administration’s stance. Of course, politics weigh heaviest on the scales of policymaking. Since that time, a cadre of researchers has presented studies supportive of behavioral changes in humans and addiction in animal models. There have been those who debate the validity of the conclusions drawn from these studies; others suggest the bias of the investigators led them to overstate findings or incorrectly infer AAS effects

November 2009

MDWalk-InClinic affects both genders equally and in the United States, it is in humans, based upon animal data. Unfortunately, the more likely to be manifest in an obsession with plastic decades-long stigmatization of AAS research has blunted surgery or other cosmetic procedures. Only a few in the the clinical understanding of the risks, as well as benefits, media have commented on the possibility that Michael of AAS use in adults. Jackson suffered from BDD among his To this day, it remains unclear what other challenges, causing him to effect AAS have on the human psyche undergo so many cosmetic procein general, let alone effects of the dures. Narcissism is another personalimany different specific AAS. Questions ty disorder that might be supported by relating to therapeutic dose, threshold AAS use, functionally if not neuroranges for adverse effects, predisposchemically. Narcissists are people ing factors, relevant clinical history, viewed as having tremendous ego, markers, signs and symptoms, etc., who must be admired to feel satisfied. have gone not only unanswered, but They are often believed to be incrediunasked. Some professionals, but defibly self-centered. Clearly, developing nitely the minority in this politic state, an attractive or dominating physique view this as unethical and inexcusable. Addiction is clearly a major health—Paul Pfingst, former district would be a goal of many narcissists. Even among mentally healthy peocare and economic problem in the attorney of San Diego County ple, a functional dependence upon United States, globally in all honesty. AAS can develop. This is one reason why AAS are However, despite being labeled a pharmaceutical pariah banned substances in organized sports. A powerlifter for 40 years, AAS have not been specifically listed as an would clearly benefit from using AAS and when abstainaddictive agent in the definitive clinical source, the ing from the drugs, would see a decline in performance Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (as well as social status, achievement, and possibly (DSM-IV). There is a catch-all category, “Other Substanceincome). If AAS were used, a competitive athlete would Related Disorders,” available for any drugs not clearly need to continue using the drugs for as long as he defined in the voluminous tome. wished to perform at the elevated level provided for by The World Health Organization’s International the AAS. He/she would be functionally dependent upon Classification of Diseases placed all steroids under the the drugs for performance enhancement. category of “non-dependence-producing-substances” Clearly, as the drugs are banned and illegal, this could according to Charles Yesalis in his book Anabolic Steroids be viewed as a sign of addiction or dependence, since in Sport and Exercise. A search of the ICD-9 shows no the drug-seeking behavior negatively affects social and anabolic steroids listed among the 461 substances coded occupational status, if detected. However, if there were an for under dependency. Paul Pfingst, former district attorallowed non-AAS drug that provided the same perforney of San Diego County, stated in an interview with mance effect with no legal consequences, would an that AAS were not a priority for his departlete continue to use AAS? No, unless he/she were truly ment; “An addict is someone who does not have control addicted to the drug. When ephedrine was pulled from over their life,” Pfingst said. “You don’t have that with over-the-counter weight-loss products, the clamor was for steroids. You don’t see anyone knocking over a liquor an effective weight-loss substitute. The people ‘craving’ store to buy steroids.” ephedrine were seeking the drug for methamphetamine Despite the vast number of professional sources sugproduction, not to continue using ephedrine for the sake gesting that AAS are not drugs with dependence potenof using ephedrine-assisted weight-loss, from what the tial, it is likely that they do have the potential to be at the media reports. very least a prop in certain personality disorders (psychoNeurologically, AAS are active drugs, affecting mood logical conditions that have negative features but are not state. While ‘roid rage’ remains a media phenomenon, so severe as to cause a person to cause harm to himnot a clinical diagnosis, most users have observed indiself/herself or others). Most bodybuilders are familiar viduals using high-dose cycles become more ‘alpha-male’ with the term ‘reverse anorexia,’ or ‘body dysmorphic in social situations. Further, discontinuation of AAS can disorder— muscle dysmorphia.’ This is a condition in lead to changes in libido, mood, fatigue, and even cogniwhich a person becomes so fixated upon his/her tive function, if not properly tapered or supported by physique, constantly finding flaws and a need to build post-cycle therapy. Many of the same symptoms are muscle or promote definition, that he/she will pursue any experienced by men undergoing androgen-deprivation number of unhealthy techniques (including drug use) to therapy for prostate cancer treatment; they are also part create a ‘perfect body,’ usually neglecting positive relaof the constellation of symptoms seen in ADAM (androtionships (work, family, social) in the process. Sadly, the gen decline of the aging male). Testosterone is a hormone criteria appear to borrow from the lifestyle of bodybuildpresent throughout life that supports normal function and ing, offering a self-fulfilling diagnosis to any psycholohealth. Like any other part of the human mechanism, an gist/psychiatrist wishing to stigmatize any person from excess or deficiency results in negative signs and sympthe fitness enthusiast to the professional competitor. toms. In reality, BDD (general, not muscle dysmorphia)

"An addict is someone who does not have control over their life. You don't have that with steroids. You don't see anyone knocking over a liquor store to buy steroids."

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MDWalk-InClinic There is a group of researchers who have put together criteria for inclusion in the next revision of the DSM diagnostic manual for AAS dependency. Unfortunately, the criteria show great overlap with functional use of the drug for those who seek AAS benefits in promoting physique, performance, sexual function, or cognitive/mood preservation with aging. AAS, at this time, are not clearly defined as drugs which can produce dependence, but in a person predisposed to certain psychopathic, sociopathic, or personality disorders, AAS certainly could be part of the behavior in such individuals. At this time, it is impossible to state whether using AAS, such as in competitive bodybuilding, could cause narcissism or muscle dysmorphia in someone who would otherwise never be affected by the condition. Undoubtedly, any person who is struggling with a personAny person who is al/psychological issue involving AAS struggling with a use should seek professional help. personal/psychological issue involving AAS use While it is unclear as to whether or should seek professional not AAS can be defined as depenhelp. While it is unclear dence-causing agents, AAS-users are human and subject to the same as to whether or not potential disorders and challenges AAS can be defined as everyone else faces. AAS use is such dependence-causing a high-impact topic that it often blinds agents, AAS-users users and professionals alike to coare human and subject existing issues, delaying awareness, to the same potential disorders and challenges diagnosis, and proper treatment of underlying disorders. everyone else faces. As to the relationship conflict, you will have to discuss that with your girlfriend. If it is a relationship you wish to salvage, counseling or just some frank discussions are certainly in order. It is also possible that either or both of you are losing interest in the other or seeking a reason for terminating the relationship. Conflict should always be addressed early and with honesty, enlisting professional counseling if necessary. Even if your relationship does end, let it do so on good terms and for just cause. If she has a strong conviction against using AAS at this point (perhaps she does wish for a long-term relationship and is thinking of family planning), then her point-of-view deserves to be considered. She may be timid about broaching the topic of long-term commitment or children if you two have not had such discussions; it is also possible she is threatened by the attentions others are paying you; the recent arrests that have made national news may concern her regarding your welfare; she may not like one or more individuals who are part of your local AAS culture; her friends and family may have strong opinions; she may have heard of a case of domestic violence involving AAS; etc. She may be a keeper, or this may be a convenient excuse to rationalize a difficult decision. Don’t behave like an addict, letting important relationships suffer because of drug use; however, don’t fall into other relationship traps by allowing your partner to unduly influence you for her gratification or to validate an unhealthy emotional demand on her part. It is impossible to say what is right or wrong, not knowing of the circumstances or the persons involved. Certainly, calling you a ‘juice-aholic’ does not lend itself to rational discussion. If the discussion is likely to be emotional or turbulent, recruit a thirdparty (church leader, counselor, mutual friend, etc.) to keep things calm. You can be certain that any outburst will be blamed on AAS, and if you are currently on-cycle, AAS can make a person respond more aggressively to provocation. As always, AAS use outside of the direction of a licensed health care professional is not condoned and does pose risks to one’s health and may cause legal jeopardy. !

November 2009

Busted! LegalQ&A By Rick Collins, JD


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turned.The holding impacts a long tradition of Supreme Court cases based on searches ‘incident’ to lawful arrests. Under the landmark case of Chimel v. California, searching a suspect incident to an arrest is justified (1) to protect the officer from any weapon that might be accessible to the arrestee, and (2) to prevent the suspect from destroying evidence. Then, in New York v. Belton, the Court held that when an officer lawfully arrests the occupant of a car, he may at about the same time search the passenger compartment (and any containers in it) incident to that arrest. In Belton, a lone police officer stopped a speeding car in which the defendant was one of four occupants. While asking for the driver’s license and registration, the officer smelled burnt marijuana and observed an envelope on the car floor marked with a word he associated with marijuana. The officer ordered the occupants out of the vehicle and placed them under arrest. They were separated, but not handcuffed, while the officer searched the vehicle, including the pocket of a jacket on the backseat, in which he found cocaine. Unlike Belton, which involved only one officer and four unsecured arrestees, the five officers in Gant outnumbered the three arrestees, all of whom had been handcuffed and secured in separate patrol cars before the officers searched Gant’s car. How could Gant possibly reach anything in his car? How could he

grab a weapon or destroy evidence? Gant holds that the Chimel doctrine authorizes police to search a vehicle incident to an occupant’s arrest only when the arrestee is unsecured and within reaching distance to the passenger compartment at the time of the search. It reins Belton back to its unusual facts. Gant signals an end to cases supporting an ‘all’s fair’ approach to car searches incident to arrest. The doctrine was never meant to be a magical talisman to justify any car search when somebody gets busted. The Court added that while an officer is also allowed to search an arrestee’s car when it’s ‘reasonable to believe’ that evidence of the crime of arrest may be found in the vehicle, there was no reason to believe that evidence of Gant’s suspended license crime would be in the car. [Although not applicable in Gant, a separate exception— the ‘automobile exception’— authorizes a warrantless search (unconnected to anybody’s arrest) of any area of a car if there’s probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity is in that area.] Lastly, it should be noted that another exception to the warrant requirement is voluntary consent. Never forget that consent is a green light for the police to conduct a search, even if no other exception to the warrant requirement applies. ■ Rick Collins, JD, CSCS [] is the lawyer who members of the bodybuilding community and nutritional supplement industry turn to when they need legal help or representation. [© Rick Collins, 2009. All rights reserved. For informational purposes only, not to be construed as legal or medical advice.]

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I heard that the Supreme Court has changed the rules about car searches. What do I need to know about it? Plenty, if you’re a member of law enforcement— or if you’re ever stopped in your car by the police and arrested.The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided the case of Arizona v. Gant. The relevant facts: acting on an anonymous tip about drug activity, police responded to a local residence where Gant opened the door. Gant identified himself and said the owners would be back shortly.The police subsequently ran a records check and found that there was an outstanding warrant for Gant’s arrest for driving with a suspended license. When the police came back later that night and arrested the owners of the house, Gant drove into the driveway. The police arrested Gant for driving with a suspended license, handcuffed him, and locked him in the backseat of their patrol car. Then two officers searched his car and found a baggie of cocaine. Now charged with drug offenses, Gant moved to suppress the evidence seized from his car on the ground that the warrantless search violated the Constitution. The trial court rejected his arguments; he was convicted and appealed. The Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the police did not act lawfully when they searched the car, and Gant’s conviction was over-



JACKED: To Be or Not to Be? T

hroughout the year, I have heard time and time again: what are the expectations for women’s bodybuilding? Got Muscle? Sure. But is it really all about muscle? Of course not! Is it preferable to have symmetrical, beautiful lines over beastly size? I would say neither. For a woman to be a champion, she needs the whole package. Full muscle shape and size, a nice tiny waist, great stage compo-

sure, femininity— and make it all proportional. Yes, much of this is genetics; quite a bit, actually. But genetics doesn’t play the whole hand of poker. Training hard, dieting, and supplementation all play a part in developing that winning physique. A woman just has to know, understand, and be disciplined enough to know when enough is enough— when she looks in the mirror and

knows that she is already there. Yes, it’s bodybuilding, and women’s bodybuilding. But, for competitive bodybuilding, can a woman recognize when she’s crossed the line? It helps to examine the patterns we have seen in 2009. Let’s take a look at what has happened this year with the amateur competitors. So far this season, three amateurs have received their IFBB card. Competitor Tracy Mason placed first at the


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Classic with an entirely new look about her— still hard, yet less angular. This more feminine stage presence beautified the arena. At the New York Pro— Cathy LeFrancois, beautiful as ever, lit up the New York night with her routine, smile, and fantastic routine. Betty Pariso, who was the runner-up at the New York Pro behind LeFrancois, just won the Tampa Bay Pro, beating out last year’s winner, Nicole Ball, at the age of 53. What an accomplishment for Pariso, since it is the first time that an over-50 competitor has unseated a much younger one! (After last year’s win, this year Nicole Ball placed fourth.) At any age, Betty Pariso looked stunning— but at the age of 53, her look is a shocker! Her physique looked incredible; she had confident stage presence, and great performance. As the runner-up, Gale Frankie and third place finisher Tina Chandler looked great as well. However, that Tampa evening, Pariso was one of the women who did have the muscle— a lot of muscle!! At the same time, while beating out the competitors who didn’t have as much muscle, Pariso still maintained great conditioning, had beautiful symmetry and was extremely proportional. What we all know is that women’s bodybuilding needs more representation. More sponsors for women’s bodybuilding, more prize money, more shows, more recognition. We all know this. If we look at who has been selected this year to turn pro, these women are not the most buff chicks in the gym. They are the ones who have the best package overall— that’s why they were first place and Overall winners. It’s not the amount of beef you bring to the dinner table— it is how you cut it that makes all the difference. Building muscle is vital, don’t get me wrong. But refining the structure is even more essential. The question remains: should women bodybuilders get jacked? Last I checked, ‘jacked’ was a profoundly male attribute: ‘Jack’ and Jill went up the hill, ‘jack’ off, car‘jacked’. Whatever. The bottom line is: women can get stacked— but getting jacked is best left to the boys. !


Masters Nationals in both the over 35 and over 45 categories; at the USAs in Las Vegas, Angela Salvagno was the Overall winner, and Akila Pervis the runner-up. Middleweight competitor Pervis actually came up the rank as a figure competitor in Jon Lindsay’s Excalibur in 2005. So what do these women all have in common? Arguably, all three of them are not the most muscular onstage— or ‘jacked’ as some would say— meaning hyper-muscularity, exploding out of their own skins, with muscles bulging like Popeye. Rather, all three have symmetry, full muscle structure, superb conditioning and provide the aura of femininity that creates the “Art of the Physique” for a female bodybuilder. All brought beautiful flowing lines to the stage. The two middleweights, Mason and Pervis, brought tight packages, with some chiseled muscularity— but not an abundance of muscle. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Pervis is just a knockout, and that Mason’s back was as wide as the stage itself. These women did not come ‘jacked.’ They did not follow the ‘get huge’ lineage left over from the early 1990s. Sure, they came in hard— but not only were they not competing as heavyweights, but Pervis herself was a crossover competitor. This is still a rather controversial premise, to see a woman whose so-called ‘smaller’ physique succeeds as an outstanding example of a bodybuilder. This gets a lot of ‘hardcore’ women bodybuilders all riled up; women who have been on the competition circuit for many years. But bigger isn’t necessarily better, or even preferable. As women increase their size, it becomes more difficult to maintain femininity— and even though boobs are great, getting a boob job is not the answer. What have we seen this season at the professional level? The current Olympians are packed with muscle. No doubt. Not even a question. And, many of the IFBB pros who have competed in 2009— no question, either. But, this year we have seen the tides change, not rapidly, but incrementally. Iris Kyle came into the Arnold

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The Predator

By Kai Greene

My Mr. Olympia Training Camp: Years in the Making I write this at five weeks away from the Mr. Olympia contest. At seven weeks out, my coach Oscar Ardon and I left New York to establish a training camp, or headquarters, for this very significant contest. This is actually something we’ve talked about doing for years, but until recently lacked the financial means to bring it to fruition. The idea originally came from the movie “Rocky IV,” in which Rocky secludes himself in a remote cabin in frigid Siberia and trains harder than he ever has before, in the most Spartan conditions, to defeat the supposedly unbeatable Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Now, we are finally making this investment to become a better preparation machine than ever before, as I train for the toughest competition of my life.

“Everything You Asked For is Here. Nothing More, Nothing Less.” There is a scene when Rocky arrives at his isolated training camp, where his KGB handlers inform him that everything he had requested has been provided. As it turns out, he didn’t ask for much. Since my own Mr. Olympia camp is modeled after that, I am not living in the lap of luxury in some penthouse suite at the top of the Wynn Hotel and casino— nor would I want to. The living quarters are small but adequate, and my days are totally consumed by my preparation. Five events happen again and again. I weight train twice a day, I do cardio twice a day, and once every day we work on my posing and presentation. Everything else is meals and sleep. I have never in my life had the luxury of being able to prepare for a contest so perfectly, and the results will bear that out. You’ll also see that I was able to make solid improvements in mass, in key areas of course, following the Arnold Classic. At five weeks out, I am in the low 290s and my glute striations are visible. I can’t give you an exact weight for the Olympia, but I can assure you that the Kai Greene who won the Arnold was not the same one you’ll see in Las Vegas.

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Kai Bradley Parker, born on August 1st, 2009

I’m a huge fan of yours and your column!!! MD is a bit tricky to track down here in OZ sometimes but I grab it every month when I find it. You guys do a great job! My new son’s name is Kai Bradley Parker, born on August 1st, 2009 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. You looked crazy at the Arnold and going

November 2009

by the clips on MD TV you will be looking even bigger for the Olympia. Just thought you would be interested in knowing there was a baby boy out here in Australia named in your honor, and best wishes at the Mr. O. Stephen Parker Wow, I don’t know what to say to that! I am honored and humbled to know that I have had that kind of impact, that you would choose to name your child after me. I think it goes back to something I say often when I meditate on my success and what it means. My victories become something to celebrate, not because of me the individual, but for what they represent. Thank you for this honor, Mr. Parker, and best wishes to your family.

Calling Me Out? It’s not so unusual for a top pro to be called out by another top pro, but recently there has been a young guy in Florida posting up clips on YouTube talking about how

he will ‘destroy’ pros like me and Mark Alvisi (apparently he’s met Mark; I haven’t had the pleasure). Although I hope that this young man does realize his full potential and makes his dreams of becoming a top bodybuilder come true; by then he will realize that neither me nor any other pro is his real competition. The toughest opponent for all of us is actually our own negative attitudes and self-limiting beliefs. Besides which, by the time this kid grows and matures into a top pro, physiques like mine, Dexter’s, Heath’s, and so on will no longer be the ideal. Standards will have changed and evolved. When I was a kid dreaming about the day I could stand onstage as an equal with physiques like that of Arnold and Lee Haney, I never imagined that before I even got to that level there would be a freak like Ronnie Coleman commanding the Mr. Olympia stage! And somewhere out there right now, there is a guy, or maybe he’s just a child right now, who will redefine what we think of as possible, in terms of physique development. He will make people say, Ronnie Coleman and Kai Greene? Those guys were nothing, compared to ___ ___! And I’m glad I will be long since retired by then.

It’s clear that you have tremendous flexibility and you must devote a lot of time to stretching. It’s been said that limited flexibility will also limit your muscle gains. Do you believe that to be true? I think there is some truth to that belief, but it’s not the real reason I stretch so much, personally. My main goal is to maintain my flexibility simply so that I am able to continue doing normal, everyday things when my bodyweight is over 300 pounds. It’s funny, because I distinctly remember being 16 years old and joyfully dreaming about one day weighing a muscular 300 pounds. The reality of it turned out to be far more challenging than the fantasy. Mundane tasks like getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, or tying your own shoes can become difficult once you have acquired so much sheer body mass. Walking down the street, my lower back starts to ache. But I have found that at least if I continue to be diligent about stretching, I can manage to do everything I need to do with a minimum of discomfort.

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KAI GREENE—The Predator Kai! This is Al Aydlett. We met at Bev’s gym back in May and we started discussing airbrush painting. I just wanted to know how your projects are coming along, and if you were able to see my work on Also, I’m trying to get a training session in with you before the summer is out. Hi Al, good to hear from you! To be totally honest with you, I don’t go on the Internet much, just like I don’t watch a lot of television. And as far as working out with me before the summer of 2009 is over, by now I think you’ve figured out where I have been and what I’ve been doing. Just as a side note to anyone who wants to train with me or another top pro bodybuilder. Please don’t take offense if we seem hesitant to agree. We understand what it might mean to you to have the chance to train with someone you look up to and are inspired by, but please keep in mind that essentially, these workouts are our job. At our level, we all have exceptional genetics, so it really comes down to who is willing to put our more effort because he wants it more. You wouldn’t ask Michael Phelps to jump into one of his practices leading up to the Olympics, or to train with Brock Lesnar as he’s preparing for a big UFC title match, right? Those analogies are very appropriate to a pro bodybuilder getting ready to compete in the Arnold Classic or Mr. Olympia. I am flattered that anyone would want to train with me, but my workouts are simply too critical toward achieving my goals to break from the proven patterns that Oscar and I have established.

I Hate to be Rude, But— As a final footnote to the above discourse about how seriously I take my training for a contest, I just want to add that I truly hope I never come across as rude or aloof when people try to talk to me in the gym. I know how this sport is, and when a pro doesn’t devote what a fan considers adequate attention, you often see threads with titles like “Soand-so is an A**hole!” It is never my intention to be rude or disrespectful to anyone, especially a fan. Lately here in Las Vegas, people have come up to me in the gym to say hi and chat. I simply don’t have the mental and emotional resources right now to offer. I’m closer to realizing my dream than I have ever been, and I have waited many years to get to this place. I’m not fantasizing about eating some big junk food meal, checking out the clubs and casinos, nothing like that at all. The full one hundred percent of my consciousness at present is devoted to one thing and one thing only— winning the Mr. Olympia my first time competing in it. So if you have run across me and I wasn’t as gregarious as you had hoped, please try and understand. Thanks!

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I want to leave you this month with a very deep and meaningful poem that I heard years ago and it remained imprinted in my mind. For the longest time I thought it came from a speech given by Nelson Mandela. It’s really not so important where the words stem from, only that you really listen to what they have to say to you. Listen, and take them into your heart.

Our Deepest Fear Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others. —Marianne Williamson Got a question for Kai Greene? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Kai personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Spotlight, for Kick Ass Inc.

November 2009


TheTrueVictor By Victor Martinez

My Muscle Maker Grill: Grand Opening! On Sunday, August 16, I finally had my long-awaited Grand Opening for my Muscle Maker Grill right on the Hudson River boardwalk in Edgewater, New Jersey. It features indoor and outdoor dining with a perfect view of the Manhattan skyline just across the river. A lot of people came down to show their support, and I appreciated every single one making it. Gregg Valentino was there, along with Steve Weinberger, Vinny Galanti, new USA champ and 202 Pro Daryl Gee, Brian Moss, Figure International champ Zivile Raudoniene, and of course my man, Gerard Dente of MHP, who was a big help to me in getting the place off the ground. The next generation of bodybuilding stars from New York was representing, with Junior Nationals champ Jon Delarosa and Armando ‘The Kid’ Pena. We raffled off a Nintendo Wii, and people were checking out the Playstation 3 setup in the VIP room. This is a restaurant, so the VIP room is a very nice private dining area. There ain’t no stripper poles and bottles of Cristal to be found! I got there at 11 a.m. and didn’t leave until 1 a.m.

My Two Favorite Menu Items People look at the menu and ask, “What’s good?” I usually say everything, because that’s the truth. But there are two items on the menu I can’t wait to eat, but I have to hold off on both until after the Mr. Olympia. The first one is called the ‘Rocky Balboa,’ and it’s a chicken meatball wrap. The smell of it drives me crazy, and the thing is so big that most women who order it can only eat half and have to take the rest home. The other dish is called the ‘Victory Plate,’ named after— take a guess. Me! It’s a double-steak order with a big side of black rice and beans. Once it’s off-season again, I will be probably put a couple of these away every day. Someone asked me why I can’t have a ‘Victory Plate’ now. The steak is fine, but to get the right flavor with the rice and beans, you need to add in a certain amount of oil and salt, and I have to eat very plain to get in shape. In fact, the two things I am craving most as I write this at five weeks out from the Olympia are rice and beans and cookies. I could make a whole lot of cookies disappear right now, like freakin’ David Copperfield. Or is it Mrs. Fields? Man, I gotta stop thinking about cookies!

Another Franchise, or Even More?

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Opening up my restaurant was really tough, but I learned a lot about the whole process. Now if I wanted to do it again, it would be a lot easier because I have some experience. And you know what? I might just do that. If you have a great location and great food, a restaurant can do very well financially. There are a lot of people who want to get something fast but also healthy, and they don’t have many options out there. So though it’s just in the back of my mind right now, owning more than one Muscle Maker Grill is definitely a possibility. November 2009


On that day, I was just under six weeks out from the Mr. Olympia, and it was one of my low-carb days because I wasn’t weight training. I was fine smiling, talking to everyone, and posing for pictures until about seven or eight at night. After that, I was pretty much running on fumes and fading fast. Luckily, everyone there knew I was getting ready for the Olympia and they understood why my energy wasn’t there anymore. Since then, there have been some other celebrities stopping by for some great food. We had a couple players from the New York Giants, actor Michael Jai White, and rapper/actor Busta Rhymes.

Sleepless? Not This Dude! I hear some guys dieting for a show talk about how they can’t sleep for shit. They have trouble falling asleep, and trouble staying asleep. Maybe they’re overdoing the thermogenics or something. All I know is that between training, cardio, and running around with my kids and my restaurant, once I get to bed I’m out like a light and I sleep like a big 260pound Dominican baby. I’m still a night owl, though. That never changes. I go to sleep at about 2 a.m. and wake up at 9.

‘Transformers’ 2 Sucked! I was really looking forward to “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.” I was a big fan of the old cartoon show and liked the first movie, too. But they messed up the sequel badly. Most of the issues I had were sound-related. For one thing, they got rid of the sound effects when the robots transformed. What the hell? That’s their whole thing! Megatron had a different voice from the first movie and so did Starscream. I watched this on a bootleg while doing cardio and man, was I glad I didn’t blow the money to see this crap on the big screen.

One O is Enough? I’ve always said just let me win the Mr. Olympia one time, and I’d be satisfied. But the more I think about it, I gotta be honest. I know if I did win, there’s no way I wouldn’t want to keep winning. It’s been a long, hard road to get there and if I do get to the top of the mountain I’m gonna stand my ground and defend it before I let Heath, Kai, Wolf, or any of those other guys knock me off.

My ‘Training Camp’ Everybody knows Kai Greene is out in Las Vegas camped out for the last seven weeks before the Olympia. Few people know that at five weeks out, I headed down to Fort Lauderdale for my own version. I’m staying down there with my friend Jeff and getting ready for the show without all the drama and distractions. Back home there’s just too much going on between my new restaurant, my kids and their moms, and it’s just not conducive to focusing and giving 100 percent to my prep. I will probably head back up there before the show at one point to see my kids, but other than that I am staying in Florida until the Mr. O.

Congrats To Mark Alvisi! I didn’t make it out to the USA, but I was happy to see my fellow MD athlete Mark Alvisi win the whole show. I thought he really should have won the Nationals last year, but it all worked out for the best. He didn’t let that near-win get him down and just poured all that frustration into his workouts and his diet. Now he’s much November 2009

closer to being ready to tangle with the pros than he was back then. I was also impressed with the middleweight Daryl Gee, who lives not too far away in New York. He has great shape and full, round muscle bellies. I think he could rule the 202 class in another year or two if he puts on a little more size and keeps coming in shredded.

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Victor Martinez—The True Victor Thanks In Memory of My Sister As most of you know, my older sister Eridania was taken away from us in July. She left behind three children, and the only thing she ever wanted was for them all to have good educations and live happy lives. With that in mind, anyone who would like to make a donation can send it here in care of her youngest daughter and my niece, Yanaris, who is only 17 years old. Yaniris Figueroa Tragedy Fund P.O. Box 268 Carthage, TX 75633 Or if you would like to contribute to her education fund via wire transfer from your bank: Routing 111923607 Account 5984602

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One more time, I’d like to thank everybody who came out to my Muscle Maker Grill Grand Opening. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into making the place something special, and it means a lot to me to see so many friendly faces coming down to celebrate my new venture with me. And I have to tell you guys, if you ever get down to this area of Edgewater, you owe it to yourself to drop by. Whether you want to bulk up or rip up, we have something delicious on the menu for you that you damn sure won’t find at McDonald’s or Wendy’s! I also want to thank my kids for continuing to inspire me to be a better man each day, and thanks to my trainer Victor Munoz. He helps keep me pumped up and never lets anything the haters say affect me. The latest rumor we both had to laugh at was that I was pulling out of the Olympia because my heart wasn’t in it, due to everything that’s happened to me: my knee injury, losing the Arnold to Kai, and of course the worst thing, the murder of my beloved sister. The haters wish I would quit, but that ain’t gonna happen, fools! n Got a question for Victor Martinez? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Victor personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Spotlight, for Victor’s Journal. November 2009

By Rodney Roller

RAW POWER! The Masters Nationals: So Close To That Pro Card! It had been two years since I first tried the Masters Nationals. In 2007, I had hurt my back badly spreading mulch in my yard when I was getting ready for that show (you think my wife would let me ignore that stuff because I’m dieting? Ha!), and I made a last-minute decision to go ahead and compete, since we already had the flight and hotel. I still took fifth place even after all that, which was encouraging. I was all set to do it last year, even though my wife was eightand-a-half months pregnant, but she was not doing too well and had to go to the hospital three days before the show. No way was I leaving her alone at a time like that to go off and compete in a bodybuilding contest. So this year was a whole different scenario. My training went perfectly and I was looking my absolute best ever. At 5‘6“, I weighed in Thursday night at the very top limit of the Heavyweights at 225¼ and in excellent condition. Then I cut my water— big mistake! By the time I got onstage Friday night, my fullness had disappeared. Luckily, I carry enough thick mass

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that it didn’t hurt me too badly. I won in a very tough class of 19 Heavies, but my conditioning wasn’t nearly as apparent as it should have been. Because I was flat, the muscles weren’t pushing against the skin. From the back it actually looked like I was spilling over. Once I got back to the hotel room, my trainer had me drink a gallon and a half of water. Then, every time I got up to go the bathroom, I would drink another half-liter. I looked better on Saturday for the finals, but the damage was done and I couldn’t quite regain the look I’d seen just two days before. The Overall went to Stan Efferding, who looked incredible and was very deserving. There was only one more pro card for the over-40 division, and that wound up going to the light-heavy, Lawrence Hunt, who I have to say showed some awesome condition, even if he wasn’t the biggest guy. So I was disappointed, but really I have no complaints. I met so many cool people, a lot of whom know me

I have watched every single one of your videos on MD TV and I am in awe of your strength! Have you ever tried powerlifting? With the amount of weight you can bench, I bet you’d be deadly! I actually did do a bench press meet about four years ago. It was one where equipment was allowed, and a friend of mine from the gym who holds the New Jersey state bench press record for police talked me into it. I had never tried using a bench shirt before, so I ordered an Inzer Phenom double-ply shirt for the meet. The first time I tried it at the gym, I put up 750 pounds. That was pretty exciting! So when I got to the meet, I tried to open with 700 pounds for my first attempt. I couldn’t get the bar to touch my chest, so I defaulted, meaning the lift was no good. What I didn’t realize because I

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from the MD videos and were so nice to me. And as I write this, I’m just a week away from the IFBB North American, where the over-40 winner gets a pro card, along with the Overall Men’s champ. I’m the only guy entering who has won a national Masters title, so I think my chances are pretty good. Just to make sure, I am actually doing something I rarely do— cardio! I’m actually on vacation with my family at a house on Lake Champlain in Vermont, but I’ve been getting up every morning and doing sprints, jogs, and fast walks all around the hills nearby. I’m looking a lot tighter already and I have a good feeling about the North Americans. We’ll just have to see what happens. Hopefully in my next column, I can tell you how it feels to turn pro!

had no experience with these shirts is that they are so tight and springy that you actually have to pull the bar down. My second attempt was with 725, but by then I was too worried about not being able to touch the bar to my chest and my concentration and psyche were shot. I am thinking about doing another bench press meet in the near future. I have a friend named Joel Toranzo, who is a worldclass bencher. He’s done 840 in a meet, and he only benches in the 500s raw, meaning without a bench shirt. Joel says he is sure I could put up over 900 pounds once I adjusted to using a shirt and if I trained specifically for the meet. Normally I don’t use anything I can’t handle for 8-10 reps. I did a

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RODNEY ROLLER-RAW POWER! touch-and-go single with 640 pounds raw at Diamond Gym last October when I was weighing 260. It was actually a day I was doing a photo shoot for Xero Limits. It all really depends on what happens in a few days at the North American. If I do get my pro card, I would definitely want to compete in bodybuilding before I did another bench press meet.

I’m close to your age (40) and don’t train nearly as heavy as you do. Still, I’ve had my share of injuries over the years. Have you ever had any serious injuries from lifting? Yes— three to be exact. Injury # 1: Shoulder This one happened way back when I was 23. I had just won the Lightheavyweight and Overall titles at the NPC Rich Gaspari Classic in New Jersey— not sure if it was ’90 or ’91. Anyway, I won at 195 pounds and four days later, I was back in the gym and filled out 10 more pounds. It was chest day, and I was on a roll. Everything felt light, and I just kept going up and up. I finished up with 585, or I might have even put the extra 15 on to make it an even 600, for my 10th set.

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A couple weeks later, I was benching again and I heard this weird clicking noise inside my shoulder. It felt sore, but as I got into the workout the pain was only very minor. The strange thing was that as long as I warmed up enough it didn’t hurt me in the gym, but it killed me shifting gears in my car. It actually felt like someone was stabbing me in the shoulder! I went to the doctor and he said it was a rotator cuff, plus I had a bone spur. He recommended surgery. I went to another doctor for a second opinion, but he told me the same thing. I sure didn’t want surgery, so I stayed away from the bench press for a full five years. Chest workouts were all dumbbells and machines, and eventually the shoulder was fine again, without ever having been cut. Injury # 2: Minor Pec Tear Two years ago, I was training with my brother at his gym one hot summer day. I was probably a little dehydrated. But I was at a new gym and you know how that is— somehow you just have to go a little heavier than usual! I worked my way up to 615 on the bench and got two good reps with it. As I was coming up with the third, I felt a sharp pain in my left pec, near the shoulder, and yelled for my brother to grab it and help me rack it, quickly. It was a slight tear, but only of the muscle fiber and not the tendon. It set me back; I didn’t bench for four months after that. Injury # 3: Minor Biceps Tendon Tears Let me start by saying that I have always been blessed with pretty good arms without ever having to go very heavy or do anything too crazy for them. They go 21 inches in the off-season and they’re still over 20 in contest shape. But one day, I was training with a buddy who did like to go pretty heavy as well as do all kinds of intensity techniques like forced reps, drop sets, and negatives, once you’d reached positive failure. On this day, we did one hell of a workout. On triceps we worked up to 405 for 10 reps on close-grip presses. We did standing curls and preacher curls with 185 (plus heavy negative-

only sets, where we lowered 225 slowly), and I don’t even remember how heavy the dumbbell curls were— but they were up there, too. I got an amazing pump and thought it was one of the best arm workouts I’d ever had. A week later I was doing arms again, and my forearms literally felt like they were on fire. I couldn’t do anything without agonizing pain. It turns out I had strained, or partially torn, both of my biceps tendons. My chiropractor Edward Catalano helped me tremendously with ART treatments, but it was still six months before I could train arms normally again.

Coming Soon: Branch and Me Tear Up Metroflex! After the Masters Nationals, Steve Blechman flew me to Texas so Per Bernal could shoot me training with a hardcore freak I respect the hell out of: Branch Warren. I won’t say too much, because the feature will be in MD within the next couple months, but it was an experience I’ll never forget. Thanks to Steve and Robbie for setting it up!

Special Thanks I’d like to wrap it up by expressing my gratitude to some people who help me in so many ways. First and foremost is my wife Cindy. Schlepping our three kids to Pittsburgh was no picnic, especially when I had to focus on the show. Thanks to Gerard Dente of MHP, Muscle Meds, and Xero Limits for all his help and support. I can guarantee you all you wouldn’t be watching me on the MD site or reading this if it hadn’t been for him. Thanks for my training partner Brian May, and last but definitely not least: Steve Blechman and Robbie Durand at MD. Being part of the MD family is a wonderful thing. ■

Got a question for Rodney Roller? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Rodney personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Rodney Roller.

November 2009


MASSwithCLASS MASSwithCLASS By Branch Warren

Tougher Gun Laws with Obama? There has been talk lately that Obama and his administration want to toughen up gun laws, making them harder to acquire, raising fees and taxes on things like licenses and ammunition. They also want to completely outlaw the sales of some types of firearms. As you might imagine, people around here in Texas aren’t too happy about this. I myself have a decent-sized gun collection, mainly hunting rifles, but also a couple of assault rifles that I strictly use at the target range. I recall reading that something like 90 million Americans are gun owners. The vast majority of them are law-abiding citizens. Every once in a while you will have an unfortunate situation such as Columbine or Virginia Tech. Because of a couple nuts, you want to take away the rights of 90 million people?

Sometimes people go crazy and use their cars or trucks to run people over, and drunk-driving fatalities happen every day. Is anybody talking about making it harder to buy a car? As a kid living out in the country, my dad gave me my first gun when I was eight years old. He taught me all about gun safety and that I needed to respect firearms. They were not toys. I saw what they did to animals when he would take me hunting. The bottom line is that the Founding Fathers guaranteed us the right to bear arms when they wrote the U.S. Constitution. I’m all for taking guns away from criminals and I hate to see these school shootings just as much as the liberals do, but the government needs to leave the lawabiding gun owners alone, instead of trying to punish us for what the law-breakers do.

“Finish Strong”— My New DVD! I just wrapped up filming on my second training DVD, called “Branch Warren— Finish Strong! Hardcore Training.” My first video, “Unchained,” was very popular. It sold like crazy, and you can find it now on Netflix and at Blockbuster Video. Unfortunately, I was pretty naïve about the whole process when it was made. Not only did I not have much creative control over the finished product, I didn’t even own the rights to it. So for anyone who thinks I made a ton of money from my first DVD, think again. This time, I hired my own video crew and we captured a week of super-intense workouts at seven weeks out from the 2009 Mr. Olympia. The chest workout on this DVD may be the best I have ever had in my life, seriously. Brian Dobson was training me, and he’s probably the most motivating guy I have ever known. I did a set on the incline barbell press with 405 for 15 reps, and hit flat presses with a pair of 200s for 12. During the shoulder workout for the DVD, I did military presses with 315 for 20, and 365 for 10. All I can say is that if you liked my first DVD, this one will blow you away. You could watch this thing at three in the morning and feel like running off to the gym!

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You can order the new DVD at my new website, I also have my own signature lines of GASP and House of Pain workout clothing. House of Pain sponsored the production of the DVD, so shout out to the great guys over there. GASP is some of the coolest workout gear you could ever find. People have noted that it’s on the pricey side, so check out my site and you’ll see I give you guys a nice break on the prices. You know I have to take care of my loyal fans, because you guys keep me going!

November 2009

Odd Decision in Tampa? I really can’t comment a whole lot about the Tampa Pro because I wasn’t there, but after checking out the MD coverage after the prejudging, I was sure Fouad Abiad had the show in the bag. I was pretty shocked later when I read that Dennis James beat him. I saw Fouad a couple days later doing a photo shoot at Metroflex and talked to him for a bit. I told him he looked awesome and to just keep coming back better and better like he’s been doing. That’s all you really can do as a pro. The guy has a lot of potential, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. How do you handle the heat in Texas? I know you guys are having a heat wave and that your gym does not have A/C. How do you handle that while you are working out hard and sweating like a pig? I know the winter can be cold too— do you wear sweat pants and a sweatshirt to keep yourself warm while you are working in the cold winter days, too? Hope you get some rain soon!

I grew up here, so I’ve never known anything different. As far as training without air conditioning, I’ve been at Metroflex since I was 17 years old. If you never had air conditioning or heat in your gym, how would you miss it? I have seen a lot of people from out of town suffer the ill effects of not being accustomed to the Texas summers. One time these knuckleheads were out here for the Ronnie Coleman workout weekend and they were being really obnoxious, talking trash and challenging Ronnie— like he couldn’t hang with them! I don’t think it was even that hot out that day, maybe in the 90s, and they went down with heatstroke. I also saw one guy who has placed in the top five at the Mr. Olympia pass out training at Metroflex in the summertime. They had to literally pack him in ice and give him fluids, with the fans all moved over to him to blow air on the poor dude. I’m not going to name him because that’s not my style, but it was tough for me to keep a straight face the whole time. That pro actually comes from a pretty hot place himself, but I am pretty sure he’s never tried to actually work out in the heat without the comfort of a nice A/C unit chilling the air. All I can say whenever something like that happens is, welcome to Metroflex, you’re in the jungle, baby! In the winter, I do dress much warmer. Anyone who tries to train in a tank top and shorts usually only does it once before you see them from that point on with some sweats on. You can always take off layers, but you can’t add them if you didn’t wear them in the first place. November 2009

BRANCH WARREN—THE TEXAS TITAN Big Branch! I’m a big fan! I watched your recent chest training video on MD this morning before hitting my chest and it really got me revved up. Thanks for the motivation. Just one question, what does your diet look like that allows you to come in peeled to the bone for competitions? Can you give us an estimate on the protein and carbs, please? PS: I love the F-250 in your video. Very simple: It’s 450 grams a day of protein and 600800 grams a day of carbs. These will come down toward the very end to around 400-500, but that’s it. I like the truck, too— but it’s a Ford F-350 2009 model! I’ve enjoyed watching your recent videos. Have you always incorporated partial reps and a shortened range of motion into your training, or has that been something you’ve added through years of experience? And why do you think they work so well for you? I noticed you hold onto the squat rack instead of the bar when doing squats. This seems to give a good arm workout, especially in the triceps. Do you always combine lower and upper body movements together like that, or is it only on particular exercises? These seem more like critiques than questions, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt. When you see me doing pressing movements and not locking out, maybe you forget that I have torn both my triceps and needed surgery to re-attach them. You’ve probably never experienced this and I hope for your sake that you never will. Locking out my reps on any type of heavy press would put a lot of strain on those elbow tendons and it would only be a matter of time before I tore something again. Sorry, but I’m all done with injuries, knock on wood. If you don’t approve of my form, oh well – it works for me and it’s the way I need to do things to stay safe. As for the squats you’re talking about, those were not regular squats with a bar. I was using a device called the Hatfield bar, which is like a yoke or a harness that goes around your shoulders. You don’t hold onto the bar, but you still need to keep yourself balanced. That’s why I was holding onto the uprights of the squat rack. I was not working my arms, but I think you know that. You were just being a smartass. That’s OK, I’m used to it by now. Hey Branch, you’re looking great, man. I have a question about injuries in bodybuilding and how you have coped with them. I have been bodybuilding for two years now and have developed pain in both of my shoulder joints. I have been to the doctor and they recommended rehab. They are calling my injuries an impingement. Since I now constantly work on building up the rotator cuff muscles, I still have pain and discomfort when doing dips, and some shoulder exercises, too. Have you ever had any pain in the shoulders, and if so, how did you go about working around it to still achieve the same goals? My doctors don’t recom-

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mend surgery for me since I have not torn anything, just exercise to strengthen the rotator cuffs. Thanks for all the great articles and looking forward to the new hunting show. I am very lucky that even though I have torn both triceps and a biceps, my shoulders have never given me any trouble. Considering all these years I have been training so heavy, I am very grateful for that fact. Guys I have trained with and others I have known well have experienced all types of shoulder problems. From the sound of it, your doctors are right on with their advice. Anyone I know who has had shoulder surgery told me training was never the same again. It’s a pretty complicated ball and socket joint, and once you go in there and start cutting things, it just never seems to work quite the same way again. The most common complaint I have heard is that you will lose some degree of your range of motion. So definitely work hard on your rehab and stay consistent with your cuff work and stretching. That’s what I do, as well as take plenty of time to warm up before I touch a heavy weight. I do feel that’s how I have managed to avoid shoulder problems. Good luck!

Being Busy is a Blessing Lately I have been so busy I hardly have time to think. I’ve been prepping for the Mr. Olympia, filming my new DVD plus a lot of stuff for MD TV, and also getting my hunting show up and running. As if that wasn’t enough on my plate, Trish and I still run our freight business and we have also been getting into real estate, buying up foreclosures. But in this economy, you are either sinking or swimming, and I am blessed by the Lord to be swimming. If any of you are busier than ever, take a moment to count your blessings. I know I do every day. ■ ECK OUT

CH lardevelMop muscuFO ETE R CO PL !

Got a question for Branch Warren? COVERAGE CONTEST You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Branch personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Branch Warren.

November 2009



By Mark Alvisi

A Pro Card and the Cover of MD— Awesome!

‘The Terminator’ is Out to Get Me! How’s That for Gratitude?

Talk about being on cloud nine— I can’t tell you how good it feels, not only to have all my hard work pay off by winning the Overall and my pro card at the USA, but also to get the cover of MD! Being on the same cover that legends like Ronnie, Jay, Lee Haney, and current stars like Victor, Kai, Lee Priest, Branch, Dexter, and Dennis Wolf have appeared on is an honor and a dream come true! Thanks to the boss, Steve Blechman, for this month’s cover. I haven’t seen which shot they picked yet, but they did hint that it had a classic, old-school feel, reminiscent of the old black and white posing shots of Arnold. I don’t know if my name can be mentioned in the same breath as Arnold’s, but I am psyched to see how it looks.

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You may have seen a thread on MD’s No Bull Forum called “LMAO— Aspiring BB calls out Mark Alvisi.” This takes you to a YouTube video created by a local young bodybuilder here in Florida named Jason Genova, which starts with him reenacting the original “Terminator” movie with him in the Arnold role, and gets weirder from there. At one point in the video, he speaks directly to me saying, “You’re my friend and role model, but when I’m bigger and you’re older, I’ll beat you! I am gonna destroy you onstage— I am gonna eat you alive!” If you’re wondering how I know Jason, here’s the deal. I did a demo appearance for Gaspari Nutrition at a GNC here in Delray Beach. As the athlete representative for the company, I give out samples, sign photos, and answer questions about the products. Of course, if people have training and nutrition questions, I help them out, too. Jason was there the entire time, and must have asked me roughly 300 questions, in addition to telling me all about himself and the career as a pro bodybuilder he aspires to. He also posed extensively for me and sought out my critique, though he was mainly looking for some praise/affirmation, I’m pretty sure. Anyway, I was nice and polite to him, as I always am. Then this video pops up— see what I get for being a nice guy? I have somehow become his target and the one guy out of this whole sport he chose to challenge! If you really want to see this video, go to YouTube and search for, “My Story: Part 3— The Terminator.” But be warned— that clip starts out with Jason oiled up and naked out in the woods somewhere and it doesn’t get any easier to watch or listen to. November 2009

What is your greatest challenge during contest prep? Also, how do you feel FST-7 has worked for you? The greatest challenge is probably getting everything done in the 24 hours we get in a day. It takes total commitment to training, diet, cardio, supplementation and rest if you’re going to maximize your potential to grow and improve in the shortest time possible. Every part takes up time in your day. Between all that, you still have to function like a normal person and work, pay bills, run errands, and so forth. I just set a schedule for everything that needs to be done for my bodybuilding improvements and life revolves around that right now. That’s how it has to be, because there are a lot of other very good bodybuilders out there, too. Off-season I have a little more liberty to relax because I don’t have to eat quite as often and I’m not doing anywhere near as much cardio. The FST-7 has worked great for me. I started working with Hany in August of 2008 just after the USAs and I have really improved. The training has helped me achieve more of a rounder, fuller look to my muscles. If you look at pictures from last year’s USA and this year, you will see major improvements.

I know you were a personal trainer for awhile. I just got into the business. I have a question for you. What type of split would you recommend for a healthy, middle-aged woman? She does cardio almost every day, but how much should she lift? I only see her once a week, so I try to do upper with her one week and lower the next. I want to be able to formulate a split for her that she can follow on her own the rest of the time. I think any middle-aged woman should be able to handle three weight-training workouts a week, plus cardio. When I was training clients, I would do something like this for some women: Abs/Chest/Back (push-pull workout) Abs/Legs/Calves (total lower body) Abs/Delts/Bi’s/Tri’s Add cardio on the other four days and you have a moderate weekly program. If the client really needs to drop a substantial amount of body fat, she should eventually work up to doing cardio every day— maybe a full hour on the days she doesn’t weight train, and 30-45 minutes after her workouts.

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What do you do to really bring out the abs before competition, especially the lower abs? Is there an FST-7 movement, or is it all diet and cardio? It’s mostly just being extremely lean! A lot of guys can see the top couple rows of abs, but not many bodybuilders ever get lean enough to see the bottom edges of the bottom row in clear delineation. I do abs every morning and some core work to keep my waist tight, but there’s nothing too special about my ab work. Your abs will get a core workout from stabilizing your body during certain heavy lifts like squats, deadlifts, and overhead pressing. Some other back movements could do that also, like barbell rows. I know when I do heavy cable pushdowns for tri’s, I feel a little bit of burn in my abs. You should specifically train your abs as well, but it doesn’t have to be a long complicated workout. A few sets of a crunch-type of movement and a few sets of hanging leg raises should be fine.

November 2009

Gotta Give It Up For My Florida Crew It’s one thing for your buddies to show their support by coming to your show when it’s local, and another thing entirely when that show is thousands of miles away. I am blessed enough to have an excellent group of friends and colleagues who made it all the way out from Florida to come see me win the USA (thank God I won, right?). Just as one very small token of my appreciation, I want to do a roll call here in my column of the Team Alvisi crew: Crystal Edgington Kari Williams Steve & Denise Singer Larry Diadato Kirsten Haradyk Michael Jake Destefano Lorrain Gratacos Paul Del Pozo Dorothy Nunamacher Maria Alvisi (my mom) Marco Alvisi (my grandfather) Melissa Alvisi (my sister) Having you guys there made the victory that much sweeter, so thanks from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been reading that you keep a steady amount of carbs in your diet (no cycling). I’m doing the same thing and I was questioning how much fat I should be consuming. I’m around 200 pounds at 9-10 percent body fat and I’m eating 300 grams protein and about 240 grams carbs per day. I’m just concerned with consuming too much or too little fat. Well, it’s tough to be sure how much fat you need without knowing how fast your metabolism is. If you’re eating mostly chicken breast or beef as I do for your protein sources, then that will have a good amount of fat for the day’s total from the beef. Generally speaking, unless you’re on a keto diet, you should probably try to keep it under 50 grams of fat a day. I just minimize my fat intake and supplement with plenty of omegas from a product called Smart Blend. Sometimes I’ll add in some natural peanut butter or nuts if I need to pick up my calories on a given day. It also depends on whether you’re trying to gain in the off-season or lean out pre-contest. Fat calories add up really fast if you’re not paying attention to them. I have heard of a lot of guys who didn’t get in shape for their shows because they were snacking on nuts or peanut butter and never realized that they were taking in way too many calories. ! Got a question for Mark Alvisi? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Mark personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Mark Alvisi.

November 2009


BEAST From The EAST! By Evan Centopani

Thanks to Steve for Cover Number 4!

USA Review

I am pleased, honored, and privileged to have been on my fourth MD cover for the September 2009 issue. This one may be the most meaningful, because it was a direct result of my most significant win to date at the New York Pro. It’s nice because you can see my face really well, plus my arm looks ridiculously big in that shot. My favorite cover so far was the second one, where I was doing a barbell row. I just like that one the most because it had such a hardcore feel to it. The most exciting cover was definitely the first. The day I got it, I was flying high. It was like holy shit, I’m actually on the cover of this major magazine that’s seen all over the world! I brought that copy with me everywhere I went to show every single person I knew, and some I didn’t know. So again, thanks to Steve for the amazing publicity. I don’t take it for granted.

I wasn’t at the USA, but I did see all the photos from the MD coverage. Going in, it was Mark Alvisi’s show to win, and he nailed it. His conditioning was insane, and his frame can hold a lot more muscle eventually. He was a perfect choice for the Overall, because out of all the class winners he definitely has the most potential to be a good pro. I should qualify that, because middleweight winner Daryl Gee is going to be a real force in the 202s. He already took second place at the Jacksonville Pro 202s right after that. He also has 25 full pounds to play with before he maxes out the weight limit for the 202s, and when he gets close to 200, I think he might just dominate that division.

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The third card went to Grigori Atoyan, who has been knocking on the door for a long time. Props to him for not giving up. Based on the photos, I think a case also could have been made for light-heavyweight winner Tamer El Guindy to get that third card. He looked pretty phenomenal. As for MD’s Branden Ray, it really sucks that he trained so hard and dieted for a show he really should have won, but he blew it with a rookie mistake, getting his stage color wrong.

EVAN CENTOPANI—BEASTFromTheEAST! What do you know about tennis elbow, Evan? It could wreak havoc on your backhand! But seriously, inflamed tendons are no joke. I’ve had issues with my quadriceps tendons, my biceps tendon, and even my elbows. It’s pretty much an occupational hazard of being a bodybuilder and doing the same movements over and over with heavy weights. I find that deep-tissue massage helps a lot. My chiropractor also tried something called the Graston Technique, where they dig into the area with a stainless steel tool. To me, it just seemed like it was ripping away at the skin and not really helping the inflammation. With my quadriceps tendon, I found that soaking in an Epsom salts bath the night before training legs and again the night after, alleviated much of the pain. When it comes to the elbows, you have to always take plenty of time to warm up with high-rep cable pushdowns and get a pump going before you even think about starting up with heavy skull-crushers or close-grip bench presses. As you can see, there are a lot of options and you have to try at least a few to see what you respond to best.

First off, I want to say that you are an amazing bodybuilder and I love watching your “In the Trenches” videos. I am 19 and I have a question about leg training. My lower quads are extremely slow to develop, especially my teardrop. Are there any special exercises that you would recommend to speed up my growth? Genetically, (I don’t know how you feel about genetics affecting ability) I have a runner’s build with long legs, which causes squats to really hit my glutes rather than my quads. I have tried hitting legs twice a week and this hasn’t helped much.

At 16 percent body fat and a bodyweight of 230 pounds, is eating per pound bodyweight the safest bet (230 pounds) or eating per pound LEAN bodyweight (approx. 195 pounds)? I read somewhere that Jay Cutler recommended eating per pound LEAN bodyweight was best when holding a percentage of body fat of 15 or less, and ever since then I’ve been unsure. Always calculate your protein needs based on your lean bodyweight. The protein is to feed your muscles, not your fat. For instance, if a guy is 300 pounds and 50 percent body fat (which would be quite obese), his lean bodyweight is only 150 pounds! It would be a total waste for him to eat 450 grams of protein or more a day. I would say to narrow your stance a little on your pressing movements. You may feel that you are not meant to do squats, but I would highly recommend practicing them and trying to master them anyway. If after five years of sincerely trying to perfect them you didn’t feel they were right for you, then I would leave them alone. A lot of people are quick to say that they aren’t built for squats, etc., etc. Fuck that. It’s a difficult exercise and takes a lot of time to master. At 19, there’s no way you can be able to say that they are truly not for you. So keep working on your squats and experiment with other movements, but don’t give up on squats just yet. You’ll thank me someday!

What’s the best exercise in your opinion to get that outer sweep to your triceps? Yours is unmatched, so I thought you’d know best. Those would be narrow-grip dips or pushdowns, and all types of extensions with your elbows narrow— not flared out. Keep in mind that you need a lot of mass in the tri’s in general to have that sweep.

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Do you find it weird that complete strangers can’t wait to meet you, based solely on what they know of you online and in magazines? Not really. I think that through the magazine and what I write online, people can get at least some idea what I’m about and that can play on whether or not they do in fact want to meet me. If someone thought I was a complete asshole and still wanted to meet me just because I’m a pro bodybuilder or whatever then yeah, I would think that was weird. But basically, I’m the same guy in real life as you read about in MD and on the website. November 2009

EVAN CENTOPANI—BEASTFromTheEAST! How do you like to eat your oatmeal in the off-season? With a spoon. Seriously though, I haven’t been eating any oats this off-season. I’ve been having Ezekiel bread with my eggs and it really agrees with me. I feel like oatmeal attracts too much water and tends to bloat me. Ezekiel bread is just as effective at providing a steady energy flow with no blood-sugar crash. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, and I’ve been eating it since right after my first show back in 2005. What is it like to train with Kai? Do you enjoy it? I actually only trained with Kai once. It was shortly after he won the Arnold Classic and I was a couple months out from my show, and we did chest and biceps. He wasn’t really going all-out, but he was still incredibly strong. It was a motivating experience to be able to train with someone who had just won such a prestigious show, and also knowing that we were both working with the same coach, Oscar Ardon. Do you ever have a glass of wine with some meals, for example when you eat steak at night, or are you against that... I have occasionally done this and it’s good for the heart too, I think. I’m not against the practice, but I just don’t like alcohol and the way it makes me feel— hot and uncomfortable. Once or twice a year I might have a beer. But don’t let me stop you from having a glass with dinner and getting the benefits it has on the heart and the circulation.

Getting the Fire Again I finally took my week’s vacation with my girlfriend up in Cape Cod. It was a nice relaxing time where I didn’t do much of anything except go to the beach every day and eat. I still got up a couple mornings and did some fast walking on the beach for cardio. Since the New York Pro, I have been training just three times a week, working only chest, back, and legs. After that week in the sun being a beach bum, I am feeling just about ready to go back to training five days a week and launching into a serious off-season mode again. I have a lot of improvements I need to make before I compete again. The Mr. Olympia was never once a consideration for this year. I’m nowhere near ready for that yet. I can’t even say I will do the Arnold next year. The improvements I make to my physique will dictate when I’m ready to go up against tougher competition.

Got a question for Evan Centopani? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Evan personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Evan Centopani.

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If You’re Gonna Try and F*ck Me, At Least Buy Me Dinner First! The Guest Appearance from Hell Recently, my good friend, national super-heavyweight competitor P.J. Braun, was contacted to do a guest-posing appearance at an NPC contest in the southeast. I won’t name the show or the promoter, for reasons that will be obvious in a moment. As always, I negotiated the terms. The promoter offered to have all my food prepared and available for me. I declined, because I’m very particular about what I eat and would rather just bring it with me whenever it’s practical. He also promised transportation for the whole weekend to anywhere we wanted or needed to go, like the gym— which he didn’t follow through on. He had us picked up from the airport, and that was it. Most importantly, we agreed on a monetary fee and I asked for a deposit amount up front. Only half of that was sent, but I didn’t make an issue out of it. Only once I got to the prejudging and started talking to other people who knew the promoter and his history did I start to get nervous about whether or not I would be paid at all. At that point, I asked him for the remainder of the appearance fee to be paid before P.J. and I would pose later on that night. He wanted to give me a check, but I wasn’t going for that. Then he offered to send the money online to a PayPal account, which I reluctantly agreed to. I checked and checked, but no payment was sent. So we sat in the hotel, unsure of what we should do. I hated to think that a lot of fans had come to see me and now I was going to leave them hanging. So at 7:00 p.m., when the show was starting, we headed over to the venue. To my surprise, the place was packed. I went to the promoter’s associate at the box office overseeing the ticket sales, and wanted to know why we hadn’t been paid— clearly the funds were all right there! I started to suspect that he had put us on the poster to draw a nice crowd, with no intentions of ever paying us. If we wouldn’t pose, it would just look like me and P.J. were the jerks who let the fans down. Luckily, this guy did pay us. We did the posing and met a lot of very cool fans. After the show, the promoter came over like nothing strange had happened, shook my hand, and said, “I’m glad everything was resolved.” I just looked at him like, are you serious? But he just smiled. I’m not outing the guy here as a liar or a cheat, but I did send Jim Manion a five-page letter explaining exactly how this promoter treated us. Hopefully he’ll never try to screw anyone else over again! ! November 2009


TheBigBad WOLF

By Dennis Wolf

356 MD

upper body muscles tend to overlap, so if you always do chest exactly so many days before or after other muscles like triceps or shoulders, your body adapts to however much rest the muscles get before they are worked again, either directly or indirectly. So if you shuffle this around sometimes, you change that and your body gets a little different reaction, due to either increased or decreased rest. The only rules I think you should follow when you make a new split is that you don’t have consecutive days for muscle groups that have a lot of overlap, like chest and shoulders or back and biceps, and that you should try to schedule days you train a stubborn body part after a day of full rest. Other than that, mix and match away every couple months.

November 2009


When you say you change your routine up every three months, does that mean the particular exercises you do or does that mean the weekly split you do— or both? I do change my weekly split about every month to keep things interesting and to keep the muscles guessing. A lot of us who train a body part once a week fall into the routine of always doing chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, etc. I know there are some guys who keep the same exact schedule like this for years and years. Everybody knows they should change things like the actual exercises and sometimes the rep range or rep speed. But I also think the split should be switched up at least a couple times a year. The reason is because a lot of the

Mr. Olympia: I’m Not a Favorite Anymore?

I enjoy reading your column, and I have been a fan of yours for a while. I see you are close to 6’ tall, and have one of the most impressive backs for a big man, along with those incredible shoulders. I’m 5’10½“ and 196 pounds. I’m trying to continue to make my back wider and better. I’m always trying to find ways to stimulate new muscle growth. What’s a sample back routine of yours that I could follow? I appreciate your being a fan very much! I do a lot of basic free weight exercises for my back. Two of my favorites are barbell rows and one-arm dumbbell rows. I am able to feel the fibers in my lower lats work very hard when I do these, and that’s the area (as everybody in the bodybuilding world knows, and keeps repeating!) that I need to develop the most. But I don’t just train my lower lats. That would be silly, because everything in my back can still be better. My goal is to become Mr. Olympia one day soon, and my back should be even thicker, wider, and more detailed. What I mean is, it can never be too good, and I am pretty far away from the day when anybody will say, “Wolf’s back is one of the best in the world!” But I do keep training my entire back super-hard so one day they will say this. Here is a good routine I use that you can try: Lat pulldowns to the chest Barbell rows One-arm dumbbell rows Seated close-grip cable rows Deadlifts

Last year, there was a lot of pressure on me to do well at the Mr. Olympia, because I had been fifth place the year before and a lot of people said I could have been a couple of places higher, pretty easily. Then last year, even though I still moved up and placed fourth, many people were disappointed— because I was flat. So leading up to the 2009 contest, you didn’t hear too much about me like you did about Dexter, Phil, Kai, Victor, and Jay. But you know, anybody can make a mistake in preparation. I know everybody expected me to be in brutal heavy shape and dominate, and that didn’t happen. I was under a lot of stress and a lot of pressure to win, not just from my fans, and the magazines, but mostly myself. I actually think I was in a better place mentally this year by not being a favorite. Not only was some of the pressure off, but this year if I came in looking huge and shredded, a lot of people would be very surprised and say, “Wow! I guess Wolf is pretty good after all!” So I don’t really feel bad that many people didn’t expect me to win or even make a top-five place this time. If I came to the Olympia with more weight (I was planning on being about 275), more fullness, and the same dry condition I had last year, none of that would have mattered.

4 sets of 8-10 reps 4 sets of 8-10 reps 4 sets of 8-10 reps 4 sets of 8-10 reps 4 sets of 6 reps

Once you are into your contest diet, do you still drink protein shakes, or do you only have whole-food meals? Also, what about fruit? I know some bodybuilders cut fruit completely out of their diets before a contest. Do you? If not, what fruits are ‘safe’ to eat in your opinion on a contest diet? I do drink two protein shakes a day while I am dieting. If it’s the off-season, I go with a blended casein and whey shake like Pro-Gram by Nutrex. Once I am into my diet, I prefer whey protein isolate. And I still get in very lean condition, so I don’t know why some ‘experts’ try to say this can’t be done unless you eat all solid food. Unless there are lots of sugar or carbs in general in the shakes, I really don’t understand what the problem is supposed to be. As for fruit, I do avoid it because of the fructose, or fruit sugar in it that can make your insulin levels go very high and make losing body fat harder. Early on in the diet though, I do eat a little bit of fresh pineapple at the end of some of my meals. It has enzymes in it that are good for digestion. But toward the end I cut that out, too. November 2009

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The People’s Choice

Too Many Pros in the O?

The O Over Two Days

I hear some complaints that there are too many athletes competing in this year’s Mr. Olympia, and that maybe the IFBB should limit this in the future, by only letting the top three at all the pro shows qualify. This is pretty ridiculous to me. Do they want it to be like in the early years of the Mr. Olympia, when there were only three or four men in the show? There was even one year when nobody would compete against Sergio Oliva, so the Mr. Olympia lineup was— him! Yes, the Olympia is supposed to represent the elite of pro bodybuilding. So if there are guys there who aren’t at the level of the top men and qualified at a smaller show, so what? The judges will not look much at them, that’s all. That’s what happened to me the first time I did the Olympia back in 2006. If there are too many competitors, they won’t let everybody pose, only who they like for the top 15. So really, it doesn’t matter if there are 10 guys competing or 30. If a man qualifies, he has every right to compete whether he is realistically able to place high or not. Some of these guys have been dreaming about being on that Olympia stage for much of their lives and have worked just as hard as the big names!

Another complaint (people sure do love to complain!) from some people is how they wish the Mr. Olympia would go back to being all on one day and night, like it used to be, and like how most other pro shows still are. Since we now have all these other Olympia events going on like the Mr. Olympia, Fitness and Figure Olympias, plus the 202 Showdown, I don’t think that’s even possible anymore. I can’t say I miss having it the old way, because by the time I did my first Mr. O, it was already a two-day affair. Sure, it’s harder to hold your condition for two days, but it’s possible. Of course, if you have to look better on one of the two days, it’s best to do it Friday when most of the judging happens. I try to look great both days, but I know the first day is more important for how you place in the end.

Favorites: TV Show Right now I am watching a lot of reruns on MTV of this stupid show called “Wildboyz.” It’s most of the same guys from “Jackass,” doing more crazy stunts. It’s different because in this show they do a lot of dangerous and disgusting things with animals. It’s one of those shows that makes me say, “Why am I watching this?” But I can’t change the channel!

My Reaction to the Murder of Eridania Rodriguez When my wife and I heard about what happened to the older sister of my fellow MD athlete Victor Martnez, we were shocked and felt very sad for Victor and his whole family. I know it must be so horrible to have to go through losing someone you love in such a senseless and brutal way. My condolences to all of them, and I really hope the sick monster who did it will burn in Hell forever.

watch every now and then to get psyched up, is Ronnie Coleman’s “The Unbelievable.” This was Ronnie in his prime, five weeks out from the Mr. Olympia, and still using weights that most of us only dream about. I still get chills watching him deadlift 800 pounds in contest condition. Who does that?

Car Aston Martin DBS. The Aston Martin is the top choice for James Bond. A 6-liter V-12 engine, hand-built wonder of beautiful automotive perfection. I would love to own one! !

Am I Russian or German? Since I am of German heritage but actually was born in Russia and lived there until I was 12, there seems to be some confusion as to whether I am Russian or German. I think in German, I count in German in my head— so I consider myself German. Now you know!

Training DVD My favorite bodybuilding DVD, and the one I still

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m e rd la cu s u m FOR COM VERAGE!

Got a question for Dennis ST CO CONTE Wolf? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Dennis personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Dennis Wolf.

November 2009


Erik‘TheHouse’ Fankhouser By Erik Fankhouser

Things to Have on Contest Day:

360 MD

I can remember the days when I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating my ass off, because of terrible dreams I would have about contest day. I would have dreams that I would not have my trunks and could not compete. Dreams where I would not have my show tan on or dreams where I forgot to shave. It’s crazy what tricks your mind can play on you when you are dieting. The more I am around bodybuilding, the more I see that my terrible dreams about contest day are not just dreams to some people. I don’t know how you could forget your trunks, but I have seen it happen and I have seen people borrowing them, LOL! I hope all that brown stuff in them was pro tan, I heard one guy say... WOW… Well, I am going to give you a checklist for things that you should check off before contest day.

Less Excess for More Success Shit— if one works, then two must be better— or three, four, five— till we find that line that breaks us. More, more, more— we all come across this once or twice in our lifetime. It is just human nature to push the limits and see what our bodies can do. I have fallen victim of this greed a few times. I know what I can do, then I push the line a few inches more, and whack— get smacked the fuck back down to Earth! Sometimes we think we are Superman, or that things will not happen to us— but we all have a line. The question is: are you willing to find that line and are you willing to push that line until you get smacked? The way I see it is, some lines can be pushed and bent and some will break— so choose your lines. November 2009


1. Posing trunks— two pair— one for prejudging, one for finals. 2. Posing music— two copies— always have a backup. You don’t want to pose to elevator music. 3. Extra tanning supplies— even if you are getting sprayed. You will need touch-ups. 4. Posing gel— you don’t want to be trying to find some before you go on, and have someone throw you baby oil. 5. Towels— you always need a towel to pat yourself off, if your tanner is running. 6. Food— so you don’t get flat; I always have jam and rice cakes on hand. 7. Water, sodium and potassium— if you start to get cramps. 8. Pump-up bands— you got to get a pump on push-ups and posing. 9. Music— I always have my i-pod to listen to; it relaxes me. Nerves will make you flat. 10. Entry forms, money for fees and membership dues or membership card and your ‘A Game.’

Contest Checklist

Eric Fankhouser— North American Champion

I would like to say I know how to push my body and I know how my body will respond to different things. I have also found that sometimes less is more. Just finding a balance of everything works just as well. When it comes to training, I have found that I get better results with fewer sets. I have always done more and smashed each body part, now with less volume and not as many burnout sets, and I am growing more. So less is more now with my training. We all must learn how to find our lines in life, but not push your lines until they break! I am trying to gain some size and am eating clean this off-season. I found myself out and without my food; does it hurt to eat fast food when I’m in this situation? What are the best choices when eating on the run? I have been out many times and I eat fast food in the off-season. I do try to avoid this, but sometimes it happens, and it is always better to eat than to miss meals. My favorite place to hit up when on the run is Wendy’s; they got real beef there and they don’t mind when I ask them for four or five beef patties. They look at me like I am crazy, but it is fun to say give me a triple and a double— but hold the bread, I just want the beef. They also have baked potatoes that come plain, which is great for a quick hit of carbs. Top that off with a biggie diet soda and you are set. Some other great choices are grilled chicken instead of beef, or even chili. So there are always ways of getting some OK food that is

kinda clean when you’re on the run. I would just stay away from the frosties— they are all for me this offseason— none for you— LOL!

Training Journal This is a great month for my training. I have been training with less volume now for over six weeks and I am seeing great results. I am getting better recovery and moving more weight. I just needed a change from my highvolume training and it worked. I am going to stick to the high-intensity training until I start my contest diet, then change back to high volume. Soon I will be dieting for the NY pro. I am going to start in December with my contest prep.

Family and Thanks I want to tell my crazy little man th happy 5 birthday this month. Xavier is five! I still can remember when I was training for my first show ever and Heather got pregnant— it seems like yesterday. It’s funny how I always track things by what show I was doing, LOL— like Xavier’s first step was the day before my third show haha... Everybody else is doing good. I just can’t wait to eat some turkey this Thanksgiving before I start my diet. It will be like my last meal and I will love each huge meal I eat that day. I just wanted to tell Rick thanks for everything he has let me do at his gym— for letting me train at his gym, having all the Animal Pak events and letting MD video me at his place. Thanks, Ricky and The Body Shop. ! November 2009

ThePRO Creator

By Hany Rambod

ALVISI: Pro Creation at the USA Congratulations to the man on the cover of this issue, my client Mark Alvisi. Mark is the latest to win the USA, a show I have had good success with since I began coaching athletes over 10 years ago. Some of the men I helped earn pro cards at the USA in that time include Quincy Taylor, Idrise Ward-El, Mike Dragna, Omar Deckard, and Curtis Bryant. It was at the 2008 USA that I was first approached by Mark Alvisi to team up and start fulfilling the potential we both knew he had.

USA to Nationals: A Lot to Accomplish in a Short Time

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January 2009: The Real ‘Project Alvisi’ Begins Mark took some time to rest and regroup after the Nationals, and then once the New Year began it was ON. The primary focus for this four-month off-season assault was to change the look of his physique and vastly improve his X-frame by building his legs, especially the outer sweep. As a means of motivating him, and Mark’s girlfriend will attest to this, I actually informed him, “You look like a stork, and you’ll never win anything until you put a lot more size on your legs.” This is no easy task for a guy with longer legs like Alvisi, but he was more than up to it. He began training legs twice a week and returned to heavy squats for the first time in a couple years. The issue there had been a weak core, which caused Mark to feel unstable and lack confidence with anything more than 300 pounds on his back. I gave him some good exercises to strengthen his core, which in a short time had him squatting in the 400s on a regular basis. We also employed a new version of 7s called ‘Ascending 7s,’ which had his rep ranges climbing anywhere from 10 to 100 over the course of his final 7 sets for quads. As a side note, it’s been more than a year and a half since my first MD articles on FST-7 were published, and there has been increasing demand for follow-ups detailing November 2009


Mark’s next contest was the Nationals, taking place just four months after the USA. At the USA, I felt his condition had been great. The real issue was his size, or lack thereof. He had weighed in at 205 and had been about 200 by the time he got onstage for the judging. By the finals the following evening, he was technically not even a Heavyweight anymore, as he had dropped below the class weight limit of 198¼ pounds. So bringing up his fullness and roundness was our priority for the Nationals, and we did that mainly by incorporating FST-7 Training. In a very short time, Mark was able to improve the fullness of his chest, back, shoulders, and arms. His legs also improved somewhat, but I knew that was going to be more of a long-term endeavor that we wouldn’t have time to give true justice to, until the Nationals were over and Alvisi could enter into a true offseason.

We brought Mark into the Nationals a full five pounds heavier than the USA with at least the same degree of condition, and I honestly thought he had Mike Liberatore beat for the Heavyweight class. It was a controversial decision that people continued to debate for months. But, looking back in the grand scheme of things, Mark’s physique at the time wasn’t ready yet to challenge my other client at that show, Ed Nunn, for the Overall. Everything happens for a reason.

ThePROCreator the newer versions of the system. I held off because I wanted to test them out on clients and note their effectiveness before putting it out there, and that’s all been completed. So stay tuned for that in a column coming soon. We also focused on Mark’s chest and back, and took great care to maximize his recovery by supplementing with BCAAs several times a day. By the end of April, as his off-season was coming to an end, the gains were apparent. All our target areas had become noticeably thicker and fuller, and even his hamstrings appeared wider, when viewed in back shots like the rear double biceps and rear lat spread. Alvisi’s delts were more capped from using FST-7, and his arms had taken on a rounder appearance. Now it was time to shred it all up for the big win.

The 2009 USA: A Decisive Victory Mark’s prep for the USA was different from what we’d done on our first collaboration for the Nationals. Something we stressed at all times was to keep him big and full as he leaned out. With respect to his increased mass as well as the immense glycogen depletion experienced from training legs twice a week, as well as following the FST-7 system in general, we kept Mark’s carbs relatively high throughout most of the diet— 250-500 grams a day. He was also able to keep his weight-training workouts heavy and intense all the way up to a week or two from the show, whereas in the past both had dropped off for him at about the four or fiveweeks-out point. Alvisi weighed in at 216, a full five pounds more than he’d been at the Nationals and 11 pounds up from the previous year’s USA. With the increased fullness— and more importantly, the more pronounced outer thigh sweep— he looked like a completely different bodybuilder. And as I continually make a point of reminding people in situations like this, it wasn’t just the weight gain that made the difference. Anybody can pile on weight, but adding mass and fullness in all the right places is what creates the true visual illusion. A good example is Phil Heath. Most fans assumed he was 240 or 245 pounds at last year’s Mr. Olympia, but he was really just 227. The improved Mark Alvisi was able to fend off a very tough Lee Banks to win the Heavyweight division, en route to a decisive Overall victory. Now, after he’s had his much-deserved break, Mark is going right back into his first off-season as a pro. As far as which contest he’ll make his debut at, we don’t even want to think about that until next January or February. One strong possibility is the Tampa

366 MD

Pro show, since it’s fairly close to his home in the Boca Raton area. But in the meantime, Mark is letting his win sink in and is already mentally gearing up to make his ‘Mark’ as a pro. Congrats, Brother! I’ve read in your column, as well as heard you mention on MD Radio how you recommend BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and creatine to enhance recovery and create muscle fullness. How much do I take, and when? Would you please elaborate? I have been using the FST-7 Training system now for a few months and absolutely love the results, but I want to get the most out of these workouts. It’s commonly known among my clients that I have been designing my own supplement formulas for some time now. Until recently, any talk of making these products available to the public was just that, as I had been too busy with other projects and job responsibilities for several years to devote the needed time. Recently, I teamed up with a company I’m involved with named Evogen, to develop the first of several formulas for November 2009

ThePROCreator athletes. This flagship product is called EvoP1-Alpha, and it’s designed to be used both pre- and post-workout. It’s one I tested successfully on a wide range of athletes, ranging from local to professional bodybuilders as well as figure, fitness, and bikini competitors. Ingredients include ultra-soluble BCAAs, N.O.-stimulating Arginine, several forms of LGlutamine, creatine pyruvate, and a profile of B vitamins designed as an anti-stress pack.

The formula comes pre-dosed with the exact amounts of each nutrient, designed to elicit a truly sick pump while training, and then get you started on the recovery process, while keeping your muscles full immediately after the workout. I was adamant about acquiring only the highest-quality ingredients so the absorption rates are sky-high. Best of all, EvoP1-Alpha is stimulant-free. The problem with most nitric oxide products is that they’re loaded with caffeine. So you may feel a heck of an energy kick working out, but the vaso-constricting properties of the caffeine cancel out the vasodilating effects of the other ingredients. Sadly, the end result is that you hardly see any difference in your pump. That’s definitely not the case with my product! Another huge advantage to EvoP1-Alpha is that it contains zero carbs. Other products of this type often contain carbs, so using them while dieting would be counterproductive. EvoP1-Alpha is versatile and suitable for use, whether you’re in off-season building mode or trying to shred up for a contest. You can visit for more information. ! Visit or 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 Rambod? You can ask him directly on the MD website and have Hany personally answer your question! Go to, MD Forums, MD Staff and Pros, Q and A for Hany Rambod.


Trainer of Champions

By Charles Glass

THE BODYBUILDING The question that I have pertains to bringing my waist back down to size. Since the rectus abdominis (abs) are only so wide and run mainly up and down the body, I believe the transversus abdominis is the muscle that acts like a corset and keeps the waist nice and slim. Are there any exercises you can suggest (I do the vacuum pose often) that can help bring the waist down in size? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am not quite sure exactly what way you would like your waist to decrease in size. If your hipbones are set wide and you have a large pelvis, a narrow waist is not in the cards for you. If it’s a matter of body fat, obviously cardio and diet are going to be the tools to ameliorate that situation. You could also have very thickly-developed oblique muscles, which I often see in men who perform heavy deadlifts from the floor and heavy full squats (below parallel).

370 MD

I have a question for you. In all of the nutrition articles I read, when they come up with daily totals for protein, they include everything that is eaten including bread, pasta, etc. Now I know these are not complete proteins. When adding up what I eat, and aiming for a set amount of protein per pound of lean weight, shouldn’t I just go by complete protein sources such as meat, dairy etc.? Also, how much protein per pound should be consumed on average for a drug-free bodybuilder? Only count complete proteins from sources like poultry, red meat, eggs, fish, and dairy. It’s also possible to get complete proteins from various combinations of things like soy products such as tofu, beans and legumes, which vegetarians often do. Technically, the proteins found in trace amounts in foods like grains are indeed proteins, but they don’t contain all the essential amino acids you need for muscle repair and synthesizing new muscle tissue. As for how much protein to consume, I would recommend two grams per day per pound of lean, not total, bodyweight. Some will argue that this is too much, but I have seen its effectiveness many times over the years, in all types of bodybuilders, be they drug-free or not. An enhanced athlete can even utilize a bit more protein than that. November 2009


The obliques also tend to be far more developed in individuals who don’t wear lifting belts. I have been wearing a belt throughout my entire lifting career, and I genuinely believe this practice trains the muscles of the abdominal wall to stay tighter. When you don’t wear a belt, various muscle groups have to work much harder to support and stabilize you.

You often hear of this group of muscles referred to collectively as your ‘core.’ As you probably know, there has been a tremendous amount of hype over training the core, and many people who have little or no lifting experience desire to have a stronger core. If you ever want to see an incredibly strong core, check out the guys who compete in Strongman events. These are often men well over 300 pounds with visible abdominals, but enormous midsections. Even with a belt, their core muscles have to work exceedingly hard to stabilize and assist in the various events they do that often involve lifting very heavy, odd objects such as stones. So go ahead and train your abs and lower back, but if you want to keep your waistline as small as it can be, wear a belt and avoid movements that cause your core to have to work so hard.

CHARLES GLASS—Trainer of Champs The USA Gives Us 3 New Pros When they say good things come in small packages, they must have been talking about the new USA middleweight winner, Daryl Gee. Pound for pound, this guy had one of the thickest and most complete physiques in the show. When you put him next to the heavier guys, he doesn’t have the height and sheer size that they do, but he will do very well in the 202s. Actually, just one week later in Jacksonville at Dexter’s show, he did just that, taking second and qualifying for the 202 Showdown. I had seen Mark Alvisi at a couple shows before this, and I knew he would get his pro card soon. When I ran into him back in March at the Arnold Classic weekend, I told him this was his year and he only had to follow through on his excellent potential and make it happen. At the judging, I knew he was probably going to win the Overall. I’m happy that California’s Grigori Atoyan finally got his pro card after trying so hard for so long, but I still wasn’t overly impressed with his condition. He looked great from the front, but once he turned around, his glutes and hams were pretty soft. Grigori didn’t have too much tough competition in the Supers. Hopefully, he’ll nail his condition when he gets up there as a pro. I really would like to see all that shapely mass dialed in perfectly. Speaking of which, the guy who impressed me the most with his condition was another L.A.-area bodybuilder, Tamer El Guindy. That’s what I call flawless contest-prep right there! He’s known as ‘Razor,’ and he earns that nickname. Tamer worked with MD’s Hany Rambod, The Pro Creator, for this show, and he really did deserve a pro card. If he brings that same package to the Nationals, but maybe with a little more triceps and hams, I think he could get it.

Stan Debuts With a Bang He turned pro almost three years ago, but my newest client Stan McQuay didn’t enter his first IFBB contest until the recent 202 division at the Jacksonville Pro, promoted by reigning Mr. O, Dexter Jackson. But he did an outstanding job by winning his pro debut. Stan has put about 15 pounds of muscle on since he won the 2006 NPC Nationals light-heavyweight title. I can’t take credit for that, except the last few pounds. One thing I had Stan doing was to train heavier than he had in years. He said it had been quite a while since he had used anything more than 100 pounds for incline dumbbell presses, but we worked on gradually increasing his strength until he was doing good sets with a pair of 140s. We really pounded his legs, doing hack squats and reverse hacks with five plates on each side, and 12 plates a side for the leg presses. He made improvements all over in terms of lean mass, but it was most evident in his legs.

Best of Luck in All You Do, Silvio We worked together for almost two years, and in that time Silvio Samuel won four pro shows and placed seventh at the Mr. Olympia twice. Now, Silvio wants to try something different and we aren’t working together anymore. There are no hard feelings on either end, and I still consider Silvio my friend. I just want to wish him well and thank him for being such a hard worker whenever we trained.

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1984: The Year I Competed in The Mr. Olympia With the 2009 Mr. Olympia just behind us, I can’t help but think back to the year I competed in that show a full quarter-century ago. It was a grand experience to be up there with so many of the guys I had looked up to for years and read about in the magazines, like Tom Platz, Sergio Oliva, Samir Bannout, Robby Robinson, Mohamed Makkawy, Chris Dickerson, Bill Grant, Boyer Coe, and Albert Beckles. Come to think of it, that year’s Mr. Olympia had one heck of a lineup, with two former Mr. O’s (Oliva and Dickerson), plus the defending champion Samir, who had to concede to Lee Haney. Haney had placed third at his Olympia debut the year before, but I had known even then that this was the man who was going to dominate the sport for a long time. Haney had such a perfect structure, with no weak body parts, and a tiny waist and hips for such a big man. As for me, I placed 16th out of 20 guys, but I still have nothing but happy memories. I was never a fulltime pro bodybuilder. It was something I did for fun, as a hobby on the side. My ‘real job’ in 1984 was still as an engineer, and my workdays were typically 12 hours long. I loved bodybuilding so much that I would train very early in the morning, go to my desk job for 12 hours, then go back to the gym and train two clients (I was just starting to train people back then) before I trained a second body part myself. I went into that Mr. Olympia in my first year as a pro at 192 pounds in my trademark ripped condition. The only thing I never had was the size to compare to thicker guys like Haney, Samir, or Platz. Maybe working all those hours and sleeping not much more than four hours a night had something to do with that, because once I gave up my engineering job and became a fulltime trainer, I made significant gains right away. But all in all, I am happy to have competed in the biggest contest in our sport that one time. ! Got a question for Charles? E-mail it to him at [email protected] and you could see it answered right here in MD! November 2009

By Lee Priest

Overdosing on Steroid Discussion? B

eing that MD’s slogan is ‘No Bull’ and the main reason I was brought back to this magazine is because I am known for speaking my mind regardless of who it may happen to upset or offend, this month I need to get something off my chest that has been really bothering me lately. I am sick and tired of the constant talk about steroids. Coming from a man who has been a professional bodybuilder for over 16 years now, this no doubt sounds strange or maybe even smacks of hypocrisy, but hear me out. We know steroids are used in our sport and other sports, so why keep going on about it? Drugs are used in baseball, as we all know, and in soccer, football, and just about every other sport— but you don’t go to their websites or pick up their magazines and read all these steroid articles and chemical corner sections. As bodybuilders, I think we are just shooting ourselves in the foot by talking about it so much. Young kids read it and all they want to talk about is drugs. Right off the bat, they see steroids as the absolute most important factor in building their bodies with training and nutrition being almost afterthoughts to a lot of them! When I was starting out in the mid-’80s, steroids were never mentioned in the magazines. All I read about was training, nutrition, and normal supplements like basic weight gain powders and vitamins. Yes, we know drugs are being used in bodybuilding and it’s good that we don’t pretend that they aren’t. But is there really a need to go on and on about it? No wonder the general public looks at us with such disdain and disgust. How many bodybuilding magazines have the word “Steroids!” screaming out at you, so you can associate it with the freaky physique on the cover?

What does all the talking about steroids really accomplish? Ostensibly, I know the idea is to provide accurate information about the drugs to people who are going to use them anyway, so at least they can be informed and hopefully, exercise a little more caution and common sense when they do. As much as I agree with the ideas of freedom of speech and information sharing, I think it may be time we did what all the other professional sports do. They tacitly accept that drugs are being used, but keep it under the carpet. There’s really no need to out up a big banner effectively announcing, “Hey! Look at us! We use drugs, we’re proud of it, and we can tell you how to do it too!” Golf Digest may have the latest high-tech clubs profiled, but we have the newest hot designer steroids and exactly how to cycle them to make crazy gains! I know my opinion isn’t shared by everyone. A lot of you love to talk about steroids, read about steroids, and generally obsess over various drugs and what you feel they can do for you. Some people just can’t get enough. It’s almost like steroids have become their porn. There are guys on the forums who have screen names like DecaBoy or TestoKing, and they delight in posting and debating about steroids all day and night. But you’ll notice the pros rarely talk about drugs. For one thing, they’re still illegal without a prescription in the USA and most other countries. For another, most of us don’t particularly like buying or using them. We do it because they are part of the sport, just as they are with the majority of sports. If this starts a real dialogue among us about whether the excessive steroid content and discussion is helping or hurting the image and growth (pardon the pun) of our sport, then great. That’s all I wanted to do. ■

I know the idea is to provide accurate information about the drugs to people who are going to use them anyway, so at least they can be informed and hopefully, exercise a little more caution and common sense when they do.

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November 2009

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