Apr 28, 2008 Gossip
The Item: Career Updates/Highlights
The Scoop: Athlete to Andrew: The May 2008 issue marks the second time the pecs and biceps of Musclemania Pro Morris “Mo” Mendez have emblazoned the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. I hit up Mo for his reaction. “The new cover is hot! I look full, cut and symmetrical. Friends and fans in different countries say it’s a fresh, appealing and obtainable look for the general public. ‘Action hero quality.’ Ha! Show me the money!” The future action hero (with four international covers to his credit) pumps iron at Gold’s Gym in Bloomfield, CT, and earned his pro card at the 2000 Fitness Atlantic/Musclemania in New Haven. His last competition was the 2005 Musclemania Worlds In Hollywood. “If time allows me to train mentally and physically, my next competition will be the Superbody in Miami.” Mo plans to hit Africa and Argentina for appearances. “I like guesting in different countries because they appreciate you more, especially where they find it impossible to look like a Ronnie Coleman or a Jay Cutler. I’m proof you can look just as good with patience, time and dedication.”
The “So What?”: The 198-pound, model-athlete expressed frustration being a big man in a giant man’s world. Even with a rising profile and a marketable physique, Mendez currently has no sponsors. “It’s tough to get a sponsor to pay you what you want for your hard work,” he laments. Then he laughs. “As a natural bodybuilder, your competition is those monsters. They want you to look like that, but I’m a suit-and-tie man. I like to look good in my clothes.”
* Photo courtesy of Muscle & Fitness
Apr 24, 2008 Gossip
The Item: Magazine Contract Signing
The Scoop: Just announced: IFBB Pro Kai Greene inks a multi-year contract with Team MD. This week on “No Bull” Radio, Kai said he signed with Muscular Development over other suitors, because “MD has gone a long way from the beginning to extend a wonderful resource for me to reach out to the fans and tap into a readership that is unparalleled. I deeply appreciated that, particularly at a time when I wasn’t getting a lot of love.” Following his first victory at the 2007 IFBB Colorado Pro Show, Greene packed on 30 pounds of solid muscle and now hits nearly 300 pounds in the off-season. Last month, the flexible and ferocious force I dubbed the “Lion Slayer” in “The Art of War,” my posing and presentation series, placed 3rd at the Arnold Classic. The posing phenom is now keenly focused on slaying competitors in his hometown at the IFBB New York Pro (May 10).
The “So What?”: Kai, who admitted to being moved to tears by his latest MD cover, was in a crew left contract-less when Pinnacle/Kemistry cleaned house and released all of its sponsored athletes at the end of 2007. Recently, day-in-the-life videos posted online showed Kai still surviving on humble means while continuing to chase his pro bodybuilding dreams. With other endorsement deals also looming, has the gravy train finally rolled into his subway station?
* Photo courtesy of Muscular Development
Apr 21, 2008 Gossip
The Item: TV Appearance/Philanthropy
The Scoop: Just Announced: Muscle-heads meet gear-heads when 8-time Mr. Olympia and retired IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman and Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition Inc. (BSN) make an exclusive appearance on the popular cable TV show American Chopper. The episode will document the building of a custom fabrication, one-of-kind BSN-themed chopper. The show will feature cameo appearances by BSN execs, the girls of BSN, and Team BSN athletes Anthony Presciano and King Coleman (who made his emotional, official exit from the muscle stage at last year’s Mr. O. in Vegas). Tune in to TLC this week (April 24th) to watch father and sons – the Teutuls – and the Orange County Chopper (OCC) crew build the badass BSN muscle bike.
The “So What?”: BSN also commissioned a replica of its bike and will donate 100% of the proceeds from its sales to the Warrior Transition Unit of a New York hospital. “We really wanted to do something to give back to the soldiers who put their lives on the line every day protecting our country,” says BSN Co-Founder and VP Scott James. “We shot the bike’s unveiling at a soldier’s monument in West Point, NY, near the Keller Army Community Hospital and it made us all feel really proud.”
*Photo by Raymond Cassar
Apr 17, 2008 Gossip
The Item: Endorsement Deal/Contest Promotions
The Scoop: Recently Announced: Retired IFBB Pro Kenneth “Flex” Wheeler inked a deal with HeadBlade, Inc. One of the most impressive bodies to grace a muscle stage lends his head as an endorser of the sportily designed skull-scraping razor. He joins a smooth-domed fraternity that includes IFBB Pro Toney Freeman and MMA Top Dog Chuck Liddell. “Flex will help expand our lifestyle brand with his regular training and appearances at various competitions,” says Todd Greene, President of HeadBlade, Inc. The company will be a presenting sponsor at the 2008 Flex Wheeler Classic in July. Wheeler, who now sports tatted-up biceps, runs with the rowdy MD crew and proclaims to be “the Ultimate Natural Freak,” is also a martial artist that wowed the bodybuilding industry for nearly 25 years until 2001, doing full splits on stage at 5’9″and 245 pounds. Wheeler says, “After being introduced to HeadBlade two years ago, I have never considered using any other product to shave my head.”
The “So What?”: “2007 Arnold Classic Champion Victor Martinez has been confirmed to be at [the Flex Wheeler Classic}!” says Flex, who reportedly spoke with Martinez at the Arnold Classic, the site of Wheeler’s deal announcement, and received direct confirmation that “he will not only be able to attend and participate in the Superstar Seminar, but he states that he will be completely rehabbed from his knee injury and will also guest pose at the night finals!”
* Photo by Raymond Cassar
By John Davies
By definition, to isolate is to set something apart, detach it from others or other environments.
Within the exercise world, the notion of “isolation” is for the most part the norm in virtually every avenue. Exercise facilities are designed in carefully laid out plans with machinery that focuses on certain isolated muscle groups, in essence leading the user from “station to station” so that they can “workout” in an orderly assembly-line like fashion. Typically to the side there is a “cardio” area with treadmills, elliptical, rowers and stair-climbers and a much smaller area for general floor exercises. Depending upon clientele and size limitations, a club might further offer a separate room that houses fitness, yoga and any assortment of this year’s (decade’s) top exercise class. With this well laid out plan, individuals will enter the facility and proceed through their workout in an orderly and predictable manner ensuring each aspect of their body’s development “in isolation” (whether intentional or not). The expanding home gym environment is much the same with cleverly engineered exercise equipment that features multiple stations so that you can; you guessed it, isolate your muscular development.
At this stage of an article on fat loss I would typically mention to the reader that given that the world’s obesity is growing at alarming rates and health care costs associated with this problem are devastating government and corporate budgets, action is needed. Since this problem has come at the same time as the “exercise revolution,” isn’t it abundantly obvious and quite logical that one of the greatest obstacles to improving “health and fitness” is the health and fitness industry itself? Simply stated, what is being “done” and recommended is far from what is needed.
As you consider this peculiar problem, you will begin to realize that part of the weight management problem stems from the fact that physiologically nothing occurs in an “isolated” fashion is the body. In fact, I would go as far as to say that somehow the modern exercise industry somehow derailed itself, took isolationist work out of context and forgot the synergistic effect of a properly laid-out plan that will have a greater effect than individual sections ( “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”). I should also point out it is not the chief culprit in creating the enormous problem but part of a series of pratfalls that has complicated the issue and without serious changes it will be irreversible.
How and why the “isolationist” approach came into fashion is anyone’s guess. However it relates heavily to our topic of fat loss. While the rationale may be very well steeped in the development of the fitness industry, the elimination of the “small” independent gym and the gradual movement towards (expensive) exercise machinery, the acceptance of this broad training model (isolation) is deeply entrenched in society and any dissenting voice is far outside the norm.
Yet this is where it gets interesting. Through somewhat of a grassroots program, you’ve seen the public, likely without considering it, move towards a broader notion of “exercise” and begin to return to protocols which stress “harmony”. Whether it be “boot-camp fitness” classes that merge fitness and strength training through compounding lifts and non-conforming objects in a high intensity setting or even a PilatesTM or Yoga class, there is a growing segment of the public that is starting to implicitly realize that as you abandon notions of strict isolationist work in a stabilized manner, health and fitness can be attained in a fun, addictive and engaging manner. I’ve even seen this emerge through my writing career. When I first started to discuss the classic Olympic lifts and training complexes they were virtually unseen and now are rather common-place throughout the field. This trend will continue to grow as it spreads to the major gym chains and gains notoriety in the major fitness magazines as well. Slowly small sections of the public are starting to see that the lessons of the past will solve the problems of today.
With this in mind I want to approach our fat-loss regime using the firm backdrop of promoting health, fitness and total body wellness / internal strength with a regime that will utilize movements to promote total body harmony. The route to promoting fat loss is in essence the optimizing of hormonal conditions, primarily dealing with growth hormone, thyroxine and cortisol. For a weight management program to be truly successful it must address these facts and approach the issue with a three-pronged attack in the following areas:
Diet and Supplementation
This is only a small part of the major diet overhaul I recommend to most individuals, but these ten general rules will go a long way for you. I have intermingled dietary and lifestyle considerations given their close relationship.
Within supplementation I draw a very strict line amongst my clients, using a simple grouping of supplements that will have a powerful effect on all of our goals. However I wish to stress that these work hand-in-hand with our dietary choices and are to “supplement” our diet. In addition to a multi-vitamin such as ProSource’s MegaMax Vitamin and a quality protein supplement such as NytroWhey Extreme I strongly urge the following five daily supplements:
I won’t beat this topic to death with some bravado-laced commentary of how you should like to work hard for the thrill of overcoming your challenges because no matter what, training needs to be “fun”. Without the “fun factor” I very much doubt any adult will continue to motivate themselves effectively through the drudgery of “another” training session. However and this is an important word of advice for young training professionals, as you expand upon the “fun factor” your clients will be motivated and hence more likely to garner good results.
With this in mind we’re going to use a “fun” training program that is perfectly suited to be used in a “bootcamp” style environment and in fact will likely be more effective in a supportive group setting. Exercises are chosen with a firm understanding of the Renegade Concepts of TrainingTM, are very safe for the exercise newcomer and the majority can be performed in a stationary area.
This program is divided into two major sections; (a) standard training sessions and (b) recovery training sessions. While the program is designed to fit within a week, with three “standard” sessions that use very basic total-body movements and two further “recovery” sessions. Certainly, you can add additional “recovery” sessions (i.e. perform two or three days in a row) if you are too fatigued or suffer too much muscle soreness.
A. Standard Training sessions
Each training session will commence with one of the simplest and most dependable training mediums that for whatever reasons seems to have be forgotten in the modern exercise work; the Jump Rope.
Jumping rope has numerous benefits such as:
Your choice of rope should be simple and I tend to prefer the inexpensive plastic models or leather although I will leave that up to you. Make sure the rope is long enough so that when it’s looped under your feet, it will reach chest height. There is no right or wrong way to position your hands when skipping. However, I prefer to pinch my elbows at my sides and position my forearms parallel to the ground which will increase rope speed. Most important, please wear good quality footwear when skipping and make sure you stretch the calves out immediately after finishing rope work.
Jump Rope will be performed in both the “Standard” and “Recovery” training days. Within the “Standard” training day it is used within the following circuit. Please note this is a very challenging circuit and technical form should be watched closely throughout.
Perform above three to four circuits with 30 seconds rest between circuits. With the mainstay of your resistance work being the Iron Cross, Squat Pull this will account for nine total sets of work. For an additional challenge for “fitter” individuals perform fisted pushups for thirty seconds before jumping jacks and ten pull-ups immediately following jumping jacks.
Explanation of Exercises
The balance of the three “Standard” training days is made up of a simple “tri” giant set of three basic exercises performed one after the other. These are highly exhausting sets that will last roughly sixty sessions and will leave you very taxed. Rest between sets will be roughly 90 seconds however expect the fatigue factor to be enormous and to maintaining that work rate to be quite the challenge.
Please note the weighted section of each of these tri-sets should utilize 40-65% maximum rep for six total reps over three to four sets.
At the conclusion at the end of the Standard training sessions the following shoulder capsule work and postural holds will be performed. With the shoulder capsule work two exercises will be performed each session, of three sets each for 12 to 15 repetitions each for a total of six set of shoulder capsule work. With the postural holds, each hold will be done with holds of 15-30 seconds for 2-3 total sets
B. Recovery Sessions
The “recovery sessions” are designed as the name would imply to help you recover from strenuous activity. They are relatively “simple” workouts that involve the standard rope work, a straight-forward medicine ball routine and should be followed with a static stretch session of roughly thirty minutes.
Medicine Ball Training is used within this grouping solely for restorative purposes, utilizing a light ball typically in the four to six pound range. The following circuit should be performed with ten throws for each exercise moving continuously from one movement to the next for a total of two to three circuits.
Chest Pass: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture explode ball forward with as much velocity as possible.
One-Hand Twisting Chest Pass: Pay careful attention to set-up. Opposite hip should be directly facing target. Elbow is high with rear delts pinched back. Twist body back in a Â¼ to Â½ turn with weight transferring to back leg. In an powerful explosive move, twist body, with weight shifting to lead leg.
Walking Chest Pass: This is same as typical chest pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into the target, exploding the ball forward with power generated from your legs (repeat to opposite leg forward).
Overhead Pass: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture and the body facing target, lift ball behind head and explosively throw ball directly towards target overhead.
Walking Overhead Pass: This is same as typical overhead pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into target and throw (repeat to opposite leg forward).
Scoop Backward: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture with body facing target swing ball up and behind head swing ball above head, then between legs as you push buttocks back (into a neutral position) and then explosively pull hips through and bring ball up above your head slamming the ball straight ahead.
Two-Hand Swing: With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted.
Swing backwards, twisting and looking behind you, transferring weight to back foot with front heel coming off ground.
In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg as target faces target.
One-Hand Swing: With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted. Weight transfers to back leg ball as held with opposite hand.
In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg as target faces target.
Seated Throwing Twist: From seated straddle position, twist body, reaching ball behind you and extend back throwing ball to side. Preferably this should be performed with a training partner / trainer where the ball is thrown back with speed, emphasizing the eccentric action.