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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nightmare on Seventh Street - By Bob Whelan

Reprinted with permission of Hardgainer, Vol. 9, No. 3 (January-February 1998)

A few months ago Eric Weinstein and Drew Israel drove all the way down to Washington, D.C., from New York City (and drove back the same day) just so I could put Eric through a workout. Drew wanted me to hammer Eric hard like the workouts we had together at my place last year. Eric wanted it that way, too, and was expecting the type of grueling workout that would make Freddy Krueger proud.

Eric is 33 years old, 5’9’’ and a solid 195 lbs. He’s the throwback type—tough, motivated, strong and extremely polite. I’ve gotten to know him, Dr. Ken, Jim Duggan, Jamie LaBelle and other members of the “Iron Island gang” pretty well from my visits to Drew’s place, and Drew’s several previous visits here. Eric and I have trained together at Drew’s a few times, and then gone out to Peter Luger’s Steak House after the workout. This is not a regular habit for any of us, just a tradition when we all get together.

Eric has been training with Dr. Ken since he (Eric) was 16; he has also trained with Drew for several years. So it goes without saying that Eric has excellent mental focus, and flawless form. Since I knew Eric was a high-intensity-training veteran, I did not have to use the same caution that I would with a beginner off the street.

Eric wanted me to put him through a workout on my turf, to add to his collection. Some people collect stamps, others collect coins. Eric collects workouts. I knew that Eric was used to being hammered by Dr. Ken, so I didn’t want to let Eric down. I was pulling no punches and planned on giving Eric a workout to remember.

I had the Marine cadence cassette blasting, and after the cv warmup, static holds for his whole body, and a few warmup sets on the machines to be used. Drew and I were shouting encouragement. Eric was psyched and ready! I had him begin with the Southern Xercise Horizontal Tru-Press with custom (Sutherland) 2.5-inch thick handles. The handles alone weigh 30 lbs. Eric went to failure at 10 reps with 140 lbs, and his chest was in real discomfort. (This machine uses about half the poundage of free-weight bench presses, and is a real ego killer!)

Then it was over to the Hammer Iso-Lateral Row for a set to failure with 200 lbs followed by a few forced reps.

As soon as he got off the Hammer machine I had him go to the 2-inch thick bar for a high-rep set to failure with 75 lbs in the reverse curl, with special emphasis on lowering the bar slowly (at least 5-6 seconds per negative). As soon as he hit failure he put the bar down and gave his hands a shake. Then he picked the bar right back up for a set of regular curls (palms up) to failure, again with emphasis on lowering the bar very slowly. As soon as he put the bar down it was back to the reverse curl for a final all-out set. I then let him take a one-minute rest.

Eric repeated this sequence of Horizontal Tru-Press, Iso-Lateral Row and curls two more times, to failure. On the third (last) time he pushed (in the Tru-Press) and pulled (in the Iso Row) for ten seconds in a static contraction after reaching muscular failure. The reverse curls got his forearms bulging and swollen with blood. His hands, wrists and forearms were so “nuked” that he had a hard time holding onto the handles of the Iso Row on the third series.

As soon as Eric had put down the bar after the third series, it was “Get right up!” on the Hammer Iso-Lateral Leg Press for one set to failure with 430 lbs. Each rep was done with a dead-stop pause at the bottom. The seat was set near the “tightest” position so that Eric’s knees sunk into his chest at the bottom. After 10 reps he was breathing like a steam engine, and paused to take ten deep breaths. He made it to 15 reps and then started to scream on every rep. Drew and I were screaming too! “C’mon Eric, get to 20! One at a time...puuussshhh...” Eric made it to 20 reps, and was shaking. A few reps later he started to moan between the screams, as he approached the end of the set. He paused to take about fifteen deep breaths and kept the set going, with each rep being an all-out, painful, life-and-death effort. He made it to 30 reps before collapsing in the machine. He then rolled to the floor and stayed there for a few minutes. The set was a great effort! Most people would have stopped at 15 reps.

Most people would have been KOed and done with training right now, but not Eric. I knew he would bounce back. He was used to this type of training from all the brutal stuff Ken and Drew do to him. This was just a regular training day for Eric! After a few minutes of rest, we continued. Eric did a few high-rep sets to failure on the Hammer Behind Neck Press with 160 lbs, then a few sets to failure on the Hammer Pulldown with 170, each with a ten-second static contraction on the last set. I threw in some manual resistance for his shoulders, some grip work, and some calf work.

We then went to the Tru-Squat as we wanted to finish with some “ground-based” training. (My tongue-in-cheek definition of “ground-based training,” as coined by Jamie LaBelle, is “ending up on the ground” after a hard set, and has nothing to do with having your feet on the ground.) Eric did a set of 20 reps with 200 lbs, which was even harder than and took more effort than the leg press set. After the twentieth rep, Eric was on the ground for about ten minutes.

The Tru-Squat is one of the best ground-based training tools because it trains you “into the ground.” (For those not familiar with the Tru-Squat, it is an ego killer because you can use only about half the weight of barbell squats.)

After the long rest, Eric felt better. The main course was over. Now it was time for “dessert.”

We went outside to sandbag alley where I store my sandbags. Eric was exhausted, but got a second wind after the needed rest and a big glass of water.

He wrestled with the 200-lb bag and carried it over the course of 225 feet in well under the ten-minute time limit. He only put the bag down a few times, and probably could have done 225 lbs. He had been practicing the sandbag carry with Drew, and wasn’t coming all the way down here unless he got his name put on the bag.

Drew has been training with over 300 lbs in the sandbag carry. Rumor has it that Drew will attempt 350 lbs to set a new Whelan Strength Training record at the second annual Capital City NSCA Clinic (see ad after this article). Big Melvin Tuten holds the current record of 325 lbs, which he got in his last workout before reporting to the Cincinnati Bengals in July.

Eric slumped for a few minutes against the fence that borders the alley, to let his racing heart and steam-engine breathing get back to normal levels. He did a great job today and worked extremely hard, but was glad the workout was over. All he wanted now was a good meal and a good bed! I put his name on the bag with a magic marker. We were all hoarse from screaming.

Shortly afterwards we headed for Morton’s to watch Drew (6’4’’ and 310 lbs) set new world records. Nothing like it after a brutal workout. Good workout, good food, good friends; ah, life is good!

“Maximum” Bob Whelan runs Whelan Strength Training in Washington, D.C.

Make Mine Freedom - A MUST SEE!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Getting Pervis Back in Service - By Bob Whelan

Reprinted with permission of Hardgainer, Vol. 9, No. 3 (November-December 1997)




I was checking my messages in mid-July and heard, “Hi Bob, this is Shaun Brown, the strength and conditioning coach of the Boston Celtics. I’d like to speak with you about the possibility of training Pervis Ellison, who lives in the DC area in the off season, until he reports to us in Boston in late September.” That was a phone call I answered right away! I was born and raised in the Boston area and have been a Celtics fan my whole life. There is no other team in the world that I would rather help.

After I spoke with Shaun he said he would call Pervis to see if he was interested, but Pervis had to be willing. This had to be a voluntary decision, not one forced upon him. If Pervis did not want to do it, that would be the end of it. As it turned out, Pervis was very interested, and willing to try anything to revive his basketball career. Pervis is a 6-10 center, and was the first player chosen in the NBA draft in 1989. He won the NCAA championship while at the University of Louisville, but so far has not reached his full potential in the pro’s due to his many injuries.

The background

While in college, Pervis was nicknamed “Never Nervous Pervis” for his clutch play in playoffs. In the pro’s, however, it’s been a different story. Danny Ainge, a former teammate of Pervis with the Sacramento Kings, nicknamed him “Out of Service Pervis.” Pervis has had both of his knees operated on twice. His left knee, especially, has been giving him problems since he shattered his left knee cap a few years ago. Over the last few years Pervis has spent more time in the whirlpool than on the court. But when he plays, he does great. He has excellent production based on time played.

A few days later, Shaun flew down to my place in Washington and we went over Pervis’ training. We hit it off well, as our training philosophies are very similar. Shaun is a no-BS hardcore guy. He has to be to work for Rick Pitino, the Celtics’ new coach and President, who is a fanatic about team strength and conditioning. (Shaun also worked for Coach Pitino at The University of Kentucky.) The Celtics have gone from “the outhouse” to “the penthouse” as far as their strength and conditioning program is concerned. According to Pervis, last year the players were “on their own” for strength training. They would just “dabble with the weights” when they felt like it. Their equipment was little more than a Universal machine. This year, under Rick Pitino and Shaun Brown, they will have about fifteen new Hammer Strength machines to work with. They will have even more equipment next year when their state-of-the-art training complex is finished. They will also have Shaun Brown “in their faces” for every workout. They will be one of the best, if not the best conditioned team in the league.

Pervis arrived a little later, with his agent Bill Strickland. We all found a machine to sit on (or lean against), as I have no unused space. Shaun did most of the talking, explaining to Pervis our training program. Pervis has never consistently trained hard with weights.

Pervis has been with poor, losing teams his whole pro career—ones that had poorly-run strength-training programs. Shaun and I both believe that what Pervis needed was to train his whole body hard and consistently, with an organized and personalized high-intensity program. His knee problems were mainly cartilage ones (not tendon or ligament) that have been repaired (or “cleaned out”) surgically. We were not going to retreat from working his legs. Not working his legs has got him nowhere in the past except to the whirlpool. We were going to attack the problem and have him work his whole body with emphasis on his legs, to strengthen his “weak link” and make his knee joints more stable. Pervis was enthusiastic and ready to get started.

Getting down to business

We then put him through a workout, but did not hit him too hard. Shaun and I both took turns to work him, but we did not want to “cripple” him and scare him away. I wanted him to come back. Our next workout was in just a few days and I didn’t want any cancellations. Pervis thought he had been put through the wringer during that first workout, but he hadn’t seen anything yet.

During Pervis’ first workout (in front of his agent) we found out important things about his training, such as prior injuries, range of motion limitations, proper poundage to use, and any pain felt. He had no upper-body problems. Only his knees “sometimes” bothered him. We started each exercise light and moved him up to find the right training poundages to start out at. We also found the correct settings for him in machine exercises.

Once his training poundages and range-of-motion adjustments were documented, he was ready to go for the next workout. (On the Tru-Squat, I started him on a partial squat, down to only about 6 inches above parallel. Then over the course of a few workouts I moved him, hole by hole, down to parallel-depth squatting.) Remember that Pervis is a professional athlete and only 30 years old. Even with his gimpy knees he is in tremendous shape when compared to the average person off the street. A regular middle-age guy off the street would need several weeks as an adjustment/break-in period before training hard.

The next workout I gave Pervis the same two-hour orientation that I give everyone else. I also had him order The Psychology of Winning and The Magic of Thinking Big (see last issue), and gave him a copy of Brawn. After orientation I had Pervis do a “Fifties Day” workout. He got a kick out of the fifties music playing. I had him do fifty reps on the Tru-Squat, Horizontal Tru-Press, Hammer Behind Neck Press, Hammer Iso-Lateral Row, and Hammer Pulldown. (A weight was selected for each exercise that was heavy enough to require several sets to failure in order to complete the 50 reps.) We also did some extremely slow reps just for his left leg (weakest knee) on the Hammer Iso-Lateral Leg Press. We did extra stretching, ab work, and grip work, and I even initiated Pervis with a visit to sandbag alley. I had to help him get the 150-lb bag up to bear-hug position, but once he got his arms around it he managed to get it up and down the course. Pervis really worked his ass off!

I push Pervis real hard, but good form always comes ahead of poundage with me. I make Pervis use flawless form to minimize the chance of injuries.

He told me that those 50 reps on the Tru-Squat got his legs and glutes so sore that he had to use his baby’s foam-padded toilet training seat for a few days (even though he could barely fit onto -it). Now that’s sore! Pervis loves the Tru-Squat (Southern Xercise 800-348-4907, see my article on page 47 of issue #49). But being 6-10 he could never come close to doing a parallel squat with a barbell.

Training specifics

Pervis’ strength-training workouts had a core structure. We always started with a warmup consisting of five minutes of cardiovascular work immediately followed by ab work and static stretching. Then came five multi-joint major movements: (1) Horizontal Tru-Press (or Hammer Chest Press), (2) Hammer Row, (3) Tru-Squat (or Hammer Leg Press), (4) Hammer Behind Neck Press, (5) Hammer Pulldown. I use a lot of variety as some workouts are done with 3 straight sets per exercise, some in breakdown style, some with one arm or leg at a time (i.e., dumbbell style, as all my machines are iso-lateral—can be used one limb at a time), some are done barbell style (i.e., with both arms or legs working simultaneously). Plus once a month there’s a fifties day, and at another workout each month there is a slow day. We do a variety of manual resistance almost every workout (especially for inner and outer thighs, and hamstrings). Time permitting we do additional slow work for his weak leg, plus curls, grip work, and a sandbag carry.

I see most of my regular clients only twice a week, for just strength training. Pervis is almost a part-time job. I spend 2-3 hours per day with him, usually four days a week. I do conditioning (e.g., running drills on a basketball court), plus cardiovascular work and extra stretching with him. We train with weights on Monday and Thursday. On Tuesday and Friday we go to Catholic University (where I was the strength and conditioning coach several years ago, and still have a few contacts) to run on the quarter-mile track, swim in the pool, and do running drills on the basketball court. Sometimes he uses the Stairmaster instead of the swimming. I’m pretty much on my own with the strength-training part of the program, but defer to Shaun and follow his program to the letter for the conditioning part.

Results

Pervis is getting stronger each workout, and has gained almost 20 lbs of muscle over the summer. His playing weight was under 235 lbs last year. He is a few pounds over 250 at the time of this writing. He will get even bigger and stronger because Shaun will work him real hard all season long. So far, his knees are feeling better than ever. The intensive running has caused his back some problems and he had to lay off a few times, but nothing serious. To help counter this problem we do a lot of stretching, and alter the intensity of the running. But he will have to be able to run hard to play for Rick Pitino.

Pervis is so big that a 20-lb gain in bodyweight only had the visual effect of a 10-lb gain on a regular-size guy. I advised him to eat a good breakfast every day. He has three main meals that include 5-9 portions of fruits and vegetables, and at least 8 glasses of water per day. A simple vitamin-mineral pill per day was the only supplement he took. I also had him eat two cans of tuna per day (between meals), one in mid-morning and one in the afternoon. So he had five feedings per day. I also encouraged him to drink a lot of skim milk each day. Natural food is the best protein supplement. The strength training has greatly increased his appetite, so he has no problem eating!

Shaun flies down the DC every 2-3 weeks to watch me put Pervis through his paces. The more Pervis sweats and screams, the bigger the smile on Shaun’s face. We have daily progress reports on the phone after each workout. Believe it or not, Pervis really likes the strength-training part of the program and realizes how important this could be to his career.

Pervis has made great short-term gains despite the fact that he has missed more than a few planned workouts (especially the running). But when he trains, he really works very hard. He will come to three workouts in a row, and then not show up. Then he will come back and work extremely hard for another week, and then miss a workout. Mind you, considering how well he has progressed, perhaps he needed the unplanned extra rest days in order to fully recover from each group of intensive workouts. Pervis has the potential to be as big and strong as Karl Malone if he applies totally commitment.

Since Rick Pitino took over, the Celtics have made so many roster changes that only a few players from last year remain on the team. Pervis could be a member of the Miami Heat of some other NBA team by the time this article comes out. But I hope he stays with the Celtics and is able to contribute. High-intensity strength training is just what Pervis needs to get back on the court and reach his full potential. If he stays with the Celtics, Shaun will make him train year round. It could be the piece of the puzzle that was missing for him to play regularly and injury-free.

Lessons to learn

There are many lessons that regular trainees can learn from Pervis’ strength training. Even an elite level guy needs to adapt to a new training program, determine safe ranges of motion, apply correct form, train very hard and briefly, eat every three hours or so, follow a sound diet that includes fruit, vegetables and plenty of water, and focus on progressive poundages in good form. The formula works for Pervis and my other clients, and it will work for you too.

“Maximum” Bob Whelan runs Whelan Strength Training in Washington, DC.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Do People Have to Be So Selfish? - By Kathy Roberts

Originally posted on the old NaturalStrength.com site on May 20, 1999

I would like to share some of my personal experiences in dealing with people who have used or are currently using steroids or other strength enhancing drugs. I was in a relationship with someone who has used anabolic steroids. In this relationship I saw this person hallucinate, talk to himself on occasion (as if someone were therefore), submit himself to self-inflicted pain, experience low self-esteem, have a very bad temper, and threaten to commit suicide. This situation was the very first situation that I have ever had to deal with on a personal basis. The relationship ended a little over a year and a half ago. In dealing with this situation, it caused me total stress, because I thought that I could fix this person's problem myself instead of leaving it in the hands of God. This situation put my health in jeopardy, both mentally, physically, and emotionally. I thank God that he gave me the strength to stand up and to see things in the way in which I had refused to see them.

This person never told to me that he was using steroids until people around me started suspecting it. When I asked him about it, he was in total denial about it. I continued to ask him about it and finally got an answer. The answer was "yes," he was using steroids.

I suppose I was lucky that I finally got the truth out of this individual. Even though I didn't have any control over the situation, at least I knew what he was doing and what the end result could be. There are people every day who lose people that they love due to steroid abuse, who never have a clue that their loved-one was using drugs. HOW CAN THESE USERS BE SO SELFISH?

I received a phone call from someone who was calling around, searching for answers. I called this individual back, not knowing where the call would lead. The caller asked me if I knew a certain individual. I thought about it and asked if he was a powerlifter. The caller said yes, he was a body builder and powerlifter. I asked her if he had attended a meet late last year, and she confirmed that he had. She then told me that her husband had died in March of this year. I was totally stunned. The doctors told her that he had a heart attack. When the autopsy was completed they asked her if her husband was a drug addict. She had no clue.

We talked for a while and she told me that she never knew that her husband used any drugs. He sold supplements and was very health conscious. She said that they were devout Christians and that he was a good man. HOW COULD HE BE SO SELFISH? He has left a wife totally confused and alone. She will wonder all her life about why he never confided in her. She will wonder if she ever really knew the man she married.

I think that this is just one example of the lies and deceit that go along with drug use. The people who choose to use drugs are SELFISH, they are only concerned with the way they look, how big they get, and how strong they appear to be. They don't think of the circumstances. They don't think about their family and friends. They don't realize that in their quest to be super humans, that they will possibly ruin the lives of people who love and care for them. IS IT REALLY WORTH IT? DO YOU WANT TO DIE BECAUSE OF STEROIDS AND HAVE THE CORONER ASK YOUR HUSBAND, WIFE, OF PARENTS IF YOU WERE A DRUG USER?

You might think you look good on the outside, but you are ruining your insides. Your heart is growing to sizes unimaginable, your kidney and liver are being deprived. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

I ask again, WHY DO HAVE TO BE SO SELFISH? THINK ABOUT IT!

I just wanted to add that not every athlete who dies of heart problems or some other health related problems are using drugs. People should not assume that they are. Those who are using the drugs know who they are and eventually the truth will come out.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write Kathy Roberts at P.O. Box 6605, Alexandria, VA 22306.

Steroids, Supplements and the Decline of True Physical Culture - By Sean Toohey

Originally Posted on the old NaturalStrength.com site on May 16, 1999

A few months ago, there was a long discussion on one of the internet bodybuilding boards about the use of anabolic steroids. Most people, on reading that opening sentence are thinking, "So? That ain't a surprise!" They are right. It isn't a surprise. And that is a shame. The use of anabolic steroids has virtually destroyed what was once the greatest sport on earth! I'm talking about lifting weights here... not "bodybuilding" per se. Call the whole endeavor, "physical culture" and you are on the right track.

Way back when men decided that they wished to be bigger and stronger, the advice was relatively simple to get. The difficulty in learning the craft of physical culture wasn't so much in getting good advice as it was in finding someone who knew what lifting weights was! There wasn't this whole infrastructure of nonsense that there is today, and the crazy advice wasn't plastered on four out of five magazines on every newsstand. If someone went to a gym, and that gym happened to contain a few bodybuilders, the advice was readily available... whether the goal was to gain or lose weight. More importantly, the advice worked. Today, you can go just about any place in the world and find a gym. A gym full of pumpers and toners - and guys that take anabolic steroids because without them, they don't grow muscles.

I had a conversation with a 'roid boy once. Basically, I explained that not only were steroids unnecessary but they were something that was ruining the sport. He asked me to explain myself. I explained that you could get as big as you wished just by lifting properly and eating correctly. After all, that is what the old-timers did! He laughed in my face and said that no old timer would win contests today! I mentioned that Doug Hepburn would blow most guys out of the water with his strength feats. He wouldn't hear a word of it. But he had struck a chord and I realized that the truth behind much of what we are experiencing today (having to do with performance enhancement) was linked directly to the almighty dollar.

Athletes are marketable products. They are marketed for one reason only - they win medals or games, and that makes money. Nobody wants to pay money to see a mediocre performance, and advertisers certainly will not pay top dollar to attach their names to a loser. Unfortunately, with performance enhancing drugs, many athletes become losers when they refuse to start taking them. The end result? The athlete feels that he or she has no other option but to start using.

One of the major issues directly linked to steroid use is food supplementation. Not that long ago, Weider was taken to court over his claim that his Anabolic Mega Packs (nothing more than vitamins) were as potent as anabolic steroids. The link in this situation is quite clear... promise the results of drugs, without having to use. The problem once again, is that the use of drugs is driving a sale. More specifically in this case, it is the promise of the benefits of drugs without the terrible side-effects.

The horrific appearance of today's bodybuilder is freakishly absurd. In every single glossy magazine about bodybuilding, you are looking at people who's grossly unnatural development is a result of DRUGS, not training. The training that these guys do is so silly that most of the bodybuilders would grow better just leaving it out altogether. Those that actually DO train properly grow to such proportions that it renders them freaks for life, and takes a dastardly toll on their health. Read that again... most professional bodybuilders are actually so idiotic about their training, that it is a disadvantage. The drugs they take are more than enough to make up the difference!

Now, when a neophyte lifter tries to learn about lifting, where is the most readily available source of information? Well, either the largest guy in his gym (who is genetically blessed, using drugs, or both) or from the magazines. What does he learn? He learns that he must "pump up" performing enormous amounts of useless work. The incredible volume of this information is such that even a well founded and clear argument against such training tactics will fall on deaf ears. You can actually explain the sound and reasonable principles behind lifting weights to a pumper, and they will admit that it makes sense... but they will continue to "blast," "bomb," and "blitz" their way to "behemoth biceps." All according to the muscle comic books. Most of the young guys fail on routines like this. How bad is it? If one out of a hundred new gym members keeps their membership for more than two years I'd be surprised.

So why is the turnover so high? The information is BAD, plain and simple. But, you see, you don't need good information to grow muscles if you are taking enough drugs to cure the muscle wasting that is caused by having a nuclear warhead detonate right next to you! You just need the drugs. It is absolutely disgusting. AND, it is getting worse.

Those guys that refuse to take drugs can now take garbage that is close enough to a steroid that it only needs one slight change to make it one. People like Mark McGwire are touted as heroes even after publicly admitting to using "pro-hormones" to enhance their athleticism. What kind of message is THAT sending to kids? Sales of compounds that are not just useless, but dangerous is easy to do! So called, "fat burners" contain stimulants that have killed people who have an unknown sensitivity to them. It is beyond me why ANYONE would bother.

Basically, things have now gone over the edge. To the new trainees, you are either "toning" or you are a bodybuilder. And if you are a bodybuilder it is commonly believed that you must use both food supplements and drugs! The funny thing is, only in the last few years have bodybuilders become large to the point that they exceed what is capable without drugs. They are also dying in numbers that are far too high for their demographic. I have heard kids say, "I need to buff up man, I need some juice!" Believe me, they weren't talking about orange juice.

So what do you do? Well, for one you begin to train honestly. You do not succumb to the temptation offered by the false-fix of drugs. It isn't even a fast fix. Squatting hard, eating big and dieting off the fat will get you in shape faster than any super-program that requires drugs to make it work. Think of it this way. The muscle magazines say that a 10 pound gain of lean tissue per year is a phenomenal amount of progress for a bodybuilder (assumed to be using drugs). Well, by following a 20 rep breathing squat program, Dr. Randall Strossen put on 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks! Unfortunately for the world at large, supplement companies have been so dishonest that the public has been conditioned not to believe outrageous claims... even though in this case they are true!

And make no mistake! The companies that are selling supplements are directly linked to the drug industry. The supplements today are actually advertised as mimicking steroid-like gains! Consider this fact as well - it is not in the best interest of a bodybuilding product manufacturer for you to make gains. If you did, you would cease to purchase the miracle supplement that got you there. And if you don't take the supplement at all, but opt for steroids, the company will still gladly pay you to endorse the product.

How closely linked are these "bodybuilding" companies with other sports? Well, EAS has members of the National Football League endorsing products, as many other supplement companies do. And EAS is one of the companies that produces and distributes "pro-hormones" which are nothing more than "almost steroids." Essentially, the industry that claims to be providing instruction on strength, health, and well being, is pushing a series of events that are leading the world to either get no gains at all, take risky drug-like supplements, or opt for the drugs themselves. And the bottom line here is that the walking advertisements of this industry aren't even bothering with the first two options. THEY just shoot up syringes full of anabolic agents to the tune of nearly $50,000.00 per month and PRESTO! Instant gains.

So what kind of gains are these guys getting by doing the drugs? Are they that much better than the gains of the pre-drug, golden era of physical culture? No. They aren't. Bodybuilders today are ugly freaks. They looknothing like the well developed, incredibly strong people from the early years of this sport. Funny thing... the measurements haven't changed all that much. It is the appearance that is altered so significantly. Bloated, drug-engorged muscle is horrifying to look at, weak, and freakish. Weak? Yes weak! The lifter's of old could destroy today's crop of lifters in a contest! How is this possible? Let me explain...

Men from the golden age of strength didn't bother with drugs. They didn't bother will "isolation" work and "pumping up." They lifted weights in such a manner that they built incredible physical strength... and not just the ability to demonstrate strength either! They actually improved their body's capacity to tolerate exercise by working such things as their lungs, connective tissue, and stabilizing muscles. They applied themselves diligently and progressively... and the end result was a body that would not get injured, would not soften up and lose size if exercise was dropped for a few weeks, and they lived productive and healthy lives. Compare that with today's crop of athletes (if you can call them that). Today you have nothing but injuries, high blood pressure, weak stabilizers, tendon and ligament problems, heart conditions and early deaths. And that is among a group of people that are supposed to represent the HEALTHY benefits of training with weights!

Andre said, "Image is everything." Andre was wrong. The image of the drug bloated monster, the image of the lighting fast athlete, the image of the greatest football player, or the fastest runner - these things are often just fakes. REALITY is everything. And the reality is that you can do it without drugs. You can be bigger, stronger, faster and live longer and healthier without drugs. You can break records without drugs. You can make the industry thrive again. It is up to everyone on an individual level. And it is a choice you must make - to stay clean, and stay strong.

Your children are counting on you.
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT