Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Blade

Dexter Jackson won his first Masters Mr. Olympia on December 8. He is the only man to win an open Mr. Olympia and a Masters Olympia. Dexter is defying the age factor and came in with one of the best looks in his career. I thought he would be going down hill early last year, but he has proven me wrong. At 43 years of age this guy just keeps getting better. Here is a photo I took of him at the 2001 Flex Pro.

Monday, December 10, 2012


If I had to narrow it down to one thing that inspired me to become a bodybuilder, I'd have to say it was a photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the beach hitting a 3/4 back pose. I was amazed when I first saw it. And I'm still amazed whenever I see it. I decided to do a painting of it in acrylics and I finished it last night. I have  a few areas on it that I might go and fix someday, but for now I'm happy with it. Seeing this photo of Arnold in this pose never gets old and it fires me up to train hard every single time I see it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Big Dilemma

Do you continue to train for mass or try to lean up? Seems like a simple question with an easy answer, right? Sure, if you actually compete, but what if you're one of the many -- the majority -- who do not compete or haven't competed in years? When do you decide to go into a cutting phase?

Bodybuilding, whether you do it competitively or only as a hobby, is an extreme lifestyle. In order to be successful you have to be. Think about. You really need to train at least 3-4 days per week and monitor your diet all day long -- everyday! If you're  trying to gain size, you'll need to eat 4-7 times per day and your protein intakes is probably at least twice that of an average American. If it's "offseason" you can eat as many carbs as you want. Your only limit is how big your gut gets. And that's where the dilemma comes in.

Extreme eating is done to gain size even to the point of force feeding in order to pack in enough calories so the muscles can grow. Flood those fibers with nutrients all day long so there isn't even the slightest chance to veer from an anabolic state due to calorie restriction. (Some guys even get up in the middle of the night just to eat!) You get used to trying to never be hungry and eating at specific times during the day rather than wating a couple hours for you stomach to empty and hunger returns.

Then one day you decide to rip up for (fill in the blank). You cut back on the carbs and keep the protein high and eat at least 6 times a day to "keep the furnace stoked" so you can burn fat at an incredible rate that will shock all your friends who use Jenny Craig or WeightWatchers. But guess what? Since you're used to force feeding every two hours you feel like you're starving and want to eat everything in sight. Food and the burning hunger is all you think about.

If you decide to rip up, go for it and don't hold back. Don't worry about losing a little size in the process.

If you want to gain mass, don't get sloppy fat.

Train hard and enjoy the journey! You are blessed, fortunate and lucky to be on it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IFBB Pro judging and the fans

The 2012 IFBB Mr. Olympia is a little more than a week in the past and in that time I've read lots of posts on forums on various sites by fans. It's pretty much the same stuff that I see after every contest -- "the judges are stupid" "the IFBB is corrupt" "Branch Warren should not have been in the top 10" "judges should be held accountable" "you have to knock out the champ" "MuscleTech" and so on...

To be honest, I'm tired of it. Most of the guys complaining are young kids who have only seen pictures of pros on the internet and have never been to a live pro show and yet they know more than IFBB judges, promoters, and other officials. And somehow these internet warriors all have the inside scoops on how MuscleTech or Gaspari pay off all the judges and promoters.

As I was sitting at the Mr. Olympia I overheard a couple guys talking loudly behind me. The jist of their conversation was that Kai Greene was is in good shape and would make a better spokesperson for the sport because he had a hard life and grew up in foster homes. I had to think, "Really?" It didn't matter that Kai faded big time on stage during the finals and Phil Heath didn't. Kai should win because of... how he grew up?

It seems after every show guys are complaining about the judging like it's a common fact that all IFBB judges are worthless and always have been. Guys say the placings are never right. The young internet judges are always right because they've looked at all the photos frm several sites. I come back from the show and start thinking they saw a different show than I just did.

I've been to more than 20 pro shows and, no, I don't agree with all the placings at every show, but I tend to see that a judge could see it differently than I did. From those 20-some shows there are only two decisions that I really questioned the final winner. One was the 2010 Arnold Classic. Phil Heath was ahead in the judging and it seemed everyone in the crowd knew he was going to win because Kai was a little off. By the end of the finals, Kai came out on top and Phil was second. It was bewildering, but Kai did look better in the finals so I can concede a win for Kai. No big deal really.

The 2007 Mr. Olympia is another story, That is the one and only show I still question the final results. Lots of people did. Jay was off and didn't deserve that win over Victor Martinez, but that is the one and only show that I really didn't agree with the results. The other shows were all pretty close and I can understand the other decisions -- even if I didn't agree with them.

Social media and the internet in general have allowed people to share ideas, opinions, and concerns about their topic of choice, but it's opened up a world of misinformation and silly conspiracy theories into pro bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is hard to judge because it's all subjective anyway. Adding extra bogus parameters and suggestions from guys that have never attended a pro show is not helpful.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beyeke Wins 2012 Flex Pro!

Lionel won his first IFBB pro competition last night in Santa Monica, CA. Congrats to Lionel!

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Flex Pro is this weekend!

It's hard to believe an entire year has passed since the 201l Flex Pro. It will again be held in Santa Monica, this Saturday, February 18. Fouad Abiad, who placed third last year, is my pick to win this year.