Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bodybuilding Dirty Little Secrets

I wish people were honest with me when I started training.
I wish people were not pushing their own products in my face.
I wish there were no lies.
I wish somebody told me the sweet truth about bodybuilding when I was young...

Bodybuilding has lied to you. Actually bodybuilding has lied to everybody and this is the truth, the truth that nobody wants to tell and everybody denies.

Bodybuilding is a sport built on PEDs (Performance Enhancement Drugs). Without PEDs there is no bodybuilding. None. 

When did bodybuilding start? According to the current data "the first bodybuilder" was Eugen Sandow who was born in 1867. He is the only world famous bodybuilder you are likely to hear about who was natural. The only one. However while the body of EugeneSandow is achievable naturally there are rumors that he used amphetamines to look drier/more ripped during his show/presentation day. But when were amphetamines discovered ?

From wikipedia

Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887, by the German chemist L. Edeleano, the stimulant effects were not noticed. In the early 1930s, when amphetamine's CNS stimulant properties and use as a respiratory stimulant were discovered it was marketed as an inhaler for nasal congestion. At this time, medical professionals recommended amphetamine as a cure for a range of ailments-alcohol hangover, narcolepsy, depression, weight reduction, hyperactivity in children, and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

So, it's quite questionable whether Eugen Sandow used amphetamines but it's safe to say that his mass and level of leanness are clearly achievable naturally. 

Every FAMOUS bodybuilder after Eugene Sandow is not natural and used/experimented/abused/ultra-abused steroids and other recreational drugs. The first bodybuilder that comes to mind is Steve Reeves. Steve Reeves was not a natural bodybuilder. He did experiment with low doses of steroids and other drugs. Truth be told people from back then are no different than people today - they still did everything in their power to get bigger. Everything. 

As 2PAC would say: "Some things will never change."

After Eugene Sandow's death the scene of bodybuilding changed completely. The two famous bodybuilders were John Grimek and Steve Reeves. However Steve Reeves was much more Hollywood material due to his facial features and that's why he has become the face of bodybuilding at that time. He was Arnold before Arnold. He possessed that classic macho, a little too sensitive, look and people loved it. 

Steve Reeves had excellent genetics for bodybuilding - small waist, wide shoulder, strong bones. During his military service Steve was called "The Shape". However there was one secret behind his reign few people know. That little secret is called - John Bosley Ziegler or the godfather of Methandrostenolone (known as Dianabol/D-bol). While D-bol was originally released in the 1960s by Ciba Specialty Chemicals (company Ziegler worked for at some point in his career) there were prototypes of the product already during the 1940s. 

Excerpts from the article: Testosterone Dreams: Sex, doctors, and the male hormone

"Testosterone was first synthesized in 1935. Shortly after testosterone was produced in a European laboratory, following a competition among three pharmaceutical companies, Time magazine reported that: German and Swiss chemical laboratories are already prepared … to manufacture from sheep’s wool all the testosterone the world needs to cure homosexuals (and) revitalize old men.”

"The first public advocate of testosterone therapy for aging men was the popular science journalist Paul de Kruif, whose manifesto The Male Hormone was published with some fanfare in 1945. Excerpted in Reader’s Digest and promoted by a full-page review in Newsweek (“Hormones for He-Men”), The Male Hormone was in some respects a prophetic book. The potential market for a rejuvenating male hormone seemed to be enormous: “How many millions of American males, not the men they used to be, would flock to the physicians and the druggist, a bit shame-faced and surreptitious, maybe, but hopeful, murmuring: ‘Doc, how about some of this new male hormone?’

During that period of time (the 40s)  Ziegler experimented - on himself and athletes with many testosterone versions. Ziegler already had access to the popular steroid testosterone propionate and the extremely dangerous fat burner DNP. There was also experimentation with the powerful hormone insulin. The really scary part is that were are talking about the 1940s -the prime years of Steve Reeves. He, Grimek and a bunch of other lifters did catch that phase and were no strangers to the "finishing touch"*

During the 70s and 80s or in other words the era of Arnold Schwarzenegger steroids were quite common and used by pretty much most of bodybuilders. Arnold started taking steroids (mainly D-bol) at a very young age (teenager) and when he won Mr. Universe in 1969 at 19 years of age he was far from being a natural bodybuilder. He had really good structure and genetics but reality is - he did in fact take PEDs. All of this information was presented in the book called: Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography by Wendy Leigh. This book is very hard to find since Arnold's legal team is doing everything possible to eliminate its existence.

Many bodybuilders during the old days are trying hard to make everybody believe how little gear they used and that most of their success was due to the same old rules - training, diet, persistence. No, it was not like that. Here's an excerpt written by Nelson Montana, author of The Bodybuilding Truth.

I have fairly recently trained down in Florida with top pro of the 70's and early 80's CASEY VIATOR. 
I asked him directly about steroid use in the 70's and this is what he had to say.... and I quote... 
"Don't let anyone fool you about our low doses. We were just as reckless with steroid use as they are today." 
I asked him when the big doses started.... 
" The big doses started around 1974 and yes we were all right on top of it". Yes we ALL used GH back then and it was from real cadavers. The GH we all used was called CRESCORMIN and nobody was going to morgues to get it". 
I wanted an example and I told him about what I heard my mentor, and his friend and former training partner, Mike Mentzer used......only 400 of deca/week and 30 of d-bol/day. 
CASEY LAUGHED and then said this...." Mentzer used up to 2.5 grams of deca a week, God knows how much primobolin acetate, along with d-bol and growth, so as I said don't be fooled about our low doses as we were just as reckless as theses guys are today.  
I "left it at that" and didn't question him about HIS specific gear use because he really doesn't like to talk about steroids and is very much against their use in bodybuilding.....he is ashamed of his past gear use bro's but is perfectly aware that it allowed him to compete at a very high level and attain to success as one of the biggest and strongest form 73-83. 
During that same period of time the money loving Joe Weider had a vision - create an image using the best bodybuilders and show people a way to achieve that goal. The way was of course - supplements sold by him. Since many people would be training hard in the gym, emulating their heroes and yet staying far, far from their level of physical development there had to be a "supplement" that "makes" everything work. Joe Weider was selling those supplements. 

The advertisements contained fake promises, fake pictures and most of all no working products. Just like today. Reality is most of Weider supplements were just powder milk and sugar. They tasted horrible and were based on the myth that you need enormous loads of protein to build muscle mass. Many of the bodybuilders who advertised the products were not even using the supplements themselves - just like today. 

I have a question for you - how much money did you waist on supplements ? Don't get mad. We all did.

Bodybuilding had become really popular after the contest Mr. Olympia was created. The biggest bodybuilding contest to this day. The first Mr. Olympia was Larry Scott who was trained by the popular guru - Vince Gironda who himself was against steroids. Of course this was a lie and Vince Gironda took PEDs but responded poorly or as most people would say - "like a regular gym rat". One of the reasons he was a little too bitter and was screaming so loud against steroids. Virtually all of his pupils such as Larry Scott, Don Howorth, Rick Wayne, Mohamed Makkawy and many others used at least dianabol back in the day. Here's what they say about the subject:
Don Howorth: People said dianabol didn't do much but they were full of it. I took 20 mgs a day and my bench press skyrocketed. I never felt any side effects. I don't think I took enough to notice. 
Larry Scott: We only used a couple of dianabol pills a day and they really made a difference. Messed with the Libido though.

While the stories about "just a few pills" may be partially true the professional bodybuilders during the 80s were taking about 100mgs of d-bol and of course many other substances. Here's what THE MYTH Sergio Oliva has to say on the subject:

Sergio Oliva: This is an area of great interest for people. I don't care who wants to take steroids, because that's a personal choice... that's his life. Now, today, everybody has access to them. I even saw in one of the big magazines that Arnold denies having used them, but Arnold was one of the first to bring steroids over to America. And everybody in the old days used them: Zane, Columbu, myself, Arnold, Larry Scott, Harold Poole, Dave Draper, and even Steve Reeves. There's no way to deny it. It wasn't much, nothing like today. But the development of drugs is much different. I used decca and dianabol, and that was something really big at the time; and decca was not considered that bad. It was even prescribed by doctors to help make your bones strong. Today you have guys weighing 200 pounds, and six months later they weigh 250-300 pounds! So you know these guys are taking something unbelievable. When they say they haven't taken any thing, you know that it's phony.  (excerpt from interview made by By Brian D. Johnston )

After the Arnold era ended the bodybuilding scene was taken by guys Like Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Nasser El Sonbaty..etc. They took the steroid abuse to the next level. Dorian Yates who is the prime example of average genetics was one of the first "mass monsters" mainly due to unheard before abuse of growth hormone and insulin. He was pushing 280lbs at 4% BF. Size only a few like Nasser El Sonbaty could match. At the same time he was promoting the so-called High Intensity training method made famous by Mike Mentzer. While the training principle itself has solid points most of it was pure hype and this method of training had absolutely zero impact on the outcome. The main rival of Dorian in 1997,  Nasser El Sonbaty, has admitted to drug use and criticized professional bodybuilders for lying and hiding the truth

Nasser El Sonbaty used a lot of drugs through his life but was one of the few bodybuilders honest with the "kids".

The first Mr. Olympia was 200 pounds at about 5'7 height. Today we have guys competing at 250 pounds/5'7 height. What changed? The supplement industry developed? Better training equipment? More knowledge? More food? No. None of that was the reason for the muscle size increase. There's nothing new under the sun. Supplements still do nothing and most of the research backing them up is paid behind the scenes and corruption is all over the place. The only thing that changed are the dosages. How much gear does a professional bodybuilder use? A lot - grams of testosterone and insane amount of growth hormone which alone costs USD 40 000+ a year. All that is a "public secret". The text below is a quote of Wayne Demilia, President of the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB)
When my guys tell you it costs more than $25,000 to get ready for a big contest, do you think they’re talking about pasta?
Despite claims like the above one many people continue to believe in miracles, wonders even though the reality is completely different. Truth be told if PEDs and other chemicals are removed from bodybuilding there won't be much improvement compared to Eugen Sandow's time. The only difference is that today's true natural bodybuilders compete a little leaner (less bodyfat) due to better dieting and recreational drugs such as yohimbe and the popular cutting stack - ECA (Ephedrine, coffeine and aspirin). Muscle size wise the natural guys are the same or at least the real ones are. 

Many people claim that dieting, training methods and better training equipment are the reason for the progress of bodybuilding. The truth however is that the changes are not that significant. Old school bodybuilders since Sandow's time were known to eat - eggs, meat, milk...wholesome foods. Actually there was even some sort of protein supplement called Plasmon used by the lifters. Arthur Saxon also wrote in The Development of Physical Power about drinking Bovril (a beef extract) on a regular basis in addition to his usual food. On top of that I would even add that during Sandow's time refined sugar products were not everywhere like they are today. The "fake" foods we find today in the stores and we see on TV were not part of people's diet. So, the diet was the same - protein rich foods. Yes, there were no iPhone applications to track your macros but people still managed to survive. Let's now take a look at the training methods.

The training methods during the early days were - lift heavy weight. Many people before Steve Reeve's time were not familiar with "repetitions". They were simply lifting maximum weight but without burning out or going to failure. Quite similar to the training philosophy presented by Pavel Tsatsouline in most of his books. Right about the time of Steve Reeves people started relying more on repetitions because of the pump and the faster increase in size. One of the biggest differences during the old days was that there were no training splits and everybody was training the whole body each training day. For example Steve Reeves routine looked like that:

All exercises were done each training day and the workouts took a lot of time. At some point people decided to split the body and train different body parts on different days in order to reduce the duration of the workouts and recover better. 

While people today are using splits we pretty much do the same thing. For example when you look at Steve Reeve's routine he does 1-2 exercises per bodypart and about 3 sets per exercise. That would make 6 sets per day or 18 sets a week. Modern bodybuilders usually do 4-5 exercises per bodypart each week. The number of sets is about 3-4. That makes around 20 sets per bodypart a week or volume similar to Steve's routine.

Regardless of how you train you won't gain two inches on your arm thanks to "evolved training method" and today even with all the "training advancement" people are still using old school routines such as 5x5, push/pull, 10x3...etc.

The only thing that changed over the last 70 years is the level of confusion. This is the truth and you may choose to ignore it and follow "Weider's training principles" or some other fancy over hyped training method but in the end of the today all natural bodybuilders end up having the same muscle mass as the guys from previous centuries. Why? It's quite simple actually - the level of testosterone in males and females has not changed dramatically. Without having large amount of testosterone in your body you will never build huge muscles. It's like trying to fly without wings - no matter how fast you move your arms eventually you fail miserably. The prove can actually be found in the usage of steroids - the bigger the dose, the bigger the man. In other words even if you are using steroids at some point in order to get bigger you will have to increase your dose or otherwise you won't grow after a certain point. There is a reason why professional bodybuilders are taking grams of anabolic steroids each week instead of 200mg of testosterone - you simply get bigger by using more drugs. 

Today just like the old days money is king. And how do you make money in the muscle world - by creating pipe dreams. The newest sensation right now are the fitness YouTube channels such as FlexForRail (Matt Ogus), TheHodgeTwins, CTFletcher and many others. Virtually 90% of the famous channels are owned by steroid users. A good example would be Matt Ogus who is clearly a steroid user competing in "natural competitions". The kid is barely 20 and has the muscle maturity of a 32 years old man training for 12 years. He is also ripped but has a bloated (water retaining) face. For those who don't know that's a pure sign of drug abuse. Yet many people are following him on YouTube because of his "precious" advice while he is "making bank" uploading value deprived videos of him showing nothing more than his huge ego and the effectiveness of anabolic drugs. 

Typical look of bloated steroid user

Without pipe dreams being sold nobody would make any money. Nobody. The supplement companies will bankrupt, the famous bodybuilders won't be payed, the "gurus" will vanish, the youtube channels of steroids users such Matt Ogus, HodgeTwins and Scooby will disappear.

It's all one big conspiracy - from the gym membership to the last protein shake. 

Imagine a world where everybody knew that every single supplement is useless?

Imagine a world where everybody knew that you don't need to train six times a week?

Imagine a world where everybody knew that natural training ends at 170lbs 5'10 5% BF if you have good genetics?

Imagine a world where the professional bodybuilders are barely bench pressing 300 lbs after 10 years of training?

Imagine a world where Mr. Olympia is 200lbs 6'3. 

Imagine that world. 

* finishing touch - most professional bodybuilders describe the usage of steroids as polishing of the physique while the reality is that drugs are the engine of bodybuilding and have been so from the start.