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THE BODYBUILDING WIZARD - by Charles Glass
« poslato: Decembar 12, 2009, 02:59:03 pre podne »
THE BODYBUILDING WIZARD
by Charles Glass - Trainer of Champions



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). 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.



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.



It seems that most people train hardest when they are being trained by someone. Then I watch DVDs of guys like Ronnie, Dorian, and Branch. I find it hard to believe that they could possibly train any harder, even if they had someone as good as you standing over them and cracking the whip. What do you think? And how many pros, percentage-wise, would you say already train as hard as they can?

The three men you mentioned are definitely three of the hardest-training pro bodybuilders you could ever hope to meet. But I firmly believe that even they could have trained just a little harder with a good trainer pushing them. Why? We are all human, and we react to pain. Obviously, most elite bodybuilders can tolerate more pain and push a set past the point most people are capable of. But the advantage of working with a trainer, be it myself or someone else, is that we don’t feel your pain. We will keep pushing you until you reach your absolute boundaries and literally can’t put out another possible ounce of effort.
 It’s funny how often the name Paul Dillett comes up when people want to point out an example of a lazy pro bodybuilder who didn’t train very hard. On his own, Paul probably did have a tendency to slack at times, but I can assure you that he was far from lazy whenever I trained him. I don’t take on clients who aren’t willing to work hard. Paul did exactly what I told him to and put out his best effort every time we had a workout scheduled.
 Another advantage to working with a trainer is that just about everyone has a natural tendency to stop training as hard and heavy as usual in the final weeks before a contest. It makes perfect sense. You are eating less and doing more cardio, so your energy levels aren’t what they normally would be. But I have always felt that training lighter and cutting back on your intensity before a contest is a big mistake. The muscles lose their density and fullness when you do that. Back when I competed, I used the same weights whether it was off-season or leading up to a show. I knew how important it was in the final product you show on stage.
 Your final question was asking me to guess a percentage of how many pros train as hard as they can. That’s not possible to answer with any real accuracy. But I can tell you that they are all capable of training harder when they are being trained by someone.




I am paying a guy to do my diet for a contest I am entering at the end of July. The reason I am already dieting is because I went a little overboard over the winter, bulking up. This nutritionist is very much against drinking shakes, especially when trying to lose body fat. He claims that the body handles real food much better, and the only time of day he will let me have a shake is right after my workout. All other meals need to be solid. I can eat real food at all those other times, but it’s very time-consuming and inconvenient. It would be a lot easier if I could have just one meal at work and two shakes instead of three meals. I just want your opinion as to whether or not
you think it really makes such a big difference. Will I get a lot leaner eating all solid food?


I can tell that what you were hoping for was that I would tell you shakes and solid food are interchangeable sources of nutrients. Then I would give you my blessing to go ahead and have a few shakes every day and make your life a bit easier. But I am going to have to agree with your nutritionist. Shakes are in liquid form, and they go right through you. That’s why you are hungry so much sooner after drinking a shake than you would be after a solid meal. It takes your body much less energy to digest a shake, which means that it burns less calories in the digestion process. Your metabolism slows down a little when you drink a lot of meals in liquid form. I tell my clients, whether it’s off-season or pre-contest, that shakes are only for immediate post-workout nutrition. That’s the one time you actually want something to get into your system rapidly. At all other times, shakes are to be used only in case of emergency. So tough it out a couple more months with the solid meals, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.



I have been training on a pretty standard four-day split with one day being chest and triceps, then days for back, legs, and finally shoulders and biceps. Arms are my worst body part, so I am thinking about doubling up on chest and shoulders so I can have a day just for arms. I just wonder if you think that working chest and shoulders together is too much, and that one of them will suffer? I can’t imagine being able to press as much weight on both chest and shoulder presses if I have to do both in the same workout. Any suggestions?

You say that your arms are not up to snuff, but what about your chest and shoulders? If they are strong body parts for you and you can afford to maintain them rather than continue to try and make them grow, then you will have no issues working chest and shoulders together. It’s a lot of muscle mass to work all at once. But you can minimize the potential danger by streamlining the workout for maximum efficiency. Normally, you would want to work your chest with three types of presses; incline, flat and decline, plus a flye movement. If you choose to work chest and shoulders together, keep the incline and flye, but alternate from week to week with either flat or decline presses— not both. That will preserve more of your pressing power for the shoulder presses. Your shoulder routine needs to be short and sweet— a press and a lateral raise for 4 sets each. There is no need to do direct work for the front delts with all the pressing you are doing on this day, and rear delts can be worked with back. For your overhead press, I really like dumbbells. However, after training chest, you may be too fatigued to properly balance heavy dumbbells. In that case, do a barbell press to the front instead. If even that is too difficult, you can go ahead and do your shoulder presses on the Smith machine or something else like a Hammer Strength machine. This should all be sufficient to maintain your chest and shoulder mass or even improve it somewhat. You may be surprised to see better results due to better recovery— by working these two muscle groups that have significant overlap in the same workout, you give them each more time to fully recuperate between workouts.



What is the correct form for cable crossovers? I usually put one hand over the other and putting my weight forward a little bit, usually standing on my strong foot. I feel that I am able to get a more complete contraction when I cross my hands past each other, and just the name of the exercise alone would seem to imply that this is what you are supposed to do. But I’ve seen other people do them just standing up and not crossing their hands over. It looks like their pecs are still contracting pretty hard. What do you think?

If someone is crossing their hands when doing cable crossovers, that tells me they don’t know how to contract their pectoral muscles. You should be able to achieve a full contraction when bringing the hands together so the knuckles touch. In fact, a man with truly thick pecs won’t even have to bring his hands all the way together! You can think of the correct form on crossovers in terms of the bodybuilding pose it mimics, the crab mostmuscular. If you ever see a guy crossing his hands, that’s either a raw novice competitor or someone who never learned how to pose properly. In short, don’t cross the hands!



I am your typical endomorph at 5’4“ and a whopping 220 pounds. I followed the advice of a powerlifter at my gym. He told me I don’t have the genetics to ever step onto a bodybuilding stage, so I should just eat a lot of junk and lift heavy and be a great powerlifter, since I am naturally strong. I also have a physically demanding job. I deliver beer kegs. Each keg weighs 165 pounds. I stack two kegs on a dolly and drag them upstairs and lift them on racks all day. I love my job and make very good money. My goal is to be ripped at around 165 like a lot of the shorter guys are. I have slimmed down to 170 with a sixpack in the past. However, I was still in no shape to step onstage. I have lifted for over 10 years. I
hope that you can give me a straight answer as to whether or not I could pack on some good muscle and get ripped with such a demanding job.


It would be a lot easier for you to make gains and get leaner with a ‘normal’ desk type of job. But I can guarantee you that you can indeed achieve your goals. Over the years I have known various men who worked extremely physical jobs like construction; carrying steel girders and putting up drywall for eight or 10 hours every day. The key with training is to either train before work, or try and catch a little nap after work before you head to the gym. I’ve even known guys who would take a little nap in their car outside the gym before going inside to work out! You also have to be meticulous with your food preparation so you have all the meals you need during the day. If you genuinely don’t have time to eat more than one solid meal while you’re working, try to have a protein shake along with a piece of fruit and some nuts once or twice during the workday (preferably twice). Also, outside the gym you have to get as much rest as possible. With a physical job, that’s even more important than it would be to the average bodybuilder. Staying out late and partying is out of the question, as is wasting a lot of time watching TV. It may seem at times that all you do is work, workout, eat, and sleep, but that’s how you can build a very good physique regardless of your occupation. And finally, never let any one person’s opinion or assessment of your potential determine whether or not you follow your dream. You assumed that powerlifter had an expert eye and was giving your bodybuilding potential an expert evaluation. In fact, he may not know anything.

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Odg: THE BODYBUILDING WIZARD - by Charles Glass
« Odgovor #1 poslato: Decembar 12, 2009, 02:59:38 pre podne »
As I was studying the photos from the Arnold Classic, it seems to me that Victor’s legs still aren’t as good as they used to be. This leads me to wonder have you ever known a bodybuilder to come back after a terrible knee injury and get his or her legs back to 100 percent?

I happen to know one guy who came back from a knee injury quite well— me! Back in my college gymnastics days, I injured my right knee badly at one point. I knew that unless I could rehabilitate it and return to normal strength levels, my gymnastics career was finished. There is no way you can punch into a flip, for example, without strong, healthy knees. I did my own physical therapy, which consisted of a lot of isolation work on the bad knee. I would do things like single-leg presses a lot. To anyone attempting to rehab an injured knee, I recommend doing as much unilateral work as possible. On any type of machine like the leg press where you are normally using both legs at once, it’s impossible to keep the stronger side from taking over and compensating for the weaker side. When you do these, keep your body square and avoid twisting the torso. Another good movement is the hack squat, done facing at a diagonal so that only one leg is doing the brunt of the work. The weights should be fairly light at first, and you have to use a full range of motion and be sure the pressure stays on the injured knee so it is forced to adapt. My right knee and leg eventually became stronger than my left as a result of the extra attention. I started lifting more and more to rehab other injured areas like my back, and soon my body took on a new look. I fell in love with weight training— and you know the rest of the story!



My gym just got a new type of Smith machine that lets the bar move vertically, like a standard Smith, and horizontally. Ironically, I find that the bar is more wobbly and harder to control than even a regular barbell! So my question is, do you think there are any added benefits to using something so ‘unstable’ or would I be better off just using a regular bar inside a power rack?

I’m not a big fan of ‘instability’ type training in the first place, especially for bodybuilders. That wobbly sensation you are experiencing tells me that you could very easily ‘slip out of the groove’ on any number of exercises and get hurt. You would be better off simply using a barbell. At least with a bar, you are forced to stay tight and control the bar through a specific plane of motion. With the machine you describe, you would have to train in almost slow motion to do that unless you go very light.



I am curious, Charles— why didn’t you compete more as a pro? Didn’t you want to ever become Mr.Olympia or win at least a few pro shows? Looking back at some of your photos from the ’80s, I think you could have done it. And I’ve always wanted to know— how did you get into personal training?

For one thing, I knew my limitations and what it would take for me to put on the additional size I would have needed to advance to the elite levels of pro bodybuilding. At one point I took my bodyweight up to 252 pounds, and I was never so uncomfortable in my life! For another thing, pro bodybuilding as a career choice was not a very lucrative option for most of us in the early ’80s when I got my pro card. There were no contracts. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day as an engineer. My training was done around that job, which meant I was up at 3 a.m. every day to train a large body part and then rush off to work. After work, it was back to the gym for a smaller body part workout. It was a rough schedule. Then one day at the gym, a lady who had asked me for workout tips on various occasions wanted to know if she could pay me to train her four days a week. This was back in 1982, and the only guy in the gym who was a ‘trainer’ was named Terry Williams. The personal training industry had yet to take off. It sounded like a great idea to me, so I started working with her and soon loved the feeling of being able to help someone mold their body into what they wanted. Then more people began approaching me, and soon my routine became to have one client in the early morning who would work out with me, go to my engineering job, then come back to the gym to work with four more clients. Others wanted me to train them, but I only had so much time in one day and my ‘real job’ took up most of it. In 1989, I finally said goodbye to the corporate world and made personal training my profession. It was the best decision I ever made, and all these years later I can still say I love what I do every day.



I recently read an article that talked about how overhead presses are much more effective when you use free weights as opposed to machines and furthermore, that doing your shoulder presses standing rather than seated is far more effective at stimulating growth in the delts. The writer claimed that the act of having to keep the weight balanced and stable forces the shoulders to work much harder. Plus, you can’t cheat by leaning back. As a man who has put many a bodybuilder through many a shoulder workout, what do you think?

I do think overhead presses can be very productive when done from a standing position, but we need to get one thing straight. Not only is it possible to cheat, but in fact, the overhead press with a barbell was discontinued as a competitive lift in the Olympics in 1972 entirely because all the lifters were cheating by leaning back to an exaggerated degree. Leaning back like this is treacherous. It means that the lower back is put into an extreme arch under a very heavy load, which you should recognize as a surefire way to suffer a devastating injury to that area. But if you do the lift without leaning back, you find that you can’t handle anywhere near the amount of weight. Using dumbbells would be a superior choice, since you don’t even have to lean back to get your head out of the way and can maintain a vertical posture. The reason I like to have bodybuilders do their presses most often in a seated position with back support is that greater loads are possible, and that builds more mass. For example, you might be able to handle 80-pound dumbbells for 10 reps seated. Standing, I doubt you would be able to use 50s. The disparity increases with a barbell. Most guys who can press 225 to the front sitting down can’t manage much more than 135 or 155 pounds standing— unless they start leaning back. I always make sure my clients don’t lean back and arch while doing presses. If they can’t do it on their own, we take a big weight belt and strap them in securely. You’ll notice that most Hammer Strength pressing machines for shoulders and chest have seat belts built in for that same purpose. A very slight arch is fine in overhead pressing, but anything beyond that is dangerous and counterproductive. The more you lean back and shift your hips forward, the less your shoulders are activated as your upper chest takes over. I always choose a bench with a set vertical back rather than an adjustable bench that would allow for a slight incline (again, too much upper chest involvement). Try to understand that even though I am advocating seated presses rather than standing and one big reason is for the greater loads you can use, I still don’t ever recommend using poor form simply to use a heavier weight. One other way to press that I highly recommend is to use the Hammer Strength behind-neck press, but do it facing into the machine with your hips back a few inches from the back support. This shifts the emphasis squarely on the front and side delts. So when it comes to standing presses, go ahead and do them occasionally with dumbbells, maybe every third or fourth workout. Otherwise, remain seated!



My questions are pertaining to cardio and balancing fat loss with muscle gain. In addition to trying to build muscle mass, I’m also trying to lose more body fat, which makes building muscle mass a slow process because my calorie and carb intake is very restricted (I still get about 250 grams of protein per day, mostly from whey protein shakes). I also do a lot of cardio. I’m currently 6’2”, 244 pounds, 31 years old, and I know that when weight training, you’re supposed to switch up your routine so your body doesn’t adapt. Only recently I’ve been told that the same is applied to cardio. I have spinal stenosis in my lower back and neurogenic claudication, which means that my cardio is restricted to either the stationary bike or walking on the treadmill at a steep incline. I do the incline treadmill for 30 minutes five times a week after my weight training and almost never do the bike because (according to the calorie meter) it only burns about half the calories as the treadmill. If the calorie meter on the treadmill says I burn 550 calories from 30 minutes of cardio, am I actually burning less than that after doing the same cardio routine for a couple of months because I’ve adapted to it? If that’s the case, should I start doing the bike for a while, even though I’m burning less calories? Are those calorie meters on the cardio machines even accurate at all?


It’s impossible for the calorie meters to ever be 100 percent accurate, because typically the only data they ask of you is your weight and age. Obviously, you could have two people of the same age and weight with radically different body compositions and metabolic rates. That being said, one thing you can take heart in is that at least the machine is consistent. That is, if you use the same machine one day and burned 500 calories and 550 the next time, you did in fact expend more overall calories the second time. Whether that’s actually 520 or 570 isn’t too important in the big picture. Even though the stationary bike does burn less calories, you should throw it in there once or twice a week for variety. Your bodyweight is supported already, so you should be able to work a little harder pumping your legs. You can get more variety out of the treadmill by selecting programs that change the speed and angle at various points in the workout rather than always staying on a high incline. I would also bump that 30 minutes up to 45 and add in a sixth day of cardio on one of your off days from weights for 60 minutes. Now this next part may seem crazy, but hear me out. One of the reasons you are having difficulty in both gaining muscle mass and losing fat is that you are getting nearly all your protein from whey protein shakes. Whey definitely has a value. It’s exactly what you want right after training because it digests very rapidly, so the amino acids can get right to the muscles. For that very same reason, it’s not a good choice at most other times. What you want is a more sustained-release protein source that also makes your digestive system work and thus raises your metabolic rate. The name of this wonder supplement is— food! Try to eat solid protein sources at least three times a day, like chicken or turkey breast, a white fish like tilapia, egg whites, and lean cuts of red meat. Make these changes and I am very confident that your body will soon begin to take on a leaner more muscular appearance.



I often hear bodybuilders say that diet amounts to up to 80 percent or more of the muscle mass that they put on. This statement implies that weight training plays only a minimal role in muscle gain and could be avoided. I do not believe this personally, of course; it is just the semantic conclusion of the above statement. In other words, if diet is 80 percent of the equation, then a bodybuilder who only eats properly but does not lift a single weight or exercises in any other manner would look 80 percent of what he/she would have looked like had he also exercised. Thus, is it possible to build muscle and increase strength without any weight training, but solely through diet?

I think you already know that without the stimulation of weight training, there can be no muscle growth. Muscles grow bigger and stronger as an adaptation response to being trained under resistance. It’s silly to ascribe these specific percentages to anything, because they are all important. If anything, though, the only factor that would still produce some
type of results assuming that at least a person was eating a couple times a day, would be the training. The gains wouldn’t come for very long and would cease unless the person made an effort to take in nutritious food at regular intervals every day to support muscle recovery and growth. But you need to train hard, eat well and rest to gain muscle. If any of those three main factors are sorely lacking, you can’t expect to make any meaningful gains in lean muscle mass or strength.