Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If You Don't Train Legs - Go Home!

Legs are the larest, most powerful muscle group in the body. As with any other training methodology, you want to work on getting your heaviest lifts out of the way first. So it should be a no-brainer, that because legs are your biggest muscles, they should be employed for your body's hardest training. I believe legs (not chest & bi's) should be everyone's first muscle group, first work out day of the week. Who cares how hard your pecs are - or - how rounded out your delts are -- if you have chicken legs - you're a lawndart. And unless you plan to be the next great star of the NPC/IFBB Men's Physique, you're going to want to train wheels.

But do you need to do squats? In terms of hardcore'ness, the short answer would be 'yes.' But there's so much more you can do to make up for not doing them.

Monday, September 5, 2011

India is a Bodybuilding Country!

India is the second most populated country in the world, with a population just over 1 Billion, and a common language with the United States, English. Indian bodybuilding enthusiasts flock to gym, eating high-protein diets that are conducive for increasing lean muscle mass, strength gains, and competitive sports - like bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman Shavy Raiput was kind enough to send us this video for the StrengthAddicts channel. You can do the same, by sending your video to Christian@StrengthAddicts.com. We're always looking for new talent!

StrengthAddicts.com and its various networks, including facebook, youtube, and myspace, offer you free promotion on a network that reaches nearly 8,000 people throughout the world.

If you're from India, or any other country, we want to know what supplements you take, what you think of these supplements, and what your fitness goals are. Get in contact with us, today!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Tribute to John Romano

John Romano, one of the most articulate and recognizable writers in the bodybuilding world, continues to develop innovative marketing tools with which to promote the sport of bodybuilding. For over seventeen years, John worked with Muscular Development Magazine, reaching the position of Senior Editor. His column the Romano Factor, quickly became one of the most popular features of the [bodybuilding] print media. Towards the end of his career, Romano, along with new MD Online Editor Dave Palumbo and writer Gregg Valentino, would start the first incarnation of No Bull Radio, a media format that directly rivaled Pro Body Weekly with Dan Solomon and Bob Cicherillo.

As No Bull Radio (hereinafter "NBR") became more popular, Valentino abrubtly left the original lineup, but the duo between Romano & Palumbo (later with the addition of Jeff the Producer) took on a whole new, even more popular personification. Soon, the diehard gymrats were straying from the safe-Weider'esque PBW for the more cutting edge NBR.

With the introduction of Speices Nutrition and what were seemingly free plugs of the product by Palumbo, interest from MD's owner increased in. When Palumbo politely declined his boss's investment proposal, it seemed that Palumbo's place with the publication was coming to a close. John Romano, who could have easily replaced Palumbo and continued being the face of MD, chose principle over pay.

The two left and Romano would help found the new RxMuscle.com, under the title of "Boss 2," an ironic title since Romano was the heavy hitter that had lost nearly two decades at the helm of a major publication. Nonetheless, Romano stayed true to his convictions and fought tooth and nail for the new site's success. He would again take to the airwaves alongside Dave Palumbo, on a new called Heavy Muscle Radio.

Romano and Palumbo would eventually part ways - professionally speaking. John was quickly hired by Jack Owoc at VPX, where he serves as Marketing Director, and co-hosts the wildly popular new radio show Shotgun Big Show, also co-hosted by IFBB/PDI Champion Lee Priest. So far, the show has had guests including IFBB Champion bodybuilder Cathy LeFrancois (Priest's ex-wife), WBFF founder Paul Dillett, IFBB great Nasser el Sonbaty, and SNAP's Victor Conte. The program airs every Monday night and has been able to all but continue from where John & Dave left off with NBR.

John Romano remains a hero to countless bodybuilders and bodybuilding fans. He is one of the best radio broadcasters the sport has ever heard, and his love for his friends and fans is without question. I am a John Romano fan, ARE YOU?

*Photo used with permission of John Romano. *Thread made with permission of John Romano. (Facebook Fansite)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2011 NPC Teen Nationals

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NPC Superstar, Larry Neri, Speaks!

Hello my name is Larry Neri. I am originally from Lacey WA, but live in Federal Way. The way i got into bodybuilding is kind of a funny story which hopefully i get the chance to share with you guys soon. I have been competing for about 3yrs. Earlier this year i placed 3rd in the Emerald Cup as a lightheavy, and just recently placed 1st in The Oregon States July9th as a lightheavy while narrowly losing the overall to the superheavy by ONE point.. Recently there was a discussion held on rxmuscle.com forum where people got to vote on whom they thought should've won the overall, me or the super. Apparantly my back, hams/glutes were a hit.;-) I've been asked to list excerises that i use, etc.

First let's talk back... For me its DEADS DEADS DEADS! I usually do full deadlifts from the floor but will do rack pulls on occasion as well. I also have my steady diet of rows as well. I usually opt for the barbell row or dumbell rows. I also do a variety of pulldowns and pulldowns behind the neck which lot's of trainers have tossed out of their programs because they feel its hard on the shoulders.. it feels fine on mine so i do them regularly.. I also believe in using more freeweights for the back as well..

Next my glutes/hams... for my hams I usually will do lying leg curls or a single leg curl. also I find that putting your feet together and higher on the leg press hits the hams and the tie-in as well..  I also do straight leg deadlifts, usually with a barbell as the dumbell version seems to do a number on my low back for some reason..  I think for me a lot of my devlepment is also a result of doing my hams on a separate day from quads..  I found that after all the squats, presses, xtensions, hacks, etc. you do for quads I was toast and never gave them enough intensity. once i did them on there own day i was able to really get after it and I made some great gains...luckily, due to my conditioning drying out my glute/hams before a show hasn't been a problem.
I hope that helps everyone that needs help in those areas.. well before i go i just wanted to let you guys know what's up next for me.. this Saturday i will be competing in the WA State Championships. I also plan on getting on the national stage soon so keep an eye out for me.. Lastly, I just wanted to thank Christian Duque for giving me this opportunity to blog on his site.. Also big thanks to rxmuscle and rxmuscle.com forums and everyone that commented on the the thread and voted for me...    

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What About Forearms?

Whether you train biceps with your chest or shoulders, and whether you train your triceps with your back or you stack 'em with biceps on a day all their own -- few people train their lower arms! Have you ever seen those idiots with synthol biceps and the laggin tri's - or even the guys with the 22" guns and the weak grips? You know the ones.. the guys that look like they can rip phonebooks in half, but need straps just shrug 225 or worse yet - row 135!

You ever shake hands with your wife's father, an employer, or just greet a new friend? You know what's right up there with having sweaty palms? It's having no grip to speak of! Biceps and triceps may look great, but if you're juiced to the gills and have the handshake of a fourteen year old girl, then you've got work to do buddy!

It seems everyone got the memo "triceps are 2/3 of your arm," only problem is, they're 2/3 of your UPPER arm. Your LOWER arm consists of your forearms.so unless you're a genetic freak like Lee Priest, you had better incorporate some exercises for these truly essential muscles. For instance, strong forearms coupled with an iron grip, can make your lifting straps essentially obsolete. Imagine being able to do deadlifts without straps - or even chalk. Imagine doing real shrugs, where you don't look like a schmuck having to do alternate grips just to lift 225 (alternate grip is for deadlifts! lol).

Beginner's Forearms Assault
3 Exercises, 3 Sets of 8 Repetitions Each.

15lbs. - Hammer Curls
20lbs.; 25lbs

20lbs. Reverse Curls - using the EZ Curl Bar
20lbs., 30lbs

15lbs. Pinwheels
20lbs., 25lbs

Thesse are light exercises for starters. If you can lift way more than this, then lift them increasingly strict form, pausing at the top of the movement to achieve ultimate contraction and control the weight completely during the negative. You will see veins begin to POP throughout your forearm. Put the weights down and flex; in between other sets, put the weights down and massage your forearms in between sets. You should take thrity seconds in between each set.

Do this routine for 3 months. Then up every set by 5lbs, but keep the the first set at the same level. I am a big proponent of warming up.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Role of Supplements

There is a key factor in building quality muscle that many people tend to forget. Everyone's body is different, some people respond better to low carbohydrate diets, other people prefer low fat diets? Which diet works better from you? Leave a comment here or on facebook.

But aside from the matter of diets, training, and even sleep, how many people here take supplements? Vitamins are very important for health, as well as minerals, herbs, and tonics. For example, did you know that just 25mg of DHEA in men over thiry years of age could improve virility? Did you know that certain herbs can fight depression?

Bodybuilding is a sport that teaches us to become more aware of what our body needs to function and grow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emotional Bullies

They're everywhere dear friends, people with big mouths that like to press others' buttons. Their goal isn't to physically fight nor is it to make amends in the future, rather, the goal is one of ongoing torment. Perhaphs some are unhappy with their own accomplishments, inadequacies they have trouble correcting. But the writing is on the wall -- the gym is a place where some build their physique and it's place where others congregate to collectively tears others down (either hovered like bitches in the peanut gallery or brazenly talkin shit to your face).

Imagine working sixteen weeks in your contest prep. You're tired and carb-depleted but you go on because you know you're close. Then some jerk comes by and knocks your physique, your color (tan), and/or takes a cheap shot at the amount of weight you're lifting. What would you do? Surely, you'd dream about decking the f*cker and knocking his sorry punk ass to the ground! Sadly, however, we live in a society kept in check by laws - ethics, if you will. You can't just walk up and junk-punch someone -- oh but how sweet it would be if they struck first, lol.

So what to do with emotional bullies? Is there a way to curb their fascination with this twisted pleasure? Are they closet homosexuals -- setting their sights on those they have feelings for? Homosexuality runs rampant in the gym -- I didn't create the news, I'm just reporting it. Why would one man be so fascinated by another to invent new ways to interact with that guy, with the only goal being to annoy that person?

Are all male-on-male bullies nothing more than frustrated polesmokers? Maybe, maybe not. The reality is that everyone has their price -- and everyone has their boiling point.

I reach my boiling point often. It's something I have to work on, but a big FUCK YOU to all you jerks out there that get you rocks off by doing you damnest to annoy other guys in the gym. Chance are ... you're just a little lipstick shy of being a princess.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

6 Drinks a Day for a Ripped Physique

AM & Lunch Shake 16oz - 20oz

8-10oz Silk Soy Milk
1 Large Banana
Handful of Blackberries, rasperries, & strawberries
2 Scoops Dymatize Whey & Casein Protein
1 Serving Peanut Butter, & ICe

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On working out this evening...

I was swamped with research at the library today so working out in the morning (my usual) was just not possible. Lately, I've been training six days a week on, with one day off (same with my daily walking). Today was my off day from the long, and I was determined to get into the gym by 4pm. My plans was train hard and be out in an hour -- but who can train in an hour?

Epic Fail.

I got in around 4:20 (no pun intended), and shortly thereafter, entered several members of Lansing's elite physique world. And sure enough.. people wanted to know how they were feeling, what they were eating, it was as if I had gone from being in a gymrat-friendly establishment -- to church -- it was was really disturbing. It was like

Fan: How ya doin.
Celebrity: Good.
Fan: How ya been, how so and so [insert another star]. What's he eating? Is he resting? Did he take a dump today?

Ok... so I made that last part up, but really? People can be so lame sometimes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Que Pasa, Jeff?

It has come to my attention from athletes and fans that the Michigan NPC News received a number of excellent shots at this past NPC Detroit Grand Prix, and as usual, their site did a fantastic job of showcasing the talent on stage. Sadly, however, there was only one photographer that submitted photos to the site -- and he failed to submit any shots from several competitor from the state captiol -- the home of StregnthAddicts.com.

'Lansing had 4 division 1sts, and one 4th, but none of the published photos featured these atheletes."

- A Disappointed Fan

After contacting the NPC Michigan News, it was brought to my attention that Jeff Sygo was the only photographer to submit media for the event. For those of you out there -- wondering if there is an anti-Lansing bias -- there is not. I'm sure there's perfectly good explanation why our city's athletes weren't included. I mean just because someone wins four trophies -- that doesn't warrant a picture to be taken -- does it?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Jealous Bar

"The first lift [135] I take in pleasurably; the second lift [225] grabs my attention; the third lift [315], I'm hoping my chalky-grip won't give in; but for my fourth lift [405] and my fifth lift [465] it's on like donkey kong! My hands are chalked, my belt is on snug, and I'm enduring each and every rep."

Deadlifting is no joke - especially when you're over 5'10. Being tall is great for basketball, but it's a major obstacle if you're in the gym trying to build dense, lean muscle mass. You try and fill out such a torso - NATURALLY!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why Take Amino Acids?

"Why take amino acids if they're all in protein and complete fcods anyways?"

This was always my dilemma. Why spend more money on nutrients that are already included in even the most rudimentary of protein shakes and/or basic whole foods? Well, one good reason is calories. Most protein shakes, from the lean proteins to the mass gainers, have a minimum of 100-120 calories per serving. Instead of taking a 120 calorie shake, you could take an amino acid powder that gives you a sweet taste, packed with all the nutrients you need (actually 2x or 3x what a single serving of whey protein powder would have) for 1/4 of the calories and without any fat or carbs!

Currently I'm taking a great VPX Amino powder. Video Review coming soon!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Day for Abs?

It seeems that gymrats struggle with the issue of abdominals (or more commonly referred to as abs). These muscles, which in popular parlance also include obliques, are either overworked (by pathetic novices that believe in such a thing as "spot-fat-reduction" and/or completely neglected -- by equally misinformed lifters that believe that cardio alone with reduce the fat and build the region. Does cardio alone build your pecs? NO! So where on Earth did you get that cardio would build your abs and obliques?

The reality is that abs & obliques are our CORE MUSCLES, but that actually means something folks. It means that these key muscles keep everything together, they are employed when you stretch (to warm-up), they are employed when you bench press, and they are employed when you're running, swimming, and more than likely when you're having sex (though from the looks of you some of you, prolly not -- KIDDING!)

The key to developing a strong, defined core --- like anything else, is finding that reasonable middle-ground. Train these muscles at least one day per week - shying away from heavy weights, which will only make your appear denser and more bulky! Focus your efforts on range of motion and strict form -- if ever there was a need for finess -- it would be here.

Good Luck!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Leg Day Should Be No Joke!

"So you like to train chest, eh? Got your cute little chains tied to the bar? Like flexin your pecs in the mirror -- bounce 'em up and down. Oh what's that? You like training arms too?? ...and what???... biceps only?? Not so much triceps, huh goofball? Well take step into my world, poser, and let's see you give it your all for the body's biggest, baddest, most dependable, tried and true muscle groups ::: LEGS & BACK!"

And if you're one of these CELEBRITY BODYBUILDERS that goes around the radio shows and/or puts out dvds asserting that you only need 45 minutes to train... go roll up that logic and smoke it at a Planet Fitness near you. (lol)

When we train legs -- we do:

Leg Presses
Front Squats
Hack Squats
Leg Extensions
Inner Thigh work

& we also like to hit calves
(we hit 'em w/ Quads and again w/Hams)

If you want to do all that work at 5 sets (8 reps each) in FORTY-FIVE minutes --- then it's your heart attack -- you can choose how & when you die. Spare me all that nonsense about Max-Ot and HIT and blah, blah, blah. What the hell else is goin outside the gym that you have to be in such an all fire hurry about?!

Take your friggin time, hydrate yourself, get full range of motion on each rep, and walk out of the gym calmly, satisfied!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amanda McDonald - Ready for Battle

Most people that are days away from a show, can be seen dragging their feet around, sporting the long, sucked-in faces, and whining to any and all that will listen. But not Amanda McDonald, a natural bodybuilder from Lansing, MI, that trains at Gym Bumz Fitness.

Just today, less than a week to contest-time, Amanda was leading an exercise class -- in the A.M. no less! This is a person that's so driven, she'll come to the gym at 5am to do her cardio; a person that routinly trains twice a day, keeping a strict diet, and helping others whenever she can.

To be a part of StrengthAddicts and/or to appear on our pages, you not only have to have the look, but you have to be accessible to the general public; you have to be willing to offer others a hand and/or acknowledge folks that take the time to say hello and/or give you a compliment.

Amanda is far more than just an accomplished bodybuilder. She's a mom, a firefighter, a friend to a great many people, a workout buddy, and much more. You can find her at Gym Bumz most regularly training with her workout partner John Nolan and/or with her lovely daughter and fellow workout girls. :)

We're all rooting for her, as well as for Jim, John, Liz C., and everyone else competing in the next couple of weeks in Detroit, Redford, and Boston.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shoulder Day: A Recap Worth Noting

I still remember it like it was yesterday... a certain coach/guru at a bodybuilding show in Flint, Michigan, told me that one thing I lacked was shoulder development -- granted at the time, I must have been weight 315lbs. I'm sure the shoulders were there -- somewhere!

Ever since, training deltoids (aka 'shoulders') has been a key component to my training. I mean, I always hit them, but in the sport of bodybuilding (whether you're competitor or a fan of the sport), it's those knocks that you keep with you. And while I'll usually include bi's with chest and/or tri's with back, I usually reserve a day exclusive for shoulders.

My strategy is to stimulate the front, middle rear delts -- but I also like to vary my approach (sometimes including traps with delts, sometimes including them with back -- it really depends on how my body's feeling). And like with any other muscle group, I try to do my heavy lifts first, though in recent time I've all but discontinued the riskier exercises (e.g. behind the neck presses and even seated dumbbell presses).

It's absolutely critical that people realize that one of the bodyparts most susceptible to injury are our shoulders. Other muscles, like calves & traps can take a beating, but unless you want surgery -- train smart!

Christian Duque's Shoulder Assault!
5 Sets / 8 Reps Db Raises @20lbs
5 Sets / 8 Reps Db Side Lateral @20lbs
5 Sets / 8 Reps Cable (Rear) 10lbs
5 Sets / 8 Rep Cable (front) @ 10lbs.

By simply incorporating 40-60% of your total workout into light-weight, controlled movements, you will ramp up your endurance, increase your definition, and perfect every aspect of range of motion. So many people in the gym heave massive amounts of weight with horrible Body English, terrible form, and seldom using the target muscle effictively.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tornado Sirens

As of the last few days, I've been going out for 5mile walks in an attempt to get my cardio in, but at the same have a time during the day for self-reflection. During these walks there are no mp3 players, no textbooks, no internet; there's plenty of distractions, but these instances help to create an overall atmosphere which is what I'm after anyways.

If you live in Lansing, you know the weather the last few days has been cloudy and muggy, and on the last couple of walks (before yesterday), I'd get hit with an ocassional raindrop or two as I wound down the homestretch to my building's front door. However yesterday was a whole different story! By the half-way point the rain started, the wind grew more and more violent, and as puddles formed and my shoes became drenched, I could have sworn I was being pelted with sleet!

But while most people ran for cover I kept walking, I was determined that water wasn't going to keep me back. Then the sirens went off, and for a moment I thought I heard air raid sirens. Then the sirens went off again, I could see lightning before eyes, I heard loud thunder, and a third siren.

Oh well... as the lightning seemed to flash before my eyes, all I could think about was, I must finish this walk and I can't wait to eat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

SAN Tight Extreme

Team SAN, sponsors of one of my favorite sites on the web -- RxMuscle.com, sent me a couple t-shirts and some samples. Yesterday, I went out on a 4mile walk, with only one serving of their Tight Extreme fat-burner.

I experienced great energy response, which was sustained throughout the entire walk. By the time I climbed the first couple of steps to my building's doorway, my legs tingled a bit, and I felt as I could another mile or so. I kid you not!

What I liked most about this product, is that it only has 200mg of caffeine, so you know that a great time "r&d" (research and development) has gone into the perfect its accompanying proprietary blend. I am not opposed to stimulant-based fat burners, but I'm quick to commend companies that ensure thermogenic results through the use of berbs (e.g. cayenne).

This is by far a product I highly recommend you try!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Amanda McDonald Prepares for Boston!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Similar Physiques, Similarly Driven

Damon Rizzo, 24, and Donovan Leonard, 18, are two of the hardest working young lifters at Gym Bumz Fitness in Lansing, MI. Both are committed to making strategic strength goals, meanwhile reducing fat (no small feat by any means in the gym). Unlike many of their peers, they resist the "bulking" temptation.

The concept of "bulking" means a great many things, to a great many people. Some lifters live by the tenets of the "the clean bulk," suggesting that others will eat whatever/whenever simply to put on weight (regardless if this weight comes in the heightened fat levels).

With many irresponsible (and just downright greedy) supplement companies in the here long enough to profit category, more than happy to hype up high sugar, poorly fortified "gainers" on the market, it's a breath of fresh air to see young lifters taking the tougher road to gains!

Both Damon and Donovan have put on great size. They have done so gradually, and continue to make key improvements through a variety of different training methodologies.

Monday, May 16, 2011

John Nolan

John Nolan, who trains at Gym Bumz Fitness in Lansing, MI, is currently preparing for the upcoming Detroit Grand Prix, held on June 11th. He'll be entering the bodybuilding contest in the Over 50 category, but he assures us that if he enjoys the experience, he will continue competing.

To say that Nolan has been training hard just for this contest, would be the understatement of the century. Under the tutelage of his training partner and guru, Amanda McDonald, John has been able to get lean and put on muscle - almost simultaneously. The idea seems to be an emphasis on diet, with an aggressive cardio-vascular program, which sees a variety of machines with interval frequencies.

The photos in this post were taken by John's (and our) good friend, Alan Lewis, who took two sets between May 1st & May 8th. Although this may be a first show to John, he's got a great support system of friends that are rooting for him, and people that will be most proud of him for getting onto than stage, than whatever place he gets. The real battle in this sport is about being able to be the best possible you on contest day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

T-Bar Rows: A Tried & True Back Builder

A lot can be gleaned from the photo above, featuring Ryan Vaughn, training at Lansing's GymBumz fitness center. The exercise is one of the most basic, blue-collar foundational movements for back development, but whether knowingly or not, Ryan has opted to use the 25lb plates as opposed to the 45's. So what's the big deal?

For starters, smaller 25's allow for several inches of greater range of motion (popularized back in the day by 8x Mr. Olympia Lee Haney, who coined the phrase "stimulate don't annihilate"). This strategy will increase shape and muscle control, because the athelete is more concerend with nailing form - as opposed to heaving large poundages in the hopes of some ill-conceived semblance of respect amongst the guys.

(An aside) You want respect from the guys around you? Offer a spot, don't leave your bench dripping in sweat, and if you're on the only machine available and some guy is waiting, offer him the option of working in with you -- SHARE! How much lift isn't your rite of passage in the sport.

Remember... always remember ... that's not how much you lift, it's how you lift.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fat Reduction Requires Variety

Training is more the lifting more weight or running faster down an open road. The key to successful and consistent losing bad weight, is to stress the value of a diverse array of exercises which include different cardiovascular machines, a combination of walking and running, and monitoring of one's heartrate.

Remember that effective training requires a watchful eye, as much as it requires endurance and energy. We cannot run ourselves to poor health, because then what can be said about the entire process? Why do most people want to lose weight -- or get stronger? The answer is an obvious one - people want to be healthier.

So keep in mind that you always want to keep the body guessing, but the important caveat being - you don't want to over exert your body's own present limitations. The more you exercise, the more your abilities will develop - but you must be as patient as you are passionate.

Remember, we want to be in this game for as long as possible. Good luck!For more great tips, check out http://StrengthAddicts.com