The (Recent) History of Man Boobs

As guys, we want big muscles – toned biceps, chiseled abs, etc. And when you look at your chest, you’d want to see it a big muscular chest that can give you the confidence to dominate a room. However, there’s a chance that when you look down, you’ll see a big chest but not because of muscles. Let’s talk about the dreaded man boobs.

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Judging a Physique Contest

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This article first appeared in Bob Hoffman’s Strength and Health Magazine in 1957. It details the point scoring for the precusors for today’s modern bodybuilding shows. Of particular interest are the categories dealing with muscularity and athleticism.

Many of us forget that physique competitions used to include some form of strength component dealing with the 3 big lifts (the two hand press, the two hands snatch, the two hands clean and jerk).

How would bodybuilding be today if Kai Greene and Phil Heath had to compete in the clean and jerk for the Olympia crown?

Since judging a Mister Competition has become one of the touchiest subjects in the Iron World, a great deal of time was devoted to clarifying this issue at the official AAU Convention last Fall in Los Angeles. I am going to try to briefly sum up these points for the benefit of officials who handle such contests.

Guest Post: The Best Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients for Joint Pain Relief

Joint pain can be extremely unpleasant, and in certain cases, it can be severe and insufferable. This condition prevents affected people from performing some of their regular daily routines, and although it’s most common in elderly people, all age groups can suffer from it. Various medical issues, including osteoarthritis, gout, bursitis, strains, sprains, simple inflammation, or rheumatoid arthritis, are responsible for joint pain. The knee is usually very prone to pain, but other joints such as hips, shoulders, or ankles are also susceptible to this medical issue. As some of these conditions trigger inflammation, it’s highly beneficial to use natural ingredients to relieve the pain as they don’t have side effects.

Ivan Dunbar, How Many Reps Makes the Champion? (1964 Health & Strength Article)

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One of bodybuilding’s most perplexing problems is deciding on how many repetitions. In recent years there has been a tendency to standardise the number to around ten, as this is felt to provide the best combination for muscular bulk, strength and stamina.

Not too many years ago the guiding rule was low reps for bulk, high reps for definition. But is this true? Well I remember, some years ago, embarking on a “bulk course” (the most misused phrase in bodybuilding) consisting of five exercises designed to gain at least a stone of muscular bulk and bring me at long last from the ranks of obscurity to bodybuilding stardom. Unfortunately, though there was a considerable increase in strength, the massive gains in bulk did not materialise.

Back to the Best: How Pro Athletes Recover From Injuries Faster

Nobody likes to be injured. Our exercise is a part of who we are, and if we’re left sitting on the couch all day, then we’re slowly losing a part of ourselves. Luckily, we have some trail blazers out there who have figured out how we can recover from injuries much quicker than compared to the olden days.  Professional athletes have more at stake than passionate amateurs do, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take a look at some of their ideas and get ourselves back out there performing faster than usual. Below, we take a look at how they do it.

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Source: Pexels.com

Is Portion Control as Hard as It Seems?

One of the main goals in weight loss (and nutrition in general) is to cut calories that are wasteful. We all have a recommended daily intake of calories and if you surpass it, then you’re in the territory of gaining weight unless you supplement your lifestyle with plenty of exercise to balance it out. Unfortunately, some foods that we eat are “empty” calories, meaning that they provide no real benefit to our bodies. In addition, some foods simply aren’t as nutritional as others, and it can be seen as wasteful.

Portion control is just another way of watching what you eat, but it goes a little beyond just cutting out wasteful calories. If you’re serious about managing your nutrition, then it’s important to keep an eye on the portions you eat so that you’re gaining as many nutrients as possible with the fewest calories.

Suits, Boots and Brutes: The History of Powerlifting Gear

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Early this month I had the pleasure (?) of helping a friend of mine at his local powerlifting meet. Over the months he had squatted, benched and deadlifted with a remarkable intensity and focus. When the time came for the big day, I was honoured that he asked me to come along. Admittedly, I didn’t know what to expect.

Despite training for over a decade at this point, a time that has included powerlifting programmes, my knowledge of the sport was largely confined to big athletes lifting even bigger things. The powerlifting meet changed that. At least somewhat. Still big athletes and big things but now there were elastic singlets, knee wraps and in the warm up benching shirts. What I thought to be a simple sport (in theory, not in execution) was anything but.

Competitors discussed the relative merits of heel height in their lifting shoes, the importance of tight weightlifting belts and which squat suit provided the best bang for their buck. When the time came for my friend’s first squat, I had to peel him into, and then later, out of, his own squat suit. Moral of the story? Always ask what exactly is entailed when you agree to help someone!

In any case the experience rekindled my interest in the history of powerlifting, specifically all its bells and whistles. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss the emergence of weightlifting belts, shoes, squat suits and bench shirts to determine what emerged, when and why.

Reg Park – How I Trained for the 1958 Mr. Universe

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An ideal for Arnie and countless others, Reg Park was one of the biggest bodybuilding names of the mid-century. Known for his powerful physique and raw strength, it’s no surprise that even though the great man has passed away, many still follow his old workout routines to a tee.

Today’s post was generously given by a reader of the blog who stumbled across an article written by Park following the 1958 Mr. Universe. It details his training, supplementation and general state of mind leading up to the competition. I’m sure you’ll find it as interesting and informative as I did.

Now in the interests of accuracy, and my own laziness, the article will appear below just as it did in 1958…Enjoy!

Doug Hepburn’s 1953 Training Cycle

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An absolute goliath in the training world, Douglas Ivan Hepburn or Doug for short, was one of the most respected athletes of the mid-twentieth century. Winning gold medals at the 1953 World Weightlifting Championships, the 1954 British Empire Games and a series of other contests, Hepburn is perhaps best known for his incredible power. Indeed, the Canadian born strongman was the first individual to bench press 500 pounds and squat over 600 pounds with relative ease. A remarkable feat by anyone’s standards.

The following blogpost is based on Hepburn’s own interview with muscle writer Jim Murray in 1954 and details Hepburn’s training cycles in the lead up to his 1953 gold medal.