Tag: Bulking

The Gironda Neck Press

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Popularised by the ‘Iron Guru’, Vince Gironda, the Gironda Neck Press (or ‘Guillotine Press’) is unlikely to be an exercise you see every day on the gym floor.

Dangerous if executed improperly, the neck press has sadly evaded most gym goers of the 21st century owing to the repetition of bland training programmes and the dogmatic belief that the bench press is the be all and end all of chest development.

Nevertheless for those strange few, the neck press is one of the most effective means of building the chest muscles in an effective and somewhat tortuous manner!

So what is the ‘Neck Press’ and why should you care?

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Alan Palmieri, Gaining Weight And Adding Muscle Mass (2003)

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Although sometimes people take up bodybuilding to lose weight, the majority take to the sport in an attempt to add weight and gain muscle size to their frames. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults. As one matures with age it is usually much easier to gain weight, sometimes too much weight. Individuals who are extremely thin go through just as difficult a time as those that are excessively overweight. Being extremely skinny was the reason I took up bodybuilding in the first place.

Eat like a Saxon!

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Those acquainted with the history of Physical Culture will no doubt recall the Saxon brothers, a travelling troupe of German strongmen who performed at the turn of the twentieth century. Blessed with remarkable physiques, the trio’s mighty strength was undoubtedly aided by their healthy appetite for food and drink. In fact, as today’s brief post shows, the trio consumed a gargantuan amount of food even by today’s standards.

According to Kurt Saxon, who acted as the trio’s chef on the road, a normal day’s consumption for each individual man was as follows:

Mike Mentzer, ‘Balancing Your Muscle Building Diet’, Heavy Duty Nutrition (1993), 9-10.

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The majority of bodybuilders I meet at my numerous exhibitions and seminars all over the country still seem to think that protein is needed in tremendous quantities to build muscle. The fact that muscle is only 22 percent protein suggests that our protein requirements are not nearly that high. And just because muscle is more than 70% water doesn’t mean we should begin drinking gallons and gallons of water a day to hasten the muscle growth process either.

What would happen if we were to drink such large quantities of water? We would go to the bathroom a lot to eliminate the excess water. In the case of consuming excess protein, however, we aren’t so lucky, since protein contains calories which turn to fat when consumed in excess. The point I am trying to make here is that our bodies possess specific needs for all the various nutrients each and every day. We don’t force more utilization of nutrients by taking mega- doses. Nutrients consumed beyond need are excreted, in part, and the rest is turned to fat.

The Lost Art of Type Training

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Can every muscle fanatic become the next Mr. Olympia? Is the 220lbs. ripped physique attainable for those who want it bad enough? How far can one push past their genetic limits?

For George Walsh (seen above), the focus of today’s article, genetics had a huge role in determining who would be the next Mr. Olympia and who would be the slightly in shape trainer. Accordingly, Walsh advocated people train to their strengths and ignore the marketing of the muscle business which would have you believe that $200 worth of supplements and the latest training programme would make you huge.

Today’s post looks at Walsh’s successes with type training, what type training entailed and what it means for the modern trainer.

Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat: The ABCDE Diet Experiment

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Gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time is often held up as the Holy Grail of body recomposition. A desirable goal, that advanced or even intermediate trainees are now told is only possible for beginners or those using chemical means.

Today’s post examines the rather lengthy sounding Anabolic Burst Cycle of Diet and Exercise or ABCDE, an eating program devised in the late 1990s by scientist/bodybuilder Torbjorn Akerfeldt, the ABCDE promised to promote both muscle growth and fat loss amongst drug-free trainees. Publicised in detail by Muscle Magazine in 2000, the diet quickly became the de rigour form of eating for gym goers across the world…at least initially.

Though simple in design, as we shall see, the ABCDE proved to be hugely ineffective for some as reports of excessive fat gain were numerous. Nevertheless, some have achieved good recompositions using the approach, making it worthy of our attention.

Old School Supplements: Choline and Inositol

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The early forerunners of bodybuilding were adventurous in every sense of the word. From 20 rep squats to raw meat, these men and women stopped at nothing in the pursuit of pure, unadulterated muscle. For muscle anoraks like me, this pursuit resulted in a series of supplements being used, which of course, had varying levels of success.

Though we’ve previously covered old school supplements such as Bob Hoffman’s fish protein powder (excuse me while I gag…), it seemed about time to study a supplement that may actually benefit the current bodybuilding populace.

These ‘vitamins’, combined together, were thought to increase one’s energy and strength levels, lower their body fat and even protect one’s heart and liver. The last benefit being one of major importance at a time when steroids were beginning to hit the scene and few knew what side effects if any they may have.

We are of course, referring to choline and inositol, a power couple used by iron heads for decades with varying results.

Kathleen Engel, ‘Put Size on Your Thighs with Nasser El Sonbaty’, Muscle & Fitness, 63: 6 (2002), 134-138

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For Nasser El Sonbaty, who has spent 19 years torching, torturing and otherwise harassing every muscle fiber on his 5’11” frame, there are two absolutes. “The first thing is consistency; the second, intensity.” Given his behemoth lower quarters — complete with voluminous muscle bellies, subterranean separation, Gibraltarian density and shape — we took notes.

Nasser pounds his quads once a week, his hamstrings twice. He is loath to describe an actual routine. “To tell you the truth, my routine is always changing. When it comes to quads, I do squats, legs extensions and hack squats, but the order of the exercises changes, the amount of sets for each exercise changes, and the amount of rest between sets changes.” When he trains quads and hams together, he varies the order from workout to workout. “If I think I need more leg development, then I train quads on Monday morning and hamstrings Monday afternoon. Then on Friday I’ll do hams and quads again.”