There is an apparent correlation between industrial advancements and fitness when we look back at the history of humans. Early man had no locomotive to move around. Getting food was a task that involved walking, running, and skills that most of us in this new age cannot even fathom. What we call exercise now, was back then just the way of life.
For many Steve Reeves was the epitome of bodybuilding. Alongside John Grimek, he helped to define a mid-century Iron Game obsessed with beauty, strength and uncompromising health. Though undoubtedly blessed with fantastic genetics, Reeves was known for his work ethic and attention to detail when it came to his diet. Coming from the Steve Reeves Cookbook, a book that’s currently distracting me from my own PhD work, today’s post looks at Reeves’ Competition diet which saw him through the Mr. World, Mr. Universe and Mr. America.
Safe to say then we may learn a thing or two from it!
Describing himself as Arnold’s Seminar Nutritionist, Balik opened his short pamphlet on gaining muscle with the often forgotten law that ‘nothing beats persistence.’ Produced alongside a pamphlet on gaining muscle, which we’ll be discussing in a future post, Balik’s Total Muscularity represents a great insight into the training philosophy of 1970s Muscle Beach bodybuilding. Sparing myself the task of typing out his pamphlet word for word, which I suspect would infringe on some form of copyright law, I decided that a brief synopsis of the book would suffice. At the very least it would pander to our ever decreasing attention spans.
So in today’s post we’re going to look at Balik’s theories on individual body types, the type of diet he recommended and also what we can learn from it nearly forty years after its publication.
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.
Training while travelling has always been a pain for me. While I try my best to find hotels close to gyms or with some adequate facilities, chances are I’ll get caught out every once and a while. Though not boasting the largest lifting numbers, certainly much lower than much of the site’s readership, there are times when even I’m confronted with weights too light for a decent workout. This has been the case at several points this summer when travel to remote locations has brought me into the domain of cheap, ill equipped and frankly strange hotel gyms. On the latter point, one gym boasted solely lime green dumbbells weighing no more than 25 pounds. That such devices ever seemed like a great idea is…quite frankly…mind boggling.
Once my panic attacks/anger passes, I get to work as best I can and in this regard tabata training, especially when it comes to training with a short amount of time, has been a godsend. For those unaware, Tabata training is a relatively straightforward concept. Exercise for twenty seconds at a high intensity, rest for ten seconds and then repeat for 8 rounds. While the initial research concerned itself primarily with cardiovascular forms of training such as bike riding, subsequent proponents have used Tabata style training for a range of bodyweight and free weight systems. So in today’s post we’re going to examine the history of Tabata training. Who invented it? How did it become so popular and how can it best be used in the average gym.
An exercise loved and loathed across classrooms, the Burpee can be found in P.E. classes, conditioning circuits and anywhere where trainees are searching to shed pounds and increase definition.
As simple as it is difficult, the exercise is often engaged in with relative unenthusiasm. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely enjoys it! Nevertheless it is done. And for that reason alone, it’s interesting to explore its relatively recent history.
The History of the Burpee
Gone are the days when bodybuilders and athletes relied heavily on physical exercising to keep fit. According to records, Greeks were the first people to embrace physical fitness around 776 B.C. By then, it was taken to be a way of living. There were no machines, gyms or spas to enable proper fitness exercises. In addition, the dietary supplements for fitness were not there either. However, people in those days had better shapes than today.
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.