Monthly Archives: October 2012

December 2012 Issue Preview

Our December issue takes a barbarian bent toward more muscle. We check in with Mike O’Hearn and his powerpacked animal workouts. It’s hard to believe this dude is all natural when he’s throwing around record poundages at every workout. Plus, he’s good looking. (Yeah, we kind of hate that too—but you can learn a lot from his takeno prisoners training style.) We’ll also have the Diet Doc, Joe Klemczewski, Ph.D., wrapping up his Max-Muscle Nutrition series—solid info to help you grow. And speaking of size, get ready to pack it on with an excerpt from Stuart McRobert’s new Brawn. Get it today!


Getting big fast isn’t all about lifting more weight; it’s about condensing your workload—density for immensity. Here’s how to do it, including the countdown to mass.

Check out Ryan Rogerson’s twig-to-big metamorphosis. He packed on 75 pounds, most of it ripped, rock-hard muscle!

David Young delves into Mike O’Hearn’s psyche and discovers the motivating spark that got him in the best shape of his life—inside-out shredded.

Roger Lockridge explains how you can bring new life and serious size to your guns with the classic 5-10-20 system. This one’s guaranteed to stretch your shirtsleeves.

Ben Tatar gives you the full-on lowdown for driving up incredible poundages on the big lifts—periodize to powerize is one. Great stuff here, gang.

Joe Klemczewski, Ph.D., a.k.a. the Diet Doc, discusses meal spacing and how and when to chug that protein blend for off-the-chart muscle gains.

Excerpt 1 from Stuart McRoberts’ New Brawn Series: Book 1, How to Build up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way.

Shawn Bellon outlines a cluster workout based on rounds of 21. It could change your muscle-building luck.

Contest are won in the off-season, says Ron Harris. Don’t slack off when the weather is cold—hit it hard to get the most muscle growth.

Sorcha Quinn is one gorgeous Irish rose whose beauty and talent bloom with challenges. Wow!


Unique move to blow up your delts, Joe Horrigan on shrugs, and Lee Labrada on how cardio can increase your vascularity.

Medium-chain triglycerides, why macronutrient ratios matter and two fat-burning workhorses to rip you up faster.

Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen talks bigger gaining and overtraining.

Workout architect Steve Holman lays out a Pre-Ex 3X size assault to get you big arms now.

Coach Charles Poliquin discusses how to boost your bench press.

Jerry Brainum looks at plants that can trigger muscle growth.

Babes and babies—L.T. has all the latest scoops and inside info from the bodybuilding world.

Dave Goodin’s tips and tricks on revitalizing your skin, John Rowley’s motivation mantra and an over-40 transformation sensation.

Coach Bill Starr’s guide to a stronger middle back, in the gym with athletic Kacie Young and breathe deep to sleep.

Mass vs. class, Prime-Time expansion and walk-the-walk talk radio.


Multi-Hit Mass Workouts

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #701:
Multi-Hit Mass Workouts


Multi-Hit Mass Workouts

Q: I’m new to your Positions-of-Flexion mass training, but it makes a lot of sense. I just got the POF e-book 3D Muscle Building, and I’ve tried most of the bodypart routines. Maassive pump. Should I always use that exercise order–midrange, stretch then contracted–for best muscle-size gains?

A: We used to never stray from that order because of the proven size-building synergy–but as you’ll see, we’ve found order change can trigger new MASS gains. Let’s look at the standard order first…

1) Midrange: You get the most muscle fibers involved on these compound exercises because they are the most natural movements. Your muscles are designed to work together as a team, as in a close-grip bench press for triceps–your delts and pecs help to hit the MASS of the tri’s on that exercise.

2) Stretch: To wake up dormant fibers, you next move to the stretch-position exercise–for tri’s that’s overhead extensions. Forcing the tri’s to fire out of a stretch against resistance triggers the emergency myotatic reflex, which can bring NEW fibers into the action. (This is very important for extreme growth: Remember the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase with one month of stretch overload.)

3) Contracted: Now that you’ve got most of the target muscle’s growth fibers engaged, you isolate the muscle and choke off blood flow with a continuous-tension contracted-position exercise–like pushdowns for triceps. That occlusion effect has been shown to supercharge growth–plus, it’s another new angle of pull that can get at a few more fibers.

As you can see, that full-range, complete target-muscle attack is why STANDARD POF exercise order works so well and pumps you up big; however, we’ve discovered that mixing up the order can also create major ANABOLIC DRIVE…

Contracted move first. This is modified Pre-Ex 3X, and it has you isolate the target muscle up front. Now when you go to the midrange exercise after, you’ve pre-fatigued the target and the smaller helper muscles can push that muscle further past the GROWTH THRESHOLD. For example, for delts…

Contracted: Lateral raises, 3 x 10
Midrange: Presses, 3 x 10
Stretch: Cable laterals (arm moves in front of body), 4 x 10

Midrange move last. This one is modified C-S Pre-Ex–you do Contracted first and Stretch second (that’s the "C-S" designation), saving the big midrange move for last. That gives you pre-fatigue upfront, then a growth-fiber wake-up shake-up with stretch. No, you won’t be able to use as much weight on the midrange move, but you’ll feel the target muscle working like never before–and the pump will be unreal…

Don’t shy away from that last one because you have to use less weight on your compound move. It’s exactly how pro bodybuilder Evan Centopani packed more beef onto his stubborn chest. He said he doesn’t do one rep of presses before he does at least four sets on a pec deck (contracted) and another four sets on dumbbell flyes (stretch). Results…

We’ll have more Positions-of-Flexion variations for extreme mass creation in future e-zines…

Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

LIMITED-TIME–POF manual only $14.99. The 3D Muscle Building e-book is the official Positions-of-Flexion mass-building manual with full-range POF bodypart workouts for every major muscle. Learn how to get maximum muscle fiber recruitment and full-muscle development with fewer sets per bodypart at every workout. Includes the 3D POF Muscle Matrix chart, many COMPLETE POF WORKOUTS to choose from and a huge 3D muscle-size Q&A section on everything from champ training to home training. Over 100 PAGES of mass-building info. Check it out at 3D Muscle Building Special Offer.

Latest Release–> The Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout—Plus Drop-Set 4X, Rest/Pause 4X and the Perfect Mass-Building Split. This e-book merges the pre-exhaustion muscle-size method with 4X style mass training. 3 complete programs, including modified Pre-Ex 3X, no supersets required. Also, how Mike Mentzer used pre-ex and how you can alter it to get massive gains WITHOUT anabolic steroids or overtraining–just BIG-MASS gaining.


To follow the ITRC training program in “Train, Eat, Grow,” get a copy of the latest issue of IRON MAN.


This Special Report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman.
The IRON MAN Training & Research Team

The ITRC Training Newsletter is not intended as training advice for everyone. You must consult your physician before beginning any diet or training program. You may forward this email to as many friends as you want, but do not photocopy or reprint this report in any format without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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All Content (c) Copyright 2012 IRON MAN Magazine
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Sodium Help

If you've been told you need to cut back on your sodium, you've already found out how difficult that can be. Salt is an obvious source of sodium, but you're ...

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Tip 467: Improve Conditioning With A Fast Start When Doing Intervals

Improve your conditioning with a fast start when doing sprint intervals. You may be tempted to ease into an intense interval workout with a slow start, but research suggests that going hard from the beginning of your workout will produce better results. This tip can be used for strength/power athletes who need conditioning and for endurance athletes who want to improve maximal oxygen uptake, although the actual programming will naturally vary for each.

A new study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology tested what happens when male physical education students performed interval training in which they start out with a higher intensity (faster speed) and then decrease intensity over the duration of the workout. The programs used a training scheme based on the “critical velocity model” that is described at the threshold intensity above which maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) is reached. Based on this intensity participants did intervals of 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest at 125 percent of max, 105 percent of max, or a mixed intensity that started at 125 percent of max for the first 150 seconds and then decreased the intensity to 105 percent of max.

Results showed that the mixed intensity with the fast start allowed participants to perform above 95 percent of the VO2 max for significantly longer than with the other two protocols. Distance and time spent training varied greatly across the three protocols:
The 125 percent protocol took less than 5 minutes and participants ran 1,158 meters and spent 113 seconds above 95 percent of the VO2 max.

The 105 percent protocol took about 23 minutes and participants ran 5,447 meters, spending 106 seconds above 95 percent of the VO2 max.

The mixed 125 to 105 percent protocol took 17.5 minutes and participants ran 4,164 meters, spending 284 seconds above 95 percent of the VO2  max.

Clearly, starting your workouts with a bang can allow you train at a greater intensity and get more out of your training time. On average, the mixed fast start allowed the participants to train above 95 percent of VO2  max to for 151 and 169 percent longer than the 125 percent and 105 percent protocols, respectively. Using an interval protocol like this for a training cycle can increase energy use, exercise tolerance, and improve time to exhaustion.

Increasing VO2 max is not the only benefit of a fast start interval program. Other studies show such programs can improve waste clearance from the muscles, improve the endurance of type II fibers, and increase neuromuscular strength. This is especially beneficial for endurance athletes who don’t do any strength training.

For strength and power athletes, the specific programming parameters of conditioning should mimic the demands of the sport. Sprint intervals with strength training and modified strongman exercises such as sled training should produce the best results. For the general public, try a fast start when doing high-intensity intervals, but remember to prioritize strength training. Use a fast-start interval program as a “finisher” at the end of your workout to exhaust all your energy stores. Or if you have more training time, do intervals in a separate session all together.

Aguiar, R., Turnes, T., et al. Fast-Start Strategy Increases the Time Spent Above 95 Percent VO2 max During Severe-Intensity Intermittent Running Exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

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Q: Why do you keep harping on drugs and genetics?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: Why do you keep harping on drugs and genetics? To hell with drugs and genetics. I’m going to develop a great physique anyway.

A: That’s how I used to feel when I was young. Genetics didn’t matter, I thought. What really mattered was dedication to training and recuperation. And drugs were just for wimps who couldn’t deliver the training goods in the gym. Still, years of being superdedicated to my training and recuperation—without developing a great physique—finally wore me down, and I accepted the truth that drugs and genetics matter big time for competitive bodybuilding.

That said, I’m not interested in drug-assisted training, and I’m not concerned with the training of genetic phenomena. I’ve always focused on giving guidance to natural bodybuilders, almost all of whom have average genetics.

The pros were born with DNA so favorable for bodybuilding that they inherited freaky genetics—and I don’t mean that in a negative way. For much of my life I’ve wished I’d been born a genetic freak for bodybuilding.

Their inheritance gave them the potential to become bodybuilding superstars. That they realized their potential was the result of their training, compounded by drug assistance.

What many superkeen typical bodybuilders do is try to replicate the dedication to training of the supermen—but without the spectacular genetic potential to go along with the dedication, there won’t be spectacular results. If, however, you use training routines that are appropriate for genetically typical bodybuilders and really dedicate yourself to your training and recuperation for long enough, you will achieve whatever potential for bodybuilding you have. That’s what my columns are about—appropriate, practical training routines for typical bodybuilders who, of course, have typical genetic potential.

While you can make terrific bodybuilding progress and develop a physique that will stun most people, you can’t develop a spectacular physique like the pros unless you have spectacular genetics for bodybuilding and compound that already huge advantage by taking muscle-building drugs.

You could throw caution to the wind, put your health on the line and take drugs to increase your bodybuilding potential, but without freaky genetics you still can’t achieve the development of the pros. As soon as your health suffers, though, you’ll witness the waning of your physique, and you wont be so concerned with your physique because much more serious issues will consume you—health problems.

Don’t follow the examples of others who have sacrificed their medium- and long-term health and physique for some fleeting, short-term bodybuilding benefit. Don’t wait until you’ve lost your health before you fully appreciate the value of good health. Your health is your priority—not just for long-term bodybuilding but for your life in general.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or


Tip 466: Eat a Low-Carbohydrate, High-Protein Diet To Prevent Cancer and Disease

Eat a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet to prevent cancer and disease. Did you know that cancer tumor cells depend almost exclusively on glucose for their survival and growth? It’s true, and restricting dietary carbs has been shown to decrease cancer cell growth and lead to the death of those dangerous cells.

Not only is carbohydrate restriction smart for cancer prevention in healthy people, a new review in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism suggests it can help treat cancer and support disease prevention because eating fewer carbs can lower the inflammation in the body. Researchers base their argument on the fact that within the last few hundred years we have seen a drastic shift from the caveman’s diet of fat, meat, roots, berries, and vegetable-based carbs to one that is dominated by grain and starchy carbs that are easily digested. This diet in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle has produced a dramatic increase in disease and cancer rates.

Eating carbs affects cancer cell growth because, contrary to normal cells, malignant cells depend on steady glucose availability for their survival. As cancer cells grow, they become “addicted” to glucose and are vulnerable to glucose deprivation. Cancerous cells aren’t able to metabolize fat or ketone bodies that are produced by the body when carbs are restricted. Animal and test tube studies show that when cancer cells are starved of glucose, they die.

It was just about 100 years ago that researchers first found that cancer cells need high levels of glucose and therefore high carb intake for growth. A scientist noticed that cancer patients stopped excreting glucose in the urine. More recently, depending on the degree of high blood sugar, there is a corresponding decrease in survival rate in patients with cancer and an increased risk of developing cancer at other sites in the body such as the pancreas, esophagus, liver, colon, stomach and prostate.

Carb restriction can support cell health in other ways too: Higher blood glucose levels lead to less vitamin C entering immune cells, and vitamin C is necessary for activating the immune response to malignant cells. Second, any time there is high blood sugar and high insulin, oxidative stress is produced. Over the long term this will lead to high levels of inflammation, which significantly increases the progression of cancer. Finally, high insulin causes tumor cell growth.

The choice is clear: Limit carbs and grains to prevent the development of cancer. An organic high-protein, low-carb diet can also help prevent type II diabetes, a high cholesterol, and decrease inflammation in the body, decreasing your disease risk. Of course, since most of the readership is healthy, the most immediate motivation of a low-carb, high-protein diet is fat loss and a better body composition.

Kement, R., Kammerer, U. Is There A Role for Carbohydrate Restriction in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2011. 8(75).

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Is there really anything special about the bent-over barbell row?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: Is there really anything special about the bent-over barbell row? I’ve injured my back many times on this exercise.

A: All exercises are dangerous if done with incorrect technique, but some are much higher risk than others. The conventional bent-over barbell row is one of the higher-risk exercises.

The reason: The torso isn’t supported during bent-over barbell rows, and the lower back is excessively involved, so it’s difficult to keep the lower back hollowed and secure once the weight becomes substantial—just a slight slip in technique can produce a lower-back injury. And the wrist positioning it imposes isn’t ideal either. The same problems exist with unsupported T-bar rows.

Why take such a risk with the barbell bent-over row or the unsupported T-bar row when there are safer but effective alternatives? Use the one-arm dumbbell row (with the disengaged hand braced on a bench), cable row, machine row or prone low-incline dumbbell row. With correct technique those alternatives are safer than the barbell bent-over row—and simpler to perform.

There are other back exercises—not rows—that, when done correctly, are much safer than bent-over barbell rows but still very effective: pulldowns and some machine pullovers, for example, as well as chinups and pullups if you can do them properly for sufficient reps.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN Series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or


Tip 465: Gain Strength To Get Faster and Improve Sports Performance

Get stronger to increase speed and improve sports performance. Being strong and mobile are two traits that have been shown repeatedly to correlate with ability in a number of sports. Even if your sport contains a large power component, increasing your maximal strength can help you improve your short-sprint speed and jumping ability significantly. 

A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research calls our attention to the best methods for improving performance and keeping athletes healthy throughout a season. The study compared two power training programs on sprint and jumping ability in professional Brazilian soccer players. Both training protocols included a 3-week strength program that was then followed by either a Velocity program that decreased training load from 60 percent to 30 percent of the 1RM over three weeks, or an Intensity program that increased training load from 30 percent to 60 percent over three weeks. 

The theory was that the loading scheme that favored movement speed (Velocity Program) would lead to the greatest increase in power output. Of course, if you’re a PICP-certified trainer, you won’t be surprised to find that the hypothesis was incorrect. Results showed statistically similar gains in strength and power between the training groups as follows:
  • The Intensity group increased squat 1RM strength by 22.1 percent, loaded squat jump strength by 20.4 percent, maximal power in the jump squat by 31 percent, and countermovement jump by 6.9 percent.
  • The Velocity group increased squat 1RM strength by 19.8 percent, loaded squat jump strength by 18.5 percent, maximal power in the jump squat by 29 percent, and countermovement jump by 6.7 percent. 
  • In terms of speed, results were greater for the 10-meter sprint in the Velocity group, with a 4.3 percent improvement in time, compared to only a 1.6 percent improvement in the Intensity group. 
In the conclusion to the study, the research group realized the error in their programming, and suggested that better results might have come from a program that favored strength building to a greater degree. There’s a time and place for power training, but when resistance training time is limited due to sports practice demands, it’s critical to prepare strong, mobile athletes. Based on similar studies comparing power and strength training, we know that increasing the 1RM will usually produce the best results. 
For example, rather than doing light load jump squats as used in this study, Preston Greene, Director of Strength and Conditioning for the University of Florida men’s basketball team uses slow, heavy eccentrics to increase the players’ ability to decelerate loads and change direction fast. This allows short-sprint athletes to execute the most efficient movements possible without any wasted steps. 
To train power and increase vertical jumps, Greene uses Olympic lifts, such as the power snatch and pulls from the floor (clean and snatch), using 110 percent of maximal load for that lift. Contrast training in which you pair a strength move with a power move can also be used to take advantage of the muscular activation induced by the strength move.
Equally critical, achieving structural balance in the off-season and then maintaining it during the in-season should be a priority for all athletes and recreational trainees. Injury rates in court and field athletes don’t correlate with performance on speed, power, or agility tests, such as a T-test or jump squats. Rather maximal strength tests have been found to be a better measurement of injury risk, according to researchers. However, an assessment of strength between the lower body muscles within one side of the body and between the left and right sides of the body would be the best method for identifying necessary training to avoid injury. 
Loturco, I., et al. Different Loading Schemes in Power Training During the Pre-Season Promote Similar Performance Improvements in Brazilian Elite Soccer Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. October 2012.  
McGill, S., Andersen, J., et al. Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience from Movement Quality and Fitness Scores in a Basketball Team Over Two Years. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012. 26(7), 1731-1736.

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Transformation Tip 3: Carb Cycling for Fat Loss

Fat Loss Transformation Tip 3: Carb Cycling for Fat Loss Holy cow, UP must have put out another of their too good to be true, fake fat loss transformations! If that's what you thought when you saw this photo I  will excuse you if you're just a recreational personal trainer or totally new to the Read more . . .

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Should You Attack Your Lower Back?

www.ironmanmagazine.comI often hear patients and trainees proudly describe how they have designed a training program that avoids any training of their lower-back muscles so they can avoid lower-back pain. They believe that’s a great accomplishment—but is it?

Most avoid lower-back training due to a long history of episodes of lower-back pain, which can be severe and debilitating and costs this country many billions of dollars per year in lost work production and health care. It’s obviously a very serious issue. I respect the desire and ability to find a way to stay in the gym and train with less, or no, pain; however, some of these trainees have set themselves up for more potential problems.

When you avoid lower-back exercises entirely, your spinal extensor muscles weaken and don’t provide dynamic stabilization of the spine. That weakness can set up the back for future injuries—sprains, strains or disk injuries—when the back undergoes a load. The load could be relatively simple, such as lifting a light object or even leaning forward to shave or brush your teeth. The continued episodes of even greater back pain cause more fear of back training. The end result: The back becomes weaker yet, and the cycle keeps repeating.

I have had patients come to me due to long-standing back pain. One of the first comments I hear is, “I can’t do any rehab. It always flares me up.” When I ask how long the flare-up lasts, the answer is usually, “Three days. It’s always three days, and then I improve.” I inform those patients that the pain they are feeling is most likely delayed-onset muscle soreness, which typically lasts 24 to 48 hours and starts to improve by 72 hours. Their back muscles are so deconditioned that any exercise causes soreness.

Once the history and examination are completed and it has been determined that there are no other significant causes of lower-back pain, I recommend a more gentle or subtle initial stage of rehab. It’s often very difficult for lower-back-pain patients to tell the difference between muscle soreness from rehab or training and their actual back pain. They know they have lower-back pain either way and the exercise seemed to cause it.

Another problem with avoiding back training is that an imbalance between the lower-back muscles and abdominal muscles occurs. Many trainees still think the key to lower-back pain is to have strong abdominals. While there certainly is truth in that idea, the abs do not work alone to support the lower back. The back muscles are just as important to supporting the spine.

When the abdominal muscles are very strong and the back muscles are weak, trainees typically have lower-back pain. The strong abs can flatten the curve of the lower back, which causes the spine to take too much impact without the normal curve bending and allowing the force to be absorbed. That’s loosely called flat-back syndrome.

Those trainees who are able to still train—or try to train—their backs should do so carefully and progressively. You may need to start exercises that engage your lower back without weight and also with only a couple of total sets. It is not wise to start with 12 to 20 sets made up of four exercises for three to five sets each. Your back muscles are no longer capable of handling such a load. Also, it is worthless to remember the weight you used to handle years ago. Always ask yourself, “When is the last time I handled this type of weight?” If the answer is not, “Recently,” then you must reduce the weight significantly and allow your body the chance to build strength again without straining.

I’m not suggesting that you return to heavy deadlifts, but a little work for your lower back will keep many of you feeling better and with less risk of lower-back-pain episodes. Those who still have pain even with a gentle approach to strengthening your back should be guided by a health-care practitioner who, I hope, has a background in strength coaching or training.

Until next month, train smart.


Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books, Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and the 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or at