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  1. #3031
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    Originally Posted by Vpac View Post
    John, from what I've been told, shrugs isn't as effective of an exercise for traps compared to rows. Your opinion on this?

    Shrugs are the best exercise for traps but rows are the best for the lats. Rowing exercises wouldn't affect the traps at all. Upright rows would and cleans are really good for the traps. Deadlifts also affect the traps too but not rowing movements.
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  2. #3032
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    The Correct Way to Perform Barbell Rows!

    http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/site/...ll-row-how-to/
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  3. #3033
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    Ibbf

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  4. #3034
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  5. #3035
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    Power Training in the Off Season!
    Check out my latest blog on Ironman Magazine.com!!
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  6. #3036
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    Essential Fatty Acids and Insulin Sensitivity

    If you aren’t currently supplementing omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, it’s time to start. Numerous studies have shown for years the health benefits of adding essential fatty acids to your daily food intake.
    Human being evolved consuming a diet that contained equal amounts of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. However, over the past 100 years, ther...e has been an enormous increase in the consumption of omega 6 fatty acids because of the increased intake of vegetable oils from corn, sunflower seeds, cottonseed and soybeans. Today, Western diets typically contain of a ratio of 30:1 for omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. Remember, the ideal healthy ratio is 1-2:1.
    The problem with a high intake of omega 6 fatty acids is that it leads to an inflammatory condition in the body. This can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer related diseases.
    Increasing omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation and prevent coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes as well as assist patients with renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    Another added benefit for fitness athletes is the tendency of omega 3 fatty acids to increase the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells. By making the muscle cells more sensitive to insulin, the walls of the cell will draw in more amino acids and sugar, thus increasing the protein retention and glycogen inside the cells.
    Be sure to supplement your diet with fish oils and flaxseed oil to increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake. Eat cold water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines 2-3 times a week and be aware of eating too many foods processed with vegetable oils.
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  7. #3037
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    Originally Posted by Natural_O View Post
    Shrugs are the best exercise for traps but rows are the best for the lats. Rowing exercises wouldn't affect the traps at all. Upright rows would and cleans are really good for the traps. Deadlifts also affect the traps too but not rowing movements.
    Yeah my bad, I meant upright rows not bent over rows. So do you agree upright rows > shrugs?
    If you believe then you can achieve.

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  8. #3038
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    Originally Posted by Vpac View Post
    Yeah my bad, I meant upright rows not bent over rows. So do you agree upright rows > shrugs?
    I think Shrugs hit the traps more directly and you can use more weight on shrugs than on upright rows. Upright rows hit the medial delts and traps and shrugs only hit the traps. I think Shrugs are better for building up the traps than upright rows.
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  9. #3039
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  10. #3040
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    awesome thread
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  11. #3041
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    cool thread man
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  12. #3042
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  13. #3043
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    Pineapple promotes protein digestion
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  14. #3044
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    Just found this thread, quite awesome! You're an inspiration John. It's good to have natural pros like you and Skip La Cour giving advice. Much of the advice given by pros in magazines and such don't apply to military folk like me cause we can't juice it up.
    Check out my blog about bodybuilding, lifestyle, and mental approaches to training!

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  15. #3045
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    Originally Posted by Natural_O View Post
    Thanks for asking that question and I would love to explain my answer to clear everything up.

    The short answer is, yes, I did use steroids about 20 years ago when I was in my early twenties but I used them only in preparation for the competitions I was entering so that was for 12 weeks once a year. I DID NOT use them to build my physique, only to hold onto muscle and keep my strength up when I was dieting.

    My original goal when I started training at 14 years old was to win the Mr. Universe and be in the magazines like the guys I read about in Muscle Builder Magazine. I didn't know anything about steroids until I read an interview with Arnold in a 1978 issue of Muscle Builder magazine. In that issue, Arnold admitted that he used steroids in preparation for a contest and that all of the top bodybuilders competing in the Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia used them. However, Arnold said that the drugs were only being used as a "finishing touch" and that they only accounted for a 5-10% improvement in the physique but, without that 5-10% extra improvement, you would risk losing the contest.

    Arnold also advised young bodybuilders to not use the drugs to build their physiques because, if they did, they would have a drug physique, a body built with the use of steroids. He said young guys (like myself) would be much better off building their bodies through hard training and good nutrition. This would create a body built through hard work and not on drugs (a temporary condition). Since Arnold was my idol, I took his words to heart and made the decision to build my body through hard training and good nutrition.

    I started competing in the teenage bodybuilding competitions at 16 years old and it didn't take long for me to realize that many of the competitors I was up against were not natural. At first, I could not believe this because Arnold said that only the top national level competitors were using steroids but here I could see that even the teenage bodybuilders were taking them.

    You have to understand that the situation in the 1970's and 1980's was much different than it is today. First of all, steroids were not a federal offense, only a misdemeanor IF you got caught taking them without a doctor's prescription. Most of the general public and the media was not aware of steroids and it was never talked about in the sports pages or on television like it is today. There was a doctor only a few blocks from the gym I trained at who would readily prescribe steroids to anyone who wanted them, whether for a competition or just to get bigger.

    My training partner at the time was about 5-6 years older than me and he told me he could get some steroids for me to take so I would definitely win my next teenage competition. I have to admit that it was very tempting because I was getting tired of getting beat by bodybuilders who had an unfair advantage. Even at that age, bodybuilding was my life and it was extremely hard to go into a contest and lose. I finally decided that I wanted to win Mr. America a lot more than I wanted to be Teenage Mr. America. I was going to do as Arnold said and just wait to build my physique naturally, no matter how long it took. I continued to compete naturally in all of the teenage shows I did and usually got my butt kicked. When I competed in the 1982 Teenage Mr. America, I really felt out of place. Although I took 5th place, it was a distant fifth because those guys who placed ahead of me looked unbelievable. David Hawk won my class and I swear he looked as good that night as he did when he won the NPC USA three years later and got his pro card.

    When I reached my 20th birthday, I decided to take a year off of competition in order to bulk up and get as big as possible. I was 205 pounds about six months after my last teenage show and I got up to 230 pounds at 21 years old. Since I started off at 135 pounds when I began training at 14 years old, that was almost 100 pounds heavier in 7 years.

    When I began competing in the open division competitions like the NPC Illinois State Championships and NPC Mid-America, I started using the drugs 12 weeks before the contest to hold onto my muscle mass and keep my strength up and get that finished look that Arnold talked about. My competition weight from 1985-1990 for these contests was between 201-208 pounds. I actually lost weight when using the drugs because I was dieting and trying to get ripped. After the show was over, I would get off the drugs and stay off them until the next year when I competed again. In the off season, my natural bodyweight would go back up to 220-230 pounds.

    Although I won some state and regional contests, I never did well at the national level shows. I entered the NPC Jr. Nationals twice, in 1986 and 1989, and I never made the top 10 in either show. It didn't help that I was competing as a heavyweight only weighing about 205 pounds. However, I thought I could emulate other pro bodybuilders like Rich Gaspari and Mike Quinn, both of whom were my height and they weighed less than 210 pounds for competitions. At the 1988 Olympia, where they did an official weigh-in for all the competitors, Rich weighed 208 pounds and Mike weighed 204 pounds. Since I was right there, I thought I had a shot.

    However, by the late '80's and early '90's, the competitors were getting much bigger. It didn't seem possible to make it to the top at the national or pro level by only doing the drugs for 12 weeks prior to a contest. I did not want to start taking the drugs all year long or start using the drugs to build my physique. Although it was my life-long dream, I decided to stop competing and give up my goal of becoming a pro bodybuilder.

    Around this time, the natural competitions were starting to get popular. Since I had built my physique without using the drugs, I thought I could make the transition very easily and start competing naturally. My first natural show, the 1991 NPC Natural Illinois, required their competitors to be drug free for 12 months. I competed at 195 pounds which was about 5-7 pounds lighter than when I was using the drugs. However, one of the reasons I competed lighter was because I didn't give myself enough time to diet and I had to add a lot more cardio and cut my calories in order to get ripped in time for the contest. As a result, I was cut but too flat for my first natural contest. I learned that I would have to diet much longer to compete naturally.

    The next year, I dieted for 16 weeks and competed at 198 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe and I looked much, much better. I was 204 pounds when I competed in the 1995 Natural Universe and 208 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe in 1996. Today, at 44 years old, I am about 215 pounds in lean condition and I get down to about 205 pounds for photo shoots and guest posing.

    My point is that I developed my body through lots of hard and heavy training and good nutrition. The steroids were only used in small amounts and for short periods and only to create the finished look to compete. If I had used the drugs to build my size, I wouldn't have had that size when I went off the drugs.

    For example, there was a bodybuilder in the '80's who had great potential and was placing high in the national level events. He placed 3rd in the heavyweight class at the 1986 Jr. Nationals weighing about 215 pounds. Several years later, he decided to compete naturally. I saw him in a magazine around 1992 and he was weighing 185 pounds. Although he looked really good at this lighter weight, it was still 30 pounds less than when he used the drugs. My point is, if you use the drugs to build your size, you will lose the size when you stop taking the drugs. You don't get to keep the size or keep some of the size as so many young bodybuilders mistakenly believe.
    Like Arnold said back in 1978, the drugs are only temporary and their benefits go away after you stop taking them.

    I have always been honest about the drugs that I took in the past because I have nothing to hide and I don't think they created my physique. Of course, I could have just never said anything or lied about it but that's not me. I have seen bodybuilding forums where I was called a liar and a fraud but I have always been upfront and honest about this. I think many of the people who say this don't know that I built up my size naturally or that I only used the drugs for the last 12 weeks before a contest when I was dieting. Like I said before, if I used the drugs to build my physique, I would not have the physique I have today (20 years later).

    Sorry for the extremely long response but I wanted to fully explain this so you get the truth from the horse's mouth.
    Awesome read. Enjoyed reading your life story in the sport of bodybuilding, and about your thoughts about steroid use. I must say your words definitely had an impact on my own personal decisions with using anabolic steroids.
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  16. #3046
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    Get out right

    Well most like to get big fast and don't care how and the bad thing that's not the way after years your internal organs will start to fail. So is it worth it some think so but a short life and a lot of money. Hgh has bad side affects so why do it even do it.
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  17. #3047
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    I like both so it's up to you.
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  18. #3048
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    Originally Posted by cweaver8518 View Post
    Just found this thread, quite awesome! You're an inspiration John. It's good to have natural pros like you and Skip La Cour giving advice. Much of the advice given by pros in magazines and such don't apply to military folk like me cause we can't juice it up.
    Thanks buddy, glad to contribute!

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  19. #3049
    Registered User Natural_O's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akira6713 View Post
    Awesome read. Enjoyed reading your life story in the sport of bodybuilding, and about your thoughts about steroid use. I must say your words definitely had an impact on my own personal decisions with using anabolic steroids.
    That's great! Glad I was able to help you to stay natural. In my opinion, there's no reason to ever take the drugs anymore. With all the natural contests available now plus the advanced training and nutrition advice available on the internet, there are too many downsides and too many risks with taking drugs.

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  20. #3050
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  21. #3051
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  22. #3052
    Registered User LewisCN77's Avatar
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    Awesome thread, read many of the first pages and I gotta say, your book "Natural Bodybuilding" was a huge influence on my current fitness goals and everything. I read that book the weekend I picked it up from the library, I actually follow your push/pull split (4 day) routine from the book and I've had awesome success with it! I really loved the fact that you were natural cause I thought "wow, it IS possible to get big like that without the juice" and when I found out you had used them I was pretty disappointed but after reading your long response in this thread, nothing but respect for you John.

    It takes a lot for natural competitors to actually admit to having used /using steroids.

    But nonetheless you're still a huge inspiration John.

    PS. you should start some sort of fitness channel on youtube and post training videos or something (unless you already have one I'm unaware of???)
    "No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training...what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." - Socrates

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  23. #3053
    Registered User Natural_O's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LewisCN77 View Post
    Awesome thread, read many of the first pages and I gotta say, your book "Natural Bodybuilding" was a huge influence on my current fitness goals and everything. I read that book the weekend I picked it up from the library, I actually follow your push/pull split (4 day) routine from the book and I've had awesome success with it! I really loved the fact that you were natural cause I thought "wow, it IS possible to get big like that without the juice" and when I found out you had used them I was pretty disappointed but after reading your long response in this thread, nothing but respect for you John.

    It takes a lot for natural competitors to actually admit to having used /using steroids.

    But nonetheless you're still a huge inspiration John.

    PS. you should start some sort of fitness channel on youtube and post training videos or something (unless you already have one I'm unaware of???)
    Thanks Lewis! Good idea about the fitness channel on Youtube. I never thought about that but it sounds like a good idea.
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  24. #3054
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    any tips for holding onto muscle while losing body fat? Low test levels and bad genetics make this really hard.

    I'm one of these described here btw, http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._fat_ectomorph
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  25. #3055
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    The more natural bodybuilders the better, imo.
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  26. #3056
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    Originally Posted by dassivemick View Post
    any tips for holding onto muscle while losing body fat? Low test levels and bad genetics make this really hard.

    I'm one of these described here btw, http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._fat_ectomorph
    I personally had to lower my calories lower than ever before last year to get ripped. I was only eating 225 grams of protein and 40 grams of fat and I started out eating 180 grams of carbs. That added up to under 2000 calories a day but it worked to get me ripped. I was able to increase the carbs as I got leaner but I had to go pretty low to get the fat loss started.
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  27. #3057
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    Originally Posted by Natural_O View Post
    Thanks Lewis! Good idea about the fitness channel on Youtube. I never thought about that but it sounds like a good idea.
    If you had time to get one up and running that would be great! Just seeing this thread, over 100 pages, there would definitely be a lot of viewers!
    "No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training...what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." - Socrates

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  28. #3058
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    Fun at the 2012 L.A. Fit Expo!
    Check out my latest blog on Ironman Magazine.com -
    http://www.ironmanmagazine.com/blogs...-fitness-expo/
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  29. #3059
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    Awsome thread!! Thanks for all your advice John your a big inspiration
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  30. #3060
    Registered User Natural_O's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by danstewart15 View Post
    Awsome thread!! Thanks for all your advice John your a big inspiration
    Thanks! Keep the questions coming. I'm glad to help out!
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