Interview with Powerlifting Monster JP Carroll
Interviewed by Critical Bench Reporter Ben Tatar
JP CARROLL is instantly making headlines in the World of Powerlifting. He has squatted 1,025 lbs. RAW and he is also on the hunt for a 600 plus RAW bench press.
He is also one of the most massive competitive powerlifters in the world. Let’s step into the journey and into the life of one of the biggest giants and one of the greatest warriors in the weight lifting game, JP the Viking Carroll!!
1) Critical Bench: JP, how did you get started in powerlifting?
JP: I have been an athlete all my life, played hockey in HS and semi-pro football after HS. When I quit playing semi-pro I still continued to work out and I sort of just fell into the sport. I competed in my first powerlifting meet in March of 2013.
2) Critical Bench: What training method do you follow?
JP: I follow the Lilliebridge training method
Editors note: To learn more about the Lilliebridge training method please visit:
3) Critical Bench: What are your thoughts in regards to training with team Lilliebridge?
JP: Hands down the best raw power lifting team in the world. A great group of guys and girls with a mission of becoming the strongest in our weight divisions. All held together by the best powerlifting coach in the world Ernie Sr.
4) Critical Bench: Where do you train?
JP: Barbell Central the strongest raw gym in the US.
5) Critical Bench: Tell us the members of team Lilliebridge and what they mean to you.
JP: That’s a lengthy list but our intimate circle would be Ernie Sr, Ernie Jr, Eric Lilliebridge, Tom Kallas, Tom Finn Jr., Jon Jursich, Mike Lucia, Jason Colley, Sergio Luna, Dan Bell, Matt Clausen, Tony Chirico, Javier Garcia and there is a whole list of girls and other guys I’m sure who are going to get mad when I didn’t mention them …oops sorry guys.
6) Critical Bench: What does Team Lilliebridge look for in other members?
JP: That’s all in the head of the mastermind coach Ernie Lilliebridge Sr.
7) Critical Bench: Everyone, check out Team Lillie and see if you have what it takes to be part of the team and take your strength to places you never knew it could go! Moving on…JP, you train in the gym on leg day for 6 hours. What are you doing for all that time? 6 hours? Wow!
JP: We have a lot of people on the team , we also squat and dead on same day so between people getting wrapped changing bar weights etc. it can be time consuming . It pays off on meet days we are very used to the long hours in those conditions.
8) Critical Bench: I bet. On top of that, you have 3 kids. How do you make time for powerlifting while being a father?
JP: I only go to the gym 1 day during the week so I can have time for them. I am also lucky to train at a gym where I can bring the kids with so on Saturdays and Sundays all the kids hang out together.
9) Critical Bench: You’re 6’1 and 400lbs. That’s super massive and larger than life. How does your family feel about you being one of the most massive and dedicated powerlifters out there?
JP: With a son on his high school football team he loves it! He’s always bragging on his old man…. My daughter loves it! She wants to follow in my footsteps, so watch out woman’s pl world!!! And my wife holds down the fort while I go play Mr big time powerlifter. Also pays the bills even the food bill, lol. I couldn’t do it with out her!!
10) Critical Bench: JP, what are your 10 tips for a bigger squat and a bigger bench? Give us your 10 tips for each.
JP: I am sooo not the guy for Tips. I am strong but technically sloppy. I am working on cleaning that up though.
11) Critical Bench: OKAY, then tell us what do you think is the biggest mistake that you see other lifters make?
JP: Testing their maxes way too often, also chasing a number (which I’ve been guilty of) and not letting the strength develop over time.
12) Critical Bench: What does your power eating plan consist of to be one of the thickest powerlifters in the world today?
JP: Honestly nutrition is my downfall. I’d say my diet is set up 50/50. Half of my meals are the good stuff pizza , burgers, ice cream. The other half would be chicken, beef, rice black beans veggies etc.
13) Critical Bench: So far during your powerlifting journey list us a powerful moment, crazy moment, favorite moment and a moment that changed you the most.
JP: My most powerful moment was going head to head with Eric Lilliebridge and squatting 1025 raw. A crazy moment would be basically any time I watch Tom Finn Jr. bench press, the guy will bench 600 at 220! A favorite moment honestly would be the day Ernie Sr. asked if wanted to become part of team Lilliebridge. A moment that changed me? When coach pulled 763… I believe with a fully detached pec. He is the epitome of tough!
14) Critical Bench: Those moments are all super extreme! Do you have any funny gym stories you would like to share with us today?
JP: We have a lot of funny stories outside the gym, but when the weight hits that bar we are all business.
15) Critical Bench: Are you going to remember your powerlifting journey?
JP: Just getting started so that’s hard to answer.
16) Critical Bench: Uh oh! This monster is just getting started! We have a super freak beast for a long time to come it seems! So, JP what do people usually say to you being one of the most massive powerlifters? How do guys respond? What about girls? What about kids?
JP: I pretty much stand out like a sore thumb, I feel like I get the freak show whispers and finger points. But most people are pretty cool. Chicks? Well I could use some more of those, can’t we all?! lol!
17) Critical Bench: JP, you will have to teach them how to use their flexibility to shorten the stroke so they can unleash their wild inner beasts like you do! What are your future goals?
JP: Love to get 1,003 squat in the record books and bench 600 raw. Fighting for both of those as we speak.
18) Critical Bench: What is your message for the powerlifting world?
JP: HARD WORK PAYS OFF. I’m in no way, shape or form genetically gifted. Well, my calves are but that’s it. You put in the work and your numbers WILL go up.
19) Critical Bench: What would you like to see change in power lifting?
JP: More women. We have ladies on our team that are AMAZING!! I’d love to see more woman out there chalked up kicking ass!
20) Critical Bench: What are your comments to someone who wants to get stronger but is intimidated by your size or strength?
JP: Get in the chalk box. You gotta mess up a few times and learn some lessons from the iron to get better.
In closing is there anything you would like to say or anyone who you would like to thank?
JP: Ernie Jr. for always being there as a partner and friend . Ernie Sr. for EVERYTHING HE DOES. Jason Colley for keeping me healthy and honestly everyone on the whole team contributes at least something that has made me better and for that I thank everyone.
Written By: Brian Klepacki, MS, CSCS, CISSN
We have all heard this word before; testosterone. Depends on the type of person you are but many different images might come to mind when that word is mentioned.
Maybe it’s a ridiculously massive man (or woman) who looks like the hulk, or maybe you picture a feeble middle age man with a thinning hairline who occasionally plays softball with his buddies as an attempt to hold on to his ‘youth’.
Or maybe you think of professional athletes trying to cheat their way up the ranks to make more money. Whatever your opinion of ‘testosterone’ is, everyone has it and usually every male wants more it.
Testosterone boosters have been around for decades and they will continue to saturate the market for decades more. My hopes in writing this article is to take a much closer look at a certain product that has been shown to do exactly what is claims to do.
TDrive by ASRESEARCH is a new dietary supplement that is unlike others in the test-booster family. This particular supplement is a naturally derived product that has a unique formula of concentrated synergistic testosterone-stimulating factors.
The ingredients that are compounded together have been suggested to not only increase testosterone levels but to increase muscle growth and speed up fat loss.
Now before you say “YES, I want that!” let’s put on our science caps take a deeper look at how TDrive actually does what it says it does. “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” –Plato.
Going down the list of ten ingredients in TDrive, we start with eurycoma. Eurycoma is the primary ingredient in TDrive with 550mg per serving. This herb is widely used throughout the Pacific Rim and Indonesia and has a long and vibrant history. The traditional use of eurycoma has been as an aphrodisiac and medicinal tonic.
However the more important property that traditional users agree on is that it is an effective herb for boosting male potency. Animal studies have shown that eurycoma induces sexual arousal and activity, not unlike the effect of testosterone itself. Eurycoma does in fact have testosterone-like effects on male rats, and in in-vitro (test tube) studies.
Other animal studies have shown increases in serum testosterone levels that can ranged from 300% to almost 500%! And even better, the extract added in vitro to testicular tissue caused an increase of over 400% in testosterone production.
Not only is eurycoma apparent in increasing the activity of steroidogenic enzymes but an increase in cyclic AMP, which has a favorable effect on steroid synthesis has been shown. [1-4]
Mucuna Pruriens is a seed that is used as a popular medicine in China and India. TDrive contains 300mg of mucuna pruriens extract in each serving. It has been shown to increase testosterone levels , leading to evidence of added protein in the muscles and an increase in muscle mass and strength .
According to a more recent article that was published in 2011, m. pruriens seed extract induced a significant increase in the level of testicular testosterone in male rats . It’s clear that this ancient seed has many positive effects on the body.
Safed Musli is another widely used herb that has a long history of success. Safed Musli has unparalleled therapeutic and medicinal properties which have made it a key ingredient in the preparation of a number of different formulations. Safed musli is also gaining increased importance as a tonic, which boosts the general immune system of the body.
It has also been shown to improve hormonal stability by enhancing the working of the adrenal gland. It also used to improve the circulation of blood combating fatigue in order to enhance strength and energy. Just like Eurycoma and the next ingredient discussed, these herbs have been recognized as safe with very low change of side effects. [8,9]
The last ingredient main ingredient I feel that is necessary to discuss is DIM or diindolylmethane. DIM has been shown to have complex interactions with the hormone estrogen thus appearing to have an anti-testosterone effect.
In other words, DIM has been shown to work against estrogen which has a direction affect on testosterone balance . When the percentage of estrogen in the body is reduced, or limited, the percentage of testosterone is elevated.
There you have it, a very quick scientific breakdown to the four main ingredients in TDrive by ASRESEARCH. All of the ingredients in TDrive do have many other studies with results that parallel this supplement’s claims.
And the remaining ingredients that were not mentioned in this article (ginseng, L-tyrosine, white button mushroom, DMAE, maca root, and acacetin) also have data that shows to be in line with the intent of this product.
Not only are these ingredients proven to boost testosterone, they are naturally occurring and are safe to consume. As with all supplements and their outcomes, more scientific research needs to be done to make definite conclusions on claims made by companies but based on the research on this product, TDrive will bring results!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Not intended for use by persons under 18. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Discontinue use and consult a medical doctor if you experience unusual symptoms. Do not exceed recommended serving. Improper use of this product will not improve results and is not advised. Consult with your doctor prior to using this product if you have been treated for, or diagnosed with, or have a family history of any medical conditions**
 Hamzah, SH, Yusof, A. The Anabolic Effects of LJ100. Department of Exercise Physiology, Sports Centre, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Kuo PC, et al. Cytotoxic and antimalarial beta-carboline alkaloids from the roots of Eurycoma longifolia. J Nat Prod. 2003 Oct;66(10):1324-7.
 Ang HH, Cheang HS. Effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack on laevator ani muscle in both uncastrated and testosterone-stimulated castrated intact male rats. Arch Pharm Res. 2001 Oct;24(5):437-40.
 Ang HH, Lee KL. Kiyoshi M. Eurycoma longifolia Jack enhances sexual motivation in middle-aged male mice. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2003;14(3):301-8.
 M.I.M Tambi, S. Othman, and J.M. Saad “Water-soluble extract of LJ100(TM) as a potential natural energizer for healthy aging men” Specialist Reproductive Research Center, National Population & Family Development Board,Ministry of Women and Family Development, Malaysia. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia.
 K. Muthu, P. Krishnamoorthy, Evaluation of androgenic activity of Mucuna pruriens in male rats. Afr J of Biotech. 2011 Oct: 10(66), pp. 15017-15019.
 Amin KMY, Khan MN, Rehman ZS. Sexual function improving effect of Mucuna pruriens in sexually normal male rats. J. Study Med. Plant. Fitoterapia. 1996. 67: 53-58.
 Bhasin S, Storer TW, Berman N, Callegari C, Clevenger B, Phillips J, Bunnell TJ, Tricker R, Shirazi A, Casaburi R (1996). The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men. 1996. N. Engl. J. Med. 335: 1-7.
 Praneta Desale. Safed Musli: Herbal Viagra for Male Impotence. J Medicinal Plants Studies, 2013: 1(3):91-97.
 . Elizabeth K. G. Safed musli a promising medicinal plant. Indian Journal of Areca nut, Species and Medicinal Plants. 2001; 5 (2): 65- 69.
 Le HT, Schaldach CM, Firestone GL, Bjeldanes OF. Plant-derived 3,3′-diindolylmethane is a strong androgen antagonist in human prostate cancer cells. J Biol Chem . 2003;278:21136–45. Epub 2003 Mar 27.
Interview with Tobias Young
Interviewed by Ben Tatar
Tobias Young is a sponsored athlete by Optimum Nutrition. He has been on different magazine covers and he has earned his IFBB Pro Status. Tobias helps fans and friends of the fitness industry reach their goals internationally. Here we go, as Critical Bench Reporter Ben Tatar goes one on one with Fitness Superstar and Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete, Tobias Young!
CRITICAL BENCH: Tobias, what has it been like being a sponsored athlete?
All I can really say is that it has been a dream come true! A lot of the things that I have dreamed of doing while growing up and working out have been accomplished while being with Optimum Nutrition. It has truly been an amazing experience! Somebody pinch me please 🙂
CRITICAL BENCH: I am going to list 5 accomplishments you have made. After I write each one, tell us what comes to mind:
a) You have been on the cover different big time fitness magazines-
This was one of my major goals from the beginning. I always wanted to be on a fitness magazine cover. Now I have done that 6 times and working on #7. I have my major ads in covers all framed in the “cardio room” in my house. It motivates me to keep going and strive for more.
b) Getting your pro card as you earned your IFBB pro Status-
I think this is something that every competitor dreams about. I have been competing since 2002 and to finally go pro was breathtaking! This was definitely one of my proud fitness moments. I felt like I finally made it!
c) Being featured in the sports illustrated swim suit edition-
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition is the most looked at magazine in the world. To be featured in this was also really cool. I just hope it helps motivate others.
d) Attending big fitness conventions like an Arnold event with a big line of fans-
Seeing the huge line of fans is awesome. Some of them wait for 2-3 hours at a time for the chance to get autographs, samples, and meet their favorite ON athletes.
This brings me back to the time that I first went to an expo and stood in line to meet some IFBB Pros.
I think this really humbles me to know that I was in the exact shoes that they were in years ago. It’s still weird to know that so many people want my autograph. Fun, but weird.
This also gave me the courage to try and be the best in everything that I do.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was your time like at the 2015 Arnold? How would you compare the 2015 Arnold USA to the 2015 Arnold in Australia? What would you say are the pros and cons of each event?
The Arnold USA was much larger both in volume and population of attendees. It was nuts. 3 hour lines at times to get inside our booths. There was a bigger ON booth, more athletes, and more samples.
The Arnold Australia was awesome too. Even though it was much smaller in comparison, it was only the first year of existence. Over time I believe that the Arnold Australia will grow exponentially. I was pleasantly surprised by how many fit people there are in Australia. Everyone was very friendly too. I can’t wait to go back!
CRITICAL BENCH: Tobias, tell us about your website http://www.tobiasyoungfitness.com/
My website lets fans know what events I will be at next. It also has, some of my other photo shoots, and gives info for my contest prep that I offer. I have been a fitness coach for 13 years now. It’s also a great way to get a hold of me for contact info or to book me for a photo shoot or demo.
CRITICAL BENCH: There are an endless supply of training styles out there. What is your favorite way to train?
I don’t have one way in particular. My training changes week to week. Some weeks I focus on isometrics, other times drop sets and/or supersets. Other micro phases I train in are small strength/hypertrophy/endurance micro cycles.
Other times I change my rep speed and do explosive reps. Other days are much slower and controlled. I believe that variety is key and needs to be implemented to prevent muscle adaptation. Change is key.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
I would like to compete and place well in my first pro show. But overall, it’s health and happiness. I also want to make sure I spend plenty of time with my wife and two daughters ages 3 and 6.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you want to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who was fun, fit, and motivational. I always want people to know that I am humble and enjoy every moment to the fullest.
I enjoy meeting every fan and appreciate everyone that helped me get where I am today. I could not have done this alone without my true fans, friends, and supporters.
CRITICAL BENCH: In closing is there any message that you would like to leave the world of iron warriors and is there anyone who you would like to thank?
There are a few people I would like to thank. First, I want to send a huge shout out to Bob Corbett (Optimum Nutrition athlete manager) for believing in me, taking a chance on me and for giving me the opportunity to be with such an amazing team. You’re the best man!!!
I would like to thank my wife for helping me physically and mentally. She has also been instrumental with all of the dieting, food prep, and helping raise our 2 lovely daughters.
Elliot Daum is my big brother from the Big Brother’s program that helped raise me from a boy to man when my father was not around to do so.
I have so many other close friends, workout partners, and supporters that are too many to mention. They know who they are and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Interview with Eddie Robinson
By Ben Tatar
Eddie Robinson has been on top of the bodybuilding world, powerlifting world and he has been published on the cover of 85 magazines! He’s a great father, mentor, trainer and coach!
Lets step into the life of Eddie Robinson and learn about his life to the top, what it was like on the top and his secret insights into the whole entire world of fitness. Everyone, Critical Bench brings to you, the one and only.. Eddie Robinson…
1) CB: Eddie most people know you, but tell us about some of your accolades in the iron world.
ER: Hmm, where do I start? Well, I started lifting as a teen when I played football and boxed the Golden Gloves in Akron, Ohio. All through high school I enjoyed pushing heavy weight with the dream to play for Ohio State and hopefully have a pro football career. During that time I focused on strength training and started entering power meets and strong man events, where I set the power lifting platform on fire.
In 1983, I was going for a world record squat of 875 lbs when I injured my lower back and my dream to take the teen world record in the squat had to take a back seat. I decided to take the world record laying down instead. I broke the teen world record in the bench press 220 lb class with a bench of 575 lbs, then two months later I won the Teen Mr. USA.
Later that night after the Teen USA, I got a call from the ‘Master Blaster’ himself Joe Weider, asking me to fly out to Woodland Hills, CA, where we spoke about football and my dream playing for Ohio state to a lucrative contract representing Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and Weider Nutrition.
We sat in his back yard discussing the pros and cons of playing football vs competing and being a spokes model for Weider publications & nutrition. Joe said, “I’ll give you 3 years if your lucky playing full back for Ohio State compared to just getting in shape competing once a year being a spokes person/model for the publications and nutrition lines.”
Joe offered to train me and educate me to be the best of my genetic potential by using his Weider Principles, knowing I already was using the Eddie Robinson principles that earned me Teen Mr. USA, Jr. Nationals where I beat out Shawn Ray and earned my world records in the bench press.
After a few days of discussing my future in the sport and enjoying my time spent with Joe & Betty Weider in their beautiful home, Joe sat me down and offered me a four year contract.
After the week of discussions and listening to Joe’s stories seeing his heart’s passion and dedication to the health andfitness industry, I accepted his offer with honor. Needless to say, my dream of being a pro football player changed gears during my teen years.
In 1986, I then went on to take another record of 575 pound bench to a final lift of 610. I remember Dr. Fred Hatfield telling me,”Damn son, you just broke the world record in the 220 class.” Later that month, Fred Hatfield aka “Dr. Squat” wrote a kick ass article on me for Muscle & Fitnesscalled “Strong Roots, The Eddie RobinsonStory.”
Mr. Joe Weider’s offere was the wind in my sails to go on and win the Men’s Mr. USA, my first pro show the Canadian Cup Gold’s Classic. I then went on to compete in the Olympia, Night of the Champions, Arnold Classic, European Grand Prix.
I also won the Panama Jack World Arm Wrestling Championships. Some of my greatest highlights of my 13 competitive years as an IFBB Pro was being featured on over 85 covers and 360 training articles.
After retiring in 2002, I decided to be a coach to dedicate my time and passion to helping other athletes reach their dreams and to achieve their full genetic potential and teach them to be their best, no matter what the sport or training protocol.
I share my scientific approach to diet, training, and nutrition as I have learned form the greatest legends in the world of Muscle &Fitness.
I trained under some of the best trainers in the industry and I owe it all to Mr. Joe Weider aka “The Master Blaster”,Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and Hammer Strength and Master of H.I.T training, Dr. Fred Hatfield aka “Dr. Squat” and Founder of the ISSA (International Sports Science Association), and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, world power lifting champion and editor of the Metabolic Diet.
Pasquale also dedicated to helping Olympic athletes compete without the use of performance enhancing drugs. This training and knowledge enabled me to put a mark in the power lifting & bodybuilding world.
2) CB: you have been on many magazine covers. Do you have a favorite?
ER: So many are my favorite. This is going to be a hard one. I would have to say my favorite would be the one on my Harley that Vince McMahon got me when I signed my 4 year endorsement contract with the WBF which is another story 🙂 The two hardcore Flex Magazine covers I did with Rich Gaspari. Then I would have to say the two covers of Muscle & Fitness with the amazing Monica Brant and Jamie Bergman, which were both listed as two of the most popular issues of all time with those magazines.
3) CB: how would you compare thefitness industry today compared to 7 years ago? How would you compare thefitness industry today compared to the 90s? What about the 70/80s?
ER: Let me start off with the 70/80’s when bodybuilding was breaking ground in popularity worldwide thanks to the amazing greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva, Lou Ferrigno, Frank Zane, Tom Platz just to name a few. All had great physiques on different spectrums. Arnold had size and balance.
With his perfect balance and symmetry: broad shoulders, wide back, and small waist he knew how to pose gracefully displaying his strengths which made it impossible to beat when standing next to in comparisons, as his mass stood out of the line up.
The much smaller bodybuilder, Frank Zane, was the only one to beat Arnold because of his flawless symmetry, muscle tone, and balance. Zane brought the word “shredded” to the stage with his signature vacuum pose (arms over head, pulling his abdominal wall to his spine.) That was mind blowing, showing his ripped seratus anterior and obliques.
Sergio Oliva was one of the mass monsters with his famous Olivia arms-over-head pose, forming a V with his fists pointed outward while showing his massive forearms and biceps. All these different body types were pleasant to the eye and all unique individually bringing different looks to the IFBB stage. I recall talking to Joe many times during my visits with him at his Woodland Hills home, drinking coffee on his patio by the pool where we discussed the changing of times regarding the sport. Joe pointed out how the new pros of the 80’s into the 90’s kinda mirrored the old school pros.
Arnold and Zane brought two different physiques and symmetry to the stage, standing side by side same as the late 80’s – 90’s next to the great Lee Haney and Lee Labrada.
I concurred with Joe that it was a mirror of Arnold and Zane, which Joe pointed out and stated that it made a great playing field, because at that time you didn’t have to be a mass monster to win. Zane was the only one to beat Arnold and Labrada second to Haney, even though Zane and Labrada were much smaller in comparison to Arnold and Haney.
It set the stage and proved that anyone big or small could win the Olympia. It wasn’t based on mass, but more of a total package. It was about bringing a work of art to the stage that was pleasing to the eye and was achievable.
The 90’s were the greatest of all time because most every pro athlete had a very lucrative endorsement contract. I was with Joe Weider others were with the numerous nutrition lines. We were all booked guest posings, gym nutrition store grand openings, and attended shows.
We would make a couple grand just signing photos. I’m very grateful and honored to be listed as one of the top 10 pro bodybuilders in the 80’s & 90’s with some of the great athletes such as Lee Haney, Rich Gaspari, Lee Labrada, Mike Christian, Shawn Ray, Gary Strydom, Dorian Yates, and Paul Dillet.
Now to compare that to the last 7 years. You won’t see a physique like Frank Zane in an arms overhead vacuum any longer nor will you see a 176 lb athlete like Lee Labrada placing second in the Olympia anymore. The amazing flawless physiques of the past like Demey, Bob Paris, and Labrada are long gone.
There is only one size and that’s HUGE to the ultimate extreme, where muscle is on top of muscle and even where some doesn’t even belong. It’s now a freak show and is the reason why we now have new divisions such as men’s physique, bikini, and figure that are keeping the sport alive.
I’m going to end by stating, Joe was a genius, he built and empire on the sport and was the godfather. Joe Weider “Master Blaster” sold millions in nutritional products and sold billions in publications such as Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.
In 2002, my world stood still. Joe called me to fly out to Woodland Hills, CA to talk to me about his future in the industry. We sat once again on the patio by the pool. He told me he was selling his publications to AMI. When I asked why, he stated that he saw the future of the sport changing.
With the drop in sales distribution, and the new breed of bodybuilding mass monsters were not quite as marketable and they weren’t increasing the sales to the average bodybuilding enthusiast. I then told Joe,” You are bodybuilding. You lived it, breathed it, slept it, and made it what it is today!
You can’t sell and not be in control of the sports publications!” Joe told me he had to because he’s not in control of the athletes and the sport had gotten out of control. If he was leaving I told him I’m retiring. So I did and decided to dedicate to training athletes as Joe once did.
To educate them on cutting edge diet, nutrition, and training building future champions! I’m “TEAM “V” FULLY LOADED.” Putting the “V” in Victory.
4) CB: Eddie, how do you see the future of the fitness industry?
ER: The future of the fitness industry will always keep growing and changing to meet the times. There are so many great athletes from bodybuilding, figure, men’s and women’s physique, and bikini. It will keep growing by leaps and bounds.
The men’s physique is getting very popular as well as the woman’s figure and bikini divisions. I get more requests to coach men’s physique and bikini athletes than I do bodybuilding here at Team “V” and I feel this shows the current direction of the industry.
5) CB: I heard your training different clients with new techniques. Tell us about some of your training methods when it comes to training people? What can clients of yours expect when it comes to training?
ER: Yes, I train clients nationally and internationally with a variation of techniques. What can my clients expect? RESULTS!! My training protocol depends on the person and their individual goals, whether it be weight loss, building, toning, strength training, specific sports training, or competitive bodybuilding, men’s physique, bikini, or figure. I use a cutting edge scientific approach to all levels of diet, training, contest prep, and photo shoot prep.
From carb loading and depletion to water manipulation to being rock hard and stage ready. I give my clients all my secrets that I have learned during my career. My diets are customized depending on the individual by depletion, water, nitrogen, and carb manipulation to keep them looking full without water retention.
These are the same protocols I used to be at my best when shooting my 85 career covers using my scientific approach. Since my teen years and during my career I have trained under the guidance and direction of Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, and Dr. Fred Hatfield from 1983 – 2002.
I key on a variation of training protocols from H.I.T training that I mastered from the great Arthur Jones, strength training from Dr. Fred Hatfield & Dr. Mauro Di Pasqual, and diet and Nutrition from Joe Weider along with numerous variations of drop sets and supper sets by overloading and training both the red and white muscle fiber in the same set getting the full benefit of muscle growth and adequate recuperation time.
6) CB: you made it to the top level in bodybuilding and in the world of power! Which world was harder to make it to the top in? How did you train differently for both worlds?
ER: I would say the power lifting was the hardest to be on top. It took intense training, dedication, commitment, and discipline. I had to push my body to new limits of strength to be better and stronger than the day before. To press on with the no holds barred attitude and to excel and be the best of my genetic potential. I was focused and I accomplished it in the Iron Game.
I had the turkey, now all I had to do was carve it. And that I also did. I set the bodybuilding world on fire, displaying the power with grace. Etching the hard earned mass developed and built by punishing the IRON to hells end transforming and becoming a mound of hard earned twisted steel with a hell of a lot of sex appeal.
7) CB: how do you see the future of the industry?
ER: I see a positive future of the industry as the Arnold Classic and the Olympia keep growing every year. It’s good to see the women’s division growing by leaps and bounds with bikini, figure, physique along with the men’s physique which all are keeping the sport alive.
If the sport were to be like the old days with just bodybuilding and fitness, there wouldn’t be a snow balls chance in hell it would survive. Don’t get me wrong, today’s bodybuilders are losing interest and just don’t want to do what it takes to be in today’s bodybuilding line up.
This is one reason why you see the men’s physique growing by leaps and bounds in the amateur world along with women’s physique, figure, and bikini.
8) CB: what was it like knowing Vince McMahon? Name 5 people in the industry that you met who have really inspired you.
ER: It was a great pleasure and experience working with Vince McMahon. He is an athlete at heart and a marketing genius. The empire he made building the WWE and scouting out the best athletes making them into characters was ingenious making it a billion dollar industry.
I feel if Vince McMahon would have concentrated on the WBF as much he did with the WWE, it would be more entertaining and more in demand than today opening the doors for more endorsements and shows. The WBF was based not only on great physiques but showman ship.
The people whom inspired and had an impact on my life were #1 Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, Vince McMahon, Dr. Fred Hatfield, and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. Most of my career I have been trained under the guidance and direction of these legends in the fitness industry.
It was an education that is simply priceless and it was a great honor becoming friends with these men. Joe Weider was like a father to me since a teenager and had a great impact in my life not only as my mentor and trainer but as a great friend to me and my family.
Joe and I had a lot of great times working together as an endorsed athlete (1983-2002) for Weider Nutrition,Muscle & Fitness and Flex publications. Joe and I always kept in contact and spoke often about the sport and how my kids were doing until the day he died (March 23, 2013).
That was one of the saddest days of my life, as I lost a great friend whom educated me not only in the iron game, but gave me sound advice in life in general.
9) CB: what are your 10 quick tips to a world class bench max?
ER: I will make this question quite simple, as it relates to both power lifting & bodybuilding. Please read below question #10 that starts off with “BALLS”.
10) CB: what are your 10 tips to a world class physique?
ER: I can sums that up in one word, BALLS: Defined as pushing yourself to no limits. Where there is no finish line and no last rep. To have determination, dedication, and commitment. To be the best. Most of all, to program oneself to become the greatest of their genetic potential! If you only set your sights to beat the competition, and when you do, then who in the hell are you going beat?
The answer is yourself. So I always strived to better myself, to beat myself at all times, and to become better and greater than the day before. The tips I got from Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, and the men mentioned above was the fuel to my desire and drive.
My goal was absorb and listen to their words that they spoke with such passion and sound advice to the scientific approaches to diet, training and nutrition and then to apply all their advice to myself! I was a sponge and absorbed all the clinicals and information to set the world of Iron on fire.
To have that “No holds barred” attitude, dedication, commitment. To make my mark and to be “FULLY LOADED” with passion and fire that was handed down to me from these legends above in order to become one.
11) CB: how’s your son and family?
ER: Critical Bench, I appreciate this question most of all and thank you for asking as family comes first. Family is the nucleus for one’s success. If your home life is great, you become great. However, this can be a book on its own for me as I raised two children on my own. Not only am I a dad, I’m a damn good mom also and have had the greatest pleasure watching them grow.
As I matter of fact, right now I’m siting at the Countryside Cougars football field watching my son practice while replying to this interview. My family is great. My daughter is now grown and on her own, so now it’s just Seth and I and I can’t leave out Kelly Lynn, my GF and also a coach, who’s making me shine these days even brighter.
We have so much in common, both helping athletes nationwide reach their fitness goals, aiding in reaching their full body’s potential. Teaching athletes to be the best they can, whether it be on the field or setting the bodybuilding & fitness stage on fire. We currently work with athletes nationwide with TEAM “V” which stands for VICTORY.
We added “FULLY LOADED” as we educate our athletes. Teaching them sound clinical training advice, customized to their body’s genetic structure and having the proper tools to be the best they can genetically be. Making them “FULLY LOADED.”
12) CB: what is Eddie up to these days?
ER: I’m currently active is raising my son Seth, enjoying football games and practices along with working with all my clients at at TEAM “V” which keeps me extremely busy. I am always writing out diet plans, training plans, along with peek week and contest prep. I get great pleasure dialing my clients in for shows and working with these athletes as it keeps me living my dream as I did half of my life on the bodybuilding stage.
I’m also working on numerous ebooks on contest prep, diet, training from A to Z, sharing all my knowledge that I used during my pro career. I’ve been dedicating a lot of my time working on my teamvictoryinc.com site, where I outline all of my diet prep that won me the America, USA along with my 12 year IFBB pro career along with diet and training for power and strength that I used breaking my world records along with training around injuries in which I became accustomed to during my career.
I’m planning on launching this site the beginning of the year, being a full time coach and helping athletes. I will be Skyping clients and helping with their posing routines, visually dialing them in. Most coaches use cookie cutter diets, but I customize each diet to the individual.
Everyone is unique in their own way and need that custom diet and training protocol to fit their body’s needs. I customize training based on my clients strengths and weakness.
13) CB: Give us some inside facts about you that most people might not know.
ER: Hmm my life has been pretty much been public since I was a teen, so I would have to say what most people don’t know about me is, um, that I wear t-back underwear. I kinda got used to the BANANA hammock in my early years, as my legs had a hard time fitting in those tighty whities with my 36 inch thighs.
14) CB: How do you want to be remembered?
ER: To be listed top of the GOOGLE search engine instead of second to Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson. Lol…Well most people will remember me by the covers and the titles I once took; however, I wish is to be remembered for the person that I am. At the end of the day people will forget about the titles and the covers, but will never forget how you made them feel.
My goal is to educate, inspire, and encourage people to be the best they can be, and to do more, to be more, and to become more! To remind people that you don’t have to win to be a winner! The true winners in any sport are the ambassadors who are humble and set a good example of sportsmanship.
To represent and be respected not only for their titles and accomplishments but for the person they are. I don’t want to be remembered for the mark I made in powerlifting or bodybuilding, but for the mark I made impacting peoples life.
The second part of my life isn’t any longer about setting the IFBB stage on fire nor breaking world records, the second and last part of my life will be spent being the best father and mate I can be, to dedicate myself to helping other athletes reach their genetic potential and dreams and to be the best coach helping others reach their dreams.
15) CB: in closing is there a message you would like to say to the workout world or any topics that we didn’t cover?
ER: Yes, my message to the workout world would be to train smart and don’t spend all day in the gym. More is not better! During my career, I have learned a lot on what to do and what to not do and by combining what I felt worked best for me by mastering the training protocols and philosophy of Dr. Arthur Jones, Joe Weider, Dr. Fred Hatfield and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale.
By combining a variation of all four of these geniuses H.I.T training protocols and theories into a custom training protocol that worked for me. So I developed what I call my Spartan H.I.T program that worked! It enabled me make incredible strength gains to put on size and dominate the Powerlifting World by taking world records in the bench along with dominating the world of bodybuilding by taking the Teen Mr. Florida, Teen Mr. USA, Teen Jr. Nationals then the Mens Mr. USA, Men’s World Record 575/610 Bench along with my 12 year IFBB/WBF career competing with the best in the world setting the IFBB stage on fire.
By Mastering how to shock both the red and white muscle fibers in one set followed by numerous super sets exercises. This targets both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers which enabled me to get twice as big twice as fast with less time in the gym. You can read about all the training projects Arthur Jones did with me along with other pro athletes such as Sergio Oliva, Casey Viator, that both Mentzer brothers studied and passed down to other pros such as Dorian Yates.
However, My Spartan H.I.T program is just a little different from Arthur Jones training protocol. For $30,000 I agreed to being a guinea pig in a project performed by Dr. Ellington Darden and Ken Hutchins and then relocated and Move with Nautilus to Plano, TX for a 12 week project experiment to get me ready for the Nationals using the training protocol.
I used super slow movement with combination of slow speeds of lifting and lowering weight and general principals of HIT training that was used in the 1960 by power lifters to break plateaus in their strength. This was known as muscle contraction with measured movement (MC/MM) which reduces momentum during exercise. The recommended set to achieve muscle fatigue was between 100 to 240 seconds per set and a workout should last non-longer than 30 min.
Research states that this type of training provides superior results compared to traditional training in as little as 10 weeks. It was hard on my body. During Dr. Darden’s protocol in 12 weeks I lost quality muscle and had serious tendon and ligament strain. If I continued this training regime, it would have destroyed my ligaments and tendons and ruined my career.
Training protocols were training 3 x a week, with workouts lasting no longer than 30 min. Sets were i.e. chin-ups: 30 seconds up 60 seconds down, leg press: 90 seconds down 60 seconds up.
Total training time for the week was 1 hour and 30 min. I was supposed to place in the nationals. The bad news, I didn’t. Good news was it was the quickest $30,000 I ever made in 12 weeks. When I got back to Florida, I got a call from Dr. Arthur Jones asking me what the hell happened.
I drove over to Lake Hellen to see Dr. Jones and while we while we were throwing chickens in his alligator pit, we discussed what Dr. Darden had me doing. He laughed about the training protocol and he agreed in some parts and disagreed in others. I did enjoy being Dr. Arthur Jones experiment training on the new leverage line later to be renamed Hammer Strength.
I agreed to do another project to only use Hammer Strength equipment to get ready for the Mr. USA that I won using Dr. Jones HIT training customized for me using the Hammer Strength equipment.
The Leverage Line later named Hammer Strength was the absolute best developed equipment. It keeps you in the proper range of motion for targeted body parts and is ideal for the HIT training protocol. It was counter balanced and very easy to follow Dr. Jones HIT super-set training, doing 30 second positive and negative contractions and 3/4 rep intervals that worked overloading the muscle. Hammer Strength is also amazing to rehabilitate from injury.
16:) CB: Anyone you want to thank?
ER: I would like to thank my family and friends for always being their giving me strength and the foundation needs to reach my dreams. To my fans that have followed me during my career, if it wasn’t for you my achievement would be worthless.
My fans gave me the fire, drive, and the determination to be the best I could be! Joe Weider and Arthur Jones, thank you for believing in me and educating me by giving me the tools needed. Because of you it enabled me to break records and take titles.
If it wasn’t for Joe contracting me for most of my career, all wouldn’t have been possible and I thank you. My family thanks you for enabling me to fulfill my dreams and to provide for them in the process. Joe, you were my #1 mentor, great friend and are greatly missed!
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The Bulking Diet Delusion by John Meadows really lit a fire under my heinie. It reminded me of all those people that tell me they’re in bulking mode but never seemed to be in cutting mode.
So basically what you want to tell me is that you’re fat and too damn lazy to do anything about it? But you still want to tell all the girls that you’re a bodybuilder, right? As you stuff your face with pizza. Come on now, you can do better than that.
What You Need To Know
- Intermittent fasting won’t burn your hard earned muscle. That’s not an excuse anymore.
- Insulin sensitivity is the key to both muscle building and fat loss.
- Lifting weights but being fat all year round doesn’t make your a bodybuilder or an athlete it just means you’re fat and lazy. Pony Up.
Fasting for Muscle Building
Slow down buddy, pick your jaw back up from the keyboard and try not to scream needless profanities at me through a computer screen, tough guy. You read it right; fasting for muscle building.
I’m about to tell you how fasting CAN help you build muscle and of course burn fat. OK, think logically for a second. To build muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus, correct? So right away I haven’t a hope in hell of explaining to you how not eating can help you build muscle do I?
That’s because it can’t. But, now pay close attention, what it will do is prime your body for muscle building. Here’s how young Padawon;
You know all about blood sugar. Do you know about insulin though?
If you give a hoot about building muscle and given that you’re a Critical Bench follower then you’ve at least heard of insulin before. I’m going to give you a quick crash course anyway. When you eat you break down the food in to sugar.
That sugar likes to hang out in your blood until you do something about it. You really better do something about it though because just like a bunch of kids hanging out on the corner, all that can happen after a while is trouble. You’re just going to get fat.
You use insulin to take the sugar out of your blood and shuttle it around your body. Treat insulin right and it will make you look like Hercules.
Points to remember:
- Every time you eat you spike your blood sugar and in turn your blood insulin.
- If you have insulin in your blood you cannot burn fat.
- Eating too often will cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means you will get fat, become sick and not build muscle.*
*insulin resistance means your body has to secrete more insulin than normal to take less sugar from your blood.
That can’t be that big of a deal for muscle building, can it? Oh it can my dear friend, it can. You know all those guys that claim they are bulking all year round for years on end? Well my bet is they have f****d with insulin so much that they literally can’t burn fat.
The same goes for their muscle building quest. Have they gotten any bigger this year? My guess is they haven’t. Why? Because insulin isn’t working as effectively as it could.
Moral of the story; make friends with insulin. I mean cuddle up and get real cosy.
How Fasting Can Help
Intermittent fasting is the cure for those of you that have been mean to insulin for quite a while. It’s like the judge in a divorce hearing; it will decide who gets what. Fasting is the perfect fix for insulin resistance. It works by giving your body a break from eating and constantly secreting insulin.
If you stop secreting insulin for a while your body is going to get the chance to catch up with itself and start being more efficient when you eat. Think about it this way; if you were asked to work overtime every night for a month would you be as productive? No way, you would just burn out.
It’s the same for insulin. If you keep acting like your beak can hold more than your belly can then insulin is going to burn out.
It’s not going to be able to shuttle your post workout drink in to your muscle cells as effectively as before. Fast every so often and give your body a break and things are about to start looking a whole lot different for you.
The more sensitive you are to insulin (which you will be from fasting) the more likely your body is to respond well to you and start slapping pounds of muscle on to your frame rather than mounds of fat.
Basically you will reset your insulin switch. You will thank your lucky stars you read this article when you see the difference it will make to your muscle building.
I just had to include this picture. It doesn’t exactly have a whole lot to do with fasting or muscle building, but it’s hot and I love strong women.
How to Fast for Muscle
I’m going to give you two options, both of which are very effective.
Option #1: Fast Once Per Week
This will sound like hell on earth to a lot of you but I urge you to give it a go. Once per week you will fast, ideally not a workout day. Yes that means you eat NOTHING. You can drink water, black tea and black coffee. That’s it.
There are no more rules. If you’re hungry suck it up, you shouldn’t have ate like an elephant for the last ten years.
Option #2: 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
This is a more long term method and it works great. It’s going to really force you to burn fat while simultaneously resetting your insulin switch for muscle building.
As the name suggests you will fast for 16 hours each day leaving you with an 8 hour eating window. Trust me you’ll be able to get in the amount of calories you need in 8 hours.
Just make sure to take full advantage of your new friend insulin and eat like a pig** directly after your workout.
Get a protein and carb drink in to you immediately and then 1-2 BIG carb and protein meals afterwards.
Why? Well your muscles want energy at this time and now that you’re friends with insulin it’s going to help you like a best friend should and take all those calories in to your muscle cells and your muscle energy stores.
This method will work a lot faster than option #1. I like fasting until noon each day and eating until 8pm. Figure out what hours fit your schedule and do that. Just remember that if you workout in the morning your 8 hour eating window has to start in the morning so that you can take full advantage of your post workout meals.
** Now listen closely. The whole point of this article was to get you to stop eating like a pig. I was being facetious here. Do however eat a lot. Just make sure it’s good wholesome muscle building food.
Andrew was born and bred in Ireland. Having the stature of a leprechaun he forced himself to learn how to build muscle and burn fat. As a muscle building and fat burning expert he studies the most cutting edge nutrition and training practices to deliver the best muscle building, fat burning results to his clients and to YOU.
Discover The “Holy Grail” Nutrient Timing System That Builds Mounds Of Rock Solid Muscle in LESS Than 3 Hours a Week
Hi, it’s Kyle Leon here. I wanted to make a short video for you today about the muscle building strategy of bulking, then cutting, and also offer you some information that will help you if bulking then cutting is not the right strategy for you, but you’re still looking to put on some muscle.
Bulking is a strategy used to build muscle by putting our bodies into a large caloric surplus for a predetermined amount of time, basically bringing in more calories than our body burns off. And cutting refers to the time needed to lose the excess body fat. This strategy is based on sound logic because it is common knowledge that our bodies need to be in a caloric surplus to be able to build muscle. And many bodybuilders have used this strategy with a lot of success.
The obvious problem, of course, is that when our bodies are in a large caloric surplus, we will experience fat gain as well. This is just an accepted fact with the bulking then cutting strategy. Unfortunately, recent research suggested there are a lot of other problems that you’re probably not aware of that are associated with this old school strategy.
One big less known about problem is, fat cell hyperplasia. This is when our bodies are forced to create more fat cells because of all of the excess calories coming in that our bodies can’t use towards muscle growth. And here’s the thing, these fat cells never, ever go away. So, even when you do go through the cutting phase of this strategy and get down to a really, really low body fat percentage, these new fat cells will still be there.
Having more fat cells makes it easier for us to store fat for the rest of our lives when we mess-up on our diet. We really don’t need to feel any more guilty on our cheat days, now do we? The take-home message is we can’t force our bodies into building more muscle than it’s physiologically able to build by just ramping-up or calories. Doing so will most definitely backfire.
Other less known about problems with the traditional bulking approach include things like liver strain, pancreatic strain, increased cholesterol, increased blood pressure, fluid retention, AKA puffy moon-face look, thyroid problems, insulin resistance. And the list goes on.
The long and short of it is, on top of the excess fat gain, the traditional bulking approach can make it much more difficult for us to have a nice, lean, healthy future and these are things you should be aware of.
The good news is, with recent advancements in nutrition, there are alternatives to the traditional bulking approach that can be just as effective at building muscle, but without the fat and the other health problems that are associated with the traditional bulk approach.
To put it very simply, the solution to the traditional bulking approach comes down to giving your body what it needs, when it can use it and not giving your body extra fuel when it can’t use it. Now, that is a lot easier said than done, because there are so many variables that determine what those exact needs are, because all of us are different. That’s why the best pro bodybuilders, fitness models, fitness competitors actually go out and hire professional nutrition coaches to tailor the programs to them.
That being said, even though I don’t know you or your body type, a valuable tip I can give you is to consume your daily caloric surplus in a four-hour window surrounding your workout. Okay? And do so only in the form of protein and carbohydrates, and that will actually have you on your way to building some lean muscle without fat.
Now, for more detailed information on this solution to the traditional bulking approach, you can check-out the free presentation in the link below, if you’d like. But, other than that, thank you very, very much for your time. I hope you learn something useful and I’ll talk to you soon.
Nick Nilsson Interviews Mike Westerdal About Lean Hybrid Muscle Building
NN: Hey Mike, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I heard your boss over at Critical Bench sent you on an extended vacation for stirring up all this controversy lately.
MW: Ya my boss is a real jerk. No, I’m just kidding, I’m my own boss. Most people don’t even know that’s my site. I’m kind of coming out from behind the curtain so to speak to share some workouts I’ve been experimenting with lately.
NN: What exactly do you mean by Hybrid?
MW: It’s pretty cool because it has a double meaning in this case. The general definition of “hybrid” is combining two or more different things. In this case we want to take the best of several training philosophies in order to accomplish multiple goals at one time.
We also have what’s been called the “Hybrid Muscle” which is really what Lean Hybrid Muscle Building is all about.
NN: Okay Mike I’ll take the bait, what the heck is a “Hybrid Muscle”?
MW: When talking about “super hybrid muscle,” we’re referring to a muscle that has essentially been reconfigured, adding mitochondrial density, which results in a bigger stronger muscle with more endurance capacity. This is accomplished by combining cardio and strength training into a single activity.
I learned a lot about hybrid super muscle through the book The Purposeful Primitive, written by Marty Gallagher. It’s one of my all time favorite books.
By combining cardio and resistance activities it causes the composition of muscles to transform from predominately type II or type IIb into Type III. By doing this, we are able to push “beyond our genetic limits”.
Having more mitochondria in the muscle cells means that more nutrients can be processed, giving the muscles the ability to work considerably harder for longer periods. They’re also able to grow larger and are able to resist getting tired for longer periods.
NN: Type III muscle? Did you make that up or are you claiming to have invented a new muscle fiber?
MW: I wish I could take credit for that, but no. After reading Marty’s book I started my research and learned that a lot of guys have been preaching this stuff for a while. It’s nothing new. It’s just something a lot of people haven’t heard about.
Early adaptors of this theory included Dr. Len Schwartz who in 1995 coined the phrase “Long Strength”. Dr. Schwartz describes Long strength as “the ability to exert significant strength for an extended period of time.”
John Parrillo-the second proponent of long strength-began having his bodybuilders doing really high intensity cardio. He claimed that doing this actually altered the muscle composition. He called this form a resistance training the “100 rep extended set,” saying that it helped the body to construct more mitochondria-the muscles’ “cellular blast furnaces.” He also says that this increases muscular growth by developing the circulatory pathways that provide nourishment to the muscles.
Ori Hofmekler is the third early adopter of the long strength concept. Ori developed a weight training system that he called, “Controlled Fatigue Training.” According to Ori, this type of training was specifically designed to develop these super hybrid muscles-ones that were capable of generating and sustaining strength for extended periods.
NN: How would one go about building this super hybrid muscle fiber?
MW: For starters, you can look to the ancient warrior cultures-the Spartans, the Vikings and the Gladiators-and learn from them. Remember that all of the training they did was in preparation for the battles ahead. In other words, they were training for functionality rather than aesthetics, meaning that their training routines would have incorporated activities that simultaneously developed both strength and endurance.
Today, to build Hybrid Super Muscle we can start by engaging in aerobic activities that have a strong element of resistance.
NN: That reminds me, you wrote a report called, The Warrior Physique. What’s that about and where can the readers grab a copy?
MW: That was a fun one to write. Having a Swedish background I’ve always been interested in the Viking culture.
It’s no secret that our ancestors were physically, in much better shape than overall, we are today. For ordinary people, their day-to-day lives were much more physically demanding than ours. Back in the day if you wanted to eat you had to go hunting or catch some fish. Everything was functional. In today’s world most of us are subject to the triple seated threat as I like to call it-sitting at our computers, sitting in the car or sitting on the couch.
In this report we’ll explore how some of this planet’s all-time greatest elite warriors of the past developed some legendary physiques.
NN: So, does this all mean you have a problem with cardio machines?
MW: Not really. If you want to add some resistance to your cardio machines just put the treadmill on an incline. There are numerous ways to make cardio machines “hybrid”.
There’s nothing wrong with regular cardio on exercise equipment. I just think training the hybrid way can be a big time saver. I mean who has time to do a 45-minute workout with the weights just to go pedal on the bike for an additional 45 minutes.
I live in Florida so I’m fortunate that I can go for a walk outdoors any time I want. Sunlight and fresh air can do some wonders for your hormone levels.
Cardio machines have their place. Hybrid cardio just provides a faster more entertaining alternative for some people.
NN: How did you wind up partnering up with Pro Strongman Elliott Hulse in creating this system?
Elliott’s an awesome guy. We’ve become really good friends. I like that we have similar values and he’s someone I can count on.
A while ago I tweaked my back doing some powerlifting and I knew Elliott owned a sports training gym in St. Pete, FL. I paid him a visit and he helped me rehab my back.
We just had a lot in common. We actually played football against each other in college without knowing it and we both compete in strength sports.
The thing we really had in common is that w had both put on some un-needed body fat during our quest for strength. (Okay a lot.)
We both wanted to lose fat extremely fast, but didn’t want to sacrifice one ounce of muscle or strength. We knew this was going to be a challenge and something that most people would say is impossible.
Elliott is a beast. I think it’s good that I’m there to tone him down sometimes. He’s the outspoken motivational coach and I’m more laid back and shy at times.
NN: I’ve seen videos from Elliott’s underground gym. If someone is going to do the Lean Hybrid Muscle program, do they need all that fancy strongman equipment?
MW: Nope. That’s a common misconception. We’re fortunate to have access to a lot of cool training tools but I don’t expect someone living in a NYC apartment to store a 600 pound tire…lol.
If the weekly workout includes any specialty equipment there are always exercises that you can substitute or swap out.
NN: What about a gym membership…is this a gym workout or a home workout?
MW: It can be either. There’s a big trend, where people are trying to save time and money by working out at home. Some people simply prefer training outdoors.
Personally I do some workouts at home and some at the gym. You can do this program at the gym, at home or a combination of the two.
NN: Mike, your results were pretty amazing. Do you guarantee this is going to work for everyone that tries it? In 8-weeks you dropped 12% body fat and stayed the same weight. The pics look like night and day. And dude, what’s up with the swimmers cap and speedo, we didn’t need to see that!
MW: Haha. First of all, that thing in the background is a Bod Pod and it took my bodyfat measurement. They made me wear the hat and the speedos….trust me I’m not a fan of that picture either and it definitely motivated me to make a change!
Do I guarantee results? No, I don’t. I have no control over whether or not you’ll do the workouts. Whether or not you’ll get the sleep you need and supply your body with the fuel it needs to transform.
Plus everyone is different. I’m not going to say this is the only way to train. I just know that it worked wonders for me. It worked for Elliott. And it worked for dozens of his clients at his gym. Will it work for you? Probably. If you get even half the results, would you be happy?
NN: How is Lean Hybrid Muscle Training different than Cross Fit, some of the videos look similar?
MW: Cross Fit is a great training style. I respect the discipline and think they have some great workouts. From what I’ve read about Cross Fit it focuses on stamina, flexibility, speed, agility, balance, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, coordination, and accuracy.
The rest intervals are very short and the workouts are fast and often. What I like about Cross Fit is that it incorporates resistance cardio which I’m all for.
However I had a goal of not just dropping weight and fat, but also wanted to build muscle mass and build my strength.
Sure, Lean Hybrid Muscle Building and Cross Fit may use some of the same exercises but they are done with different rest periods, volume and intensity. Just like a bodybuilder and a powerlifter may both perform the bench press, but how they perform that lift is very different from each other.
Lean Hybrid Muscle Building is cross-disciplinary like Cross Fit but it has a much greater emphasis on gaining strength and muscle mass than Cross Fit does.
In summary Cross Fit is an excellent training program that can produce great results, but I think it’s better suited for goals of conditioning, toning or developing agility, speed and endurance. If that’s your goal, go with Cross Fit.
On the other hand, if you want to get lean while building strong powerful muscles than Lean Hybrid Muscle Building is a clear winner in my book.
NN: If you had access to any equipment, what would your 3 favorite hybrid exercises be?
1. Well I love kettlebell circuits.
Similar to EDT by Charles Staley I try to make it through this circuit five times. Next time I do the workout, I want to beat my previous time. This is great for conditioning. For this is resistance cardio at its finest. It’s a nice break from my heavier strength building days to avoid overtraining.
KB Snatches: 5 reps per arm
KB Clean & Press: 5 reps per arm
KB Lunges: 5 reps per leg
KB Squats: 10 reps
KB One Armed Rows: 10 reps per arm
KB Two Handed Swings: 20 reps
Remember you have to make it through this 5x’s so don’t start off with a really heavy kettlebell.
2. Tire Flips
If there ever was an exercise that trains the entire body, from your ass to your elbow, it’s tire flipping. Getting your hands on one is easier than you think. Tire companies have to pay to get rid of them so they’ll be glad to give them to you. Storing them is another issue though.
3. Sledge Hammer Slams
Nick I know you’re into using heavier weight when you train your abs. Well this is a killer. This exercise helps build explosive torso strength and power. To do this exercise you’ll need a sledgehammer and a large tire (not on the rim), bales of hay or something similar to hit. Don’t use something with enough bounce to cause the sledgehammer to come back up and hit you in the face. Work your abs and get a cardio session in at the same time.
NN: What about Hybrid exercises for the gym?
1. Do the same kettlebell circuit above but use dumbbells instead.
2. Dumbbell Farmers Walk. No rocket science here. Just pick up a heavy pair of dumbbells and go! Great for the traps, grip, stability and core.
3. Dumbbell Overhead Walks. Grab a pair of dumbbells, hold them over your head with your arms almost locked out and start walking. Think this isn’t challenging enough? Try doing lunges holding the dumbbells over your head.
The cool thing about these exercise is they can be used either as hybrid cardio at the end of a regular workout instead of the treadmill, or they can be the workout if you increase the weight and adjust the rep ranges and rest intervals. The possibilities are endless.
NN: Did your wife really call you fat?
MW: Not really, kind of. I started getting some looks when I would head to the fridge late at night. It didn’t take a genius to get the point. Especially since I had placed my Bod Pod pic on the door to the freezer.
NN: Okay I have to ask this. People have been emailing me saying it’s impossible to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. It all comes down to calories in versus calories out. You’re either gaining or losing but you can’t do both. Care to elaborate?
MW: Ummm I’d like to buy a lifeline. Call a friend? Seriously though that’s exactly what I did. I called my friend Eric Talmant who’s a diagnostic nutritionist, metabolic typing advisor and powerlifter.
I knew I had personally experienced adding muscle while dropping fat when I was playing football in college. I couldn’t really explain how, but I thought Eric might be able to answer the question for me.
I asked him, “Is it physically possible to build muscle and burn fat at the same time?” I was pumped when he explained in his interview that it was.
He said that you can keep your body in an anabolic state by creating the perfect internal and external environment through attitude, atmosphere, training, sleep, stress levels, and nutrition. Calories are just one piece of the puzzle and not the entire picture.
NN: How come you don’t just do a bulking season where you pack on muscle and than do a typical cutting cycle to burn off the fat and reveal the new muscle?
MW: Instant gratification maybe. I wanted everything at once. I wanted to recreate what I was able to do in college. I’ve tried bulking and cutting. I wound up getting strong and fat when bulking up only to get lean and weak when dieting.
NN: Okay Mike, this worked for you, but what if you’re just a freak. I mean who benches 315 for 15 reps and still tries to burn fat at the same time? Do you have any other “average Joe” success stories?
MW: I’ll take that as a compliment. I’m not a freak, I’m just extremely stubborn, persistent and determined. Things don’t come easy for me, but when I make up my mind that I want to accomplish something I can usually do it.
I’m also pretty open minded and don’t accept that something isn’t possible just because someone said so.
As for some other clients maybe the video below will motivate some people.