Originally Posted by Mr. Shadow
Martin Berkhan is at a rather elite level for a natural bodybuilder. Do you not agree?
He is lean, and I have no doubt IF can help you get lean. But being ripped is not the same as having the skill to hold muscle while cutting, nor build muscle. In fact, looking at how small he appears to be, if only fortifies my concerns that IF leads to muscle loss.
One thing you learn from being around natural bodybuilders is that they look much bigger in pictures. Also, the leaner they get, the bigger they look. While he does have low bodyfat levels, this does not indicate an ability to retain muscle while cutting.
To me, his size is very sub-par. Just keeping it real here. He does have nice biceps and delts, but like I said, I know from being around naturals (in person and not in e-space) that they are always much smaller than they look in pictures. And he does not look big at all in pictures.
A good muscle shape will make you appear bigger but it does not paint a picture of what it's like to stand next to the bodybuilder and understand his size with a decent frame of reference.
So to answer your question, no, I do not consider him near an elite level bodybuilder. He would probably win his class at a local show based on conditioning, but he is certainly no where near elite.
There are certain indicators as to just what his size would look like in person, one being arm to head size ratio.
I know several top level pro naturals who are superstars online. They look 5 times (not really, but you get my point) as big as Martin in pictures. But in person, you probably wouldn't know they were bodybuilders if they had their shirts on.
Martin to be looks like an average guy who has went through beginner gains, added maybe 10 pounds of muscle, has good bicep peaks, and got ripped. Nothing more, nothing less.
Again, being ripped makes you look much bigger than you are. Check out a local show sometime. It will help build that perspective.
I do not want to make this about IF or Martin. I have never stated that if won't work for some. But it certainly won't work for all. Many prominent voices stand in my corner on that one.