Bearded Beast of Duloc
Join Date: Jul 2009
Training Exp: 20+ years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
Fav Exercise: Deadlift
Fav Supp: Butter
John Meadows trains with Tom, shares his thoughts:
Tom's favorite exercise is obviously squats, but he also really likes tbar rows, and man did we do a lot of them.....we did sets of 30, then 40, then 50...all with forced reps. My back was screaming. On the last set my whole body was screaming.
We went to the Firehouse for breakfast and talked all morning. It was awesome. Tom is incredibly intelligent (has much scientific knowledge)...but we always came back to what is going to make you YOUR best is passion. Many people preach it...but he lived it. There was a great example of this when we were doing the rows today. As I sat there dying, he said "now John that was good, you prolly gave 95% of what you have....I know you have 5% more, so let's get it next set". Can you imagine how fired up that made me? I had just killed myself, but his standard for intensity is just on a whole nother level. This is what I expect from myself....
We talked about cardio - he is not a fan..
Talked about how in the 70's he did low fat diets that were torturous, but looked better when he included some fats and reduced cardio..
He has no ill feeling about the 83 Olympia which he obviously should have won. He was thrilled because that show catapaulted him to a new level of popularity.
Tom talked to me a lot about the psychological piece of bodybuilding today. We got into actin and myosin crossbridging and other stuff which was very cool too. Amazing how well rounded he is knowledge wise.
The coolest thing to me, was when we talked about having "it". The ability and love for being able to take sets to another level. It was interesting as Tom has been around a lot of wealthy people who want to buy it..pay for some training thinking that what he has internally will just transfer over...but the reality is much of this has to be born with.
We trained chest, and he set up the Smith machine on a slight incline...HA...you guys know I love that too!.....so we did sets of 30 or so with a medium grip, elbows pretty tucked in, letting the bar touch right below nipple. My chest was screaming at 15-20 but he always forced me to do another 5 reps or so and then another 5 or so partials. We kept going up in weight keeping this pattern until I got to a weight that I could only do for 4 reps (and then the forced and partials - and an isohold for good measure.
We also talked a lot of manipulating frequency, intensity, and volume. I am going to write more on that later, but he wants me to do less movements, but find PERFECT movements that allow me to really drive the car into the red zone. Milk the movements with extremely high intensity levels...rest the part until it's ready to go, however long that may be, then do it again. He like me is really a believer in tweaking certain exercises certain ways, and not just doing everything the way it's wrote up in text books.
I took some pics but the was no angle in the gym to not show a glare so will get some more tomorrow. We trained at Long Beack metroflex btw, what a freaking AWESOME gym. This is the gym where CT Fletcher trains with all the graffiti on the walls with the music blasting...really really awesome gym....reminded me so much of EliteFTS.
Tom was a believer in stretching.....but he used that time more to focus and visualize.....he is still REALLY flexible...he was stretching out before we squatted and doing the same crazy stretches he used to do...Although he stretches, we wasn't really pushing the stretch hard. It seemed like he is just that flexible. In fact he mentioned to not stretch too hard or it would be counter productive.
Like I said earlier, he loved my squat form. I was REALLY happy to hear that....
He definitely likes 4 movements for legs for the most part..hack squats...squats, leg curls, and leg extensions. He didn't seem like he had anything against leg presses or other movements, he just felt like those 4 movements gave him everything he needed. He didn't care for Safety bar squats much or front squats. The SSB didn't allow him into his natural groove, and the front squat limitation of being able to hold onto the weight without shoulders getting tired were just too distracting.
One of the high intensity techniques we did, I have on video. I just need to upload them tonight. I want you guys to see how we do a lot of reps, and then we do the isoholds with added tension. In 3 or 4 minutes time you can go to an extremely pumped state..it's awesome...we used this technique on chest, and also arms, in addition to legs. So for all you clients of mine out there, my newest program will be incorporating this!!!
We spent a lot of time talking about the "old days"....due to me asking..I just love the history stuff. He was telling me how many different guys trained..which ones trained hard and which ones didn't really do much. The trend was the west coast guys typically didn't squat or go balls out, but all the east coast guys who came out there trained really hard. it was interesting...
He really looked up to Dave Draper too. Dave was really shy, didn't really like the limelight at all..told me some cool stories about him.
He was also influenced some by Robby Robinson with his posing style....sort of bringing people in with a certain style, then hammering posed that compliment your physique..sort of building up to a grand finale where you hit your signature pose and the crowd goes nuts. It was really awesome discussion.
Tom was also influenced training wise by Mentzer and Arnold. He didn't like either style exclusively, so he combined the two, added in his one stuff....made it his own, and perfected it. he said he could go about 6 to 8 weeks really hard and nsane, and then would have to back it down for a few weeks.
old days - told me a million stories..here's a simple one.
He was from the east coast (jersey then went to Michigan and trained there before going to California). When he got out to California, people didn't squat out there. They all thought he was out of his mind. He had some training partners out east he said that could bury him squatting..said those guys were the most intense he ever trained with, but nobody knew them as they didn't compete.
Anyways, people saw his legs growing, and then all of a sudden everybody was "trying to squat". he really liked how Casey Viator trained too...said he was an animal...just really intense...
Destroy That Which Destroys You
"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."