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JTurner 05-02-2012 10:56 AM

Mark Bell & Jesse Burdick Interview
Taken from

We invited Mark “Smelly” Bell (yes, that Mark Bell) to the studio to shoot the proverbial shit, and he surprised us by getting Jesse Burdick to tag along.

However, Bell and Burdick weren’t able to make it until about 45 minutes into the show, so Kiefer introduced Alex Navarro (Ms. Natural Fitness Olympia and one of Kiefer’s figure competition clients). You’ll get to meet Alex, hear about what it’s like to train under Kiefer, and how annoying it is to constantly be building muscle all the time using Carb Back-Loading and Shockwave-style training.

I was sick that morning (don’t inhale mildew, kids) and couldn’t make it out of bed much less to the studio. That turned out to be for the best, as I don’t know how Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick would fit in that studio, much less also Kiefer and myself. Good thing Alex is smaller than me.

Part 1 - 60 mins

Part 2 - 22 mins

Part One: Alex Navarro, Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick

00:30 Alex Navarro (Ms. Natural Fitness Olympia) complains about how easy it is to put on muscle on Kiefer’s diets.
03:00 Alex explains the differences among the various bikini divisions, and what the Fitness competition involves.
05:30 Shockwave training is “too short” and “easier”, complains Alex.
07:00 Why Alex is moving out of Fitness competition and into the WPBB “Bikini Diva” competition. Kiefer apologies for being a nobody.
16:15 “Body By V” — the problem with multi-level-marketing products
18:45 Mark Bell walks in with surprise guest Jesse Burdick
22:30 Mark Bell’s been following the Paleo Solution (Robb Wolf), working w/ John Welbourn
25:45 What Jesse Burdick’s been doing: Carb Nite, back-loading, etc.
30:30 Conversation about intermittent fasting and people following expert recommendations that their bodies give them negative feedback on.
“Always kinda question the knowledge, even when it’s coming from somebody who’s really smart. you gotta apply some logic to it for yourself.” –Mark Bell

“It’s not just `Don’t Trust the Information`, it’s `Realize You’re Different`. It’s very clear from the research now that People Are Different, end of story.” –Kiefer

37:00 The issue of having realistic expectations of your physical results when you have a stressful, work-oriented lifestyle.
24:00 [break]
43:00 About the Slingshot (“the greatest invention since the lifting belt”), Mark’s invention for improving the bench press, pushups, and dips.
24:45 Kiefer’s confrontational question about the use of the Slingshot…
27:30 What should lifters using the Slingshot be feeling for when they grip the bar (for a bench press) to avoid ending up flaring the elbows?
31:00 Mark Bell nearly kills Kiefer by sending him a photo.
33:30 70sBig and the shift in culture and physique in powerlifting.
37:45 Mark Bell’s Power Project
Jesse Burdick on Carb Nite

Part Two: Training Q's from the Forums

41:30 “Can your head get any bigger?” –Julia Ladewski
44:00 What is the number one thing you do to mentally prepare before you train? (answers from Mark and Jesse)
45:15 What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from Louie Simmons?
48:50 Training to failure: necessary to get strong? and if so, how often?
In strength training, you don’t always need to take it nearly as far as people think. You don’t always need to be training at 90 or 100% to get stronger. In fact, a lot of times, once you’ve been training for a few years… it’s moreso about getting better, than it is about just getting stronger.” –Mark Bell

53:00 Did Mark Bell really say, “if you see a guy over 200lbs and ripped, he’s most likely on steroids.”?
58:15 Mark asks Kiefer if there are any health concerns around Carb Back-Loading.

JTurner 05-02-2012 11:00 AM

Thought I'd post this up in articles so it doesn't get lost in the threads, usually some quality information in these. Giving it a listen now.

Fazc 05-02-2012 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by JTurner (Post 237984)
53:00 Did Mark Bell really say, “if you see a guy over 200lbs and ripped, he’s most likely on steroids.”?

Although I think 200lbs and ripped is possible natural, it's certainly more in the realm of the taller bodybuilder. That's not going to happen at 5 foot 9 for example. I think it's an issue though. The combination of people, especially on the internet, of:

1) Being either in denial or just not having the experience of knowing what a low bodyfat level looks like on them.

2) Being taken in by the standards of steroid using lifters.

...leads to a whole lost of BS being passed on forums. I've seen posters who claim 20% bodyfat, when they haven't lifted a weight in the last 6 months, have lived off nothing but McDonalds the last 3 years and who in pictures are clearly 30% or more, on top of that are weak and fat. Yet they still believe that if they lose 20-30lbs they'd be absolutely shredded.

That level of denial is an extreme example, but you see it all the time. It's the same lifter who posts a bounced, partner assisted Bench on youtube and claims he'd "do well" in a powerlifting competition. Burdick and Bell train and compete with lifters each and every day, when you do that it forces an objective eye on you. Their opinion on it is well worth listening to.

Out of interest, pretty sure Kroc competed at 215lbs ripped. He wasn't exactly fat when he was 260lbs either. Something to think about.

BendtheBar 05-04-2012 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by Fazc (Post 237991)
Although I think 200lbs and ripped is possible natural, it's certainly more in the realm of the taller bodybuilder. That's not going to happen at 5 foot 9 for example.

Truth, that is.

A good portion of the pro natural bodybuilders (legit, test feds) compete in the 170s. Some are in the low 180s. The ones in the 190s are generally over 6 foot tall. 6'1", 6'2".

A general rule of thumb to remember is that for every inch of height, a lifter has about a 4 to 5 pound muscle increase or decrease. So if 5'10" inch naturals are competing around 175-180 (max), you could expect anyone competing at 200 to be well over 6 foot, unless there are at the very peak of their natural potential and blessed with the ability to hold muscle while cutting.

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