What is your lifting resume?
I lifted as a teen with my plastic and concrete weight set. I was an exercise fanatic but never got any results. I was paper thin, small-boned and had a lightning fast metabolism.
In 1986 I entered college and had access to a small gym packed with barbells and dumbbells...and a squat rack. I had a college English professor help me with training. He was a bodybuilder, and my mentor.
With access to a nice gym and all the food I could eat, I gained like a fool. Within 4 months my mentor was pulling me aside asking me if I was taking steroids.
I was using all the cores...squats, dips, bench, power cleans, overhead presses, etc.
By 1988 I was a freak to my family. My legs were so big that my sister was begging me to stop lifting. Guys at the gym would ask me my secrets, and women were finally paying attention to me.
This was a good place for me to be at mentally, as I was a depressed teen with a violent alcoholic father.
In 1997 I reached my peak. I relied upon 90% heavy compound lifts and simple progression, and was benching 430, overhead pressing 120 pound dumbbells for reps, etc. My wife would tell em every day...I can't believe how big your arms are.
In 2008 I started Muscle and Brawn. I wanted to provide a respectful site without all the e-stats and brah bashing at other lifting forums.
In 2009 I became an industry writer, as well as a feature writer for the largest female bodybuilding site on the web, and the largest natural site on the web. I currently write for Natural Muscle Mag, and have interviewed everyone from Frank Zane to Clarence Bass to Jon Jon Park to Casey Butt to Layne Norton to Lisa Aukland to Mah Ann Mendoza to (thanks Doc) Ronnie Coleman. I also have had contact with Mark Dugdale, who has given me an open invitation to eat with him if I'm in the area.
I love lifting. It makes me feel like a child. It's pure pleasure for me. I would train 3 hours a day if I could. I'm not into the scientific end much. Lifting for me is intimate. Just me and the weight. I don't like to think when I'm with the iron.
My best lifts to date (all documented on Youtube) are:
--Squat: 500x1 and 440 x 5
--Bench: 430 x 1 (in 1997)
--Deadlift: 565 x 1 (had more in the tank but failed at 600), and 525 x 4
By the way, I have never had a major weight lifting injury.
In what areas do you feel that you are strongest, in terms of experience to add to the conversation?
I am more of a pure powerbuilder. I love training for muscle and strength at the same time.
I love simple programs and basic lifts. I also work hard on form, and have always used good form when lifting.
I am not an OCD lifter. I do not believe recreational lifters who want strength and muscle need to be incredibly anal about every last detail. They need a smart eating approach for sure, but do not need PCF ratios, etc.
My experience is hard work using non-OCD methods.
I also have a passion for old school lifting, pre-steroid era.
In what areas do you generally not speak on?
Cutting diets. I have a few resources, but I have never been abs obsessed and that area of lifting I really don't care much about. I have studied it, and I have been lean with abs twice, but it is boring to me.
How did you come to your particular methodology, or is it still being defined?
Early on I just wanted to not be an idiot in the gym. The first time I benched I failed on my 4th rep with 95 pounds. I was so embarrassed that I just started pushing for more reps and weight on every set. This worked wonders.
What do you see as the biggest problem with barbell sports today?
1) People overcomplicating things. There is supply and demand working here. When the masses DON'T get results, the magazines feed them "blurbs" to lure them into crazy, and unneeded complexity with the hope that things will change. "Selling" hard work isn't easy. So they sell complexity which makes a reader say...ahh, that's why I'm not making gains! If I only do my lat pulldowns in supersets with limited rest blah, blah blah.
The magazines don't tell them to do 2 simple things...eat more and lift more.
2) Steroids. Not a rant against steroids, but AAS users and naturals need to understand the differences. Naturals can't make gains forever. All this muscle confusion stuff is great when you're on AAS and need to re-ignite your receptors, but that doesn't fly with natural trainees. Naturals benefit more from a simple and hard linear approach using compound lifts.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you're made along the way?
Buying into the nonsense that as a natural gains will keep coming. Also performing high volume after I was nearly at my max potential. There is no point. Work hard, max out, train smarter.
I see some maxed naturals training 2-3 hours a day thinking they will add another 5 pounds in the next year. Yet they refuse to admit that they haven't gained a pound in the last 5 years.
When it comes to advice, how do you pick and choose who you listen too?
I listen to naturals who lift heavy rocks. I listen to those that land on the side of simplicity. I listen to people who AREN'T proclaiming a need for complexity and confusion.
I listen to guys who just shut the heck up and do the work, and get results.
"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 12-17-2010 at 01:44 PM.