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Old 02-16-2010, 09:34 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Shaolinkiwi View Post
Wow - great post, great article.

Found this very relevant giving I'm all about full body splits now. Wish I'd seen this 2 months ago when I first jumped into my advanced fullbody split.

Thanks guys.
No problem. I wish we had more of Casey's info here. He's under-appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:06 PM   #32
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Casey on Beginners and Rep Ranges:

(In response to Sean Sullivan's claim that a beginner must stick to the 8 to 12 rep range out the gate, and over 6 reps for several years...because of "nerve innervation" factors.)

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Not saying this to be disagreeable with Sean Sullivan, but it also flies against the basic foundational training of almost every elite level Olympic Lifter of the past 50 years at least. One of the very early and fundamental goals of power training for athletes is to "teach" motor recruitment and lifting efficiency as quickly as possible, while minimizing, at least as much as feasible, the conversion of type IIB fibers into type IIA. That's why almost all Olympic Lifting coaches will switch lifters to lower reps as soon as they have basic coordination on the lifts - particularly the explosive and highly technique-oriented lifts.
Quote:
They also have poor ability to fire at optimal with more than 8 reps. In the first few months of training the body adapts specifically to the rep range being performed regardless of whether that's 5x5 or 3x10-12. It makes no sense to think that for some reason in the first year of training the body is innately neurally better prepared to perform sets of 8 reps than it is 5 - that is simply a matter of adaptation to the training performed. Beginners are more or less equally incompetent at all rep ranges.

The reason I recommend higher reps to beginning lifters is because I know most people are interested in bodybuilding and general fitness, not Olympic Lifting (in which case the recommendations would be different) and it's a safe place to start. During the first few months, strength and hypertrophy gains are made just as quickly if a person trains lightly as if they train heavily (shown many times in the research) - so it's more prudent (i.e. safe) in my opinion to start light, perfect form and do the traditional bodybuilding rep ranges. It has nothing to do with latent abilities of beginners to better perform 8-12 reps than they can 3-5 reps. There isn't a shred of evidence anywhere in the scientific literature to support such a notion.

So, I actually agree with Sean, but the "nerve innervation" reasoning has not been proven and there's no reason to think it ever would be - especially with the relatively small differences between the body's perception of 5 and 8 or even 12 reps (which all require similar energy production pathways anyway, though the proportions may be slightly different). Perhaps it seems like that because higher reps for beginners is a logical an accepted practice (though Starr disagrees and starts beginners with 5's) - but a neural explanation for it is pretty shakey.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #33
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The History of Steroids in Bodybuilding

Periodically on the various internet bodybuilding forums someone makes a completely baseless statement about steroid use, when it started, and who was using them back in the 'old days'. When I see ignorance being masqueraded as fact I almost always feel compelled to join the discussion and refute some of the often outrageous statements being hurled about. I'm going to recap what's known about the history of anabolic steroid use in sports so I can refer people to this entry rather than go through it time and time again.

All reliable sources - publications by Terry Todd, John Fair, Randy Roach, Bill Starr, etc, as well as interviews and letters from John Ziegler, John Grimek, Bill March, etc - indicate that experimentation with testosterone for athletic purposes began in the U.S. sometime in either late 1954 or 1955. These 'trials' were short-lived, however, as the results were disappointing and testosterone use was deemed ineffective and carried the risk of harmful side-effects. A statistical analysis of Olympic-style Weightlifting performances published in the International Journal of the History of Sport concluded that Soviet athletes likely first used testosterone sometime between 1952 and 1956.

Dr. John Ziegler, physician for the U.S. Olympic Weightlifting team (i.e. the York team), described in interviews of learning about the Soviet use of testosterone injections at the 1954 World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna, Austria in October of that year. Some time after returning home, Ziegler convinced York affiliated lifters John Grimek, Jim Park and Yaz Kuzahara to be test subjects and receive testosterone injections. By Grimek's account, the results were disappointing. In a private letter, dated at the time, Grimek spoke of seeing nothing in the way of gains and quiting the injections because he felt he was actually regressing. Jim Park received only one injection which he claimed did nothing for him physically, but made him incredibly horny. It is unclear as to Kuzahara's experience but, in any case, it was not positive enough to warrant continued use and further experimentation was ceased. In light of the terrible side effects that Ziegler had heard of and witnessed Soviet users suffering, and lack of significant results in his own test subjects, no further experimentation with testosterone was tried by the York (U.S.) Weightlifting team for the duration of the 1950s.

This was not the end of Ziegler's involvement with steroids, however. Ziegler began work with CIBA Pharmaceuticals in 1955 to develop a testosterone derivative that would carry the anabolic properties of testosterone without the undesirable side effects. Preliminary results began coming in by 1956, and Dianabol was released to the U.S. prescription drug market in 1958 for use in wasting conditions. CIBA's competitor, Searle, beat them to the market, however, and introduced Nilevar, the first synthetic anabolic/androgenic steroid, to the prescription drug market in 1956 (used as a polio treatment).

In late 1959 (some claim as early as 1958, some as late as 1960) Ziegler decided to try the new Dianabol on some of the non-medal contending York lifters and enlisted Grimek to convince a few lifters to begin taking it under his (Ziegler's) supervision. Lower level or non-competitive lifters were chosen for the initial trials so as not to risk marring the performance of medal contenders at the upcoming 1960 Olympics (Dianabol was, at that time, a relatively untested drug and York chief Bob Hoffman was said to have feared trying it on his top lifters). Bill March, Tony Garcy, John Grimek, Ziegler himself and later Lou Riecke were the first Guinea Pigs, and the results were much more promising this time around.

From there, Dianabol use quickly spread to the entire York Weightlifting team. Now, up-and-coming York lifters and Strength and Health magazine writers such as Bill Starr and Tommy Suggs started letting the secret out to the bodybuilding community, and by the early-to-mid 1960s almost all high-level competitive bodybuilders were taking steroids in the weeks leading up to contests. This pre-contest cycling scheme by bodybuilders was based on the Weightlifters' practice of escalating steroid use in the weeks leading up to lifting meets - the logic being that just as the lifters wanted to be at their best (strongest) come meet day, bodybuilders wanted to peak at their biggest on the day of the contest. It didn't take long for steroid use to spill into the 'off-season' as well, as this allowed bodybuilders to build more ultimate muscle mass.

The man who would go on to become the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, gained 8 pounds of muscle in two months between the 1960 Mr. Los Angeles (in which he placed third), and the 1960 Mr. California (which he won, defeating the two men who had placed above him in the Mr. Los Angeles two months earlier). A year earlier he had won the Mr. Idaho weighing just 152 pounds. Larry credits Rheo Blair, and his protein powder, as being instrumental in his sudden improvement. However, considering Larry's dramatic gains from that point onward, and Blair's reported possession of Nilevar a few years earlier before he even moved to California, it is quite likely that this time in 1960 also marks Larry's first usage of steroids (something to which he admits but, to my knowledge, hasn't specified the date).

But the early 1960s did't mark the true origins of bodybuilder's regular use of steroids, however. In an early edition of his book Getting Stronger, Bill Pearl told of meeting Arthur Jones (founder of the Nautilus line of training equipment and father of the "HIT" style of training) in 1958 and learning of Nilevar from him. After a little further investigation, Pearl began a twelve-week cycle of the steroid and gained 25 pounds. At around that same time, Irvin Johnson (aka Rheo H. Blair - 'father' of the first protein powders) is said to have had Searle's Nilevar in his possession, though he isn't believed to have been widely distributing it to bodybuilders at that time.

So what can we gather from all of this? First of all, no bodybuilder or lifter was using synthetic steroids before 1956 - they didn't exist. Most likely, only the very highest level West Coast bodybuilders knew of them by 1958. From there it seems that knowledge of Nilevar and Dianabol to build muscle and strength was kept relatively in the closet until the early 1960s. After all, Hoffman did not want outside athletes to know his lifters' secrets and he was using their sudden gains via Dianabol to promote his supplement line and isometric training courses and racks. Bill Starr wrote that until he was a national calibre lifter with York in the early 1960s he had never heard of steroids. Reg Park (Mr. Universe 1951, 1958, 1965) said that the first he heard of them were in connection with rumours about East German and Soviet athletes during the 1960 Olympics, though he later heard of "steroids" being used on British POWs from Singapore in WWII as they were being nursed back to health in Australian hospitals. Chet Yorton (Mr. America 1966, Mr. Universe 1966, 1975) has said that he first heard of steroids (Nilevar) in 1964, and decided not to risk using them - Yorton went on to become one of the sports most outspoken campaigners against steroid use and founder of the first drug-tested, natural bodybuilding federation. The condition of national and world level bodybuilders appears to have taken a visible leap between 1960 to 1964.

As for testosterone itself, Paul de Kruif's 1945 book "The Male Hormone" is often cited as "proof" that bodybuilders knew of and were using testosterone in the 1940s. But even though testosterone had been identified by researchers and isolated in laboratory settings as early as the 1930s, it didn't receive FDA approval as a prescription drug until 1950 and, therefore, was produced only sporadically and in small batches for research purposes only, before that time. De Kruif himself made no connection between testosterone and possible athletic applications - his arguments were purely from the perspective of using testosterone to improve the vitality and health of aging men and those with specific conditions.

It has been said that John Grimek, upon reading publications such as de Kruif's, was inquiring about testosterone in the 1940s. But he would have had nothing other than a possible hunch that it could be used for athletic purposes, and no source or opportunity to experiment with it. It wasn't until 1954/1955 with Ziegler, that Grimek wrote of getting his first testosterone injections. It stands to reason that if even Grimek had no access to testosterone, and no knowledge of other top level bodybuilders or lifters using it before this - and as editor of Strength and Health magazine and second in command at York he certainly was in a position to know - then it is very unlikely that anyone in the west was using it for athletic/physique purposes before late 1954/1955. Given that these early experiments were unsuccessful and brief (likely because they knew little about dosing for increased strength and muscle mass), it is most likely that the first western bodybuilders began steroid use not with testosterone itself, but with Nilevar, sometime after 1956 to 1958. From there, Dianabol enters the picture at the elite level and by 1964 even the muscle magazines, such as Iron Man, were writing about what they called the "tissue building drugs".

For a western bodybuilder or lifter to be using testosterone before late 1954/1955 he would had to have known more about the biochemistry of testosterone and it's potential effects than any western sports physician - and have had access to what was then a relatively little known prescription drug. He would also had to have known more about how to effectively dose it than John Ziegler, who would go on to co-develop Dianabol just a few years later. As for before late 1954/1955, nobody in the west can say for sure exactly when the Soviets began using testosterone, but the likely date is sometime before October 1954 and possibly as early as 1952.

As mentioned, testosterone was first approved for prescription as a cancer, wasting and burn treatment in the U.S. in 1950. Before that it was classified as an experimental drug and not available even to physicians. For a bodybuilder to be using testosterone before 1950 he would not only had to have known more about the biochemistry, dosing and potential usage of it than anybody else in the world (including the research scientists working with it), but also have had access to what was then an experimental drug, isolated sporadically in limited amounts for controlled research purposes, and not produced in quantity.

For these reasons it can be stated with some certainty that Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross, John Grimek, Jack Delinger, Reg Park, John Farbotnik, George Eiferman, etc - who all won major physique titles before the Soviets began using testosterone and before synthetic steroids were introduced in 1956 - were not using testosterone or steroids at the time of their Mr. America, Mr. USA and Mr. Universe wins. Furthermore, it is unlikely that any major title winner was a steroid user before 1957-58 (Pearl won the Mr. USA and Mr. Universe titles in 1956 before his knowledge of Nilevar). Some athletes' careers from the era, such as Reg Park's, do span the introduction of steroids into bodybuilding. In Park's case, he competed at 214 pounds when he won the Mr. Universe title in 1951, he weighed 215 when he won it the second time in 1958, and 216 when he placed 3rd in 1971 (at age 43 - he returned again in 1973 to place 2nd). If Park did jump on the steroid bandwagon when he learned of them in 1960, then they produced one pound of muscle in 11 years for him.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:43 PM   #34
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Casey on Progression

1) You've probably got a bit of a lifting "fetish" on those exercises you mentioned and been hammering away at them relentlessly for years, despite the fact that your body "accommodated" them and went stale years ago. You need to change exercises and focus on getting some progression going on something different for awhile. What you've been doing hasn't worked for a long time, so you simply cannot expect it to start working now. You MUST accept that and you must change things around.

Instead of digging a deeper hole for yourself with the Bench Press use Dips (elbows out) as your main chest exercise for awhile. If you need more variety add in Incline Presses (on a good incline ...not nearly flat). Do something like that with all of your body part exercses. If you're small-boned I also doubt that hitting things once a week is enough, but that varies by genetic "gifts". I'd try adding a second body part session per week for each body part, but keep it slightly "easier" than the other, heavier day.

In short, at this stage YOU MUST FIND ALTERNATE EXERCISES THAT WORK FOR YOU at this point in time, and cycle them in.

2) You're probably not cycling and micro-loading properly. I cannot stress how important it is to add weight to the bar regularly and in small increments. When you're training hard you simply cannot add an extra 5 lbs to the bar each week - that would be an impossible rate of gain (260 lbs a year). You can, however, maintain a pace of somewhere between 0.5 to 2 lbs a week (depending on the exercise) for months on end. You MUST find a way to do this.

Likewise, adding a rep to a set is like increasing your strength 3% (assuming you're very close to failure). You CANNOT add a rep to your maximum each week. That would be equivalent to a 352% strength increase in one year. If you're Bench Pressing 200 lbs now, and added a rep each week, then you'd be Benching 900 lbs in a year. Impossible.

If you're doing multiple sets, and the weight's tough, then plan on adding an extra rep to only one set a week. If you did 3x10 this week, then try 1x11 and 2x10 next week. The week after that go for 2x11 and 1x10. Ladder your sets like that until your at the top of your chosen rep range on all sets (say 3x12), then add weight and start over at 3x8.

3) You CANNOT train with maximum weights all the time. You MUST start a cycle with "comfortable" weights and then build up gradually using the methods I outlined above. Hammering yourself relentlessly will NOT work. You must train "honestly" each session (and by that I mean with sufficient intensity but not too much) and ask yourself, "Did I leave enough in the tank so I can add more weight or get an extra rep next week?" If you think, "no", then you're probably going to hit a wall and end your gains.

Start a cycle with weights you can comfortably make all your planned reps and sets with (in perfect form) and then progress gradually and in a deliberately planned fashion. DON'T get greedy or you'll slam into a wall and continue to be stuck there for perhaps another 5 years.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #35
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SO good job bro
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:40 PM   #36
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SO good job bro
found it on a post on his forum, real interesting stuff that i wanted to share
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:59 AM   #37
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Great thread Steve, i was just reading through and came across this part...

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You can see the same sorth of thing with whatever volume you use for each exercise now. For instance, take an exercise that you've done say 3 sets on for years and suddenly add a fourth set. You'll do the first 3 sets as always, but probably suddenly and unexpectedly 'die' a few reps into the fourth set (unless you take long rests between sets and/or use very low reps). It will take a few weeks, at least, for the body to increase the capacity of the energy systems required to get through that fourth set (increase enzymes and substrates involved primarily in the anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation systems).
I was just wondering if this is why 12 reps at 90kg for squats seems A LOT harder than 100kgs for 8-9 seen as how I havent trained above about 8 reps for ages, do you think it is the same principle... just a thought

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:09 AM   #38
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I was just wondering if this is why 12 reps at 90kg for squats seems A LOT harder than 100kgs for 8-9 seen as how I havent trained above about 8 reps for ages, do you think it is the same principle... just a thought
I would say so, yes. It's all about the energy systems. This is why doing 20 rep squats adds to your 1/3/5RM, but the 1/3/5 rep squats don't add very much to your 20 rep total.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:09 AM   #39
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I've really enjoyed reading this thread! Filled in some major gaps in my knowledge base.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Carl1174 View Post
Great thread Steve, i was just reading through and came across this part...



I was just wondering if this is why 12 reps at 90kg for squats seems A LOT harder than 100kgs for 8-9 seen as how I havent trained above about 8 reps for ages, do you think it is the same principle... just a thought

Carl.
YES!!

Your going through a huge change with the Reeves, on many levels.
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