2 questions

All this talk of “blacks” and “africans” like they are a single race-how many different races of africans are there? Compare a Somali to a Nigerian. They are as different as an Afghani and a Swede.

Ypu mentioned that athletes were born not made. I agree. However, champions are not born, they are created through hard work and discipline.

alot has to do with genetics and muscle connections. Do you honestly think the calves are pushing in the sprints? It’s the upper legs that do the work and the calves act as the spring off the ground. Also sprinters are very lean and ripped. Except for Ben Johnson from years ago most printers are no where near huge. Their body weight to height index is very small. laters pk

I have never posted on one of these type threads, and this will be the last for me. Why on earth do we have to rehash age old ideas? furthermore at what point does anyone get the “liberty” to insult a fellow t-man for his ideas or physicality? this may come as a shocker to some of you, but I know people who have that “Mens Health/Brad Pitt/whatever the hell you want to call it” look and don’t excercise or eat right! it happens, some are blessed. as for the rest of us, lets keep collaborating as a T-community in a supportive fashion to help those who aren’t gifted. Danke, Robusto

In response to you’re comments…

“You’re fucking lamers (and probably hopeless fat asses) if you think Pitt had to take “drugs” to obtain his physique.”

–(disregarding the uncalled for insults)I don’t think anyone said Pitt “had to” take drugs. I merely cited that from people I had known, it didn’t seem uncommmon for actors to do so. I don’t think anyone is silly enough to beleive all the bodies in Hollywood are due to hard work, are you?

"I've trained people for the Pitt physique and it is the easiest thing in the world to obtain -- just lift weights consistently and eat a clean, but low calorie diet (1,200-1,500 calories usually works fine) until you hit around 5% body fat, then up the calories until you are maintaining. THAT'S RIGHT, NO CARDIO IS NECESSARY."

– Are you telling me you could get ANYONE to 5% bodyfat using this method? “Easiest thing in the world to obtain”? Could I ask a question, what is the breakdown of this 1200-1500 calories(pro/carb/fat). I’m assuming you’re talking doing this naturally. First, I don’t think it’s even possible (in a healthy manner) for some people to get to 5%, and those that can, for a majority of them, it sure will not be EASY. First of all, just eating only 1200 calories a day for a large # of people won’t be easy.

"Crowe was no more muscular in Gladiator than he was in LA Confidential -- which is to say, not very muscular at all. He obviously works out, but he isn't very serious about it or he would be much bigger. "

– I didn’t see LA Confidential. When you say muscular, I imagine you mean ripped, because I thought for an actor, he was built. I didn’t realize you knew him personally enough to say he’s “not that serious, or he’d be bigger”.

From what I have read, the “speed demon” black sprinters are blacks who are of West African descent (which subsumes the vast majority of African Americans) – not all Africans and not all blacks. Race is a somewhat amorphous concept that does not have a clear scientific definition. A much more detailed dicussion of race and athletic performance can be found in the archives of Mel Siff’s Supertraining Group.

As far as why sprinters to not exhibit large calf development: I think this has been addressed, the calf muscle (as opposed to the tendons) do not greatly contribute to sprinting. Other than improving form, sprinting is primarily imporved by training the posterior chain -- i.e., the glutes, hammies and lower back. The Russians relied heavily on Glute-Ham raises and Goodmornings to train these muscles. While a high limit strength will help sprinters up to a point there comes a point of diminishing returns. Zatsiorsky has a great discussion of this concept in his fantastic (and highly readable) book "The Theory and Science of Strength Training" illustrating correlation between Maximum force production in the bench press and the shot. The bottom line is that (for example) an athlete may see an increase in his put if he increases his bench from 100 kg to 200 kg. The same athlete will not see an increase in his put if he invreases his bench press from 200 kg to 300 kg. The speed of the movement (i.e., the put) occurs so quickly that there is insufficient time to reach F(max). Such an athlete will require improving his rate of force development (i.e., power) if he wishes to see further improvement.

In addition to sufficient levels of limit strength, a sprinter must also develop great explosive strength, starting strength and acceleration strength. Limit strength only matters to the extent that the athletic movement (each stride) permits him or her to reach peak strength. A good athlete is able to “turn on” all of his or her muscles fibers at once, access a great deal of his or her muscle fibers (I believe top athlete can access something like 85% of their muscle fibers), leave them on, and relax the antagonist.

Moreover, the lengthier the sprint, the more strength-endurance comes into play. It is interesting that Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis were neck and neck through approximately the first 50 meters, it was in the second 50 meters that Johnson pulled away by maintaining his higher speed.

As far as the comment that athletes are born not made, I agree and disagree. I agree that those with the greatest genetic potential will beat those with lessor genetic potential ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. The problem is that all other things are not equal. Superior training of an inferior athlete will allow the inferior athlete to compete against and possibly defeat the superior athlete. The more psychology is a factor in sports performance, the more disparate the results.

Sprinting speed certainly can be improved after age 25. I am a much faster sprinter now, at age 30 than I was at 25, due to my strength training and concentration on explosive movements for my posterior chain. I believe coach Davies is able to increase his (already high-level) athlete's 40 times by around .2 seconds. Experience would seem to contradict this rather over-broad statement. I would be interested in hearing scientific or anecdotal evidence to the contrary.


Matthew A. Levy

Not all the bodies in Hollywood are due to hard work. Some actors do, in fact, use drugs. But if you mention drugs whenever you see an actor with a decent physique, you have some serious physique problems yourself. Chances are you are grossly obese or horribly skinny and are frustrated by the fact that you can’t look like the Hollywood guys. So you accuse them of using drugs to make yourself feel better about your lack of progress. That’s completely lame.

Yes, that’s right, I can get ANYONE to 5% body fat using that method, in a completely healthy manner. It is easy in the sense that the instructions are not complicated. However, for weak-minded people who cannot restrain themselves from eating, it may be difficult to follow those instructions.

When I say muscular, I mean muscular, not ripped. A guy with average genetics can look more muscular than Crowe with 1 year of training, max. So either Crowe has shitty genetics or he doesn’t apply himself. Your call.

Oh, and for a caloric intake that low, I recommend 60% of calories coming from protein, with the remaining 40% coming from fat and carbohydrates (in any ratio).

Tell me one thing Mike, what bodybuilding shows have you been in (and I assume won)?

I have never competed. If you doubt the recommendations I have given (skepticism is always good), then you should do some research. Or just give it a fucking try, you have nothing to lose.

Mike, about the only thing I agree w/ you on is that it takes willpower and mental fortitude to accomplish goal. I have read, researched, and personally tried a wide variety of nutritional avenues (I’m no Ph.d, however). They all work, if you’re dedicated. I just don’t like the fact you can throw down numbers (1200-1500 calories ) and make a blanket statement (… and just do tons of cardio) and then talk a lot of crap. Based on you’re rude statements I imagined you to be a built 230-240 @5% bodybuilder(not that this would say anything about your knowledge). At least you’d be able to have some reason for the arrogance. I’m now fairly sure it’s you who is probably either a lazy fat ass or skinny geek (I’m betting the latter).

Try my recommendations. It’s obvious you want the Pitt physique but have had problems attaining it. Exercise your mind to subjugate your body.

As for me, I’m 185 at 6%. Not a mass monster, true (my eventual goal is 210 at 5%), but no Brad Pitt either.

Mike, could you please list some reading materials that give some insight into your economic perspective?