T Nation

Pro Bodybuilder/Fitness Training

Does anyone know what kind of exercises, and what kind of weights the pros use in real life? In magazines they use a ton of weight, but I heard that the weights are fake. Also, so many pros have good backs, but they reccomend pull downs, and “wimpy” back exercises. So, is it just the drugs, or do they work hard? In a natural bodybuilding magazine I saw a fitness girl squatting 315, or at least she appeared to be, that made me wonder.

Most of these people you are refering to use so much in terms of drugs that farting builds muscular glutes. Apparently, If you are ramming grams upon grams of juice and hormones into your system, exercises that suck (pulldowns, kickbacks) will put muscle on you. Lifting sacks of flour will have the same effect.

I think pro bodybuilders do work hard, but yes, they do take a lot of drugs. I once saw a huge bodybuilder on TV doing shoulder presses on a machine and he was just pumping them out like a rabbit, with no regard to tempo at all. But if you do several sets, I guess you can get effective muscular breakdown to induce growth, and overtraining would be less of a concern due to the drugs. I think pros can get away with poor form and volume that would constitute gross overtraining for us due to the drugs, but I don’t think it means they don’t work hard. Just my thoughts.

One more thing. I think that all the talk against isolation exercises is just a trend, just like isolation used to be a trend while back. As long as you are getting muscular breakdown, I doubt very much that it matters whether you’re doing chinups or lat pulldowns. Even if chins are superior, I think the difference is way overblown. That being said, I would rather do stiff-legged deadlifts than leg curls because deads are much more time efficient in being able to work so many muscles at once. I don’t want to be simply a collection of good body parts, but rather have my whole body work in harmony.

It’s a commonly held myth that the pros work out harder or use special techniques to get as big as they do. The truth is they train the same way everyone else trains. Actually, from what I’ve seen, their form is worse than the average lifter. All they do different is use buckets of drugs. (And they have great bodybuilding genetics of course. Can’t deny that.)

You really can’t rely on what you see in the mags. The articles by the pros are usually ghostwritten and the photos aren’t of their actual workouts; they’re just staged shots with fake sweat and yes, sometimes fake weights (TC, back in his freelancing days, saw this with his own eyes- painted wooden plates etc.)

The only exception here is probably Arnold. Yes, he used a lot of roids, but he also trained like a madman, twice a day sometimes, and was fond of heavy squats, deadlifts and pull-ups.

I am accerpting of the fact that they have all the drugs they need and goiod genetics. Is this an excuse for the rest of us? If I trained hard, drugged myself perfectly, and ate perfect, I would have to imagine that I would be up there. How do you know it is just genetics?

You’re right, Chris, some people use genetics as an excuse. But the fact is that if we took 1000 guys, drugged them perfectly, trained them perfectly, and fed them perfectly, only a couple would come out looking like a pro bodybuilder. There are tons of guys who eat right, train hard and use just as many drugs as the pros and yet never achieve that look. Genetics play a huge role once you reach the top of any elite sport.

What do you guys think about natural bodybuilders, like Skip Lacour, and Tito Ramon? Granted they have great genetics, but does there training have anything to do with thier success?

well for Tito Raymond, he only claims to be natural for 5 years, and for Skip LaCour, no one believes he drug free anyway.

Princess, you can’t just dismiss genetics. Genetics are the single most important consideration in bodybuilding, IMHO. I’ve seen skinny little guys with calves that I would kill to have (17 inches-plus, great shape, cut, everything) and they never have done a single calf raise, other than maybe standing on their toes to get at the cookies on the top shelf of the pantry. I also have known guys who did steroids (legit stuff), worked out hard, ate a lot and, while they got bigger, didn’t come close to gains like what some of the people on this board have experienced with, say, Methoxy-7. So what’s the conclusion? That Methoxy is better than a cycle of AS? Not likely.

I don't think that blaming genetics for a lack of progress is a mind-set that is beneficial to anyone in any way, but I also don't think that it pays to ignore reality. So people should be training to better THEMSELVES, i.e. keep on improving from one's previous best, and don't let "poor genetics" keep you back from doing this. But if you're trying to compare yourself to an elite athlete (much less one who's on drugs), or if you think that they have some sort of "secret exercise" that accounts for them looking better than you do, well . . . I think most "normal" people are barking up the wrong tree.

Princess…I’ve read a book called Anabolic Muscle Mass and part of it really delves into how the pros train–sets, reps, techniques, volume, all the goodies. These bustahs really, really define high-volume. We’re talking like 2-hour ball-bustin’ sessions, packed with 30+ sets per muscle group, supah dupah sets, giant sets, all the other Wieder bleeders…and so on. The Blonde Bomber used to train 6-7 days/week for at least 2 hours/session, utilizing strictly supersets! Reg Park trained daily for 2 hours in the morning. Arnold, well, he redefined volume training. The bottom line, these dogs do work hard. Do they have some help–in the form of anabolics and genetic predisposition? Hell yes, but I don’t think the hard work, time and mental/physical effort these guys put in, day in and day out, should be denied.

Another thing to be considered is that, for most of these bohemoths, training/bodybuilding is what they do...for a living! Sounds like a blast, eh? For every "Officer" Coleman, there are quite a few more "Train, Eat, Sleep and GROW" Wheelers out there.

I’ve had the experience to train with and be around a former pro for a summer, and man, this mofo redefined hard work…so I really don’t care to hear that it’s all about the juice. Hard work’s hard work. These guys are just as hungry as anyone of you or I (probably even more so than some), who just loves to attack the stack.

Genetics plays a huge role, and cannot be denied. As for Natural vs Pro, My question is: What is so “Natural” about slamming your body full of Creatine, L-Glutamine, etc. Come on lets call it what it really is, Legal vs Illegal. Don’t get me wrong, I use all the above plus T-hyping compounds (legal). I just get pissed when some ass wipe comes along spouting about being “natural” while pawning his VCR to pay his Supplement bill.

Hey the pro’s do train hard, agreed. but genetics + hard training + drugs = a pro physique so 2/3 or 67% of what they do is not because of their work. and as for training hard, lets let some of those guys work a real job and support a family. Don’t get me wrong those are not excuses not to train but i would love to do what they do. i wouldn’ mind training twice a day for a couple hours at a shot. i’ve done it, when i was in college. i had no bills to pay, no family and alotta time and i LOVE to train so it was easy at least i thought. but then other things became important, i.e. family and having my own place etc…
I have a friend right now training to be a pro. he’s not working and at he’s previous job he would leave for like 4 hours at a time w/out anyone knowing and go home and sleep, eat etc… He’s looking for a job but can’t move out b/c all his money goes to the juice. so thanks to mom he can do that. but yes he does train hard in the gym! if thats the life you want then hey go for it. I respect the pro’s for acheiving their goals in life not for training hard, b/c i respect the guys on this forumn much more. have a family, career and somewhat of a life and still go balls to the wall, i think thats training hard.

I’d have to agree with Chris. You can do everything else right (diet, training, recovery, “supplementation”) but if you don’t have the genetics in terms of bone structure, muscle insertions, muscle bellies…and to some degree metabolism, your never going to look like a pro bodybuilder.

no, they are not as strong as the rags claim, hell if that guy from canada (kovaks?) realy does 700lb benches for reps why wouldn’t he enter ONE bench contest because he acts like he is so proud of the rags claims? 'because he does NOT. yes some are real strong but most are no where near as strong as they “look”

Now that I think about it, it’s obvious that the pros must train hard, since drugs are a huge part in their success, and in a sense equal, since anyone can buy them. So training better and eating better than everyone else is a way to get ahead. It’s easy to train hard when you’re on steroids.

I also think that most of these guys just look juiced up for shows. I saw Paul Dillet in a magazine, in normal clothes, and he looked small. It’s just the posing suits, and a lot of drugs at contest time. However, I met Lee Preist, and he was so huge it wasn’t funny. Perhaps this is because he is more “genetics” than “drugs” compared to most pros.

Does anyone know about fitness girl training? Whenever they write for magazines, the workouts are pathetic. I mean, compared to you guys, I have like no testosterone, right? So, it’s hard for me to gain muscle as it is, so I better be busting ass with Poliquin workouts. I once read that Mandy Blank is really into pull ups, so I guess that constitutes hard training.