Just yesterday, I drove into NJ to Bob Bonham’s Srong n Shapely gym (an amazingly well stocked gym in case you’re ever in the area!), for a seminar that would cover kinesiology and biomechanics, nutrition and supplementation, as well as a good deal of hands on demonstrations. On hand as presenters were Steve Downs, CSCS (publisher of nat BBing and Fitness magazine), Jim Cordova (Nat Mr. U and worlds winner, as well as being someone I’ve corresponded via email for the last year or so) Dwayne Broadway (former Mr. U, as well as being 51 years old, and able to put most folks half his age to shame), and Amy Llimas (figure pro athlete).
I like to think I know a great deal more than your average gym rat, having a premed background, as well as havin worked as a trainer, and constantly taking any classes and smeinars I can find (in addition to reading way too much), but I learned a great deal, and to say it was an inspirational experience would be an understatement. Of course everyone came wanting to hang with Cordova, as I can honestly say that he must be the most genetically gifted Natural pro I’ve ever seen, but I hung around on the gym floor with Dwayne Broadway for a while, during with time he complimented my ham and calf development (I’m so disillusioned from reading the IFBB mags that I thought my legs sucked and actually asked his advice on how to fix them up -lol), and gave me so many pointers I had to write them all down. The man is truly inspirational, and his energy made me just want to lift everything in site.
Picking Jim’s brain was great, as I’m sure he corresponds with a lot of guys via email, but he actually seemed to remember me because of a snowboarding accident I had last year. I’ve read so much BS online about whether he’s natural or not, and you just have to shrug it off, but once you hear this guy talk,… he’s such a geek,… in the best sense of the word. He openly admits to spending months doing nothing but reading texts and being online, finding out what works for other BBers, and meticulously seeing how they affect his own training. Of course, he’ll also admit that his metabolism is a damn furnace, and he’ll actually even add body weight going into a show (he was 170 yesterday, and figured he might lose a pound leading up to the Nov 8th contest). His offseason diet? BUrritos and Cheeseburgers! As long as he’s getting enough protein every few hours, he doesn’t worry (again, his genetics are better than yours and mine -lol). It was kinda funny to see him spoon dry oats into his mouth and wash it down with a bottle of isopure (and I thought I was crazy with my eating habits).
As it was pretty cold when I left my Queens apt, I had a sweatshirt on, and didn’t remove it until well into the afternoon. It was at that point I realized that I was a good deal further in my progress than most folks in attendence, and at various times, all of the pros, and even Steve Downs as I was preparing to leave, inquired as my why I hadn’t competed, and what the hell I was doing (which was a very cool compliment).
All in all, an amazing experience, and even the other folks in attendence were supportive of each other (lot of potential competitors,… even one 16 year old who had only been training 2 years, and had put on 30 lbs in that time). This is the first such seminar I have even been to, and certainly will not be the last.