T Nation

WNBF Seminar Review and Pics


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.

S


Dwayne and I

Steve Downs and I (he’s one tall MF -lol)

Thanks Stu!

You look great!

Broadway and Cardova are awesome. I have followed them for years!

edit: oh, its a gym/seminar

thanks for sharing stu. Looking good too. From what I can see that gym looks sweet, I’d love to train there.

DG

Sounds like a good time.

oh, and an interesting aside… I was chatting with Amy Llimas’s boyfriend (a pretty big dude) about whether he had competed or not. He admitted that while he had once before, he didn’t really do too well. Amy later told me that they both of them routinely used artificial sweeteners, and that when they stopped using them, the cut up really quickly. This made me wonder, as I routinely use Stevia in my Oatmeal, as well as drinking Arizona Diet Green tea with my dinner.

Makes me wonder what I’d have to alter if I were to follow a strict contest prep as opposed to just keeping a lit or cycling my carbs during most of the year.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
oh, and an interesting aside… I was chatting with Amy Llimas’s boyfriend (a pretty big dude) about whether he had competed or not. He admitted that while he had once before, he didn’t really do too well. Amy later told me that they both of them routinely used artificial sweeteners, and that when they stopped using them, the cut up really quickly. This made me wonder, as I routinely use Stevia in my Oatmeal, as well as drinking Arizona Diet Green tea with my dinner.

Makes me wonder what I’d have to alter if I were to follow a strict contest prep as opposed to just keeping a lit or cycling my carbs during most of the year.

S
[/quote]

That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone say that…

great thread Stu. I would love to go to a seminar like this. Beside the artifical sweetner comment, did u hear any odd/interesting training/dieting advice?

[quote]elusive wrote:
great thread Stu. I would love to go to a seminar like this. Beside the artifical sweetner comment, did u hear any odd/interesting training/dieting advice?[/quote]

Well, I have a ton of notes, whether new, or stuff I already knew, I wrote a hell of a lot. Here’s a few thoughts from Steve Downs on applying biomechanics to bodybuilding:

“Reverse sit-ups” recruit more abs over hip flexors simply by anchoring the upper body in place (think of Rocky 4)

Doing Pulldowns at anymore than an 80% lean will turn into a row and not recruit the lats as much as you want.

The longer the stretch of a muscle at the beginning of the movement, the stronger the actual contraction (myostatic reflex?)

Neutral grip back work (pulldowns and rows) are probably the most natural position, and will not only allow for a strong contraction, but help avoid epicondalitis in the long run.

Curl grip pulldowns recruit biceps heavily, but do allow for a longer ROM, so if you do them, do them after back is prefatigued.

Seated Rows- if the hips are flexed at 90 degrees, it adds 10x the stress to your lower back because of the stabilization factor. Some will argue that supported rows are better, but it;s a cost/benefit question for each individual. Doing them with knees bent will reduce the stress on the lower back, but leaning foward will stress the lower back excessively.

Stiff leg deads - poor leverage movement for the lower back. Muscles are weakest at full stretch (most suceptable to injury). (at this point, I was standing next to Cordova, and told him how I use the bottom portion of the stiff leg movement for my hams, only doing partials, coming up a maximum of reaching my knees. He agreed it was a great way to toast your Hams, w/o killing your lower back with heavy weights being necessary)

Hamstring Curls - With toes pointed, it squeezes the calves, which means the hams don’t get help from the gastroc during the movement. With toes pulled up, bottom of calf is stretched, but top will assist in curling movement.

Squatting - ‘point of diminshing returns’ - going past 90 degrees will stress the back as the body attempts to reverse the weight (more hip flexion!)

Hope that’s of some use! :slight_smile:

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

"The longer the stretch of a muscle at the beginning of the movement, the stronger the actual contraction (myostatic reflex?)

Curl grip pulldowns recruit biceps heavily, but do allow for a longer ROM, so if you do them, do them after back is prefatigued.

[/quote]

Great info! I found these to be very interesting. Sounds almost as if there was TOO much to learn there, which is great.

I’m glad to see that other people are finding that it may not be a good idea to squat ATG.

WOW that seminar sounds like it would make a great book on natural bodybuilding and realistic expectations on natural size gains. any more tip or notes would be very much appreciated.

[quote]Brendan Ryan wrote:
I’m glad to see that other people are finding that it may not be a good idea to squat ATG.[/quote]

Thank god. Lol. Now I have an excuse not to squat ATG. Slightly below parallel is how I’ll keep doing them. :slight_smile:

[quote]Rat Poison wrote:
WOW that seminar sounds like it would make a great book on natural bodybuilding and realistic expectations on natural size gains. any more tip or notes would be very much appreciated. [/quote]

Here are a few things I jotted down during Dwayne Broadway’s talk on ‘building a champion physique’:

1- Focus - the only person who matters in the gym is YOU. Check your ego at the door (don’t worry what anyone else is doing)

2- Hunger - You want to be the best YOU. Not everyone can be a champion bodybuilder, but everyone can better themselves.

3- Research - Need to experiment with many different techniques to find what works for you.

4- Recovery - Very important to a natural bodybuilder. Nutrition and rest builds muscle. Sometimes less is more.

5- Enter the gym with a plan - tailor your program for what works for you

6- Injuries - they’re going to happen. Train around them. Never just stay home. They may slow you down, but don’t let them stop you.

“efficiency”
“play outside the gym”
“This is sacred time”
“That can wait until after I take care of me”
“No time to train, but how much time do you spend in front of the tv doing nothing?!”
“I’m glad it’s difficult, because I dont wanna be like everyone else!”
“Steroids? No, just dedicated” (I liked this one!)
“Consistency, Dedication, Commitment and Focus”
“True champions get knocked down, but they get back up”

and my favorite quote of the day…

“Stu’s got great calves” (lol)

S

thanks stu a lot of people forget about those 6 tips epsecially 1 definetly 2 and 4

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
Brendan Ryan wrote:
I’m glad to see that other people are finding that it may not be a good idea to squat ATG.

Thank god. Lol. Now I have an excuse not to squat ATG. Slightly below parallel is how I’ll keep doing them. :)[/quote]

Squat until you can’t maintain tension in your lower back. Don’t think about how low it is.

Lots of great info there, Stu! Thanks.

Glad you guys are digging the notes I’ve posted up (I’ll get some more when I have a little more time). Steve Downs actually emailed me last night and let me know that they’re going to be having more of these types of seminars in the future, so I’ll definitely give you all a heads up. He actually paid me a hell of a nice compliment, expressed his surprise that I’ve never competed, and even asked for a few ‘posing’ pics to run in his magazine (how cool is that?! -lol)

S