Dennis James – Bodybuilding Titans #1 (VIDEO)

Muscletime presents “Dennis James – Titans Part 1” our first feature length movie in the “Titans” bodybuilding series. Titans Part 1 features IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Dennis James weight training and the famous Gold’s Gym in Venice (California). Dennis James is one of the most impressive “off-season” bodybuilders in the history of the sport. He competed in seven Mr. Olympia contests but never placed higher than fourth. But few other bodybuilders ever achieved the post-season and pre-contest awesomeness of James. [Read more…]

Bodybuilding Precontest Competition Tips

2008 Mr. Olympia Posedown

Photo credit: Muscletime

Q: I have been doing Bodyopus since February for a Bodybuilding contest later this month. I read your article on precontest guidelines. I am down to 191.6lbs at 6.5% bodyfat. I am 5’8″ tall. What is your definition of low carbs? What would you do to define low carbs? What parameters would you look for to define low carb intake? During this low carb period are you in ketosis or out of it? Do you have any other suggestions regarding the last 8 days before the show? [Read more…]

Do You Have an Eating Disorder? If You Are a Dedicated Bodybuilder, Some Shrinks Think You Do!

IFBB Pro Bodybuilders at the gym

When you think of eating disorders you may typically think of anorexia (Def: Refusal to eat anything until you are extremely thin and malnourished) or bulimia (Def: Eat all you want then go in the bathroom and make yourself throw up until you are thin and malnourished). Recently some Harvard docs have decided its time to define yet another eating disorder, a disorder specifically seen in one particular population, bodybuilders. You may have been aware that we bodybuilders have qualified on several criteria (DSM-IV) for eating disorders like anorexia or even bulimia. Certainly our preoccupation with food has led some researchers/therapists to think of us as having “issues” with food. Now they are sure we have a problem and want to help us by clearly defining it. They call this new type of eating disorder, “Eating Disorder, Bodybuilder-Type” or simply ED, BT. [Read more…]

A Tip for Those Who Use Cardio to Get Ready for a Bodybuilding or Fitness Competition

Precontest Bodybuilding

Anybody who has ever competed in a bodybuilding contest knows what it is like to spend hours on a treadmill. Not only that, but try spending those hours while nearly starving yourself half to death. It isn’t “fun”, but to many it is very rewarding. So much so that they do it year after year, always trying to better their condition compared to the year before. I thought I would share with those Think Muscle readers interested in getting ready for a body-transformation, bodybuilding or fitness competition, a tip that will help them with this preparation. [Read more…]

Guidelines for Pre-Contest Bodybuilders

IFBB pro bodybuilder Pavol Jablinicky
Photo credit: Muscletime

Q: I want to do a bodybuilding contest sometime next year but am confused about how to get in ideal shape. Do you have any general guidelines for pre-contest bodybuilders? [Read more…]

Advanced Training Planning for Bodybuilders: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 we have gone over everything from the very first weight lifters to the mechanisms by which muscle tissue grows in response to overload. Most recently we discussed the role of satellite cells in muscle growth. In this process we discussed key players in this process such as growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), fibroblast growth factors (FGF2), and even transforming growth/differentiation factor 8 (TGDF-8). In part III we will discuss the results of research looking at various methods of weight training to induce both size and strength as well as possible routines and/or methods you may want to try yourself. [Read more…]

Advanced Training Planning for Bodybuilders: Part 2

In part one of this article we discussed the history of resistance training and some very basic principles at work during adaptation to resistance training. Specificity was outlined as a governing principle with which we can predict the outcomes of our training. Low volume/high load training produce increases in neuromuscular efficiency and motor unit recruitment, while high volume/moderate load training produces only moderate increases in strength and neuromuscular adaptations along with marked hypertrophy of both slow and fast twitch fibers. Also discussed were issues such as rational and irrational adaptation. Dramatic increases in sarcomere volume without increases in myo-nuclear number, seen during irrational adaptation, effectively inhibits further increases in the production of contractile proteins and diminishes recovery and performance. Slower increases in sarcomere volume, as seen in rational adaptation, actually facilitates recovery and leads to a more steady increase in both size and strength. In part two we will discuss the mechanisms responsible for the specific nature of adaptation and look at ways of applying this knowledge to build size and strength. [Read more…]

Advanced Training Planning for Bodybuilders: Part 1

It used to be that the popular bodybuilding magazines were full of training routines used by the “Pros”. I remember anxiously, if not naively, awaiting each new issue in hopes that I might find the secret exercise that would give me the physique I was dreaming of. There was an endless array of different exercises, each promising to give me biceps as tall as Arnold’s or quads as monstrous as Tom Platz’s. Train as I might, at the ripe old age of eight, there was nothing monstrous about me or my muscles. Over the last 21 years I have tried every exercise and routine that has found its way to print. Some of them have worked, at least for a time, and some of them haven’t. [Read more…]

“What Do Cyborgs Eat?”: Bodybuilders and the Logic of Nonfood

Introduction: Food and Nonfood

In the movie “The Matrix“, Lawrence Fishburne’s character tells Keanu Reeves’ character, as the two dig into bowls of beige mush, that the foundation of their futuristic diet is “single-celled proteins [huh?] with a complete profile of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.” Sound familiar? Have you looked into your blender recently?

In this article I will be examining some metaphors of food and eating to see what they can tell us about the “nonfood” that bodybuilders eat. I define “nonfood” somewhat loosely, but generally I take it to mean artificially created and/or highly processed food substances such as protein powders, MRPs, amino acid pills, and anything else that can be purchased from a supplement company. Essentially, nonfood is any substance which has undergone a significant degree of human mediation, and which is consumed for fuel or specific physical goals (e.g. muscle mass gain) instead of gustatory pleasure. Of course the boundaries between food and nonfood are very blurry (as are the boundaries between “foods”, “supplements” and “drugs”). I recognize that this definition is largely for the purpose of argument.

This article is not meant as a critique of nonfood—since I too consume it as part of my training—but rather as an examination of its symbolic potential in relation to how we think about our bodies. [Read more…]