Muscular Development July Review

MD July

Blechman touts Cedric McMillian to be the 2nd coming of Arnold Schwarzennerger in this month’s Muscular Development which might explain Arnold’s effusive gushing over Cedric’s physique as representing the gold standard for modern bodybuilding in recent years.

cedric arnold 3

Kevin and Shawn reflect on their respective runner up placings over their competitive years, opining on what they would have done differently. Shawn (typically) wouldn’t change a thing as he firmly believes he beat Dorian for the 1994 Olympia (which I believe is true) while Kevin thinks he had Ronnie bested at the 2000 Mr O.

Kevin admits to being in “cruise control” during the Yates years because he “couldn’t beat Dorian”. He realised after his 2000 runner up placing he was never going to be “allowed to win” the Mr O and even though he earned another runner up placing in 2002, he had “taken his foot off the pedal and faded out.” by that point.

kevin ronnie

Vlad Yudin, the director of the truly awful “Generation Iron” documentary, speaks of the newly formed partnership between his GI Youtube channel and MD. It’s obvious that digital content is the future of bodybuilding media and magazines are yester-year’s toilet paper.

Yudin seems to have played this move to his advantage it seems because in his videos there’s no mention or promotion of the MD brand I’ve yet seen…

I believe Blechman’s publishing empire is on the ropes as rumours are circulating that many of his contracted employees aren’t even receiving promised payment for their work.

Labrada outlines Part 1 of a plan of attack for developing a “Classic Physique” which includes:
1. Noting body part measurements to establish a baseline.
2. Take honest photographs standing relaxed and hitting mandatory poses
3. Keeping the waistline small by avoiding the heavy powerlifting movements
4. Build the chest and shoulders as much as possible to enhance the V-taper
5. Work lagging bodyparts with extra sets to bring up the symmetry between each arm/leg to no more than a ½ inch differential.

lee labrada2

McGough pays tribute to the late Mike Mentzer who died 15 years ago. Mike definitely had unbelievable genetic potential and a sharp, inquiring mind, but he was nevertheless plagued with many mental demons throughout the last few years of his life that contributed to his controversial standing within the community and subsequent early demise.

Many attribute the 1980 Mr Olympia as the point of his downward spiral, but he freely admits that it was his amphetamine addiction that was his biggest battle in life.

McGough also outlines the equally mysterious death of Mike’s brother Ray, another bodybuilding legend, only 48 hours between each other. Whatever your opinion of Mike is, there’s no denying that he had an awesome physique and definitely made people consider alternative approaches to the dominant eating/training paradigms of the time.


Research Review

Researchers from Spain and the United States found that a sequential program of 16 weeks of HIIT followed by 16 weeks of a low-calorie diet was more effective for altering body composition than combining diet and exercise at the same time. Exercise then dieting resulted in the greatest changes in weight, body mass index, waist circumference and upper body fat. (International Journal Sports Medicine, 37: 274-281, 2016)

Spanish researchers compared short-term recovery following a high-intensity failure workout versus an intense but sub-failure training session. Failure training resulted in reduced repetition velocity, impaired neuromuscular performance, greater muscle damage, delayed hormone recovery and greater heart rate variability up to 48 hours after the workout. Power athletes might benefit from failure training during the off-season, but it is probably not appropriate when they must also perform well on the playing field. (International Journal of Sports Medicine, 37: 295-304, 2016)

jay squat

In an extensive review of literature by Geoffrey Hackett from Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, UK concluded that testosterone therapy provides significant health benefits to aging men with low testosterone levels. Therapy improves sexual function, increases muscle mass and strength, improves mental function and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Testosterone therapy does not increase the risk of prostate cancer or cardiovascular disease.

In Fat Attack, Dan Gwartney discusses some different ways to approach cardio to break up the tedium and perhaps ramp up the effectiveness of a session. In a 30 min moderate session, you could choose 3 different cardio machines and vary the incline, pace and resistance to mix it up.
Additionally, Yoga and Pilates offer flexibility and a tough workout that can also lend benefit to a bodybuilder’s posing routine.

Yoga - for big bastards too

Yoga – for big bastards too

Schoenfeld investigates whether Daily Undulating Periodisation training schemes work better for hypertrophy and strength vs traditional rep schemes.

“One group performed a constant rep routine (CONSTANT) using a typical bodybuilding rep range of 8-12RM per set, while the other group performed a varied- rep routine (VARIED) typical of a DUP, using 2-4RM per set on Day 1, 8-12RM per set on Day 2 and 20-30RM on Day 3. Both groups followed a total-body routine that consisted of the following seven exercises per session: flat barbell press, barbell military press, wide-grip lat pulldown, seated cable row, barbell back squat, machine leg press and machine knee extension. Muscle growth was assessed for the biceps, triceps and quads using B-mode ultrasound. We also tested subjects for changes in maximal strength in the squat and bench press, and upper body muscle endurance.

Statistical analysis revealed no “significant” differences between conditions for any of the investigated outcomes.This would seem to indicate that it makes no difference whether you train with the same hypertrophy rep range typical of bodybuilding-type programs, or vary your rep ranges on a weekly basis.

However,it’s important to realize that statistical significance simply refers to a less than five percent probability that results were due to chance. In reality, probability should be not be based on whether it passes a given threshold.14 Rather, it should be viewed on a continuum from low to high. Based on a well-recognized statistical probability scale3, results showed a likely benefit for VARIED training in the biceps and triceps; a likelihood of probability was also found for maximal bench press strength and upper body endurance. In addition, the effect sizes (a statistical measure of the meaningfulness of results) favored the VARIED group for upper body strength, endurance and hypertrophy. Interestingly, lower body adaptations were similar regardless of the repetition protocol”

Schoenfeld’s conclusion – experiment and find out what works best for you…

katz and schwartz

Ashwagandha is analysed for its possible application to sports performance. As an adaptogen it is has been shown to significnatly reduce cortisol and is often supplemented for its anti-anxiety effect.

The reduction in cortisol levels can be as high as 30 percent.
If you are a bodybuilder dieting for a show, it’s likely you are experiencing added physical and mental stress, and could benefit from these physiological effects.

Scientists in India recently trialled whether ashwagandha could improve muscle strength and recovery in male subjects – the subjects noted significant improvements in strength on the bench press and leg extension and had larger chest and arm sizes at the end of the trial, however the study didn’t report the experience levels of the weightlifters nor were dietary controls in place.


In an obscure page filler, a large number of pros are (strangely) asked whether they think Cedric McMillan is the closest living incarnation of a modern day Arnold Schwarzenegger and whether he can win the Mr Olympia or not.

Cutler says no. He has the classic shape and no gut, but he’s much bigger than Arnold. He also disagrees with Arnold’s contention that Cedric should be winning the top shows while Peter McGough thinks he’s the closest thing we have to a 21st century Arnie.

arnold cedric 2

Most of the pros agree that Cedric has his own look that separates him from other competitors- a more, heavily muscled Classic Physique of sorts. Arnold himself is asked the same question and predictably responds with Cedric being the greatest thing since sliced apfelstrudel because he looks so much like….him….after all…..bullshit article – great pictures.

cedric and arnold

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.22.04 am

Hide Yamagishi is interviewed about his recent Arnold’s win and going into the upcoming Mr O as an obvious threat. This was a fairly interesting quote about former trainer George Farah:

“I was working with George Farah for the Olympia last year, but something happened at three weeks out and we lost contact. I started to panic because the contest was only three weeks away, and my condition was a little behind where it should have been. “

He’s now working with Patrick Tuor based in Switzerland and uses an interesting sounding system of Patrick’s called SST

“It stands for sarcoplasma stimulating training, and it features a lot of different methods to make the intensity higher. All the sets are extended in some way, maybe they are drop sets, or you slow the reps down, do giant sets, or do static holds, or even combine all of these. I’ve only been training this way for six or seven months now, and I already see changes.”

Seems Hide has also “lost contact” with his former Japanese wife and hooked up with female bodybuilder Iris Kyle…..interesting choice. Also didn’t realise the dude was 43 years old….this sport is fast becoming the bastion of “old men”

hitetada and Iris

Ron Harris charts the course of a number of pros who have discovered via shittier placings that “bigger isn’t always better” including Arnold, Flex Wheeler, Coleman, Ramy and Compton. It’s all about mass, lines AND conditioning at the end of the day.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.32.10 am

1993 Flex vs.

1999 Flex

1999 Flex

Bodybuilders, particularly drug users, need to protect their liver and Dr Gwartney offers some potentially effective supplements to help including milk thistle, Berberine, NAC and glutathione.

For those wanting less painful injections Lewellyn offers the 10 following tips

  1. Use 2 needles – one for drawing; one for injecting
  2. Freeze the injection needle to numb the tissues
  3. Lubricate the needle with a few drops of the steroid oil
  4. Don’t use 21 or 22g. Start with 23g – if you’re low body fat try 25g or insulin pins in the delts.
  5. Warm the oil pre injection by placing the vial in a bowl of warm water
  6. Try 1cc at a time rather than a packed syringe.
  7. Avoid painful propionates.
  8. Rotate injection sites often
  9. Use Ethyle Oleate oil
  10. Know thy gear and source.

What do most people with the best calves do in terms of training? Quite possibly nothing, or very little! Dennis Wolf, possibly known for the shittiest calves on the Olympia stage, gives a reader his routine for building them up to at least a respectable level.

3CC’s of Synthol every day in each calf….kidding..well kind of. Apart from jimmying them up with SEO, Wolf’s routine is as follows:

“I tried training calves with high reps, low reps, once a week, three times a week, every day … you name it. What finally worked best for me was to choose just two exercises, and do those twice a week. This is my calf routine:

You have to make sure you get a full range of motion, and don’t do the reps too fast. Come up slow and squeeze the calves for a second, and then lower them slowly until you feel them stretch.”

Dennis also mentions he has a daily cheat meal in terms of ice cream etc in the offseason to offset his high metabolism.

Photo cropping or long pants - the best defence against shitty calf syndrome.

Photo cropping or long pants – the best defence against shitty calf syndrome.

Maxx Charles has an interesting arm workout utilising very high reps for lots of sets. Definitely a fan of higher rep, higher set arm training myself, but you really need to have all over body mass to start putting some serious size on your pipes. You’re not going to have 20 inch arms at a bodyweight of 176.

max charles arms

Charles is also infamous for his use of partial reps – and if you’ve seen his training videos he has a very unique way of hitting the midrange portion of most movements for just a few scant inches only.

Rick Collins looks at some recent studies that showed benefits for men’s health when using physician supervised testosterone. Forobese men with lowered testosterone, testosterone treatment augmented the diet-induced loss of total and visceral fat mass and prevented the diet-induced loss of lean mass. In other words, TRT helped the men lose more fat and keep muscle that would otherwise have been lost without treatment.

 The second study looked at the relationship between TRT and coronary artery disease. The researchers recruited 755 men, aged 58 to 78, all with severe coronary artery disease, and randomly divided them into three groups. One group was given high-dose TRT, one received moderate-dose TRT and one received a placebo. After one year, 64 placebo patients had adverse events, but only 12 participants with moderate testosterone doses and nine with high doses had cardiovascular events. After three years, 125 placebo patients had major cardiovascular events, compared to 38 medium-dose patients and only 22 high-dose TRT patients. The startling outcome was that TRT patients were 80 percent LESS likely overall to suffer a major adverse cardiovascular event— a stroke, heart attack or death. It was found that TRT did not increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in men with low testosterone and no prior history of heart disease.

Lee Haney’s column on his nutritional approach reveals that he favoured a 60P/30C/10F which was kind of the in vogue recommendation for the day during the fat-is-bad 1980s bodybuilder. Haney liked to keep it clean even in the offseason stating his motto – “If you can’t flex it, don’t carry it,” Those guys used to have brutal discipline back in the day. Even condiments were frowned upon. We are spoiled for choice in this modern era with making our food preps more satisfying and tasty.


Dorian outlines why he had to ditch the squat due to not being structurally suited to the movement and incurring some early hip injuries early in his career. He found that the results were lacking until he switched the smith machine – placing his feet forward from his body to keep his back straight, and only THEN did those legs start growing.

Dorian Smith Machine

Dexter thinks Jay had him legitimately beat for the title in 2009 but doesn’t think Branch deserved 2nd place.

The Blade also uses a strap by Inzer on his elbows to ease the pain of tendinitis while training. Jackson has never had a major injury and says that’s due to stopping a workout if something doenst feel right and coming back to fight again another day.

Charles Glass talks about how he got started in personal training and his thoughts on the Classic Pro Physique Division. He thinks Danny Hester is perfect for this class but could eat more to come in a bit thicker and fuller.  He doesn’t think that the Classic Division will ever eclipse bodybuilding in terms of popularity, but will retain and grow its own fanbase.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.30.50 am

And finally, ladies, George Farah thinks that squats won’t help make dat ass bigger and is not the most effective form of glue training – he suggests running to make that butt rounder!



  1 comment for “Muscular Development July Review

  1. July 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Interesting to read that the magazine has linked in with the Generation Iron channel. Be interesting to see how that plays out. Although YouTube videos can be informative, there’s a part of me that prefers the hard copy magazines no matter how antiqued it seems!


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