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The following writeup largely comes from the period of ~2005-2006 when I trained at the University of Florida with a guy, 3 years younger in age, that would later become Mr. Tampa in both the light-heavyweight and heavyweight classes. He was 6-0, 255lbs at 8%BF when we graduated. He is still a good friend of mine.
I was in my mid 20's, even though I had no desire to be a bodybuilder, I extremely committed to gym and throughout also experiencing the longest sexless period of my life (I often locked myself into a long-distance relationship to avoid meeting new girls).
Train, eat, sleep, repeat was my lifestyle.
The gym was my #1 priority even though had no immediate athletic goals since my hockey career had come to an end. My social life and social skills suffered- but it was period of my life (after the apparent suicide of my ex-girlfriend, long story...) that I needed to distract myself and live/hide in the gym.
It was during this period that I learned a lot of what will make up the "Get Juiced" (steroids) section of Good Looking Loser and some of which is discussed on "Get Ripped" (fitness/nutrition) on Get-A-Life.
This discussion is mainly about the "tricks" and performance/body composition enhancing secrets I learned.
There an entire other discussion that I can offer on the psychological profile, social obstacles and trouble with the opposite sex that most amateur bodybuilders (not necessarily my friend) seem to face. In the future, we'll talk very specifically about this niche, their issues and how they can drastically increase the amount of pussy they get.
Hint- same stuff.
The main problem with bodybuilders is that they don't talk to enough girls and they are way too sensitive about their body/take themselves so seriously. It has nothing to do with their appearance or that "girls only like skinny pussy guys". They look fine but choose/have to to isolate themselves and don't develop social skills to interact or relate with women don't know.
Although I never had any real aspirations to be a competitive bodybuilder, those were some of the same issues I had.
Remember, I'm talking about REAL bodybuilders running enormous amounts of anabolics, not idiot party boy meatheads that train solely for pussy.
This discussion is purely for entertainment purposes only, not the advice of a medical professional and is subject to our Medical Disclaimer. Remember- I'm an idiot meathead, with no brain, I can't even write good- so don't try this at home. :)
Secret #1: Thyroid Hormone
Right off the bat, this may be the craziest one-
My friend WOULD LITERALLY eat up to 4 meals, 3000 calories each at McDonalds EVERY DAY.
Yes, 10,000-13,000+ calories of McDonalds on Archer Rd. a day.
Right after a workout- 3 cheeseburgers, 2 orders of french fries, 1 full high-fructose corn syrup regular soda and 2 brownies (1 with nuts). Obviously this isn't healthy but- instead of being a morbidly obese slob- he was about 6-0, 225-245lbs, never more than about 8% body fat.
Thyroid hormone (among other compounds) made it possible. It seemed like the protein would turn to muscle, the carbs would store as energy or burn off and the fat wouldn't stick either.
Of course I had to try this too.
I was familiar with the compound "T3" or Cytomel. I knew that people ran it with Clenbuterol for 3 weeks to lose fat, but I didn't really know that most high-level bodybuilders stay on a significant dose (25mcgs+) of T3 year-round. Without hitting you with all the science- basically it speeds your metabolism up. The more T3 you take- the more calories you burn, you don't even have to go to the gym.
I remember my first day with it. I took some right before breakfast. It wasn't hot outside just yet, maybe 72 degree but the air conditioner in my apartment was out. I took ~15mcg and slapped Nutella on a bagel. I immediately start sweating profusely and found myself STARVING. I ate 3 bagels with Nutella and made a protein shake.
From that day forward, I never stopped taking T3.
In 2008, my first year in Los Angeles, I had an endocrinologist prescribe me T3, so now I have my own script. I don't take high doses anymore however, the food bill will triple and it takes a lot of time to eat all that food. I can just keep my metabolism at "high-normal" just so I can eat what I want, within reason and keep the fat off my body. I try to avoid carbohydrates and weight control is super easy. My doctor approves.
If you hear that "bodybuilders eat McDonalds every day" or see someone mention that on a forum- it's because they are taking T3 (among other things, HGH, etc.). This advice probably DOES NOT apply to you unless you are severely underweight.
A quick side note- when I was a personal trainer in Beverly Hills, the very FIRST thing I had my clients do is get a thyroid test to measure their TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 to see if their thyroid was up to speed. Nearly every single client that came to me for weight loss (1 celebrity included) had a slow(er) thyroid. Once their doctor prescribed them a good dose in combination with one of my diets, the excess fat was off their body in a matter weeks.
I don't recommend that you "get on" T3 unless you can EXACT what the fuck you doing and speak to your doctor. (and just so you know- there is no "giving yourself thyroid cancer" from taking Cytomel, your thyroid simply stays in the resting stage)
Secret #2: Cruise & Blast
If taking high doses of T3 to burn off 10,000+ calories of fast-food is the craziest thing I learned, "Cruise & Blast" is the most productive.
For good reason- you won't hear too much about "Cruise & Blast" on bodybuilding boards, they want to discourage idiot teens from trying it out, even though- when followed responsibly (with blood work) it is almost completely safe.
Arguably- it is easier on your body than "cycling" (coming on and off steroids).
There is NOT a competitive bodybuilder that is not following some form of "Cruise & Blast".
It is impossible to keep your gains that you have made that are far beyond your genetic potentialwithout it.
It works like this-
You remain on steroids forever. (testosterone, mainly)
There are periods when you "blast" and take a super-physiological dose of testosterone (750mg+) and other compounds (deca, eq, dianabol, tren, etc.) followed by periods when you "cruise" (250-500mg of testosterone with 4ius of HGH) just to keep your gains, prevent a crash and not have to run a PCT to recover your natural hormone levels.
Instead of "cycling" on and off- you just stay on.
But on a lower dose to let your receptors up-regulate, lipids recover and just to give your body a break.
You aren't always on HUGE doses of steroids, that isn't healthy. (in some cases a lot of guys are, I discourage that - there's no point because you stop gaining unless you rotate the compounds and doses)
Using some other terminology- you "cycle" but you also run HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Again, like thyroid hormone, I DO NOT encourage you to "stay on" unless you know what the hell you are doing (and really thought about it).
Secret #3 You Don't Have to Use Free Weights... Nearly Ever.
This will make a lot of people angry.
Especially the bodybuilders that visit the blog and the take time to comment on my pictures telling me "train your triceps more" and want measurements of body parts. (I go to the gym 2-3 days a week, I don't care about that stuff anymore)
Mr. Tampa trained on NOTHING but machines. The only exercise he did with free weights was dumbbell press and curls with the Olympic bar (he could curl 135lbs for 25+, with good form).
It was safer for him to train on machines and he just did a TON of reps until failure.
When I used to train at the Gold's Gym in Northern Virginia, a legit IFBB pro named "King Kamali" trained there. He did nothing but machines too.
A lot of bodybuilders take pictures while doing bench press and deadlift, but not that many actually do those exercises. (please don't write in and tell us which do, or post a YouTube link showing "how (insert name) always trains," nobody cares)
So if they mainly use machines, how do they get big?!
Perfect Work Ethic
If you are an athlete (functional training) or you are a powerlifter- you won't ever want to touch the machines however.
The average person is better off doing bench press, squats, deadlift, chin-ups and avoid isolation exercises.
I just wanted to point that machines aren't "bad" and there is a huge misconception that bodybuilders don't use them, when the reverse is true.
Secret #4 Supplements Are For Idiots
Let me first start off by saying- I use a few supplements, I don't think they are totally pointless. The majority are fucking trash though and I've wasted thousands of dollars on them through the years.
Remember though- "supplements" are to supplement your diet.
They are meant to fill deficiencies. Unless you have a deficiency of a certain compound the supplement isn't going to "work". (there are a few exceptions- creatine, fat burners)
Any supplements I recommend to you are gonna be fucking killer for the average person, serve a SPECIFIC purpose and be worth every penny.
To Mr. Tampa and most bodybuilders, however, supplements are a joke. (there are some HIGH LEVEL bodybuilders that get FREE supplements via their endorsements, so they take them)
The majority of bodybuilders know not to waste their money on just about anything that is legal. They laugh when some kid is raving about a supplement that made his bench press go up 10lbs. They laugh when some kid hyping up a supplement that is nothing but fucking herbals that you piss out. They laugh when some pencil-neck is telling them they "need" to take their product.
Mr. Tampa didn't even use whey protein powder, a credible supplement. No multivitamins, no glutamine, no dat dere Cell-Tech.
He would drink 4 cups of coffee with couple of tabs of Niacin (the kind flushes you) before the gym.
Real bodybuilders rather spend their money on things that work such as solid food, steroids and hookers.
It really opened my eyes how little he thought of supplements.
Secret #5 Even Steroid Abuse Isn't Likely to Hurt You
I pretty much knew this coming in, I had a bunch of short (4 week) cycles of pro-hormones starting at age 21 and I got access and into injectables around age 24.5, just before I started training with Mr. Tampa.
Like "Cruise & Blast," the topic of 'steroid abuse is okay' isn't going to be in the stickies on the bodybuilding forums.
Knowledgeable guys know that steroids are pretty safe but they also know that teenagers and college frat boys are reckless, irresponsible and generally- dumb as shit. Forums don't want to advocate or downplay steroid abuse because nothing good can come from it.
The term 'steroid abuse' is quite broad and I feel like one of those ignorant dipshits in the media by even using this term.
Mr. Tampa would do "cycles" (aka Blast phases) that would be considered WELL BEYOND steroid abuse. Orals for months, taking 2 orals at the same time, high levels of testosterone for an entire year, etc.
Other than his cholesterol (which will temporarily increase NO MATTER WHICH compound you are using) he was always okay.
It seemed that it was possible to "safely abuse steroids". (he didn't drink alcohol or party at the time)
Perhaps a better example of "steroid abuse won't kill you" are PROFESSIONAL BODYBUILDERS that have more lean mass and have taken more steroidal drugs than you and I combined. These guys have been juicing hard for years, using doses that the media (and even certain forums) claim will result in "death".
I haven't heard of a IFBB pro bodybuilder that has "dropped dead". You'd think there would be plenty of 300lbs bodies in the streets everywhere if this were true. A lot of people take steroids. If you aren't part of the 'juice' culture, you'd be surprised how many use.
If this is news to you, I encourage you to check out-
Our generation needs knowledgeable people not parrots and monkeys that eat their own shit. There isn't a single death solely attributed to anabolic steroids. Not even Lyle Alzado.
With all that said-
Steroids are powerful substance that only people with a brain and a work ethic should use. You can get lasting side effects if you don't know what you're doing.
If you know what you are doing and want to USE steroids, go for it (with your doctors approval, of course). I don't advocate steroid abuse though-- whatever the fuck that means.
Secret #6 You Have to Train with Intensity (but not Necessarily with Heavy Weights)
Every bodybuilder, wanna-be bodybuilder and never-go-to-the-gym-bodybuilding.com forum member knows the Ronnie Coleman quote-
"Everybody wanna be bodybuilder but nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight!"
The quote suggests that legit bodybuilders are lifting HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY weight.
They are, but- respective to their size and strength - they don't lift "HEAVY" weight.
Not at all.
In fact, a lot of them don't follow the '8 to 12 rep' protocol that every single bodybuilding Muscle&Fiction magazine suggests.
It widely varies.
Bodybuilders have YEARS of experience. Usually DECADES.
Compared to them, we know our bodies as well as teen girl knows her vagina. (if you didn't get that reference, I mean- we don't know our bodies well in comparison to legit bodybuilders)
A lot of them know that certain muscle groups respond to different protocols.
Some guys can actually put on more SIZE on their legs by doing reps of 30 to 50 reps. Mr. Tampa would do as many reps on EVERY set, sometimes exceeding 50 reps. Every set to absolute failure with SUPER INTENSITY. Neither of us would "Max" out.
I'm not saying that this is the norm, but I am saying that there is no "right" protocol to training. Once you get to know your body pretty well, you should give yourself the 'green light' to try different things and see what works, regardless of what some guy on forum (of whom you have no idea how he looks) tells you.
This might seem obvious but it's rarely stated that INTENSITY and not 'how you train' is the key to making your body grow.
King Kamali was always screaming in the gym, but he might just be working with 40lb dumbbells.
With all that I said, I want remind readers that this article is simply about "what I learned" from actually training with a legit bodybuilder. It is not to generalize EVERY bodybuilder or even to tell people what to do. It definitely was insightful on what the biggest, strongest, most ripped kid that I've ever personally met was doing.
There's a lot of "brotelligence" and hearsay about what legit bodybuilders actually do and it's usually by some kid who isn't even 200lbs or has done 1 or 2 cycles. Don't listen if he doesn't have any fucking proof that he lives the life.
I also want to mention that- despite all the talk about steroids, what set Mr. Tampa apart from EVERYONE was his work ethic.
We probably trained together 200 times, doing 16 sets each per session- that's an estimated 3,200 sets in total.
I can honestly admit-
Other than maybe a handful of sets over 2-3 years, there wasn't one day where he didn't go AS HARD or HARDER than I did in the gym. He usually gave more effort than I did and very few people do. It literally looked like he was willing to die on every set.
Some days, I'd be on 10 hours of sleep and he'd be on 3. Every day, every set, every rep was EXTREME INTENSITY, EXTREME FOCUS and THRESHOLD TO MUSCULAR PAIN that neither I or the average person DOES NOT HAVE.
Training with him debunked a ton of myths about "how it's done" and even though I was never a bodybuilder, I learned a tremendous amount.
Since starting this website in 2012 I haven't asked anyone to share a single post/page. Since this website has been sabotaged in April '13, we've lost over 70% of our traffic. I would REALLY APPRECIATE if you shared this blog with others at this time.