PUBLISER’S LETTER

Majestic Muscle

John Balik

The sight of muscle in motion is fascinating to me—a source of awe and emotional pleasure. Aesthetically, the human body has been an inspiration and a medium of expression from the beginnings of art itself. One of the benefits of bodybuilding—and sports in general—is a heightened awareness of just how wondrous the human body is. In bodybuilding the beauty is expressed statically, like sculpture, and you have time to appreciate the symmetry, shape and development. Bodybuilding in its purest sense is both sport—the workout—and art, the display. At a bodybuilding event the artistic display is slow enough for the spectator to appreciate the nuance of development, but in other sports it’s lost in the speed of the action.

Track-and-field athletes in motion are the ultimate expression of the maxim that form follows function. The body is a tool for running faster or going higher or farther. Award-winning sports photographer Tony Duffy has made capturing those magnificent athletes at their best his life’s work, creating images that are both artistically and athletically inspiring. Most of the truly creative people I’ve met are driven by a passion—some might say obsession—for their art. Whatever the art—visual, verbal or physical—that passion is a distinguishing characteristic of those who are top rank. Tony has it, and you can feel it in every one of his images. It’s with great pleasure that we feature some of Tony’s most striking photographs of female track-and-field athletes in “Muscles In Motion,” which begins on page 226.

Charles Poliquin brings to IRON MAN a wealth of hands-on knowledge from his years of working with some of the best Olympic athletes and bodybuilders in the country. As I was reading in his column his answer to a question about the application of Olympic weightlifting to bodybuilding, I was transported back to my own experience with the Olympic lifts in the ’60s. Charles is right on in his assessment of their value and application. The various pulling movements he prescribes gave me new midback and trap development, and the front squat has no equal for building the lower thighs. Charles also explains the hows and whys of using acupuncture for strength and muscle gain. I’ve always believed that acupuncture had a place in rehab, but Charles makes clear why it belongs in every athlete’s arsenal of strength- and muscle-building tools. Great stuff! It starts on page 78.

While I’m in my nostalgia mode, I must reflect on Bill Starr’s Only the Strong Shall Survive installment, which begins on page 242. “Back to the Rack, Part 3” is full of great insights—historically and from a training standpoint. The rack is second only to the barbell as the most result-producing piece of equipment you can use. You can do everything from full-range movements to partials to isometrics. You can work your weak points to the max and do it safely, attack your sticking points or perfect your lifting—the only limit is your imagination.

Your comments are always welcome. Please send e-mail to me at ironleader@aol.com.


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Creatine Cranks Up Anabolic Hormones

Jerry Brainum

Creatine Cranks Up Anabolic Hormones

Creatine offers many benefits to bodybuilders, and research continues to illuminate the versatility of this popular food supplement. Its effects on muscle growth remain controversial. While several studies show that creatine may exert anabolic, or growth-promoting, effects in muscle, other studies claim the added bulk may consist mostly of water.

Train Around Low-Back Pain

Joseph M. Horrigan

Train Around Low-Back Pain

One in three Americans experiences lower-back pain, and trainees are no exception. Some have made unwise exercise selections that contributed to their problem; others simply developed lower-back pain, and they happen to train too. The problem is how you should train around the pain.

Trainees with 10 or more years of consistent training often find they must give up some exercises. Time after time they say, “I had to give up bent-over rows because of my lower-back pain,” “I had to stop squats because of lower-back pain [or knee pain],” or, “I had to give up bench presses [or overhead presses] due to shoulder pain.”

Fantasy Workout

the Editors

Fantasy Workout

Have you been dragging yourself to the gym lately? Does it feel as if you’re just going through the motions? Do you sometimes forget which bodypart you’re training? Then you need a heavy dose of fantasy photos to get your motivation back in gear—and your testosterone surging!

How do images of gorgeous, sparsely clothed women cavorting in the gym help inspire you to train harder? Easy. Just imagine each luscious lovely as your training partner. Talk about a fantasy workout! You’d no doubt pump out five extra reps with your current squat weight if Lena Johannesen were spotting you from behind and whispering in your ear, “Come on, you can get a few more…just for me.” Oh, and after you get those extra reps and rack your weight, you get to stand behind her. (Yes! Do you feel your motivation rising now?)

Bag and Gag?

Becky Holman

Bag and Gag?

To build muscle you have to eat often, and that usually means bodybuilders carry food with them wherever they go. One of the big problems can be spoilage—and nobody likes choking down a heaping spoonful of rancid cottage cheese. Here are a few tips from the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for keeping your brown-bag snacks safe and tasty:

Eat It Raw?

Becky Holman

Eat It Raw?

Bodybuilders are learning that eating fish can be a great asset to adding muscle. According to Jose Antonio, Ph.D., “It’s an excellent protein source, containing all of the essential amino acids, and the fat found in fish (the omega-3 fatty acids) is head and shoulders above all other fats when it comes to a whole slew of benefits, including inhibiting tumor growth and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, fish fat, specifically eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), has been shown in several animal studies to have an anticatabolic effect.”