Size vs. Cuts

Charles Poliquin

Page 2

Pantethine, 300 milligrams, three times a day. An important nutraceutical, it will help you regain your strength and restore adrenal health in no time. The metabolic activity of pantethine is probably due to its role in the synthesis of coenzyme A and acyl carrier proteins. Coenzyme A is a cofactor in more than 70 enzymatic pathways, including fatty acid oxidation, carbohydrate metabolism, pyruvate degradation, amino acid catabolism, heme synthesis and acetylcholine synthesis. (I have a product that synergistically combines pantethine and carnitine. You can obtain it via e-mail. Contact

If you combine the nutritional approach with the training strategies, you should return to your best-ever training poundages in record time.

Q: Could you give me some advice on how to get my forearms to grow? They don’t seem to want to budge, whatever I do. I recently started using thick grips whenever possible to remedy the problem. Should I use thick grips on every exercise or vary the grip from exercise to exercise? Help turn me into Popeye!

A: You should use thick grips as a source of training variety. Vary the thickness of the handles the same way you vary your training parameters—reps, sets, tempo and rest intervals.

But here’s a trick to trigger more growth in your forearms when you do wrist curls. Use a low pulley. Do your wrist curls the way everybody does—forearms on thighs, upper body leaning over the forearms—and do eight to 12 reps. That will recruit the flexor digitorum profondus, but not the flexor digitorum superficialis. Once you reach muscle failure, stand up and back away from the low pulley. Now, with your elbows locked and your upper arm at 45 degrees in relation to the ground, continue your set of wrist curls. In the elbow-extended position you’ll be able to better access the flexor digitorum superficialis, thus creating a greater overload on a higher proportion of motor units in your forearms. And don’t forget to load up on the spinach.

Q: I’m a fan of yours because everything you’ve written worked for me. But I have one big problem: my legs. I’m 6’2” tall and weigh 214 pounds. I’m a lifetime natural athlete. Even though I have great calves, my upper-leg size isn’t what it’s supposed to be. I can barely squat 265 pounds for six reps (I can bench more than that!). Please help with some kind of a routine for upper legs because the rest of my body grows quite well—even better since I’ve tried some of your ideas.

A: It’s hard to suggest a routine, since I have no clue about what your present leg training is. I hope that in the future readers will include a present routine when submitting these types of questions.

Keep in mind that what works for one bodypart may not work for another. French bodybuilding coach Rene Même told me that IFBB pro bodybuilder Francis Benfatto had problems making his legs grow. Why? Because he was using the same loading parameters as for his arms, which were his strong point. Once he started training his legs completely differently, they responded. In fact, they grew
2 1/2 inches in six weeks. Milos Sarcev got his arms to finally grow when he actually lowered his reps. Take a serious look at what you’ve always done, and do the opposite. The key to hypertrophy is variation in loading parameters. Up to a certain point, the more myofibrillar damage, the more growth. That’s why the following supersets should create much cellular damage and foster greater growth.

A. Safety bar squats 4 x 5-8; tempo 5/0/1/0

supersetted with

Lunges 4 x 10-12; tempo 2/0/X/0

Rest three to four minutes between supersets

B. Leg curls 4 x 5-8; tempo 5/0/1/0

supersetted with

Romanian deadlifts 4 x 10-12; tempo 3/0/1/0

Rest three to four minutes between supersets

That routine should jolt your quads and hams into new growth.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc­cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med­alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit Also, see his ad on page 223.


Consistency The Critical Variable

Bill Starr

The Critical Variable

The road to success in strength training begins with the resolve to train regularly. For any routine to produce results, the athlete must work out consistently. Hit-and-miss scheduling just doesn’t get the job done. I’ve often noted that a poorly designed program done with persistence will bring about greater gains than a perfect program done haphazardly.

Power Surge

Sean Katterle

Power    Surge

Last fall I was seriously injured and had to take nine months off from any form of rigorous exercise. It was a nonweightlifting-related situation, but it was major. I spent 90 days in the hospital, and then for 24 weeks I was restricted to walking on a treadmill. When I returned to the gym, I was reminded of a sad fact of life in a commercial facility: Most of the people there make only minor progress, if any, in regard to getting stronger. The guys who were benching in the 200s were still benching in the 200s. The people who were curling 45-pound dumbbells and avoiding squats were still curling 45s and avoiding squats. I’ve been back in the weight room for 90 days now, and, thank God, I’m already back to lifting about 70 percent of my previous max, and I’m adding weight to the bar every week.

Muscle “In” Sites

Eric Broser’s

Muscle “In” Sites

The first time I saw Berry de Mey compete was in 1984 at the World Amateur Championships. I was only 16 years old at the time and had just discovered the sport of bodybuilding. Back then ESPN aired many of the bigger competitions, and although I hadn’t even touched a weight yet, I’d sit with eyes glued to the TV whenever a contest was on. Berry’s physique stood out—he was tall, beautifully proportioned, highly symmetrical, while at the same time also big and well conditioned. To me, he was like a living piece of artwork—near perfection of the male form. He was, obviously, one of my early idols in the sport.

RETRO Role Model

Steve Holman

RETRO  Role Model

You’ve no doubt seen Clark Bartram’s face and physique on countless fitness-magazine covers. He’s got that all-American appeal and attainable muscle size that attract men and women alike. He’s a former military man, the United States Marine Corps, and a family man who’s a master at keeping it all in perspective—with a smile on his face.

Grigori Atoyan

Ron Harris

Grigori Atoyan

Full name: Grigori Atoyan

Nickname: Greg

Date of birth: November 21, 1972

Height: 5’8”

Off-season weight: 256

Contest weight: 230

Current residence: Sacramento, California

Years training: 19

Occupation: Owner of Max Muscle retail stores in Rockland and Rancho Cordova, California

Marital status: Married 16 years to Narine