Because achieving a physique is like climbing a mountain, you do it step by step by step ... When you reach the top of the mountain, you've achieved what you wanted to achieve.
It takes many, many years to achieve a great physique. If you would equate achieving a physique with walking up a mountain, step by step, day after day, month after month, year after year, finally after training 2-or-4 years and pursuing what you want you to achieve, you reach the top of the mountain.
While you were climbing the mountain, or while you were bodybuilding to pursue, conquer and achieve a goal, you worked very, very hard. Sleep, diet, nutrition and the log of your workouts, constantly changing, and making more progress, more progress.
If you're not entering a contest (most are drug contests today, anyway) and if you just want to achieve a terrific physique and you say, "I'm not going to take steroids; this is probably the best I'm going to look naturally. Do I have to go on working as hard as I did climbing the mountain and maintaining a physique at the top of the mountain? What do I do?"
Staying On The Mountain Top
This bothers a lot of bodybuilders. Once they achieve what they wanted to achieve, they don't know what to do next. And like all of us, we turn chapters in our lives, we get married, we have children. We do others things, but we always want to have a good physique. Then it dawns on us, "If I have to work as hard maintaining a physique as I did achieving the physique, I just don't have the time."
I used to speak to Vince Gironda about this at great length. I came to the conclusion that once you reach the top of the mountain, it's so easy to keep and maintain a quality physique. Most people just would not believe how easy it is.
They say, "No, no, it's not possible." I don't want to be redundant but we're taught in America that the more effort you put into something, the greater your reward. But that only has to do with making money. In America, we do everything to excess.
Let me give you an example, and I know Vince would concur as we discussed this at length many times. About 10 years ago I achieved a physique that I was happy with and wanted to maintain for the rest of my life. I personally love three things in life: my career in nutrition, bodybuilding, and custom cars.
I now cannot spend as much time in a gym as when I was younger, and I don't want to. I came up with my own little workout routine. Remember, Vince Gironda and I have always said that bodybuilding is 85-90% nutrition and 15% working out. So I did an experiment with myself that many people didn't understand.
This is how I relate "getting to the top of the mountain" for myself and being satisfied with what I've achieved, maintaining it and turning a new chapter in my life, but never giving up bodybuilding.
On Sunday I wake up and I do four body parts. I start with forearms, biceps, triceps and delts. In my first set I do 16 reps and then I rest for 10 seconds, my second set 10 reps, my third set 10 reps, my fourth set 10 reps. I rest a minute or two between the four different body parts but I do reach "heavy breathing." That is all I do on Sunday.
Now on Monday I'll work my chest, 16, 10, 10 and 10. On Tuesday my back, the same thing, 16, 10, 10 and 10. Wednesday I do my thighs the same, and then hamstrings on Thursday. I work a little harder on my calves on Friday.
The calves are the walking muscle and require more work, so I do 20 reps in the first set, 15 in the second set, 15 in the third set, and 15 in the fourth set. I work three weeks on and one week off.
It's Difficult To Believe:
When I stop by the gym and see old friends and make deliveries I talk to people I know. They say,
How many days per week are you working out?"
They don't believe me because they adhere to the old philosophy that if some is good, then more must be better. That only applies to making money - it's got nothing to do with the physical body.
Of course, every couple of weeks I change the exercise and that's called muscle confusion (reference Vince Gironda's articles for more information on this subject). The week I take off, I take three "power walks" around the block throughout that week. People just don't believe me.
Vince Gironda would believe me, but most people don't. Please keep in mind that bodybuilding is again 85-90% nutrition, so you can see how it works. You can't keep going on and on into your 40s, 50s and 60s killing yourself. You can't, as you age you need to rest more and pace yourself.
In my many conversations with Vince he would get so exasperated at his students who would not listen to him. When his students would hit a sticking point, he would try to get them out of the gym for a rest. The average bodybuilder believes that if he rests for one week or two weeks that all the gains they've achieved in the past two years will disappear and go away.
Bodybuilders are terrified of that, but truth be told, they are over training. They would come to Vince for training and then not do what he recommended, so he'd throw them out of the gym. In my 10 years owning a Powerhouse Gym I found that the average intelligence in a gym isn't much higher than your socks. I unfortunately found this to be exceptionally true and so did Vince.
Vince shared with me a story about one guy who was so overtrained and he tried to get him out of the gym for just a week. The guy went and worked out sneakily at another gym, and Vince saw him while running errands one day.
Bodybuilders can become paranoid and become "gym bums." They never leave the gym because they have this horrible fear that if they take off one week, they'll lose what they've worked so hard for. It's just not true.
Honest To A Fault:
In the beginning of my training with Vince he found out I was serious about it, and he would open his heart. This is what I respected most about Vince, and unlike some people (like Joe Weider and Bill Phillips), etc., whose motives were just about making money at any cost, Vince's actions were never motivated by the love of money.
He was extremely honest to a fault. Remember, the very highest tribute you can pay a man is to say, "I trust him." Vince never lied to me or anyone and that's why I loved the guy.
Vince got a bad reputation due to working with insincere individuals. He was a pure, stone-cold teacher, and I would question him and he would tell me what to do and I would question him again. He enjoyed that. After 6-or-8 months I ceased to question him. I ceased because everything the man told me worked.
I stopped questioning him because I was feeling like a fool. As time went on I grew to understand and follow everything he would tell me to do because it worked. I found out if I listened to him I would never fail. That's the one thing that Vince told me that he loved about Larry Scott.
He said Larry was the only champion who listened to everything he said, and you know what Scott achieved. I traveled to New York to see the first and second Mr. Olympia contests, and I will share that with you in the future.
A Man's Man:
The thing I most admired about Vince is that he was a man's man. He stood alone so long, and as time went by, it did get to him emotionally. If you interfere with the way people make money and big-company profits, someone's going to get to you. When Jesus tried to kick the money changers out of the temple, he was nailed to a cross.
Jesus was a dangerous man because he spoke the truth. This is how I feel about Vince Gironda. He became a dangerous man because he told the truth. But he interfered with the way that people made money because he would tell you if supplements were bad. He would laugh at all the stupid machines at a chrome-plated gym.
He would laugh at personal trainers who would use ignorant methods to keep you coming back and spending money. He called the certification of personal trainers another scam. He would laugh at their stupid methods. Equipment manufacturers hated him because he spoke about not needing sit-up boards and not needing half the machines in a gym.
Gym owners didn't like him because he taught to work out fast and brief and leave the gym. But the gym owner wants you to stay there and buy supplements and clothes, and tan yourself while drinking a protein drink. That's why he became a threat and because he wasn't a great business man, he didn't have money and power, he wasn't a Joe Weider or a Bill Phillips of today.
All the bodybuilders in large bodybuilding publications use drugs. They would never publish or interview a man like Vince Gironda that preaches all-natural, no-drug bodybuilding. The average reader of these magazines is from 14-to-25 years of age, and they believe that everything that they read is the truth.
Vince wasn't liked because he always preached "question everything." But even our own government doesn't want us to question. They want to do the thinking for us.
When I train people I do the same thing and I tell them I can train them in one afternoon. I sit down on a Sunday afternoon and I teach them about nutrition for two hours, then I show them all the exercises, and I explain Vince's philosophy. If they want any of Vince's courses, I sell them to them. I'm a teacher, I'm gone, and they're gone. I teach, they learn, goodbye.
But if you want to make the big money, that's not going to happen using those methods.
I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. The reason I gave you this example is because you need to apply it to "your top of the mountain." Remember the old German proverb,
Don't wait until you're old to get smart, do it young, so allow me to be redundant again and finish: "Once you achieve the desired physique you want, it's soooo easy to maintain. Honest! Trust me!"
My little jingle has always been that diseases don't exist, just nutritional deficiencies. If you have any questions, please call me at 313-372-1807.