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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Chuck Gudgel

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Chuck Gudgel! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Chuck Gudgel
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 46
  • Where: Lewisville, Texas
  • Height: 5' 5"
  • Weight: 230 Lbs., Contest: 191 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :30
  • Favorite Bodypart: Chest
  • Favorite Exercise: Inlcine Dumbbell Flyes
  • Favorite Supplements: Creatine, and ISOPURE

How Did You Get Started?

I grew up in North Central Nebraska. My Dad was a cattle rancher. I went 30 miles to grade school and 71 miles to high school. Back in 1972, or so, I ordered a Charles Atlas brochure in the mail. In 1975, the school bought a Universal Gym. I was among the first to try it out.

I had a great weightlifting coach, Ron H, who kept us circuit training all summer. The school didn't have AC, and the place was a real sweatbox in the summer. It taught me the value of persistence in training that first summer. By 1978 (I was then 17), I was 175 at 12% and had the fifth highest strength index in our high school. I kept doing it... and thrived. I love the way it makes me look, and feel. Even on my worst days, I feel good after a workout. I grew up on lots of red meat, pork, potatoes, and gravy. Just a corn-fed boy from Nebraska.

I lifted in college (my degree is in computer science, and I spent 11 years in commercial broadcasting), and once I moved to Lincoln, NE in 1985, I really started getting after it. Over the years my motivation has changed from time to time. Sometimes it's been looking good; others, staying fit; others, getting big; others, competing; others, stress relief.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I'm in my 31'st year of lifting. Over the years, I've trained every which way. As I've gotten older, I've slowed down a smidge, done just little less volume (but not a lot less), and seemed to keep it going. In the winter, I like to slow down and lift heavy (5 x 5 stuff), and moving towards spring - speed up the cadence and up the reps. I train instinctively. I.e., if I don't feel like training, usually I don't. As I've gotten older, I've taken extra caution to avoid injury, spending a little more time warming up. Fortunately, I don't have bum knees, shoulders, etc.

For strength, in the winter, I go slow and heavy. 1:30 to 2:00 between my heavier sets, and 1:00 for my lighter sets. I'll do from 4 to 12 reps, with three sets of 5 somewhere in there. I try to train instinctively. If the weight gets to feeling to heavy, I back off on the low reps for a few days, and go at it again in a week or two. I do from 25 to 30 sets. It can take a while, but, I personally believe you have to have some volume (time under load) to get muscle density. I'll do from 25 to 30 sets on chest, back, legs, and about 12 sets on arms.

When I'm training for looks, or just tired of lifting heavy, I'll back off and do 10 about 15 sets on major parts, and about 8 on smaller parts, and go fast. I'll do from 8 to 30 reps on each part, going for the pump, with a rest period of 45 seconds between sets. Pre-contest, when I'm depleted, and really feeling a smidge slower, (slowwww motion) I'll try to get the workout done in less than 60 minutes, if at all possible. Low carb training can be a challenging thing.

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I usually don't get into any esoteric stuff. I lift dumbbells, usually, trying to do a complete range of motion. I also make sure that I do some eccentric stuff (negatives), and I do isometric stuff (flexing) too. I think all three types of movement are important: concentric, eccentric, and isometric. Negatives can really help you past a sticking point.

I try to think of time under load as opposed to set counts. I try to listen to what my body is telling me on any give day. To get past soreness (mircotears), I'll flush a group with a very light, high rep, pump the day after working it. Not enough to stop the growth process but enough to get some fresh nutrients into the muscle and help the soreness go away. It works every time.

Whether it's slow and heavy, or, fast and pumped, or, mix fast, medium, and slow, or depleted and trying to just get 'er done, I always use a stopwatch. I always take my tunes too. The music and its cadence help me stay in the training zone. Having the tunes keeps the distractions down and the tempo up. You have to stay focused on your workout. More than a couple of times, I've caught doing to much TMJ exercise, and not enough squats. LOL. As far as sequencing goes, well... I train all over the place. Lots of times it's back, chest, legs, day off, shoulders, arms, day off, day off, but, if there's a part that needs attention, sometimes I'll blast it for a bunch of days in a row, then, back off.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

See food and eat it! Just kidding. I try to eat 400g of protein daily, and carbs, and good fats, when everything is humming along. Calories, calories, calories, calories, calories, are how you get big. Plenty of water, water, water. And, I love the buffet. My friend and I go to the buffet and graze on good food. I talk to so many young aspiring athletes that are afraid to eat. Let me say this again: EAT. If I can give a single word of good advice it's to eat. Eat well, and plenty of it. You won't get fat if you are eating cleanly.

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Don't forget the importance of your monounsatured fats, and polyunsatured fats. You need them for good health, and a fast metabolism, and they will make you feel good, too.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Creatine, and ISOPURE

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding in particular, and adult fitness, in general, has taught me discipline and patience. I understand, in all areas of my life, that change takes time. I understand that sound discipline has its rewards. I love the way I look. I love the way I feel. I believe that, through a bodybuilding lifestyle, I've enhanced the quality of my life as I've grown older, and that my appearance and well-being have helped me in all others of my personal and professional life. Can I say this? I like being a stud! It's fun. I get better action. It's more fun being naked. LOL!

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

After years of being encouraged to do so, I finally competed. I won third in novice lightweight in Texas's infamous Lonestar Classic National Qualifier my first time out. Now, the bug has bitten me, and I'd love to go all the way to nationals. I need more sponsorship to pull it off. It was so awesome to hold that trophy in my hands after all that work, and months of strict discipline! Woohoo! What a feeling!

I would encourage anyone middle-aged, or any age, for that matter, to pickup the weights and go for it. If you have the competitive urge, jump right in. You'll have a blast, and learn a bunch as you go along!

It's great to feel good, and look good.

I hope to maintain a bodybuilding lifestyle for many more years. I've enjoyed every minute of it.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Eat! This is so very important when trying to gain and keep muscle. Without eating you will not gain very much muscle.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Lee Priest (so HUGE), Branch Warren (that guy I met in 1995 that told me he wanted to be a pro bodybuilder - LOL), Sagi Kalev (my trainer), Ed (my good friend).

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