It is a new age in bodybuilding
And one wisely returning to what was the standard of my era.
Jordan and Charles walked into Rusty Gym with wide eyes and big smiles, pleased to be there since it has been months since they have been able to drop in. They are both visiting family for the holidays but (more importantly) stopping in to Rusty Gym to see their mentor (and ex-training partner) the GREAT Rusty Traufeé (pronounced TRO-fee, while bowing at the waist).
Both men knew that Rusty Gym was a rare hypertrophy paradise with mostly locally-welded and overly heavy duty pieces filling most of the room, and with old school metallic-blue Nautilus machines filling the rest of the arsenal.
Jordan and Charles (usually going as Chuck in the gym, Charles in the workplace) trained with me to compete in powerlifting during my strength periodization blocks for two years when they had just finished college. Both moved out of town when they got better jobs in their career. Even though Jordan moved two hours east and Chuck headed three hours northwest, training teammates remain allies, like military warriors that have shared a few foxholes.
“What’s up Krusty?” said Jordan, knowing the nickname I don’t enjoy.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” I say, pretending to forget. “Is it Gordon and Buck? Those two kids that worked here as locker room janitors a few years ago?”
“You know us better than that!” says Jordan. To be honest, I remember them well...two great training partners and two hardworking lifters! Jordan was good at memorizing every detail of our program and poundages, like a skilled accountant or IRS auditor.
And Chuck, well...he did a decent Ronnie Coleman impersonation, “light weight ain’t nuttin’ but a peanut...” says Chuck, standing wide and patting his head as if it was bald.
“We had to come to you for a game plan,” says Chuck. “Jordan has a new goal. And, in this strange case, you’re the man to help him make it happen.”
New goal? Having not seen these two for a couple of years, I had no idea what it could be... powerlifting? No. They went seriously after that, entering two or three raw or single-ply PL meets a year. Chess? While I am a checkmate genius that game seems too intellectual to keep their interest. Triathlon? They would never come here for endurance training. I was at a loss.
“This new category at bodybuilding contests...” says Jordan. “I doubted it when they first announced it, but classic physique seems to have turned into something pretty cool. I want to enter one next year as a novice.”
“And classic physique falls into your historic gym style!” adds Chuck.
To be honest, I stopped following the sport of bodybuilding after Lee Haney’s time. While I respect Dorian Yates, making the best of his genetics, the game around him from Nationals down to local competitors, put only mass as a priority, with thick waists, Synthol oil infections and belly bloat disfiguring them. I prefer the Mr. America and Universe era, but I have seen the recent inclusion of classic physique which has raised my hopefulness.
As Jordan is one of the taller, leaner powerlifters, (which is a build that is good for sumo deadlifting, but bad for benching) I was glad to hear that he wanted to attempt some Zane-like quarter-turns on a local stage. To start out, we needed to see where he was.
“Double-Deuce! We need your help over here.”
As you probably do not know, Double-Deuce is the nickname of my second child of my second wife.
She walks over, knowing what I was going to assign to her without even needing to ask, carrying skin-fold calipers in one hand and measurement tape in the other. I notice Chuck staring at her slack-jawed, and I’m not sure why since he hasn’t seen her since she was graduating from high school, but I better keep an eye on these two and maybe get her some baggy sweatpants and a hoody as a work uniform.
“Nice to see you, Rachel,” says a smiling and suddenly well-postured Chuck. Oh yeah, her name on her driver’s license is Rachel M. Traufeé, but I often mix her up with my other daughters Cory, Gladys or Lenda, so I stick to the nicknames. But how does Chuck remember her name!?
Rachel gets Jordan on the scale (198 pounds) and we collect his ranking of 17% body fat, which was not terrible, but not yet in the direction we want it to head. I also make him go through the basic contest poses, jotting down which areas need some work, which we will get to later.
“You’re in great shape,” I say (giving the rare compliment since real old school gurus don’t hand them out often), “but we need to bump it up. The goal should be about 12%. This means we want to drop about ten to fifteen pounds of body fat while adding a few pounds of muscle, in specific areas. Are you drinking your Muscle Provider shake after each training session?”
“I am!” Jordan says.
“But just one shake a day?” I ask.
“Yeah, just once I get back from the gym.” says Jordan.
“He used to drink two-a-day back when we were roommates,” Chuck adds (leaving out that he always noticed that his UMP… Ultimate Muscle Protein, canister seemed a few scoops lighter than he was drinking but he never said anything).
“You need two shakes of around 40 grams of the highest quality protein blends every day,” I say. “That means Beverly International...the only brand I use or recommend.”