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.”
Jordan glances over at the supplement shelf and notices that even the two once dust-covered black canisters from the low-cost supplement company were not even for sale. In fact, one of them had the lid and label torn off, the grainy powder dumped, and was now used to distribute 50 cent ammonia inhalants for the powerlifters needing a face-smacking adrenaline-driver for their heavy singles.
“I can, and I know I should have been doing that,” says Jordan. I remind him to include both Muscle Provider and Ultimate Muscle Protein. The faster protein, Muscle Provider (rich in hydrolyzed whey protein) is perfect for consumption directly¬ after training, and the longer-range UMP (which is 80% micellar casein and 20% whey isolate) at other times.
“And food-wise, you need protein at each meal,” I add. “You are not counting calories, but you need to start limiting treats. If you want to eat pizza or pasta, limit it to once a week, in limited amounts, after training legs hard. And have a UMP protein shake first so that you don’t gorge on downing a large pizza on your own. Keep treats or desserts infrequent and low volume.”
I notice his serious attitude and he nods his head and writes down each of my pointers. “You will need to be pre-prepping your foods. No fast-food meals. Twice a week you need to cook three or four days’ worth of chicken, steak, turkey or lean ground beef with plenty of veggies and no more than a cup of rice, baby red potatoes or sweet potatoes.”
“And eat fish at home,” adds Chuck. “If you warm that up in the break room at work everyone will hate you for the tuna, halibut or salmon stink you leave. I found out someone started calling me Chuck the Skunk!”
I pretend that Chuck didn’t interfere with my wisdom and continue.
“Two protein shakes, two lean meat servings and one or two servings of eggs daily are the basis of a leaner diet. We’ll get stricter and start counting calories sixteen weeks out from the contest you choose. You’ll have sixteen weeks of burning off whatever body fat is left to go from lean to shredded!” Jordan couldn’t help but smile at that idea.
“Supplement-wise, you should also start including the Ultra 40 and Mass Amino Acids throughout the day. You have seen me take three or four of each of these four times a day between meals, and I don’t have to tell you, those products drive hypertrophy. Do I need to hit a most muscular to make my point?”
“No, we’re good,” both Chuck and Jordan say in unison. Obviously, my lean and rounded muscle bellies pop out even through my sweatpants and ragtop!
Take Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 throughout the day to drive hypertrophy.
A Different Program
“Glutamine Select should be a part of each training session,” I say. “The BCAAs and glutamine will jumpstart your recovery even before you can drive home for a shake...and the training is going to be VERY different.”
Both Jordan and Chuck lean forward since this is the part they have been really curious about. “Volume and frequency is the difference,” I say. “We are not taking it Serge Nubret, Johnny Fuller or John DeFendis style with three to six hours of training sixty sets per bodypart, but we are going to do more.”
“The trick here is shorter rest periods,” I continue. “You need to do 15-20% more sets but still keeping your workout under ninety minutes. We are going to force a new level of growth! Fast pace leads to faster growth and I’m not even sure if exercise physiologists have proven this YET but shorter rest periods do seem to make us more muscular and thinner skinned. The key is to make sure you are maximizing the quality of your nutrition. We want optimal recovery...on lower calories...while training like a serious musclehead!”
A smile grows on both faces. I suspect that if Chuck will see changes on Jordan’s physique he will want to head in this classic physique direction (a competitive group probably caused by my letter of complaint sent to the NPC back in the nineties). If Chuck returns to get his own classic physique guidelines I will need to make sure Double-Deuce has that day off so that he isn’t gawking at her.
Not looking for thousands of fans (but humbly accepting of their praise), Rusty Traufeé is a classic gym owner and training/ nutrition guru. Although constantly turning down pro bodybuilders, there MAY be one open spot in his pay-in-advance student category. Send any questions or fan letters to email@example.com.
Ladies, please keep in mind that Rusty Traufeé is rarely single (but it is worth a shot).
part 2 → Shaping the Body