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Turning Your “Half” to Hull…

Whether you are a bodybuilder, want to be a bodybuilder, want to date a bodybuilder, want to stay far, far away from body builders, it is undeniable that much of the science behind bodybuilding is applicable to mere healthy human beings as well. In fact, the knowledge base of (legitimate) physique consultants is astounding, in that they prepare athletes for a sport based solely on muscle development, symmetry, poise, and the lowest body fat percentages you’ll ever witness on humans still able to stand on their own two feet, let alone flex, and smile. Brad Hull, who coached and prepped me for my the NANBF Figure Competition last July has helped numerous competitors, athletes, and clients of my own in their quests to attain their ideal physique. Here is an article he wrote on the benefits of record keeping, finding the answer to the question, “What more can I possibly do?”, and using (whether you hate it or not) science to achieve your fitness goals.

 

Nerd Meets Weight Room

Written by Brad Hull, Physique Coach, Nutrition Consultant, and owner of WAR nutrition

 

Thursday evening, corporate gym, match.com gym goers are beginning to head home. Six reps into a fifteen rep set, a young ectomorph, bold, and clueless, interrupts me to ask how i “got arms like that”. The guy might be twenty years old, with twentyish weeks TOTAL under his belt at the gym. As I begin to respond on the “I want arms like yours” comment, he jumps right into his next question. He asks what I take, how much I eat, etc. He may have asked me my favorite color for all i knew… The kid was like a Chihuahua; tiny, nervous, wanting love, but deathly afraid of getting squished. Canine characteristics aside, he seemed sincere in his quest for answers, so I began to ask him my own questions. He informs me that he is “doing absolutely everything right yet cannot seem to get ANY results”. According to him, he eats 5000 calories a day! He spouts off a list of foods and macro-nutrient guidelines set up for a pro, and assures me he trains in “beast mode”.

Thursday evening, corporate gym, match.com gym goers are beginning to head home. Six reps into a fifteen rep set, a young ectomorph, bold, and clueless, interrupts me to ask how i “got arms like that”. The guy might be twenty years old, with twentyish weeks TOTAL under his belt at the gym. As I begin to respond on the “I want arms like yours” comment, he jumps right into his next question. He asks what I take, how much I eat, etc. He may have asked me my favorite color for all i knew… The kid was like a Chihuahua; tiny, nervous, wanting love, but deathly afraid of getting squished. Canine characteristics aside, he seemed sincere in his quest for answers, so I began to ask him my own questions. He informs me that he is “doing absolutely everything right yet cannot seem to get ANY results”. According to him, he eats 5000 calories a day! He spouts off a list of foods and macro-nutrient guidelines set up for a pro, and assures me he trains in “beast mode”.

This is where the rubber meets the road. I believe this young man truly thought he was doing what he had told me, so I asked to see his logbook. “Logbook?” He stared at me as if I had just said, “Where is your pink hippopotamus?”. I told him to go buy a notepad, a blank book, or hell, just use the back of a pizza box, either way he needed to track everything: measure his food, write down what and when he ate, lifts, reps, sets, times he sneezed in a day, etc. Record keeping; Not rocket science, but science none the less.

So, lets get nerdy, shall we?

The scientific method calls us first to observe; Big dudes eat lots of food and lift lots of weight. That’s a pretty decent observation. Next we form a hypothesis; “I think that if I eat lots of food, and lift lots of weight, I will get big”. Stay with me here. Now comes the experimentation. I believe this to be the best part of bodybuilding, aka “the journey”. Experiments must be controlled and must have parameters. For this kid, I suggested he keep the parameters he already had in place, but this time, he had to keep an accurate record of his meals and training. Keep in mind that results must be repeatable in order to become a theory or law. So we parted ways and now that my pump was completely gone, I finished my workout.

So we had an observation, a hypothesis, an experiment, but no conclusion or theory. Damn. Luckily, I saw this kid again a few months later, looking like he definitely lifted weights and was no stranger to the dinner table. He came strolling up to me with a huge grin, flexing a very recently re-sized bicep. He told me that during his experiment, his record keeping showed just how off his calculations were concerning caloric intake and workout progression. As a new gym nerd, he made the proper adjustments and, walla! His physique took off. Lesson learned, and well on his way to discovering more ways to push his physique even further.

Science works, experimenting works, having no plan and just “doing more” or “less” absolutely does not work. Look around you. Find those you want to look like and observe what they do. Make an educated guess about what you would have to do to look like them. Set up your experiment based on your hypothesis and keep strict records of your experiments. Soon you will have a “law” that works for you and your goals. Simple right? Not everyone is going to be blessed with the same genetics or response to training, but bringing your brain and your logbook with you to the gym will push YOUR results far past just following what is thrown around as truth. Get to it!”

 

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