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Wassup With Them Bodybuilders?

By: Matt Furey
Combat Conditioning Functional Exercises Best Selling Author of "Combat Conditioning"

When I was a kid and first heard talk around the neighborhood about "getting muscles" - one of the older boys said, "If you want to build muscle you do isometrics. If you want to tone muscle, you lift weights."

At the time I had no idea whether there was a shred of truth to this or not.

All I knew was that the big, huge, freak-show bodybuilders lifted weights and their muscles were big.

Meanwhile, you had guys like Charles Atlas, who championed isometric training, running around with titles like, "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" - and he didn't look at all like the freaks, nor were his muscles huge.

So whatever he was building, it wasn't as big as the monsters who were supposedly just "toning."

Then again, if you were to analyze the "sub-subculture" of body builders, you'd find the following:

1. Despite their big muscles, most bodybuilders are not very strong, have little endurance, and, especially during contest time, are very unhealthy. Charles Atlas, on the other hand, may not have been big, but he was well built, he was natural - and he was freaky strong. Atlas, incidentally, also did a lot of calisthenics as well as hand balancing, just like you do with Combat Conditioning.

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2. Bodybuilders, for the most part, rely on drugs and supplements to gain their size (some are so vain they will even have implants put into their calves and pecs, making them look the part). Then they use "baby" weights at high repetitions to blow up the size of their pecs, arms, legs and lats - giving them what Karl Gotch called "counterfeit" muscles.

3. Bodybuilders, despite their talk about health, have bodies that are a collection of aches and pains. Moreover, their body quickly falls apart under any sort of REAL athletic activity. They are the first to get injured in a combat type of sport and yet - ironically, are the first to tell you that weights "help prevent injury."

So much for getting big muscles with weights. Or as my neighbor erroneously stated, "toning" muscles.

Now let's look at Isometrics. Yes, isometrics will build muscle. My neighbor was right about that. But the muscle you build with isometrics is not "freak" muscle. It is natural muscle. It is functional muscle - it is muscle that's good for "sumthun" other than, er ... posing.

Isometrics also program your muscles from the inside-out. You actually get in touch with your body in such a way that you can "command" your muscles, at a deep level, to do what you want - and they'll listen.

Isometrics also crank up your metabolism, helping you burn fat much faster than weights.

When isometrics are done in conjunction with Combat Conditioning, you can expect some major breakthroughs to take place, like Bob Lucarelli, who dropped 138 pounds and got into the best shape of his life.

Copyright, Gold Medal Publications, Inc 2004


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Copyright © 2004 Bob Cairns. All rights reserved.