I think you probably can’t guess which muscle in your body is the number one muscle that eliminates back and joints pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked. If this most powerful primal muscle is […]
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Expert advice for over-40 athletes about training, supplementation, nutrition, hormones, and more.
By Jay Campbell and Jim Brown
Many people stop lifting weights when they get in their 40s, believing that the Iron Game is meant for young people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, the older you get the more important weight training becomes for maintaining strength, body composition, optimal hormone levels, vitality, and overall quality of life. In this new column, our over-40 fitness experts will help you train your age. That is, wisely but with intensity and purpose. Jay Campbell is a longtime Iron Man columnist and author of the book The Definitive Testosterone Replacement Therapy Manual: How To Optimize Your Testosterone For Lifelong Health And Happiness. Jim Brown is a bodybuilding expert and trainer who has helped thousands of people achieve their goals.
Dennis: What does being sore after a workout represent? If I’m not sore in the specific muscles I trained, was my workout productive?
Jay and Jim: To us, being sore is a very useful diagnostic tool. We adjust workout intensity and volume based on current recovery ability. If training for hypertrophy, we can all agree that some soreness in the muscle trained is generally good. The more times we can train a muscle the more we can induce protein synthesis. This forces the body to change in response to current demands. Doing this over and over enables more growth to occur.
Let’s say you work legs once a week and destroy them (defined as it’s difficult to sit on the toilet). Will you recover fully in seven days? A better question is: Would you see more growth by working that muscle just enough to force adaptation? If you can do that twice a week, you should grow that muscle group faster.
In general, when
What is life like after winning the Bikini Olympia? Courtney King opens up about her success.
PQ: “You can’t just go through the motions! If your mind is not in it, your body will not follow.”
Take a photo of IFBB Bikini Pro Courtney King at her very first Mr. Olympia in 2013 and place it next to a photo of King’s championship performance at the 2016 Mr. Olympia. There’s plenty of similarities: the long gorgeous waves of brown hair, the irrepressible joie de vivre in her smile, the legs that seem to go on forever. There’s differences, too. In 2016, she has caps on her shoulders, her midsection is tighter and more defined, her lower body better conditioned. When King looks at the picture, though, she doesn’t see a physical transformation so much as a mental one.
“I went to the Olympia my first year and I was 19 years old. I had only turned pro six months before my first pro show; I was a baby in the industry. There was a lot of finally figuring out my body and knowing what works and what doesn’t,” she says. “I train a lot differently now. I went through a lot of hardship in 2014, so I can relate to a lot of the fears that men and women have—not feeling they are good enough, binge eating, metabolic damage, body dysmorphia. But it led me to coming back stronger in 2015 and 2016. So there is a good difference, mentally and physically, in those pictures.”
Now just 23, some would still consider King a “baby in the industry.” But just because a person is young doesn’t mean they haven’t traveled far. King has ascended to the pinnacle of the sport and has learned some important lesson on her journey to the top.
This stunning 43-year-old Masters Bikini champion is ready to take on all comers.
Interview by Mike Carlson
Lorie Forman gets questions about her age all the time. The ever-humble and classy IFBB Bikini Pro swears she doesn’t mind, but instead of focusing on the number 43, we offer these numbers: 16, 1, and 3.
In 2014, after taking 10 years off from physique sports to raise her daughter, Forman returned to the stage in the NPC Bikini division. A decade earlier she had been a promising amateur Figure competitor and, true to form, she won a few regional Bikini shows and qualified for the 2014 Nationals. At Nationals in Miami she placed 16th and received one of the very last call-outs.
“It was tough for me, mentally,” Forman admits. “I said to myself, ‘I have two choices. One, give up. Or two, persevere.’ I let it light my fire, and I decided to strive for that pro card. I took that time and trained really hard from November 2014 to May 2015.”
Just six months later she was back onstage at the 2015 Team Universe in Teaneck, New Jersey. In what is the single best comeback story so far in the history of Bikini, Forman scored three pro cards by sweeping the 40+, 35+, and Open divisions.
“I look back at the Miami Nationals and I realized that I needed to step it up another notch,” she says. “When you think you give it your all, there is still room for more. I didn’t leave the gym. I knew what the judges were looking for, and I pushed hard and I did not give up. I wanted it to so bad. Everything I had in me knew I was going to do it.”
Mike Carlson: Where do you train?
Lori Forman: I have a home gym. I’ve
Expert advice to your questions about training, nutrition, recovery, and living the fitness lifestyle.
By Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
Brandon: I’ve read anti-inflammatories inhibit recovery from exercise. Does this apply to all anti-inflammatories or only certain kinds? I’m concerned I might be limiting my muscle gains, since I take them a lot to manage the pain from old injuries.
Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes: Great question! Some years back, there were rodent studies that demonstrated a significant reduction in hypertrophy when they were given NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) versus a placebo. For the rodents, the hypertrophy gains were diminished by about 50 percent.
However, the same results never panned out in humans. One study that seemed to “prove” that NSAIDS inhibited muscle growth as never replicated again, which generally means the study results are bunk. Other studies later showed an increase in muscle hypertrophy, but these studies also used untrained or elderly subjects, so that has to be considered as well.
Overall, the current body of evidence is murky and I can’t say that it isn’t possible that taking NSAIDS could inhibit muscle growth. At the same time, though, if you consider the anecdotal evidence, there hundreds of thousands, likely millions even, of recreational lifters who use NSAIDS, and they have all built muscle mass. I can personally attest to knowing many professional physique athletes who use NSAIDS, and I cannot say it has hurt their muscular development in the slightest.
So at this point in time, I feel comfortable saying that they are safe to take and won’t hurt your gains.
Blake: What supplements do you recommend? I’ve been training for six years, and I’ve made gains in muscle mass and definition, but I’ve started to question if all the supplements I’ve gotten have really done anything significant. I went on a “stag vacation” for a
When it comes to training, nutrition, and now supplements, Kris Gethin is always the first one through the door.
By Mike Carlson
PQ: “The one thing I have always loved about fitness is that you are always learning. I always say, ‘Knowledge without mileage is bullshit.’ Unless you try it yourself, you never know.”
PQ: “You should always have some type of goal that leads to the next chance to better yourself. Everyone wants to reward and overindulge, and next thing you know they need another transformation.”
Late on a recent evening, Kris Gethin returned to his house in Boise, Idaho, from 12 straight hours of travel. His day consisted of hotels, shuttles, cars, planes, and airports. When Gethin finally arrived home close to midnight, he did something very few people in the fitness industry would do.
“I sat outside for an hour even though it was dark out,” he says. “I just sat in my garden underneath the stars to get fresh air into my system.”
No social media, no late-night workout, no well-deserved beer, no Netflix and chill. Fresh air and nature has become a health priority for Gethin. Last year, Gethin—who has created and quarterbacked dozens of physical transformations for tens of thousands of fitness enthusiasts—underwent a life-changing transformation of his own. Suffering under the dark cloud of depression and insomnia, he spent six weeks with Dr. Rick Sponaugle in Florida, who helped guide him through a complete lifestyle reboot.
“I am in a really good place now. I’ve been living a much healthier lifestyle. I don’t generally stay in air-conditioned units, I eat organically, I have my weekly colonic, and I detox a lot,” he says. “My body responds better. It is easier to lose body fat, maintain muscle, and build muscle. A couple years ago I had a lot of niggling