Arnold Schwarzenegger

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One of my biggest influences in life has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. To most people he is an actor and former Governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most successful people of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Austria in 1947, Arnold grew up with his family believing he was destined for greatness. He was influenced by Steve Reeves and Reg Park, who were the most famous Bodybuilders of their era, both of who went on to star as Hercules. Arnold began bodybuilding in the 1960’s and at aged 18 he won the 1965 Junior Mr Europe after going AWOL from the Austrian Army. During this time, he was serving his National Service and could not get the time off to compete in the show, however Arnold being Arnold he decided he was going to compete anyway.
In 1968 Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to California and began training at the original Golds Gym. At that time Golds was a small gym by the beach. Now it is one of the biggest franchises in the world. During this time Arnold was weight training for five hours a day, six days a week, going to University, working on construction sites and having acting lessons. Arnold wanted to follow in the footsteps of his Idol Reg Park who like Arnold used his success in bodybuilding to become an actor.
Below you will find Arnold Schwarzenegger’s competitive history:
1965 Junior Mr Europe, Germany 1st
1966 Best Built Man in Europe, Germany 1st
1966 Mr Europe, Germany 1st
1966 International Powerlifting Competition, Germany 1st
1966 NABBA Mr Universe, Amateur, London 2nd Winner Chet Yorton
1967 NABBA Mr Universe, Amateur, London 1st
1968 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st
1968 German Powerlifting Championship, Germany 1st
1968 IFBB Mr International, Mexico 1st
1968 IFBB Mr Universe, Florida 2nd Winner Frank Zane
1969 IFBB Mr Universe, Amateur, New York 1st
1969 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st
1969 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 2nd Winner Sergio Oliva
1970 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st defeated his idol Reg Park
1970 AAU Mr World, Columbus Ohio 1st first win over Sergio Oliva
1970 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1971 IFBB Mr Olympia, Paris 1st
1972 IFBB Mr Olympia, Essen Germany 1st
1973 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1974 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1975 IFBB Mr Olympia, Pretoria South Africa 1st Pumping Iron was filmed
1980 IFBB Mr Olympia, Sydney Australia 1st

Arnold Schwarzenegger retired from competitive bodybuilding for the first time in 1975 after his sixth Mr Olympia win and filming of Pumping Iron was completed. By this time, he had won all the competitions in the IFBB at the time and had won them more times then anybody else. He had already made some movies such as Hercules in New York, which was made in 1970. The film was a disaster; however, Arnold would persist and in 1982 came his first hit movie, Conan the Barbarian.
His next big hit was in 1984 where he starred in the role, he is most famous for, Terminator. What I find the most interesting about this is that according to Arnold his agent wanted him to audition for Kyle Rhys. The original concept for the Terminator was an infiltration unit who would blend in to the crowd, make the hit then disappear back into the crowd. This was something a six foot two- inch tall man weighing eighteen stone/ 245 pounds would not be able to do. The more of the script he read, the more Arnold felt like the Terminator would be a better role for him. Director James Cameron has said in interviews that the story stayed the same, it was just the visual presence of the Terminator changed. As we all know, Terminator was a huge success, in 1992 Terminator 2 Judgement Day was released and, in this film, Arnold was still the Terminator, his role in the film changed from the villain to the protector. Arnold would go on to make many more movies, some flopped, however most were successful and made him the highest paid actor in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
In 2003 Arnold ran for Governor of California. Just like with his bodybuilding career he felt that he had done everything there was to do in the movies and he wanted a new challenge. Arnold was successful and won two terms as Governor of California.

Throughout his bodybuilding and acting careers Arnold Schwarzenegger new that people were exploiting him for their own personal gain, however he also used them to help him achieve all his goals in life. I like to think of him as the Mohamed Ali of bodybuilding. He new how good he was, he new that there were others who were genetically better then him, however it was his incredible drive for success that made him the success he was. Like Mohamed Ali he was a natural born salesman, using his charisma to not just promote his sport but his own brand, e.g. himself.

What I admire most about Arnold Schwarzenegger is not his bodybuilding or acting careers, it is his ability to see the bigger picture and to know when it is time to move on. His drive and determination are qualities I try my best to emulate. Unlike Arnold I am a natural introvert, however this does not stop me from doing everything I can to achieve my own goals in life. Always remember that only one person can be the best at something, this however should not stop you from doing your best.

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Olympic Weightlifting Week One

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I have just completed week one of my new Olympic Weightlifting programme. Week one is where I test my 3 Rep Max for both Olympic lifts as well as for all Squat variations, Standing Military Press and Deadlifts. From that Val worked out the weights for me to use in the programme and when I get to week ten I will re-test my 3 Rep Max. By that time there should be an improvement. I currently have a 3 Rep Max of 75kg on the Clean and Jerk. If I can increase that to 80kg I will be happy on track to my September 31st target of 85kg for 2 Reps. That might not seem like a big increase in weight for a six- month period, however the Olympic lifts are very technical and large increases in weights lifted takes time. Next week the programme begins properly, with all the assistance exercises I will be using to help with the two main lifts. Above you will see a picture of how I currently look. It is March 8th, I currently weigh 87kg with a 32- inch waist. I am also six feet tall. I will post a blog with a picture of how I look in nine weeks- time. This will be May 10th and will also be the end of week ten. It will include an updated picture and stats. I look forward to updating you all with my progress and to see how good I can get at Olympic Weightlifting this year.

2019 Update

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So far it looks like I am on track to meet my 2019 strength goals. I now have a 1 rep max on the Deadlift of 140kg, (no straps). My goal by 31/09/19 is a 2-rep max Deadlift of 150kg. One of my goals has changed though. Instead of becoming strong enough to enter a Powerlifting competition, it is now to get good enough at Olympic Weightlifting to enter an Olympic Weightlifting competition in 2020. Some of you may be asking what is the difference? In Power Lifting you have three lifts. Squats, Bench Press and Deadlifts. You have three attempts to lift your 1 rep max in each lift. Your total is the maximum lifted for all three added together. In Olympic Weightlifting you have the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Once again you have three attempts to lift your maximum weight for both lifts and the total for both is added together.
In order to achieve my new goal, I will be beginning a ten- week Olympic Weightlifting programme tomorrow. One of the Personal Trainers at the gym I train at is a qualified Olympic Weightlifting coach and she has designed a programme for me. Some of you reading this might wonder why I would pay for a fitness programme when I am a qualified Fitness Instructor with nearly fourteen years’ experience? The simple answer is that no matter how good you are or think you are, there is always more to learn. Also, Olympic Weightlifting is a specialised sport, which requires specialist qualifications, that I do not have. As a Fitness Professional I see it as my responsibility to learn as much as I can about all aspects of health and fitness. This not only helps me to keep on progressing but also allows me to help all the members I work with. Some areas I have been taught through working with members with specific conditions, such as Stroke or MS. No qualification can truly prepare you for the unique requirements each member has. You could have two different members recovering from a Stroke with completely different needs, and only by working with them will you learn how to help them.

Once I feel confident enough with my Olympic Weightlifting ability, especially the Snatch I will begin looking for competitions to enter in 2020. Then I will work a lot closer with Val and work out realistic weights to attempt to lift. Just like when I was Sprinting with target race times, in any Olympic Weightlifting competition I enter my aim will be to achieve certain weights and if I win my weight class that will be a bonus.

Prohormones

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Prohormones and Testosterone boosters have risen in popularity over the last ten years as an alternative to Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, (AAS). They claim to be a safe, legal alternative to AAS with similar effects, minus the negative side effects. Before I look at the evidence, I would like to point out that if all the claims about Prohormones and Testosterone boosters were in fact true, they would be governed by the same laws as AAS. That is that the non-medical use of them would place them as a Class 3 drug instead of being readily available at Supplement stores.
The evidence:
It is claimed by the manufacturers that Prohormones have similar effects on strength and size of AAS, without the negative side effects. Effects of prohormone supplementation in humans: a review, found that doses < 300 mg/d, oral supplementation for as long as 12-weeks with androstenedione or androstenediol has no effect on body composition or physical performance and decreases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This means that a daily dose of 300 mg reduced the levels of HDL/ good cholesterol. The same study also found oral supplementation with norandrostenedione and norandrostenediol for up to eight weeks has no effect on body composition or physical performance.
Manufacturers often claim that Prohormone use improves serum testosterone levels, increases muscular strength and muscle mass, helps to reduce body fat levels, enhances mood and improves sexual performance. In 2003 the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology found that Prohormones can abnormally elevate oestrogen related hormones as well as alterations in hormonal markers which are thought to increase a person’s risk for developing prostate or pancreatic cancers.
It would seem that based on the two studies above, that far from benefiting an individual’s training in a similar way to AAS, Prohormones have little to no positive effect at all.

Useful Articles:
Effects of prohormone supplementation in humans: a review
Oral andro-related prohormone supplementation: do the potential risks outweigh the benefits?
Testosterone prohormone supplememnts
Endocrine and lipid response to chronic androstenediol-herbal supplementation in 30 to 58 year old men
The Andro Project: physiological and hormonal influences of androstenedione supplementation in men 35 to 65 years old participating in a high-intensity resistance training program
Youtube.com/theanabolicdoc

Make the Most of your Life

On Tuesday 12/02/19 I was reminded how precious life is. I was training at Battleground Fitness when a fellow member collapsed and later died of a Heart Attack in front of me. Grizzly had just finished using the Ski-erg and was laughing and joking with his Wife and Daughter while I was using one of the Assault bikes. As soon as Grizzly collapsed the three of us immediately came to his aid and the owner of Battleground Fitness, Pierre Spammer was on the phone to the Ambulance. With in three minutes the Ambulance arrived and immediately started working on him. Despite their best efforts the Paramedics were not able to save Grizzly’s life. I have always had respect for all people who work in the Emergency Services, on Tuesday this was not only reinforced, but was improved greatly. The Paramedics were completely professional and did all they could.

Pierre was exceptional with how he dealt with the situation. He took control while the Ambulance was on its way, he did everything he could to keep people calm and made sure everybody was ok. Out of respect for Grizzly, Pierre made the decision to close the gym for the rest of the day. The gym re-opened on Wednesday 13/02/19. I was a little hesitant to go, however once I finished work, I went to the Yoga class that Battleground run on a Wednesday night. I also went to Battleground Fitness to train this morning.

To Grizzly, I may not have known you very well, however I can tell from all the tributes I have seen that you were a great man, who will be greatly missed.
I am proud to continue to be a member of Battleground Fitness. I have been training there for two years and continue to be impressed with the work Pierre and the entire team have done to make the gym feel like a real community.
People say you only live once. This is false. You live everyday if you chose to make the most of your life.

Keep going

We are nearly at the end of January, not long now till the new year’s resolutionists begin to give up on their new keep fit plan. Some of these people stop because they have lost the small amount of weight they gained over Christmas. Some give up because they want instant results and don’t want to put the work in. Most of these people will be back at it again in January 2020. If these people stuck to their new year’s resolution it will become easier to maintain as the resolution becomes part of their daily routine. Whatever the reason is for starting an exercise plan keep at it and you will find that becomes something you look forward to.

2019 Fitness Goals

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1. 150kg Deadlift, 2 rep max
2. 120kg Squat, 2 rep max
3. 95kg Bench Press, 2 rep max
4. 85kg Clean and Jerk, 2 rep max
5. 60kg Snatch, 2 rep max
6. 90kg lean body weight
7. Complete 30 minutes on the Assault Bike without stopping
8. Become strong enough to entre a Power Lifting meet in 2020

My current 2 rep max’s for each exercise are:
1. 130kg Deadlift
2. 110kg Squat
3. 87.5kg Bench Press
4. 75kg Clean and Jerk
5. 50kg Snatch

How am I going to achieve this by September 2019?
Increase 2 rep max by up to 5kg each month. I do not have 3 weddings and 2 Stag weekends to go to this year, which means I can focus more on strength training then on conditioning. The gym scales say I currently weigh 87kg. This means with correct training and nutrition I should be able to gain the 3kg needed to reach 90kg of lean body weight. 2 rep max test’s will be at the end of each month. Currently I can complete 10 minutes continuous effort on an Assault Bike. This might not sound like much however my cardiovascular training is based around interval training. To achieve 30 minutes continuous effort I will increase duration by 1 minute a week.