My invasion of bodybuilding took place in May 1983. In the place where I lived, it was pretty tense in the sense of massacre, and therefore I seriously engaged in contact karate. To become stronger, I read bodybuilding magazines, and once it occurred to me to try this sport. Of course, I didn’t think of any titles at that time. I just wanted to become more massive, to put pressure on my street opponents also mentally - "mass".
I was very lucky: there were not a single bodybuilder among friends. There was no one nearby who would begin to fool me with their home-grown advice. And I took up bodybuilding correctly - from the very beginning. I went to the bookstore, bought textbooks and sat down for them. From there I learned the most important thing - the basics. And, most importantly, I recognized them first hand, and not in a distorted form. By the way, since then I have professed this principle of life: if you want to achieve something, use the best. I am buying up all the methodological literature written by Joe, my correspondence teacher, and those who have managed to achieve the highest successes in bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Hannay, Bob Peris and others. Such a policy does not suit my wife very much. She says I cluttered the whole apartment. I never throw away the read books, and therefore I have nowhere to put them. Books lie on my windowsill, gather dust under the bed, and even are folded up a slide on the toilet tank ...
In short, I read everything that I could buy for my money. It educated me great. I knew dozens of different techniques by heart, and when, after a year and a half of training, I began to FEEL the exercises, I just felt for those complexes that were especially effective. By the way, from the very first day for some reason I didn’t like the methods where it was a question of a large number of repetitions with medium and low weights. It seemed to me some kind of nonsense, but the technique of Mike Mentzer, where he professes the principle of maximum loads, I immediately liked.
During the initial one and a half months, I trained without any effort on myself, giving myself sufficient rest between sets. I did not pursue any special results. It was easy for me to understand that I am a beginner and that I just need to "drive" into this new business for me. I emphasize that I was in no hurry. I read that the main thing for a bodybuilder is to master the correct form of exercise. Therefore, he did the exercises slowly, so to speak, “with feeling”.
Actually, I planned to do this for about 2-2.5 months, since this is exactly the period that was indicated in Wider’s textbook. However, after a month and a half, I arrogantly decided what was enough with me, and immediately proceeded to the split system. After all, I considered myself a pretty cool guy.
The split system is, as you know, the division of body muscles into two groups. You “swing” one group at the first training, and another at the next. In this situation, the muscles have not been recovering for a day, as in 3-time training, but 2 days. While you are operating as a beginner with small weights, a day of rest is enough, but when a turn of big weights comes in a couple of months, you need to rest more.
So, I trained on the split system of the Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Fridays. After a year and a half, I felt that I went through and this business should be finished. Apparently, I hurried with a split. There were typical signs of overwork: my left eye even began to twitch.
It became clear that you need to go back to 3 one-time training. But this does not mean that I left the split. No, I still trained both halves of the muscles separately. But not after each other, as is customary in the traditional split scheme, but after a day. When the training went one after another. the body as a whole did not have time to recover, but the days between workouts were quite enough. As a result, I trained each muscle and muscle group about 3 times in a 14-day cycle.
You see, I abandoned the usual division of training into weeks. The fact is that in those days one curious little book fell into my hands, which said that there is no 7-day cycle in the human body. Physiological processes proceed rhythmically with a period of 3, 12, 14, days, however, none of them has a 7-day period. This made me think that the training schedule should not be guided by the days of the week. for example, training on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. I came up with my system, which, as I felt, was most suited to the individual schedule for the recovery of my muscles.
As part of the split program, I did 3 exercises for large muscle groups and 2 exercises for small muscles. The only exception was quadriceps. I trained them with just two exercises: squats with a barbell and in the simulator, where you push your legs with a platform with a load at an angle of 45 degrees. I felt that unnecessary exercise would be overkill: after all, I squatted with a very heavy barbell.
Between sets I rested as much as I needed. I read that this is how you should relax in between the basic - to the "mass" - exercises. By the way, I never talked with anyone, resting. I remained fully focused. I transferred this rule to bodybuilding from karate.
Unlike other novice bodybuilders, I did not make the main emphasis on training . I already knew that muscle increases during recovery hours, and not training, and therefore sought to train as soon as possible and leave the room. At the very beginning of the training, I already imagined how I would be at home and begin to GROW.
The diary helped me a lot to systematize my hobby. When you shift your thoughts to paper, you are better aware of the state of things. It is becoming easier to live. Underfoot, as if there is a support for order and organization.
In my diary I promised myself not to rush things. During the year I did not use any of Wider's principles, rightly believing that it was too early for me to master such a high-tech. Only by the end of 12 months I included the principle of forced repetitions in my practice. At the end of the last set of one basic exercise, I did one or two repetitions with the help of a partner.
When I started my split, my weight was about 83 kg, and two years later, on the eve of the first competition in my life, I weighed 100 kg! Estimate yourself, is it worth it for you to engage in my system.
By the way, that’s how I continued to train until 1986, when I won the national championship of Great Britain and got a pass to the world of professionals.
The first four years of training, I worked in shifts at the factory. There was no question of devoting himself entirely to sports. It was necessary to earn money, and considerable. A year later, my wife and I had a baby. It was necessary to provide for the family, and in addition, decent "grandmothers" went to food and all sorts of special additives. But with the growth of experience and qualifications, my salary increased, so in the end I managed to realize my dream: switch to 5 meals a day.
Of the supplements, I could only afford a multivitamin complex with minerals and cheap milk protein. I ate vitamins at breakfast: they are better absorbed with food, and I drank a protein drink around the middle of the day right at the workplace.
So by 1985, I was able to raise the value of my diet to 4, 000 kilocalories, while in 1983 it was 3, 200 kilocalories.
In my diet, 30% were proteins, 55% were carbohydrates, 15% were fats.
If we discuss the key moments of the bodybuilder's nutrition, then the main place in it, of course, should be occupied by proteins. You should consume at least 1.25 grams of protein per 1 kg of your weight per day. With carbohydrates, too, everything is clear - this is energy energy for muscles. As for fat, you can’t go to extremes and reduce its intake below 15-20 grams, otherwise you will have problems with skin and hair. Acne will appear on the skin and the hair will become dry and brittle. In addition, fats are involved in nervous activity. If there are few of them, nervousness sets in and sleep worsens.
If you think that high calorie nutrition is the key to muscle "mass", then you are mistaken. The beginner's muscles are enough 3, 500 calories per day. A beginner is not able to develop a true intensity of training, and his extra calories easily turn into subcutaneous fat. Even when you feel that you are excessively tired and you do not have enough strength, do not rush to increase the total calorie intake. Try to raise the amount of carbohydrates in your diet first. And only if this does not help, raise the level of proteins and fats.
I believe in one life principle that the factory taught me: the key to reliability is simplicity . Train easier, make basic movements and success will definitely come to you. Do not litter your head with newfangled systems. Remember, most of these systems are designed for dusty bodybuilders and do not yet correspond to the adaptive capabilities of your body. Sooner or later, a bodybuilder with experience comprehends something like impotence, and then comes the turn of such potent remedies. Well, your muscles are young and vigorous. All you need to do is not to repeat the mistake common to a beginner. A beginner is always in a hurry. Not having time to really figure out anything, he is uselessly jumping from one complex to another, changing methods and techniques. I urge you: get out! Listen to yourself and your muscles! The main thing for you is to take a really right start, as it was with me. Once it worked out, it should work out for you too!