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Podcasting Their Way to the Arnold Classic

Podcasts have become an important medium for interviews, news and entertainment. In many ways they're beginning to replace traditional websites for information. People's lives seemingly are busier and busier, and clearly attention spans are shortening. I enjoy listening to podcasts while walking my dog Jack, every time I get into the Element to drive somewhere, and often in the kitchen during food prep. Bluetooth technology has made my iPhone the centerpiece of my audio and video feeds.

Bodybuilding podcasts abound; seemingly there are new productions every week or two. Some of the finest are under the Project Bodybuilding umbrella. A couple of weeks ago they began a new series titled Road to the Arnold. Each episode so far focuses on an individual competitive bodybuilder slated to be on the Arnold Classic stage, with the athlete a major part of the conversation. I find these rollicking interviews to be fun and entertaining, with plenty of personality and opinion being presented.

Jose Raymond, one of the top 212 professional bodybuilders, holds nothing back while talking with hosts Matthew Samansky and Lorenzo Marincec. He goes into detail about his prep plans, everything he puts into his body, how his workouts and entire lifestyle tailor themselves to being a professional bodybuilder. Road to the Arnold is so much more than an interview with someone headed for the competitive stage in Columbus. Samansky and Marincec take plenty of time, create a relaxed atmosphere, and bring the human side of Raymond out strongly. Given the opportunity, this veteran pro delivers straight talk, and he's fun to boot.

Robert Lorimer, the President of Arnold Classic Productions, is featured in the second podcast in the series. Inisghts spill forth from Mr. Lorimer.

What a great idea, putting together a series of podcasts as we head into the final couple of months before the important Arnold Classic. I'm looking forward to new chapters between now and the Arnold Sports Festival weekend of March 2-5. See you there!

#projectbodybuilding, #joseraymond, @joseraymond, #roadtothearnold


Excitement Building for upcoming Arnold Classic!

Don’t take your mind off the upcoming Arnold Classic just because winter is closing in on many of us. Once the holidays have passed, anticipation for the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival will begin to seriously ramp up. Before you know it, the first weekend of March will be here (March 2-5 are the dates to firmly burn into your mind).

I’ve a friend (Chad Kurian), who’s qualified in the Strongman competition for the second time. Think he’s spending even one day training without aiming his goals towards the Arnold? Nope; he’s focused on the prize. For him, this is his Super Bowl, his World Series. Phil Heath, preparing to defend his Mr. Olympia crown

Hundreds of strength and physique athletes, more than 700, from 80 countries, will be competing over the Arnold Classic weekend. The massive weights being lifted by strongmen and women mean both stages had to be structurally reinforced! Professional bodybuilding (Arnold Classic) and strongman (Arnold Strongman) events will be taking place in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where the Arnold Expo has it’s home. Also on the stages will be the Arnold Classic 212, Women’s Physique International, Amateur Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini.

In no way do I exaggerate when I tell you every big, strong, muscular athlete in the world will be in Columbus this weekend. If they’re not competing, they’re assisting at events, working company booths at the Expo, and singing autographs and posting for photos. Attendees can’t take five steps without seeing or bumping into a professional strength or physique athlete.

Professional bodybuilding is riding quite a wave. This year’s Mr. Olympia saw renewed interest from a larger audience, and I see this big audience moving right to the Arnold Classic. The Olympia generated huge attention, due to Phil Heath defending his crown with a vengeance, Kevin Levrone returning to the stage after more than a decade in retirement, a young and upcoming Dallas McCarver displaying his potential, and a deep, quality field of experienced bodybuilders like Shawn Rhoden, Dexter Jackson, Big Ramy, William Bonac, Roelly Winklaar and Cedric McMillan putting on a mass show that’s never been seen before. The series of pro bodybuilding contests around the world taking place in the weeks after the fall Olympia were highly competitive and exciting. Never before have there been so many good pro events. Victor Martinez, winner of the Baltimore Pro in 2016

I anticipate a deep and other-worldly line-up for the Arnold Classic this March. Speaking as someone who’s attended most of them over the course of the history of the show, my prediction is the biggest and best field ever will be onstage. Topping that, experience tells me past winners of both the Olympia and Arnold Classic, whether retired or still in the game, will be at the Arnold Expo if they’re not onstage. Everyone from the world of bodybuilding will be present!

I’ll be covering the bodybuilding, strongman, and Expo. Watch for hourly and daily updates, on this site, my Stuff I Like Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

Arnold Sports Festival Columbus Ohio, #arnoldclassic#arnoldsportsfestival


Progenex for the Holidays

Single-serving packets of every flavor of Recovery, More Muscle, Build, Force and Cocoon are available, all the time, on the Progenex table in the big front room of CrossFit Green Bay. I use the honor system - drop your $$ into the cash box. Take care of your fitness and your body before, during and after workouts.

All three delicious flavors of Bars are on the table, too. Whey protein is in these bars, they're low fat, delicious and inexpensive.

Remember, you can order a bag of any Progenex product and Anne or I will deliver it to CFGB. Text or Facebook Message or email ( Same honor system - just put $$ or check into box. I'll let you know when it's delivered. Having fun at last year's Ice Bowl

A bag of Progenex makes a wonderful Christmas gift for the CrossFitter in your life!



Food, Weight-Training, Life... Eat Less, Drink Less - Nobody Wants the Truth

I no longer think of myself as a Paleo person. It's been a couple of years since I've considered myself part of that community (there is a group who identifies themselves as "Paleo people"). The definitions tire me. I eat real food, I use real supplements and vitamins and minerals and proteins and all kinds of other, logical, things. Learning about strict Paleo, listening to and reading Rob Wolff and others, was a nice assist a few years ago. I think of it as a tune-up.

Sometimes I eat organic food; much of the meat I consume is organic, grass-fed, blah blah blah. I know the people who raise the animals, I trust them. Certainly I want to put the healthiest food possible into my body.

Each day I consume lots of vegetables; some organic, much of it not. I eat potatoes and rice, and a little grain-free sprouted bread, and almond and peanut butter, and rice cakes. I work hard to allow no sugar into my body. Oh, and I drink wine. Do I need a tag? Some would consider me lapsed Paleo, others an Atkins devotee. Who cares? 

It's becoming clear to me that most people consume too much food. Whether it's gluten-free, organic, grass-fed, or plain-old magical and came from unicorns, the simple truth is that too many calories grows body fat. And nearly everyone has excess body fat!

Simply, I'm learning that if one wants to be leaner and sport some definition, show off those hard-earned muscles, you must eat less food! And drink less alcohol. This is two or three meals, not one feast!

Who wants to hear this? Yeah, nobody. Most of us who have been in the weight-training or bodybuildiing world (where I've lived for 45+ years) take a certain weird pride in how much we can eat at times. And yes, lots of protein is needed to grow lots of muscle. No kidding. But learn what your body truly needs to rebuild and grow. Only a few pounds of lean tissue on anyone will be evident as muscle; it will show up nicely. Nobody is going to add double-digits of muscle in any short period (and most won't even gain it over a span of years, frankly). Losing pounds of bodyfat, on the other hand, will cause you to look far more muscular and jacked and ripped (pick your favorite adjective) in short order.

It's all about the diet. Drill down, and you'll learn it's really about the macros. Timing doesn't matter near as much as the totals. Macro-nutrient ratios win. Every time. And get a digital food scale. Without this tool, you're just guessing and don't really know what the hell you are putting into your body. Weigh and measure and you'll be shocked.

I know of an esteemed nutrition coach who is using Captain Crunch and broccoli as his sole carb sources in a short-term body-fat loss program. It's working well. I know an extremely fit and truly ripped female athlete who commonly eats rice cakes and other carb sources at night, making certain she's hitting her numbers. She's muscular with 10%  bodyfat. Generally speaking, learning what macros work for you at any one time is the game-changer.

For a long time I avoided the science, the truth, about drinking wine and how the metablizing of alcohol changes body-fat storage preferences in the human body. I wanted that nightly glass of wine, and for years I enjoyed it. Every night. But now that I'm finding the will-power to avoid wine some nights (I'm getting better at this), I clearly see and feel the difference in my body. A simple thing that goes a long way towards being leaner. Even on the road, a cooler and food scale means you win!

Pay attention to what you pile on your plate, or how many times your refill the plate or bowl. Continue to learn about nutrition. Do some research and learning about macro-nutrient ratios, experiment with yourself, and effectively make lasting change!





Now that the Mr. Olympia is Over...

What an exciting and interesting Mr. Olympia contest this year. Reigning champ Phil Heath came in with unsurpassed size and conditioning, a look he hasn't had for a few years. He was awarded a well-deserved, yet close, win. Several other bodybuilders are breathing down his neck, veterans (Dexter Jackson), improving-all-the-time (Big Ramy, Shawn Roden), and young up-and-coming (William Bonac, Dallas McCarver). The return of Kevin Levrone at age 52, after more than a dozen retirement years, sparked much debate and attention. The absence of Kai Greene creates debate, too, of course. I loved it.

But, now that the Olympia is done, set your sights on Columbus, Ohio and the Arnold Classic! Coming up March 2-5, 2017, bodybuilding fans will have no trouble spotting and talking with (and taking selfies) the biggest names in the sport. Whether they are competing in the Arnold Classic or not, the line-up of athletes working booths and sigging autographs and posing for photos encompasses everyone you've ever heard of, plus other amazing bodybuilders you won't even be familiar with.

Here are a few of the top IFBB pros I ran across at the last two Arnold Classic Expo events. In all cases they are relaxed, happy to chat with fans and pose for photos. You'll never have a better opportunity to see and meet the top bodybuilders in the world. Everyone who competes in the Olympia shows up at the Arnold, plus everyone else (Kai Greene won the Arnold Classic last March).

Journey to Columbus in March for the Arnold Sports Festival. You'll wonder why you didn't come before, you'll have a great time, and you'll have the chance to meet everyone who is anyone in the world of bodybuilding.

@arnoldsports, #arnoldclassic, @Flex_Wheeler, @PhilHeath, @mrojaycutler

Did anyone ever have a better physique than Flex Wheeler?Chris Cormier, still in great shape.