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  • Beyond Failure Training

    I thought I would post this up, if anyone is interested in reading what the beyond failure training program is like, from the late Trevor Smith. You can hardly find any article on it anymore on the net, so I just thought I would post a link to my website where you can download it in a ms word format.

    **bad link removed**

    Have fun. :showoff:
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  • #2
    I did BFT some years back and talk about grueling workouts, man I think I am still overtrained from those episodes...
    "That damn log book" Highest quality protein at the lowest price...


    • #3
      Originally posted by In-Human
      I did BFT some years back and talk about grueling workouts, man I think I am still overtrained from those episodes...
      Most people who tried his stuff say that. Even Matt Duval
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      • #4
        Official Web Designer of :peace:

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        • #5
          That guy is dead? I didn't hear about that.

          Log Book PIMP! It ain't a crime if it likes it!


          • #6
            Originally posted by rugbythug
            That guy is dead? I didn't hear about that.
            He passed away a few months ago, very good guy he was really knew his stuff about training and gear...
            "That damn log book"

   Highest quality protein at the lowest price...


            • #7
              Originally posted by In-Human
              He passed away a few months ago, very good guy he was really knew his stuff about training and gear...
              And he was one huge guy. :rocker:
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              • #8
                Beyond Failure Training=Intense
                It seems every day someone comes along with a new and improved system of weight training scientifically designed to stimulate the muscle fibers unlike any other program ever could. I am so amazed that people are that stupid as to buy into this bull****. The magazines don?t help matters either. One month you read a fake training article on how your bodybuilding hero built his biceps?Hopefully you realize all these articles are Ghost-Written?the next month you get another routine from another Pro that is even better. Those of you who save your magazines need only go back and glance at the last few years of your collection to realize that it is all the same **** with minor changes. Let?s face it, a truly informative magazine that had unique articles each month would be about 25 pages max, so the editors feel compelled to go for quantity instead of quality.
                To me, when it comes to reading an article that is talking about a new system of training or nutrition or steroid use, a general rule of thumb to follow is that if the article is layered with a lot of big, scientific terminology, then crumple it up and save it for the next time you run out of toilet paper. A good writer or teacher has the ability to speak to all facets of society at the same time and a really good writer has the ability to use very simple terms and examples to explain highly technical concepts and theories. A bull**** artist on the other hand likes to use these big words in an effort to confuse and baffle as many people as possible because people tend to give credibility to people who use big words.
                Let?s give a quick example: Upon grasping the cylindrical carbohydrate, fat and protein source, the organism used it?s copious muscles of mastication along with sufficient temporal mandibular locomotion to activate the digestive enzymes and begin the process of nutrient absorption which was to take place in the mucus lined acid pouch within the bowels of the creature.
                That?s a bull****ers way of saying the following: The guy picked up a cheeseburger and took a big bite, chewed it up and swallowed it. Keeping this in mind, I would like to explain a little bit about the way I train and how it might benefit you in your gym efforts. I call it beyond failure training, because the general rule of thumb is that when the body fails, the set just begins, and it is this philosophy that will cut through all the bull**** of slow twitch, fast twitch, rep speed, training for size, training for strength bull**** that people like to write about.
                First and foremost it is imperative to understand that the body is capable of a lot more than we tend to give it credit for. Somewhere along the line in the past few years people have been screaming OVERTRAINING to the point of making me want to vomit. Mike Mentzer?s original heavy duty theories were rather unique and quite sound, but since the release of Heavy Duty 2, the theories have been in outer ****ing space. Training a bodypart once every 14 days!!? Give me a break. The body is capable of handling huge amounts of stress and it is true that it needs adequate time to recover, but 14 days is a bit extreme. Past failure training is very simple and very self-explanatory and few people will ever do it because it hurts just too damn much. Sooner or later one of the four demons comes along and claims another victim who attempts to travel down the path of Past Failure training. It is not fun, it is uncomfortable, it causes pre-workout anxiety and fear, AND IT PRODUCES MASSIVE RESULTS. The number one element that must be present in past failure training is 1000% Maximal Effort. No being a *****, no laughing and conversing during or between the sets. It?s **** or walk time! The other thing that is necessary is a training partner and a one that knows how to spot correctly?sometimes I think I should offer a ****ing seminar on how to be a good spotter because every time I ask for one at the gym I invariably get a ****ing moron.
                Past Failure training demands that when you are doing a set, as you begin to go to failure, where you cannot complete a full range of motion on your own and you are at momentary failure, your training partner assists you in completing an addition number of repetitions with the same weight?say 6-8?before you are allowed to stop. At this point you are in total agony and are pumped beyond belief and whimpering like a little girl who lost her dolly, yet it is not over yet! Your partner immediately drops the weight down around 40% and you continue with the set until you cannot get any more reps. Your partner again assists you to get and additional number of reps until you are fried. Then once again your partner drops the weight so you can continue your journey into no-mans land and once you begin to fail he again assists you in getting additional reps. Then and only then is your set complete. You are in tremendous pain, you are nauseous and dizzy and you want to go home. You feel like you cannot go on, and this is only after 60 seconds of work, yet the workout has just begun??..
                Next time we will delve deeper into this level of intensity and training and give examples of how one would train each bodypart using this style of training??.
                O.k. let's get right into it and pick up where we last left off. Remember this is a rather different way of training and even for people that are used to training in an intense manner it will be a shock to the system as there is intensity and then there is I N T E N S I T Y
                Now some of the basic rules of thumb with this style of training are:

                1.You will tend to need an hour or so to recover from the workout so that you can perform daily functions.
                2.You cannot train in this manner for more than 6 weeks if you are doing it properly
                3.You can only train once a day for a maximum of 4 times per week.
                4.You can only spend a maximum of 45 minutes in the gym per session
                5. It is EXTREMELY painful and you will tend to have anxiety before your workouts
                6. You must keep all other physical activities to a bare minimum during your 6-week training cycle to insure maximum recovery and energy available for the workouts

                t is important that you adhere to these basic rules as they will go a long way to insure that you stay on the path and do not monkey wrench all of your hard efforts in the gym. O.K. now that we have the basic principles of Beyond Failure training, let?s take a look at what a typical leg workout might look like Starting on the leg extension machine and after warming up thoroughly, select a weight that will allow you to get 10-12 clean reps on your own before you would typically fail and end the set.
                Begin performing the extensions in a steady manner (1 second up and 1 second down is a good example). Once you start to go to failure, your partner will assist you in completing an additional 8 repetitions past your failure point. At this point it feels like someone is blowtorching your quads. Your partner immediately lowers the weight by around 30-40% and you continue performing repetitions until you once again achieve failure by yourself. Again your partner assists you in completing and additional 6-8 reps and then immediately lowers the stack by an additional 30-40% and you continue performing repetitions until failure at which time you partner once again assists in you completing an additional 8 reps.
                FINALLY, the set it over. You may tend to feel nausea and will definitely have trouble standing, but even more trouble sitting as this is doubly as painful. The first set is always the easy part because you have nothing to compare it to and you will find your anxiety levels building when you are about to start your second set of leg extensions. Repeat the exact same procedure as the first set. At the completion of the second set of Beyond Failure leg extensions you will more than likely be ready to call it a day after a total of 10-15 minutes of gym time, BUT it is not over yet.
                Next choose a pressing movement for the legs such as squats, leg presses or hack squats. Load up the bar with enough weight that will insure you get 8-10 reps. Have your partner VERY close by to insure a safe spot and perform your set. As you get to failure have your partner assist in you getting only a few reps beyond failure?.say 5 or 6 and call it a day. That is it for the quads. Next it is on to hamstrings which I can guarantee you have no desire to work.
                You will only perform 2 sets of leg curls and you will follow the same principles as you did during the leg extensions. However, you have to pay attention to your body and it is quite possible that after one set of leg curls you will be totally fried and have nothing left. This is because the quads are SO pumped and engorged that it is very painful to perform a curling motion with the legs. At this point crawl your ass out of the gym and try not to puke, but if you have to?.let it fly. That?s all she wrote for your leg workout. If you have anything left, you did not train properly. I can guarantee after following these principles your bottle will jump to new levels of growth. Remember if you are going to be in the Venice area and need clarification on these training principles I am occasionally available to put people through my style of training so they can go home with the proper intensity and techniques. Next time we shall take a look at Chest and Calves.
                O.K. Let?s hop right into a Beyond Failure Workout (a.k.a. Demon Training) for the chest and the calves
                Now it is important that you first understand the problems that can occur while training certain muscle groups. In this case we will be talking about the pecs so let?s get right to it. How many times have you noticed that people rarely have both great arms and shoulders AND a superb chest? Conversely, how many times have you noticed someone with a great chest that had great shoulders and arms? There are lots of pros out there that come to mind with this strange phenomenon. Dorian and Lee Haney both had superb upper torsos?back and chest?but left a little to be desired in the arms and even the shoulders department to some extent. Gary Strydom had a great pair of delts and a great set of pecs, but sub-par arms. Guys like Dennis Newman have very poor pecs and over-powering delts. Now genetics play a large part in this to a certain extent, but the thing I have discovered about BEYOND FAILURE TRAINING?Demon Training?is that is cuts through all the genetic predisposition?s because it completely annihilates the muscle group worked and does not allow for any one group to over compensate for the other.
                If you have over powering shoulders, they are going to do the bulk of the work every time you do a pressing movement for chest. Likewise if you have great triceps?they will get most of the work. The problem is when they give out during a set, you can no longer continue to give the stimulation necessary for the pecs to grow. This is where Arthur Jones comes in. One of the things Arthur was a big believer in was pre-exhaustion and it is also used extensively with Beyond Failure Training. We shall then start our workout with a set of Machine fly?s?.personally I find the Flex pec dec machine to be the best, but whatever is available will be fine. Now I do not recommend using dumbbell flys with this, as your rests and elbow and shoulder JOINTS will tend to give out before the muscle is thoroughly trashed.
                Following the same principles as the leg workout, we start with a pre-exhausting set on the pec-dec machine with a partner right there to offer assistance. Now use a weight that allows 10-12 reps and once you hit that point and cannot complete another rest?in other words when you have hit failure?the set is only beginning and it is time to go BEYOND failure. Just like with legs have your partner or spotter assist you to get 8 more reps. Once the screaming has stopped, you will drop the weight by 30-40% and continue with the set?get as many as you can on your own?usually no more than 3-5 reps?then your partner will again assist you to get between 6-8 reps?.then even though you are numb, drop the weight another 30-40% and continue with the set having your partner assist you to go beyond failure once you can no longer get a full rep on your own. Then you are finished. After you are done crying, rest a few minutes and complete another set in the same manner?.Then you move on to a pressing movement..Oh let?s say incline barbell presses. Now I like to use the Smith Machine because it is a lot easier to work with when doing this type of training. We are going to do one hellacious set of incline presses in the same manner as above?when failure is achieved, the set just begins and your spotter will help you go past the pain barrier and into the torture zone. Now your chest should feel like you just had a set of 44-DDD implants put in. In other words, they should be hurting and pumped beyond belief. That is it, you are done with chest and it is time to move on to calves?.another muscle group that people don?t train properly?mostly because they are afraid to feel the pain.
                Now the thing you have to remember about calves is that they are incredibly strong muscles. Think about it, if you weigh 250 pounds say?or even 300lbs, the calf muscles have to be able to support that entire weight by themselves?in fact each individual calf muscle must be able to support that weight and does in fact do so with great ease. Now once you start running or jumping, the force that is exhibited on the calves is many times greater than just your body-weight and still they manage to do their job. If you doubt this, just ask yourselves how many fat, obese people you have seen with awesome calves??My guess would be many. In fact, the biggest and best calves I have ever seen were on a ****ing massively obese guy who was in line in front of me at the grocery store. The reason for that is because the calf muscles on that whale HAD to respond to his massive weight and grow, otherwise he would not be able to walk. He was putting them through a vicious workout each time he stepped towards the refrigerator to get another box of fudge-sticks. Now if you want to have great calves you have to subject them to the same type of torture and doing 3 sets of 10 on the donkey calf machine ain?t gonna cut it. You have to destroy them with beyond failure training. So let?s move on to 2 sets of say seated calf raises. Load the machine up with enough weight were you will fail on say the 10th or 12th rep?.then you will have your partner repeat the same procedure as with legs and chest. Go Beyond Failure and then drop the weight and Go Beyond Failure again?then when you have had enough pain?drop the weight and GO BEYOND FAILURE AGAIN??.I call this DEMON TRAINING, because during the course of each session you will invariably be faced with each of the FOUR DEMONS. It is up to you whether you face them with courage, or use the ***** crutch of "Over-training" or some other excuse to convince yourself not to push so hard and enter into the torture zone with each training session?..If you are one of those types, go type in the address of anyone of the dozens of other bodybuilding sites as 99.9% of them all suck and are for ***** wannabe?s..
                Next time we look at shoulders and triceps??
                International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                • #9
                  O.K?..Now that the chest and calves have been thoroughly trashed we have to realize that the complimentary muscle groups-?delts and tris?have also received a good amount of work. For this reason, it is important to finish them off within 24 hours of chest so that you get optimum recovery time for the muscle groups. The logic is quite simple. If you spread out chest shoulders and delts throughout the week you wind up screwing yourself in terms of recovery time and they quickly become over-trained. Everytime you work chest, you are hitting delts and tris and vice versa, so in a perfect world you would hit everything together on the same day, put it is just not physically possible with Beyond Failure training and if you are one of these idiots that thinks you are tougher than everyone else and can do it?go right ahead and enjoy your have ass shoulder and triceps workout?because if you really hit chest properly, you won?t be able to lift your arms let alone do any specific work for shoulders and triceps.
                  Now on to the training:
                  Following the same principles as above we want to completely trash the deltoids so that when we go to a pressing movement, the triceps don?t give out first and leave us with understimulated shoulders. To accomplish this we will do single arm cable or machine laterals. Again, you will pick a weight that will allow you to fail on your own at rep 8 or 10. At this point your trusty partner assist you through an additional 8 reps by grabbing by your wrist and going through the movement with you. At this point we again drop the weight and continue the same cycle and when your post failure 8 reps are done you do yet another drop and repeat the cycle. Do 2 sets in this fashion. Then move over to front presses on the smith machine.
                  Your delts should be thoroughly hammered so I only suggest one set here. Again follow the same principles as above. Hit 8 reps on your own and have your partner assist you to get more?I cannot be specific with the rep range here because it is difficult to spot on this exercise if the weight is heavy. It would be great to have 2 people spot you here because they could each get one side of the machine and assist for an additional 8 reps and then strip the weight for you..but that is often a difficult task?I have a hard time getting one person to spot me correctly. One of these days I am going to find a reliable training partner that isn?t a *****, but that day has yet to come. At any rate, after the 8 reps past failure are complete, strip and continue to failure, then 6-8 more..then strip again, continue to failure and then 8 more and you should be dead. That?s it for shoulders The triceps are next and here I suggest no more than 2 sets of a machine exercise?for ease in spotting?in the same fashion as above?once failure is hit, you get assistance for 8 more beyond failure, then drop the weight, repeat, then drop the weight again and repeat.
                  At this point your delts and tris are done?GO HOME?now before you even ask, NO you don?t have to hit rear delts, because you already did. Beyond Failure training causes the ENTIRE muscle group that is being worked?and a lot of others as well?to be brought into the mix and thoroughly destroyed. No more specific muscle group targeting. If you really and truly hit the entire muscle group as hard as humanly possible?to the point of nausea and collapse, every part of that muscle will be me. The body likes to work as a unit and that goes for each muscle group as well. Pointing your toes inward or outward on leg extensions is ****ing nonsense?.once you go into no-mans land of Beyond Failure Training?.every fiber in your leg is screaming in agony and working equally as hard to fight through the torture it is receiving. Do you really thing that the teardrops will only be working if your toes are pointed out? Please, once failure starts on the teardrops the outer quads pick up the slack because they are FORCED to?no matter where your toes are pointing. Keep it simple: Pick an exercise, take it to a level of complete, absolute and beyond failure and I guarantee it will be completely stimulated! Next time we finish the body with back and bis and talk about potential problems that may be encountered with Beyond Failure Training.

                  O.K. now it is time to blast the back and biceps. It is imperative that these two muscle groups are worked together because they are intrinsically linked to each other in their function. Any time you are doing any pulling or rowing movement for the back you ALWAYS incorporate the biceps. The reason is quite obvious since you need to use your arms to pull and the biceps is what allow the arm to pull. I get a lot of complaints from people with stubborn biceps and as soon as I take a look at their training, the answer jumps right out at me. Incorrect training sequence, and insufficient intensity. They will work their biceps on separate days from their back training and inadvertently wind up overtraining them because of lack of adequate recovery.
                  Conversely I get a lot of complaints from people who cannot stimulate their back and when you see the size of their biceps you immediately find the answer. Huge biceps will often take on the burden of the workload when training back and since they are a lot smaller muscle group?.they will give out and reach failure way before the back does. This results in overstimulation of the biceps and understimulation of the back. Both of these problems are solved with beyond failure training.
                  Starting off with the larger muscle group (the back) we will need to find a way to sufficiently trash and pre-exhaust the back so that when we go to a rowing and pulling movement the back will fail at the same time as the biceps. Now the only way we can achieve pre-exhaustion of the back without including the biceps would be with a pullover machine (or dumbbell pullovers?but the machine is better)
                  So sitting in the pullover machine with a reverse grip (palms facing up so as to take the triceps out of the movement) we will keep out head and chest pointing up towards the ceiling at all times to totally isolate the back. As with the other bodyparts, we will select a weight that allows us to hit failure at the 8-10 rep mark. At this point your partner will assist you in getting 8 more beyond failure reps. Then the weight is dropped and you continue the set without rest. Once you hit failure---which will be in 3-5 reps?your partner assists for 6 more beyond failure reps. Again the weight is drop and the set is continued and once you hit failure your partner pushes you to get 8 more reps beyond failure. Do this for 2 sets
                  Next you want to go to a rowing movement. Single arm dumbbell rows or barbell rows are good. Select a weight that will allow you to get 8-10 strict perfect reps. Only do one set here. These are what I call high breather exercises and I find that it is counterproductive to do drop sets and forced reps with these exercises because you wind up sucking wind way before you actually stimulate the muscle.
                  Next go to a machine movement for the back?some sort of pull down movement. I like some of the hammer machines, but it doesn?t matter. Again we will do 2 sets in the beyond failure style.
                  That is it for back. Now we move on to biceps, which are, pretty much fried from the back workout. Because of this we will only need 2 sets in beyond failure style to completely destroy them. Machine curls work best here so select a weight where you can get 8-10 and perform the set in beyond failure style with the drop sets and forced reps as you did for back.
                  At this point your back should be engorged, tight and pumped and you should have difficulty straightening your arms. A job well done. Go home and rest and enjoy your well-earned 2 days off.
                  So to review, the sequence would look like this
                  Day 1: Chest and Calves
                  Day 2: Shoulders and Tris
                  Day 3: Off
                  Day 4: Back and Bis
                  Day 5: Legs
                  Day 6: Off
                  Day 7: Off

                  Now some of the things you want to keep in mind with this type of training is that due to its intense nature, it is imperative that you have adequate nutrients in the system at all times. You need to make sure you are getting 2-2.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day along with 2 ? 3 grams of carbs depending on your metabolism (if you are carb sensitive cut it back to 1.5-2 grams and compensate the calories with extra protein. Fats should be minimal 40 grams or under.
                  Rest is highly important when training in this manner, so make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of straight sleep a night along with a good hour nap at some point in the day or evening. If this is not feasible..try and get 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Lastly you will find that after 6 (8 weeks max) that you will start to get burned out training this way. At this point simply scale back the number of sets and triple drop beyond failure reps. When I trained Robbie for the Master?s Olympia he did not touch a weight the week before the show and the 2 weeks prior his workouts were scaled back to 1-2 sets total. His workouts typically lasted 15-20 minutes at this point, but it was necessary to make sure he wasn?t going to go catabolic. Now if you are not coming into a show?.train in this scaled back manner for 3 weeks?.cut back on the protein and carbs because you will not need them and try and get extra rest, maybe even a massage or 2 or sitting in a Jacuzzi hot tub.
                  In closing I would like to make it perfectly clear that I do not think Beyond Failure training is the only way in the world that one should train. There are many paths up the mountain?some are more painful, yet more productive and some are less painful and take a little longer. It is your choice. The difficulty most people will have in attempting to train in this style is generating sufficient intensity to make sure they are actually going beyond failure, and trusting that the system will work and fighting the urge to train more (i.e. 6 days per week) All I can say is that I took a 54 year old man who was burned out and washed up and transformed his physique into it?s all time best condition?.and it was done with beyond failure training. When Robbie stepped on stage at the Master?s Olympia it was clear that he won. They may not have given him the title (and in fact insulted him by placing him behind a clinical dwarf) but he knew he won and so did Vince Taylor. Look at the pictures in this month?s Flex and read between the lines in J.R. Rosenthal?s report. Robbie Robinson shocked the world that day and was the rightful winner of that show and it was all because of Beyond Failure Training. Train harder then the next guy, and one day nobody will touch you!
                  International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                  Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                  • #10
                    Beyond Failure Training-Solo from Gear Uzr 2001
                    Ask Trevor:
                    Trevor, I am really interested in trying your Beyond Failure Training System, but do not have a partner. Can B.F.T. be done without a training partner?
                    -Mark Davis, Piscataway, NJ

                    Yes Mark, B.F.T.(Beyond Failure Training) can be done without the use of a training partner. In fact, in many ways it is even more difficult to train like this, due to the fact that you are completely relying on yourself both mentally and physically. Since B.F.T. requires tha a partner assists you with forced reps and strip sets, the way around this is to manually strip off the weight yourself (which is harder) and in place of the partner assisted forced reps, you will use the Rest/Pause technique. This means, for example, if you are doing leg extensions and hit momentary failure, rather than having your partner assist you with forced reps, you simply put the weight down and count to five. After you have "Rested" for the count of five, continue with the set (at the same weight) getting as nmany more reps as you can (usually no more than 2 or 3 will be possible). When you hit failure again, you will again rest for a 5 second count. Again, after this 5-second rest you will continue with the set (at the same weight) getting as many more reps as possible (which at this point will be one or two). When you hit failure a third time, you will again rest for 5 seconds, then continue (again using the same weight) and when you hit failure for the 4th time you will lighten the weight and continue your set repeating the same protocol as before. You will then drop the weight for a second and final time and repeat the same failure/rest/pause method you used in the first two sequences. Basically, in place of partner assisted forced reps, you will do 3 Rest/Pause cycles. Everything else in terms of B.F.T. will remain the same.
                    International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                    Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                    • #11
                      " Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas..." part 1
                      ??? Do I loathe my friend and training partner Trevor Smith?, No, of course not. Do I fear my training partner Trevor Smith, um, well, no, well.... sometimes. Loathing one, or fearing them can and has ruined many a relationship; however, in my quest to win the 2002 Mr. USA, Fear and Loathing here in Las Vegas is helping to fuel my intensity in the gym.

                      The training day in question? The longer I am here, the more material I have for this column. As each workout remains fresh in my mind, for this particular installment of Ground Zero, I chose several examples from different training sessions.

                      ???? FEAR! Damn, Trevor has a way of intimidating someone. He even intimidates me when arriving early in the morning to the gym in which we train. I usually watch the front door from whatever machine we will be using first. As Trevor comes through the door; darkness comes over the gym. A dark cloud of pain, misery in the minutes that follow, a fear inducing cloud. I usually do my best to greet him with a smile and a, "How you doin, buddy Ole pal?" On a good day I am greeted with, "fine, did you warm up?" Do not get me wrong, outside of the gym, Trevor is the best. He is full of wisdom, direction, a great friend all around. In the gym, it is a different Trevor, there are times when I expect him to turn to reveal a red tail coming out of his ass, or when he removes his BFT hat, two sharpened horns to protrude from his head. These things of course do not happen, but trust me when I tell you that Satan himself would cower when crossing the path of Trevor in the gym. This helps me in that people do not approach to ask questions of Trevor or myself. One time it happened. I do not think that Trevor noticed, but it took all my patience? to not erupt into a rage. As Trevor was fighting through the tail end of an excruciating set of preacher curls, two guys come from behind him to ask me if we use weight gain? Fucking weight gain!? I wanted to say, "No, I eat humans whole, and I am hungry!", but I refrained and implied that he may want to move on. He did not take the hint and said, "No, seriously, I am serious, do you?" Now please understand, I enjoy helping, and will when I can, but when my training partner is turning purple as he struggles and is expecting me to be there to spot, I cannot answer such lunacy. I then made eye contact just long enough for the guy's wiser friend to realize what was about to happen and they scuffled off. Did I feel bad? no, we were working. As mentioned, I do not think Trevor even noticed, good thing. Anyway, I digress. Fear can be a great help in the gym, or of course it can destroy you. Watching Trevor perform a set can induce fear, but it is the type of fear that motivates me to be stronger and get freakier than ever!

                      ???? When does one Fear for their training partner or fear that their set is next? The day is another leg day, and it is time for Trevor and I to use the power squat machine. This machine holds 9 plates on each side. I have been in the gym when people are doing the machine wrong with 9 plates on each side and they have a crowd watching in amazement. Now, read carefully as I tell you how Trevor loads the machine. We start by loading the expected 9 plates per side; then we add a second bar and load another 9 plates on each side of the bar. This brings us to a total of 18 plates per side. 18 plates a side means 36 total plates, this equals 1,620 pounds!, and that does not include the weight of the machine. Well, surprise, surprise, it is now time to add a THIRD BAR to the top of the machine and add another 6 plates per side. This brings us to 48 total plates on the machine plus the two 45lb bars and plus the actual weight of the machine; that is over 2300 pounds and we are using a power squat machine, not a leg press. After taking more than 10 minutes to load the bar, which by the way is where the loathing can come in, it is time to get psyched. I watch Trevor as a nasty, focused, evil look comes over his face. He looks from side to side in disgust as the mere mortals bitch about the now lack of plates in the gym. They dare not say a word, as they know it will bring instant pain, hospitalization actually. Trevor now approaches and gets under the weight, his intensity is coming off him like an electrical current. As he lifts the machine and disengages the safety handle, all around him take notice that he is about to go into a zone that no one, and I repeat no one goes to. He lowers to parallel, pauses for a moment, and slowly squeezes back to the top. These are perfect reps, slow, squeezing, non bouncing reps. Six reps are done in perfect form before he racks the weight. What is scary is that he does not rack the weight due to muscular failure, instead it is due to a lack of oxygen. At Trevor's bodyweight, it takes a lot more wind to keep your sails stretched, meaning? his lungs are spent. It is awe inspiring, it is awesome to see before I must get on and follow suit. Am I ready to use the same weight, no, but I have gone from a measly 22? plates total to this occasion at 36 plates! With this much weight on the bar, I do not bother thinking, I just get under it and go to work. As I dis engage the safety lever, I feel the tremendous weight bear down on my shoulders. I know I will have the welts to prove the amount of weight I was holding after the set. As I drop down for the first rep, I feel my quads start to scream; mind you we have just completed two agonizing sets of leg extensions. Up and down like a piston, slow and controlled though, there is no momentum used in completing these reps. As I go through my set, I start to feel so powerful, I want to let out a massive scream, but I use the energy instead to control this massive amount of weight. As I reach a wall, my quads are pumped beyond belief! I am not a lover of shorts, but on this day I wish I were wearing them so I could see the veins pulsate as I go through each rep like a fine tuned machine! I am inspired by the fact that much like Trevor, I reach cardiovascular failure before I do muscular failure. At 10 reps, I am done, but I know I have more for the next training session! Was it scary?, hell yes it was! A quad can tear, rupture, but this is not allowed in our realm. We will not succumb to such negative thought, instead we stay focused on that intense energy that is created by fear. Damn!! after a set like this I want to grab the nearest female and like a caveman carry her off to praise my manly strength!! Just kidding, but it is a great feeling to move that much weight with authority!

                      Training is an outlet, a channel device in which I take every frustration I have known in the past months and unleash it on the weights. I feel my body growing each day. When those close to me see me with out a shirt, they immediately start to point out new detail to my physique. Am I enthused, fuck yes, if only I had met Trevor on day one of my training journey, but perhaps 12 would have been too young. Fear no more! I am animal! I am power! I am a demon, satisfied only by quenching my thirst for muscle and of course females, but that would be a column for another site.

                      ???? OK, so I touched upon what fear can do for you in the gym, but loathing?!? As stated I do not loathe Trevor, he is like a brother, but there are times in the gym that he makes me loathe him by giving me what I want!? I know, it does not make sense, in getting what I want, I loathe him. All I can say is that when any of you take the challenge to be put through a BFT workout by Trevor, you too, will loathe him, if not for just a moment as he tortures you for an hour of your life! You will wish that hour could somehow speed up! So how and when have I loathed my friend? Shoulder day, last week. I had missed two shoulder workouts due to my not feeling well. This was my first session for shoulders in two weeks and I needed it to be intense. Trevor and I start with seated laterals, quadruple drops with forced reps, of course..... Trevor's set started with 115 lb dumbbells, then to 75's, down to 50 and then finishing with 30 lb dumbbells. In writing I cannot communicate the intensity that goes into a set like this, but I will describe my set. I grabbed the 105 lb dumbbells, the 65's, 40's and 20's. Trevor has been on me to not use my traps in this exercise. I tend to tense up and utilize too much trap rather then delt. As I grab the 105's I feel that switch in my head click on. It is go time and I am ready to grow. The 105's feel good as I raise them up, a slight pause at the top and control them all the way down. After the 5th rep, it is time to drop to the 65's. Usually this type of weight would feel light, but after the battle with the 105's, I am only good for 4 reps before having to drop them and grab the 40's. The mistake I continue to make is thinking that when I pick up the lighter dumbbells it will make the set "easier". The set only gets harder as you go through. The 40 lb dumbbells now feel like they weight 105 lbs. I am resigned to doing only 6 more reps until I must grab the 20's. It is funny to see all in the gym look on as we struggle with that last weight; if it were not for them seeing and hearing us struggle through the first part of the set, they may think us weak. Those 20lb dumbbells actually feel heavy! I struggle through about 5 and it is time to stop. One set and I am so pumped I want to call it a day, but no, it has only just begun. After the dumbbell laterals it is on to machine laterals. One set, ZMR style with triple drops and forced reps. Next, we go over to the Smith and start to set up for the front military press. The incline on the bench is slight, just enough to accommodate men of size that cannot sit straight up and down; this would leave us unable to breath!
                      ???? Trevor goes first on this exercise; therefore, we load the bar to 495lbs. 5 plates on each side for the first part of a triple drop set of front military presses. Usually Trevor will sit and wait for the switch in his head to totally turn on. After the grueling set of laterals it is necessary to give the brain a few minutes if not several to regain focus on the task of building balloon sized shoulders. I now must go through the gym and find a second spotter. It is so funny to see guys act like they cannot see me trying to get their attention, or watch them scuffle off to another part of the gym, too far too offer any assistance to us. The members are now learning about the sets Trevor and I do, so they know there is work involved in stripping the weight and offering a spot when needed. As Trevor stands from the bench to do his set I find a young man willing to help. Again, it is humorous to see the look in their eyes as they look at Trevor preparing to go to work. It is a confused look, I know they are wondering whether or not Trevor will turn on them after the set should he be hungry! The set starts, The weight is brought down to chin level slow and controlled. Once at the bottom, a slight pause and the weight is squeezed slowly to the top. After 2 reps done in the strictest of fashion, it is time for the 1st drop. The first 2 reps were not done in the manner most would do, they are CONTROLLED, the delts are made to hurt on purpose. The drop is made to 315lbs and Trevor continues. He pushed the weight in the same controlled process for another 3 reps and a 4th forced, again we drop the weight to 225lbs. By now the delts are starting to feel like jelly. In my experience they actually start to not fire. Meaning that the neuromuscular function is failing altogether. Trevor fights through it for another couple of reps and again we drop the bar to 135lbs. Under any other circumstances 135 would feel like a feather, but after the type of work that has just taken place, it feels more to Trevor like a ton! I move behind him and to further the intensity and the pain he will feel, I lean on the bar just enough to stop it from coming up. I have learned to let up only as the color in Trevor's face changes. I let up a little as he turns red and then a little more as the red goes to purple. I know it is time to help only when the purple goes to a yellowish? hue and saliva froths from his mouth. This tell me that the "puke response" is close and I do not want to be in the vicinity when and if he blows! To watch a set like this motivates me beyond words. As Trevor regains his composure and fights off the, "puke response", I load the bar to 405 lbs. I have had ample rest time and only wait for Trevor to somewhat recuperate from his set. Trevor goes to get a spotter and I now look into the mirror asking myself what it is I want. In my mind I get rid of everyone in the gym. There are no other machines except the Smith that I am using and the walls become pitch black. I hear no voices, I see no one, only what is in front of me in the mirror. Silently I ask myself, "What do you want?" , "Just how much do you want to grow?" I climb into the machine and prepare for lift off. I am still spent from the laterals and still feeling pumped from the work that went into that set. As I grip the bar I feel powerful, I feel unstoppable, I am ready to grow! Anyone that has used a Smith machine knows that as soon as you unlock the hooks the weight is now on you. As I turn the bar and feel the weight transfer from the pegs to my shoulders, I start to focus beyond explanation. On this day 405 goes up and down 3 times on my own and a 4th time forced. The set now begins as the weight is stripped to 315lbs. This provides no relief, trust me, it feels just as heavy, which is why I manage one freakin rep before having to strip the bar. Now at 225,? I feel as though I can get a second wind, but no, there is no second wind in BFT training. The 225 on the bar might as well be an elephant, I struggle for 2 and again it is time to drop to 135. It is now Trevor's turn to lean on the bar and I see a hint of a smirk as he leans with probably half of his bodyweight on the bar. It is not moving and he is still leaning. I am now seeing the red, to the purple, to the pale look of sickness as I push harder and harder on the bar. Trevor eventually helps me to the top and the set has come to an end. There is a gurgle in my throat, a bubbling in my belly and a distinct smell in my nostrils as my own puke is so wanting to project on to the mirror. I will not let this happen, no way, not today, but it takes maximum concentration to talk myself out of it.

                      ???? Loathe I said, yes, Loathe. Well, after going through the dumbbell and machine laterals and then front presses on the smith machine, it is now time for a final set of presses, this time super slow style. When loaded, 225 looks so very light, but after the hell that has been experienced it feels like 1,000 lbs!!!, especially when it calls for a 5 second decent, 5 second pause and then a 5 second ascent. Trevor and I both do our set, yes, there is agony, hurt, and that pleasant release of emotion when the set is done. Rear delts are done (one set to failure on the rear delt machine), Triceps are punished (one gruesomely long and painful set) and we are out the door. Silently I am thanking Trevor and cursing him at the same time. We could have so much fun golfing or bowling, but no, we chose bodybuilding; furthermore, Trevor developed BFT! Oh the joy of feeling sick for an entire afternoon.

                      ???? This is part 1 of 2 for the 3rd installment of Ground Zero. I am going to ask Trevor to post the 2nd part, perhaps in the middle of June so you the readers can get more of the descriptions of my pain in the gym. To finish this part of the column, I elected to pay homage to David Letterman by writing a top 10 list of answers to the most popular questions asked of Trevor and I in the gym. Here goes... mind you the list goes from 10 to 1, 1 being the most annoying.

                      10) No, we are not training for a strongman event.

                      9) No, we are not trying to injure ourselves, we do train this way on purpose.

                      8) No, my training partner, (Trevor), is not a mute, he actually does talk time to time.

                      7) No, my training partner, (Trevor), is not having a heart attack, he is only convulsing due to the gagging he is doing into his gym bag. He does this so as to not puke all over me or those around us should it happen.

                      6) No, the machines in the gym are not made to have additional plates stacked all over them, but what are we to do?, and again, yes we do stack them on purpose. We actually like training this way.

                      5) No, we are not powerlifters, When was the last time you saw a powerlifter utilizing a pec dec? We respect powerlifters for what they do and how they do it, we just train very hard and as it happens very very heavy. I can see it now, a new event in powerlifing, the pec dec, "Now loading, 600 pounds......."

                      4) No, we are not being lazy by placing a bench under us as we squat, we are doing as few if any do by doing squat pauses, and not bouncing off the bottom....

                      3) No, it is not a good time to ask me about your diet, or your last course, or where you can get gear for a course!!! Can't you see my training partner under that bar, slowly changing colors, meaning that not so far in the future is the dreaded, "puke response", better known as the "gag response".

                      2) Yes, we are waiting on the Smith Machine!, (Just picture Trevor and I patiently looming behind someone as they slowly do set after set of singles on a flat bench under the Smith machine!) This is more of an inside thing as anyone at Gold's on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:30am knows that Trevor and I use the Smith every workout.) There are actually those that race us to it now! You want to see Trevor really really angry, just make him wait more than a couple of minutes for a machine while you do a totally nonsensical routine.

                      #1) NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE ONE OF THE SHIRTS MY PARTNER WEARS! YOU MAY BUY ONE LIKE ANYONE ELSE! AND NO! YOU CANNOT JUST HAVE ONE OF THE HATS HE WEARS, THOSE TOO ARE FOR SALE.? This is number one, because I am asked this way too much. Ask Trevor!!!

                      by Mat Duval
                      International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                      Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                      • #12
                        Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...... Part II
                        There are two parts to this column for the sole reason that I enjoy writing it and wanted to provide as much information about Trevor and my training as possible......

                        This entire 2nd part covers the much anticipated back training explanation of BFT. This is the training session that yields more LOATHING, than it would fear. Why?, you ask, well two reasons. First is that while Trevor is strong on all movements that we do, he seems to have an extra amount of strength on back and leg days. The second reason is that I so want to bring my back width up to match that of my shoulders that I am just plain hard on myself when it comes to back training.

                        To date, all back training sessions have started with the same exercise. We start with the Hammer pullover machine. This is not one of my favorite machines, but it does seem to give that stretch that is needed when wanting to reach full muscular potential through the lats. When I speak of lats, please picture what it is I want. I do not want the classic V shape that so many of yester year strived for. I would rather fight to build the Dorian-esque lats that appear to be two slabs of meat hanging off the side of the body. Two slabs of vascular, thick, dense striated muscle! This is what the goal is! Upon starting a light warm-up is done, more for the shoulders on my part as I have experienced one too many shoulder injuries and want to insure they are stretched. After warming up, we LOAD the machine. LOAD is done in capitals due to the fact that Trevor is now up to 5 plates on each side and moving them quite easy. This first part of the drop is done for 6-7 reps, and then I drop the weight to 3 plates on each side so he may continue. What I still find amazing is that as easy as the 5 plates move, they also exhaust the back muscles and leave him able to move the 3 plates for only 4 reps or so. It is after this that I drop the machine again to 2 plates and Trevor performs the last part of the set. It is here that the reps start to tear each and every one of the last fibers that did not respond to the larger weights. It is also here that as you have been told in the past, Trevor not only changes colors, but also froths continuously at the mouth! Damn, this can be frustrating as one is trying to spot from the front. Lucky for me, this drop is usually the shortest as Trevor is spent from the first two parts of the set. My turn!, the machine is loaded back to 4 plates on each side as I prepare to do my set. The development of my lats is so very important to me that I take these sets beyond serious. As of late, I have been frustrated that I am not feeling what I need to in my back due to some previous injuries to the elbows. Once the pain in the elbows flares up, it is hard to focus 100% on the back.. I get frustrated more so that I am having a hard time focusing. Pain can be endured, but when it takes one's focus away, it leaves places for more injuries to occur. I reach 5 reps on this first weight and it is time for the 1st drop. The machine is taken down to 2 plates, and I keep moving. Understand that by now, my elbows and my back are screaming in pain. The fibers in the lats stretch more each set, while my elbows feel as though hammers are pounding on them! After 5-6 reps, it is time to take the machine down to 1 plate, that is right 1 plate on each side. This weight should feel easy, but by now it is feeling just as 4 plates was in the beginning. Struggling through another 5-6 reps is hell, but once it is done a feeling of relief comes over me. Pullovers are finished, yes, just one giant work set. Trust me, when done right, this is all most should need. Proof lies in the fact that Trevor continues to grow well past 360, while adding density to his back, and I, while dieting still see muscular gain to my physique.

                        We move on to the Hammer row. It is not the row made popular by Dorian, but instead a version of the machine that leaves the one doing it to pull the weight up and towards the shoulder blade, instead of straight to you. It is an awkward machine to use, but does produce a burn in the outer lat that is again needed in my case. The only way we are able to perform the exercise is to do it one arm at a time. We do not fit into the machine straight on; therefore, it is necessary to turn the body slightly for two reasons. The first reason for turning the body is so you may rotate the body at the end of the movement to further contract the lat. The second is that gripping the lever is awkward due to the angle of it. Anyway, this is done straight, no drops. A weight is selected and reps are done until the one doing it completes a final 3 forced reps. Maintaining your grip is hard on this machine as once the lats start to exhaust, some of the weight is shifted to the forearms, it is not a pleasant feeling! Trevor rows on this machine with 5 plates on each side. This too causes anger, not at Trevor, the machine, as it barely holds the 5 plates. I, while spotting, must reach over and hold the 5th plate on. As if BFT is not enough work, now I am holding plates on! Me, I stick to 3, sometimes 4 plates, this is more than enough! Trust me. After one agonizing set, it is time to move on to a new exercise for us, the T bar row. Here we do two sets, the first is our, "ego set", just kidding, but both of us like throwing on 8 plates and going to work! The hardest part, for me, on this movement is just standing up with the weight, lower back injuries are not fun. After we both complete this set, we now drop the weight to 5 plates and do pause sets. In saying pause, I mean that at the top of the movement, we hold the weight for a count of 5, while flexing the erectors and lower lats. This set is harder than the heavier set in that after 5-6 reps, just holding that much weight at the top is tough. By now, my lats, actually my entire back is pumped. Recently, Trevor had me do a finishing movement where we use the angled T bar, and use one arm at a time. It is done to give the lats a last burst of blood before moving on to biceps. After reading this, I know that some will question the supposed, "lack of volume", but trust me when witnessed, or better yet performed you will scream, whimper and hurt all the way through.

                        In the next Ground Zero column, I will describe the brief, yet very very intense biceps and triceps training. These are the two bodyparts that most do not believe can benefit from one, long, painful set. I will attempt in word to describe how one of the principles of BFT, being that the training sessions are performed so that one training session compliments the other, is the key to making the arm routines work.

                        Having watched many bodybuilding video's, I cannot express enough that when the BFT video is made, these words in this column and the others before will make more sense. Witnessing Trevor train, and training with him, gives me the feeling I had seeing Dorian train on the, Blood and Guts video. I will close this column with something I have done over the years, but now feel I am mastering in my training.

                        Going into a gym is a different experience for each individual. Some are there for stress release, some to build a massive physique, others more for the social part of it all. Anyone that wants to be successful at BFT has to understand that it takes more than a desire to go beyond failure. It takes the ability to flick a switch in your head, to change into something that defines intensity. Intensity is not judged by how loud, or how heavy one may train, it is their ability to focus beyond the realm of just seeing yourself in the mirror. Since starting with Trevor in the gym, I do not see myself as I am now, rather, I see what it is I want to build. Much like an architect, I focus on the finished product. The finished product for me personally may never happen, I am never happy with my development. It is the quest to find that finished product that I focus on. Each rep, every set, exercise after exercise I try to push the envelope, mentally, physically, and to a degree spiritually. Those seeing us train think that we are one rep away from an injury, yet I have witnessed injuries when one was warming up with the lightest of weights. I have thrown out my back by turning too quick or leaning over too fast. Both Trevor and I are very much in control in the gym. I may joke about frothing at the mouth, which does happen, or the degree of color change in Trevor's face as we train, but my real message is not a joke. It is written to show you that no amount of intensity is enough, what is enough? Any of you deciding to challenge yourself enough to do BFT, please know that it is a mindset, the ability to knock down the negative thoughts that can limit our training. Once the switch is on, one cannot think about significant others, car trouble, finances, any of life's problems. I see my training as a blessing in many ways, but one in particular is that I can stop stressing about life for an hour, and take it all out on my body, not in a negative way, but one that will yield, for me, positive results.

                        Bye for now, next month , as mentioned will cover arm training.

                        Mat Duvall
                        International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                        Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                        • #13
                          Shock, Anxiety... PAIN
                          There are type's of pain that warrant anxiety when thinking about it. I am not talking about the brief pain experienced when one stubs a toe; no, I am talking about the pain felt when lactic acid has reached maximum levels in a muscle. The pain felt when muscle fibers are tearing apart at a rate that you do not have time to even catch your breath, much less, start to feel better. This pain is what builds champions in the gym. This is the pain I asked Trevor to bring to my world in my pursuit of the Mr USA title.

                          My reason for moving to Vegas was to have the opportunity to step into hell everytime I trained with Trevor; to know I was leaving no stone unturned in my journey. Each month I will give you, the reader's a chance to experience in word the pain and torture that I ask for. You will have a front row seat as Trevor unmercifully breaks my body down in the gym. I will not hold back in my description of the pain I feel; please know this is being done not to discourage you, but rather to encourage you to go beyond the thresh hold of pain in your own training. Beyond Failure Training is not just some fly by night training system that will be forgotten in a month or two. It is a training system that when done right can yield gains like one has never experienced! It is a system that the trainer or trainee is encouraged to make subtle changes.. rep speed, range of motion, the possibilities are endless, yet all lead to the same place.. Shock as to the gains you will make, Anxiety when you are waiting to do your next set, and the constant Pain you will feel.

                          I arrived in Las Vegas on February 27th, a month late! Why was I upset? In being late, I missed the opportunity to go through a cycle of BFT with Trevor. He was on the last week of his training cycle, and I was coming off a 10 week lay off. My second reason for being upset?, I was as mentioned feeling untrained and flat, while Trevor greeted me at a bodyweight of 370 pounds! Trust me when I say, I have never witnessed any pro or amateur bodybuilder at this weight, while maintaining a beyond respectable level of conditioning! Damn! I needed to get my ass in gear and be ready for the next training cycle. To be honest, it was best that I was not on track with Trevor when I arrived. Why?, as it was put to me, " You would have died, you are not ready..." I felt like a bald little kid, only answering to the name, " Grasshopper", but in truth Trevor wanted to have the chance to guide me through some training while he was off BFT so that I could be ready for the Hell that lay ahead. The first week was tough. I knew that Trevor was taking it easy on me a bit, he knew that I needed time to re-adjust to training in this style. That week's workout that best describe's the pain felt by BFT is the leg training done on friday the 1st of March.

                          We had gone through the other bodyparts and only had legs left to finish the week. I was hurting, alot, from the prior 3 workouts and as I sat waiting for Trevor, a horrible feeling of anxiety consumed me. Had I timed my arrival with Trevor, it may have been better, but I was early that day, and left to think about the pain that lay only minutes ahead. Moments later I saw Lucifer, (Trevor), pass through the door. As he passed by me, he did not stop, or greet me with a "good morning". I believe the words were, " I feel like shit, let's go..." It was decided that due to his body's state, on that day I would be the center of attention. Trevor was there only to bring the pain. How nice of him you say? to come in for me, even though he was off? Understand that his presence was to, yes, help, but in doing so to make me feel every set that I had missed in the 6 weeks prior! With each hint of regret I felt for being there, I reminded myself that this was what I needed, what I wanted and what was going to bring me to July 26th looking like a mutant! Leg extensions, 1 warmup, and 2 worksets... I hear your thoughts, "that's all, just 2 worksets?" What I felt in the next 10 minutes is only comparable to having my thighs pounded by sledge hammers. The weight seemed easy enough, only the stack to start, a slight 300 pounds, big deal, right? I was then introduced to true no momentum reps. Explain you say?, TRUE no momentum reps, are slow, squeezing every fiber possible reps, then holding it at the top of the movement for a full 5 seconds. After the 5 second hold, it is a slow, excruciating negative that should take no less than 3-4 seconds, and you are not to rest on the bottom. The rep is stopped for a count of 3 just before the muscle fiber's of the legs can relax, thus keeping them in the contracted position. That was one rep; 4 seconds up, 5 seconds at the top, another 4 on the way down and a hold of 3 on the bottom. Sixteen seconds of pain and it was just one rep! I went on in that fashion to about 8 on my own,it was then that I had to do 3 barely assisted reps. I say barely to illustrate that the assistance given is just enough to complete the rep. At no time is the weight taken from me and finished by Trevor. After the 8 on my own and the 3 assisted, my legs were screaming! I actually heard myself wimper! Me, wimper! I know there will be some that say, only 11 and you were wimpering!? Hah! "what a pussy!" Those 11 reps took close to 3 minutes to do!!, and now came the first drop! now I had 210 pounds on the stack, and I could not perform one rep on my own. I opened my eyes just long enough to see Trevor glaring at me, reading his thoughts I heard, " I am not supposed to be training today, suck it up pussy!" Hearing his actual words he told me to keep squeezing, even though the weight was not moving. I did 3 assisted reps, another 40 seconds of pure, evil, pain. In all honesty at this point my motor skills were failing. My quads were not firing and I felt breakfast bubbling from deep within me.... Drop #2! Yes, from 210 to 140 pounds. I was numb, remember this was the first set! Numb to the point that my ears were popping, I heard little other than Trevor's encouragment to keep squeezing. In making sure that I was squeezing, he would give my leg a slap. A slap from a 370 pound freak, not a little punk! A fraction of me wanted to jump up and plant a 45 pound plate right between his eyes! "Why?" you ask, "Is it becasue I was in so much pain?", no, it was becasue I knew this was nothing compared to the 18 weeks that lay ahead. The 140 pounds on the stack felt like a car coming down on my legs. I gathered enough stength to complete one on my own, but for some resaon the 2nd rep was not moving. Again, I opened my eyes and saw Trevor leaning on the pad that my feet were under! He was adding another maybe 100 pounds of pressure to the 140 that I was barely moving! Remember, it is called, Beyond Failure Training, not Go to failure training! I managed to get through another two reps, thus making it to the 3rd drop, 90 pounds..... I should be able to move 90 pounds like a pillow!?, then why are tears forming in my eyes as I strain to complete just one rep?!, Oh!, again, Mr Smith is leaning on the pad, as if it was not hard enough. Doing 3 reps with the 90, reminded me of the opening scene to the Incredible Hulk, you know, when David Banner was trying to lift the car off his wife... That was a car, this is 90 pounds! Why am I grimmacing?, and why are my eyes tearing up? I was roughly 4 1/2 minutes into my first set, yes the first set, and there was no longer a mind to muscle conection. My mind had told my muscle to get fucked a long time ago! this was now instinct and the desire to prove I was worthy of the title I wanted to earn. The 3 reps performed with 90 pounds were more Trevor than I, yes, I was squeezing, trying to squeeze for all I was worth, but at that point I was worth little to nothing. As I came down on the 3rd rep, a feeling of relief started to come over me, I was done?, right? I mean 5 1/2 minutes for one set is enough right?, What is enough? Does enough excist? Not today, Trevor dropped the weight again to 50 pounds! That's right 50 pounds. Had you been there to hear the wimpering done on my part, you may have believed I was pushing up 500 pounds, but it was not. With only 50 pounds I struggled through maybe another 5 reps of agony until I was allowed to stop. As I looked up and realized that close to 8 minutes of my life had passed, all I could do was look at the floor and ask, how bad do I want this?, how much work am I willing to do to achieve my goal? One set? Two sets?, by the way, on this day there was no second set of leg extensions. My quads were gorged with blood, and shaking to the point where another set was on that day, pointless. Realize that in one set of leg extensions I did more work than any idiot who loads the squat bar up with 500 pounds and bounces out 4-6 half reps! This was work, real work, and as much as I was in pain, I knew that my body would not deny me the gains I needed!......
                          From there, we went to the leg press, an exercise that I normally would be able to pound out reps with more than 2000 pounds loaded! That was then, on this day, due to the state of my quads, I was performing with a mere 4 plates on each side!! A little over four hundred pounds, but you have to keep in mind that my goal is not strength. The primary goal is to build muscle tissue and this is done by destroying as many fibers as possible. Once I was able to get into the machine, the 8 plates, total, actually felt a bit heavy. I was instructed to slowly lower the weight and hold it on the bottom. I was not holding it on my chest, no, that is cheating, I was holding it right off the chest, just enough to keep the fibers in my quads stretched to the max! 4-5 seconds on the bottom, and then a slow, controlled squeeze all the way to the top. The top is where it gets interesting, I was told to rotate to my heels and flex for all I was worth. Hold, hold, flex, harder! this is what I was hearing. After holding in a full flex for five seconds, it was another slow disent to the bottom. After 6 reps, in all truth, I was toasted! I finshed with 5 more reps at a faster pace, but still flexing at the top for all I was worth. When reading these words, it is hard to imagine the pain that is felt. I have trained in many stlyes; power training, high rep training, etc. and this is by far the most pain I have ever experienced in the gym. I was able to finish 2 sets of the leg press and 1 long work set for hamstrings before knowing on that day I was done. There will be some that may scoff at this training, as it is described in print, but I challenge anyone to participate and feel what I am talking about.

                          With each week that passes I see my physique changing for the better. I am getting fuller, harder and larger! Many, if not all, involved in the world of bodybuilding know that the formula for success is hard training, proper nutrition/ supplementation, rest, and on some levels well prepared courses. Starting at 12 weeks out from the USA's I have asked Trevor to post pictures of my progress. This is done more to prove the effectivness of BFT. My nutrition never changes that much when preparing for a contest, nor do the other aspects of my preparation. Having Trevor guide me through daily sessions of BFT is the most drastic change I have made to my pre contest training. It is my hope that I serve as living proof as to the effecitvness of BFT! Do not go day to day wishing you could be one of the champions in the world of bodybuilding. Challenge yourself to become a champion. Challenge yourself to perform BFT the right way!, By looking at life and your training as a constant challenge, and asking what you can do to win that challenge you have already won half the battle. The other half is won by being consistent and never, ever, quitting!

                          Mat DuVall
                          International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                          Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                          • #14
                            Doubt, the enemy? or the motivator?
                            In the last installment of Ground Zero, I spoke about 3 of the elements one can and will experience when using BFT training. Those three things were SHOCK, ANXIETY and PAIN. In this article I am going to explain how one can take doubt, a powerful enemy to any trainee and turn it into a friend. Instead of allowing doubt to defeat one in their quest for size, one may use it to motivate them. The same has been and can be said for fear, but that is another article all together. Self doubt has ruined many an athlete. They allow doubt to pollute their brain by asking themself some of the following:

                            "Am I good enough?", "Can I win", or "Is this too much for me to try?", these are but a few examples of self doubt. When considering this topic, I had to ask myself how this had anything to do with Trevor and my time in the gym. In the following article I hope you will see how doubt, in my case, on the day discussed was used to blast through a plateau, and how you the reader can do the same.

                            The day we will discuss is Trevor and my last chest workout. As usual it was a monday, but unlike the last monday, Trevor is now back to BFT. He was on a 3 week hiatus when I arrived in Vegas, but now on this monday is back to going through the realm of sanity in our quest for size. What is it about monday's? To most, monday represents the first day in a long work week, after a not so long weekend. Monday is the day that most things do go wrong in the week. I am not a fan of mondays, but I do love training chest and calves. Since arriving in Vegas, I have done my best to be early to the gym, but on this day I am about 5 minutes late. As I entered the gym, I could see Trevor crouching by the pec-dec, he seemed to be meditating. His eyes were closed and he was for the most part motionless. Upon reaching the machine, I was instructed to warm up. The machine was already maxed at 220 pounds. I cranked out a slow and controlled 10 reps and stretched for a minute. It was now time to go to work and that means loading up the pec-dec with an additional 320 pounds, bringing the machine to 550 pounds! That is the stack, with (4) forty-five pound plates, and (2) 75 pound dumbells balanced on the top. Trevor's ability to focus is something to be seen. He closes his eyes as he sits down on the machine and as he swings the handles around in front of him, his eyes open, glowing a golden color. His stare goes straight through me as he is preparing to rip every fiber in his chest wide open! With each rep, he stretches to a maximum at the rear and slowly squeezes the wieght together until the handles touch. After the handles touch, he squeezes his pecs together even harder. With each rep his color changes too, he has gone from red, to purple, and he spits a lot. Good thing I am not prissy about getting wet!, each time a rep is completed I get a wave of saliva! After the 6th rep, it is time for the forced reps to be done, I offer only enough assistance to get the rep done. Trevor does 2, and it is time to drop the weight. I unload the (2) 75's and take off (1) of the 45 pound plates, now the wieght is at 365 lbs. Again, Trevor methodically squeezes each rep, one, two, a third and he is spent, again I assist him through 2 more and we drop the wieght back to the stack. The stack being 220 pounds is rarely if ever used by others in the gym. I do not know if it is the weight being used, the groans that are coming out of Trevor, or the massive amount of spit hitting me, but a crowd has developed behind us. When most would justify a faster pace, Trevor actually slows his pace and squeezes each rep even harder to insure that every fiber in his pectorials is ripped apart. I offer little encouragment, in part to not disturb Trevor's set and second because I do not want a mouthful of spit, still frothing from his mouth! He has completed 5 reps and his chest is again failing, we perform two forced reps and it is time for the last drop. I drop the weight to what I think is 150, the numbers are faded and hard to read on this pec dec. Trevor loses no intensity despite the lowering of the wieght. He is still focused and still making every rep work for him. He is no longer just purple in the face, but his entire neck and upper chest are purple as each rep forces more blood to his pecs! Those watching are either laughing nervoulsy as they suspect his head will explode from his shoulders, or they turn away in disgust as they notice the soaking down I am getting! (just kidding about the soaking down). After 6 reps and 3 forced the set is done and Trevor falls from the machine, he is justifiably spent. The title of this article mentioned DOUBT, well, I am now doubting myself. Am I doubting my ability to train in this style, NO! Doubt is making me nervous about how much weight I will add to the pec dec. The stack is too easy, and I have done the four plates before. I load up the machine with (4) forty-five plates, but I do not load the 75 pound dumbells; I am doubting myslef! As I stand in fornt of the pec-dec, I know I can do more than what is loaded, but I do not act on it. Instead I begin my set, and as soon as I bring the handles around, I know I should have loaded more! Does this mean my set is ruined?, no, but it is a distraction as I try to focus 100% on making my chest grow! I perform 6-7 reps before Trevor must assist me through another 3, now the weight is lowered to 330 pounds. My chest is screaming due to the fibers pulling apart, but in the back of my mind I know I could have started with more! The 330 pounds feels heavy and I only get 2 before I need assistance, I only get two because instead of focusing 100% on the set, I am doubting my decision from step one! Trevor forced me to get another two before he rips off the other (2) forty-five pound plates. I am back to the stack and trying to regain my focus. In doing so I am making mistakes, I am allowing my elbows to drop which takes pressure off the pecs and transfers it to the shoulders. Trevor reminds me to keep the elbows up, and to focus. I perform another 4 reps and again 2 more forced before the weight is dropped, I am not sure what Trevor dropped it to, but it looks to be around 130 lbs. I manage to squeeze out another 7 and finish with an excruciating 3 forced. As I finish my set and feel my pecs throbbing in pain, I cannot help but me disappointed in myself for not managing first to maintain focus and second for not using the weight I should have. I remind myself that this is only the first exercise, and that we still have two more exercises to go. I will not allow doubt to ruin my training; if it ruins my training, it will surely ruin my day!

                            Now that we have finished with the pec dec, it is time for incline barbell press on the Smith Machine. The bench is set to only a slight angle, just enough to shift the pressure to the upper chest. This is an exercise that when done proper, can, in my opinion, yield tremendous gains on one's chest. It is my favorite exercise for the pec's. This is another exercise that attention must be paid to rep speed and control of the weight. I have witnessed many a lifter bounce reps off their chest in hopes of building shelf like pectorials. When training in the BFT style, reps are done in a zero momentum fashion to insure that every rep is ripping apart as many fibers as possible. Trevor is ready and we have loaded the bar to 455 pounds. I know that many out there will say, this guy does this much and that guy did this many, but you must witness these sets to appreciate them. When I say that our reps are zero momentum, I mean that the descent can take as many as 5-6 seconds, then after a 2-3 second pause on the bottom, a 3-4 second squeezing up of the positive part of the movement. This adds more intensity than many care to experience. It is truly a helpless feeling when after completing 6 reps, you are pushing as hard as you can on the bar only for it not to move; instead, it will start to sink back towards your throat! After saying all of this, on this day, Trevor thorws a monkey wrench into the works. Instead of starting with zero momentum, he starts his set with at least 8 if not more explosive reps. His rep speed is normal, up and down, not bouncing, but not as slow as I have been accustomed to. After doing the first reps like this, he then slows the bar to zero momentum reps. I hate to say it, but again, when many would end the set it is only beginning for those that follow BFT! Trevor does about 3 ZMR's (zero momentum reps) and then I assist with 1 forced rep. The weight is now stripped to 315 pounds and he continues with slow, controlled reps. He finishes another 3 and again I assist with 1 forced rep. The weight is dropped to 225, a weight that usually could be thrown through the ceiling, but after brutalizing his chest, Trevor is only able to manage 3 reps before stripping the bar to 135 lbs. At this weight, no matter how fatigued it is hard not to blast through the reps. Trevor slows the weight down on the negative and even has me lean on the bar at the bottom to increase the stretch on the pecs. He is able to do about 5, then the only weight left is the bar. This is where a training partner is involved in not only assisting on the forced, but in this situation making the negative a bitch to endure! Once the bar is pushed to the bottom with Trevor resisting, I lean on the bar and fight him on the way back to the top of the movement. He does 3 reps like this before waving the white flag and being forced to give in to complete pec failure. Having Trevor go first is always motivating. I have kept in mind that due to my doubting my abilities on the pec dec, I need to make it up here on this movement. During the past 3 weeks, I had to get used to the type of reps Trevor wanted me to perform. The reps are slower than I was used to, which made them more excruciating. The emphasis has not been on how much weight, but how much pain I could bring to the body part being trained. I have until this day kept the wieght on this exercise at no more than 365 to start. I need something today, I need to prove to me that I am not doubting my strength. There was a time when I could do 500 pounds for reps!, and here I am with only 365 lbs. on the bar. Today I load 405 pounds and know that this set is going to be my best set for chest since I arrived in Vegas. After a moment of psyching myself up, and allowing for Trevor to breath again, I start my set. I start straight into slower, controlled reps. I use no momentum off the bottom, I want each of these reps to count in a way that they have never counted! As my arms charge up and down like a piston; I am happy that the weight feels light in comparison to previous weeks with less weight. I am able to complete 5 reps on my own and almost a sixth before having Trevor and the other spotter help me to the top, I then do 1 forced and it is time to drop the wieght. The weight is dropped to 315 and by now my pectorials are really hurting. Pounding is a more precise description of each rep performed. I do only 2 with this weight and again force out 1 assisted rep. The weight is brought down to 225 and I cannot believe how heavy it feels! Understand that at this point, I am done, but done is not enough. With 225on the bar, I managed only 1 rep and that 1 had to be assisted. Once I locked out with 225, the bar was brought down to 135 lbs. Many would think that at this point I would start cranking out the reps?, not so. My motor skills are now beyond failing. My arms are twitching as I push the bar towards the ceiling. Two reps are performed and I can push no more. As my eyes start to open and re- adjust to the light, I hear Trevor tell the spotter to remove the weight, leaving only the bar. The bar!, hell, I can do the bar all day, no matter how tired I am! Sure, if I did not have a 370 pound freak leaning on it and yelling at me to keep pushing. That familiar feeling is returning; I want to jump up and plow a 45lb plate in to Trevors head!, but let's remember, he is HELPING ME. Allow me to paint this picture for you, Trevor leaning on the bar, telling me to keep squeezing, and of course pushing, yet nothing is happening. The weight is not moving, I only am managing to increase the pain I feel deep in my pecs. Well, on this day, the task master, or better described as Lucifer himself, allows me up after only 2 reps with the bar, Oh yeah!, and his 370 lbs. leaning on it!

                            This is normally when the chest workout would end, but Trevor has discovered a new way to finish. We go to the Hammer incline press, and do reps one arm at a time. This way, we can force even more blood into the muscle! My pecs are beyond swollen and I am trying to get even more blood into the muscle!this is why I train with Trevor. We do not do drops here, just as many as we can do with 2-3 forced reps. One set and it is finished! The pain of chest trainingis done for a week!, now it is on to calves!, but that is a whole other article and a whole other subject. That article may be called, "Not walking, how it feels..........."

                            There will be no more doubts for me, none. Since writing this, I have put all doubts to rest, and I continue to get stronger each workout. I have 13 weeks to do what I consider apart of my fate, become Mr USA. All the training that has been endured, and the other shows that have been competed in, lead me to that stage. July 26th, and 27th are my focus each day in the gym. I picture the stage, the way I will look, even the smell of the arena; there is no room for doubt in this picture or in my training.

                            Mat Duvall
                            International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                            Blood - Sweat - Chalk


                            • #15
                              by Trevor L. Smith
                              Let's face it...IT SUCKS! After a long layoff, whethe rit is intentional or due to illness or injury, it can be very frustrating due to the fact hat you are constantly reminded that you are not where you were before in terms of size, strength, and condtion. However, layoffs are often out of our control and also neccessary to avoid burnout. So let's talk about a few things that invariably come up when coming off a layoff, and how to make the transition from being relatively sedentary to getting back to your physical form before the layoff-and even surpassing it-a smooth one.
                              Too Much...Too Fast...Too Soon:
                              This is a problem that can result in giving you a quick return to another layoff or even a permanent one, if you are careless enough. Here's the scenario: A bodybuilder comes down with the flu while he is in the middle of a mass course. Everything is going great...he is stronger than ever, bigger than ever and leaner than ever. On top of the world! Then it first it seems just to be a slight cold...but reality quickly sets in: INFLUENZA! Now, instead of realizing that you cannot do anything but rest, most bosybuilders will try and continue to train until it is physically impossible, instead of listening to their bodies and giving it a rest...FROM EVERYTHING. I am amazed at the questions I have received. "Trevor, I am sick with the flu and I can't train...but I am in the middle of a cycle...should I continue taking the drugs? I don't want to lose size." Man oh man...God help these idiots. Lose size? You are sick with a virus that kills thousands and thousands of people each year and you are worried about losing size? the only thing you can and should do when you have the Flu is rest, and drink lots and lots of liquids. If you are in the middle of a steroid cycle, stop everything...the drugs will not work. Your body is not going to worry about building muscle while it fights off a virus such as influenza. Do yourself a favor and realize that you will be down for a minimum of two weeks...possibly three...and do everything you can to assist your body in the recovery process. Instead, the typical bodybuilder is so insecure about losing size, that they will rest until they feel the slightest bit better... then return to the gym... going through an unproductive workout and best of all, causing the virus or illness to linger for a longer time period. Instead of resting 2-3 weeks and being sure your body is fully recovered...they wind up getting pneumonia on top of things and are out for 3 months. Then they really will have something to cry about in terms of "losing size." Be smart when you are returning from a layoff. be sure that you are fully functioning and healthy and completely ready to return to the gym...physically and mentally.
                              Feeling Depressed/Sad Because You Aren't Where You Want To Be:
                              It is tough climbing back up the mountain once you are on top, but such is life. You cannot make a continual climb to the top. Sometimes, when you reach new heights, you must take a few steps back to see where you have been and to see where you are going. It is quite normal to feel a bit depressed when you hit your first new workouts after a layoff. Understand that it is all a process and that soon you will be right back to where you were and if you train hard enough...even better than you were before. One of the treasures of a layoff is that it causes you to examine your ego and learn to disgaurd it as the useless entity that it is. Your ego is what is causing the feeling of depression of inadequacy that comes over you when you see people who you are normally bigger than or stronger than who are now bigger and stronger than you since your layoff. Instead of festering with these feelings, view these people who are now ahead of you as inspirtion. Do this and they won't be ahead of you for long, I gurantee it! But if you go home, get frusterated, angered, think you can remedy the situation by pushing yourself too hard and start injecting greater than normal amounts of gear, you are only fooling yourself.
                              Losing Patience:
                              This was touched upon in the above paragraph, but we shall get a little more detailed here. Look, there is nothing you can do except doing. Wanting things to move faster than they are going will accomplish nothing. Simply put, it is going to take you some time to build back to where you were before your layoff. Not much time, but it will still take time, and you will be better served if you realize this and enjoy your journey, rather than looking at the clock and waiting to arrive at your destination.
                              Look, nobody is a machine...and machines aren't even machines in that they need down time, repairs and maintenance just as we do. Layoffs are going to occur. Sometimes they will be self imposed (these are the ones we like) and other times they are not of our doing (illness or injury). The bottom line is that you must realize that they represent an opportunity for you to surpass where you were before and also afford you the opportunity to see what you are made of. After all, you have a choice on whether you are going to sit there and whine about the layoff, or you can go about making it work for you and improve yourself. Good luck!
                              International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                              Blood - Sweat - Chalk