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  • ARCHIVED Blog Entries from TEAMSKIP.net

    The Joke is Likely On You

    April 6th, 2010


    This is kind of a spin off of a topic that came up on my board, IntenseMuscle.com, earlier today and I thought it would be a good idea to touch on here.

    If you have spent any time in the gym you have almost certainly encountered the Jersey Shore guys that don’t know what the fuck they are doing. They might be benching or curling or super-setting both, but they are hardly going to be training legs or doing deads. I think it is an unwritten rule that after seeing this, most of us feel compelled to get together and make fun of them by pointing out the stupid shit they were doing and how they have their heads up their asses, etc.. After a lengthy conversation amongst our super-knowledgeable friends that NEVER have been in that situation before, we just kind of laugh it off and shake our heads – as if they are such sillies. They must envy the rest of us because we obviously have all of the answers about how to train, get big, get ripped, etc..

    Some of the things that they need to be picked on for are things like curling in the squat rack and doing too many cable movements while avoiding the heavy basics. Doing countless sets of bench press and curls but only training legs with a couple sets of leg curls and leg extensions warrants being berated, as well.

    And God forbid they ask you a question about training or diet. I mean, who in THE FUCK do THEY think THEY are talking to, ANYWAY???? BITCH, I AM TRYING TO TRAIN HERE!!! I AM AN ANIMAL AND ANIMALS DON’T FUCKING TALK WHILE THEY TRAIN!!! Of course, these comments are never actually spoken but rather these are the responses that are retold over and over when the story is repeated for their brends (bro friends) later in the day. Yes, I combined two words into one trying to be funny and it didn’t work. Hey, they can’t all be gems, alright? My point is that rarely does anyone tell someone else to fuck off when they get asked a question in a nice way no matter how hardcore that person pretends to be so keep your stupid stories to yourself. Not impressed.

    Here is the bitch of the irony here people: You are laughing at the Jersey Shore guys and shaking your heads but …. let’s be real here: They are likely nowhere near as dysfunctional as you are, laughing at them. See, they don’t live for the gym and they don’t stress over the exact exercise to do and the exact rep range and follow it up with a stretch while counting breaths, etc.. They don’t race through traffic to be on time for a meal and they aren’t going to pass on fucking their girlfriend for fear they might “go catabolic” from the added cardio. And please, please read this one as it is pretty important: They are likely pulling far more ass than you are. Now, this is where you kind of laugh and deny this but I say it is true most of the time. Those kids have fun in the gym and even though they don’t know what they are doing, they don’t care to. If they did, they would research it, talk to people, get a plan and do it in the very OCD way that the rest of us do it and you would give the meathead nod to them as you pass – still not speaking any words because that isn’t hardcore. No, they are going to get a little pump in the chest and bis and when they go out with their girl for dinner they aren’t going to count calories and they aren’t going to have to hold back a vicious fart while having sex, either. They are NORMAL people. Normal people don’t do what we do so picking on them doesn’t make any sense.

    So, my advice to anyone that wants to pick on others in the gym? Ask yourself why you aren’t paying more attention to your own training, first. Second, remind yourself that you are half fucking nuts to live this lifestyle, anyway, and that not everyone cares to be like you no matter how much you think so. And third, if you are asked a question by someone that wants your advice take it as a compliment. No one started out in this game knowing it all. I damned sure didn’t. I stumbled through the gym doing stupid shit – putting myself in harms way and asking every question I could ask of anyone that I thought was big and had something to offer me in the way of wisdom. Lucky for me I wasn’t shot down very often as people back then seemed to want to help so much more than they do today. Not sure where the attitudes changed, either, because in the gym I train in you can get someone’s advice all the time and I don’t train in just any gym, I train at Armbrust Gym in Denver which is arguably the mecca of the midwest. Phil Heath will talk to you for 30 minutes if you get him going and that is DURING his training. I always answer any question that is posed to me unless I am wrapped and getting under the squat bar or something. Otherwise, I will always help when I can because people did that for me when I was starting out.

    If you are that douchebag that thinks you are too hardcore to talk to someone while training then I am laughing at you. You are likely kidding yourself and only trying to convince you, and everyone around you, how “hardcore” you are. Bitch is, I think you are the only one that believes it.

    Skip


    Facebook: Skip Hill
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  • #2
    Just Sayin’

    Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009


    I have thought about this blog for a while but with the Holidays there just never seems to be enough time to get everything done. Hell, it gets so bad that I usually make it to about the second week of the month and then just chuck the training and diet so that I can get everything else done and actually enjoy the Holidays. Otherwise, if I just try to push through and get all of my training and meals cooked it ends up being just another stress. So, I did finally manage to get to this blog even though it is coming up on 2am and I have to be up to take the family snowmobiling at 6am. You can bet this blog won’t be short, either, as most of you know I am terribly long-winded. Hey, we all have our shit and my being long-winded is not one of my worst traits, trust me.

    So … you can consider the premise of this blog as thinking outside of the box and simply questioning what you know and what you have been told, taught, thought was written in stone, etc.. I am sure this will surprise some people but … I am simply going to think out loud and put my thoughts to text. I am not even going to say that I believe what I am about to write but that I am merely thinking … outside … of the … box. Why? Because only a fool would think he has it all figured out and I didn’t get to where I am by listening to other people. Rather, I got to where I am by questioning EVERYTHING. I encourage you all to do the same. Here goes …..

    What if getting bigger had everything to do with your genetics and nothing to do with how you train? What if training your ass off was actually keeping you overtrained and not growing as well as if you trained like a pussy? What if strength progression had nothing to do with muscular growth? Or maybe it is related but …. nowhere near the end-all-be-all that we think it is? What if form had little to do with progress in the gym? Oh, my mind can be a fucked up place, sometimes. Let me break it down to a more simple context so that I can keep my thoughts as simple as possible.

    We all know that genetics plays a huge roll in how tall you will get, how muscular you will get, how lean you can get, how well your structure allows for you to bodybuild, etc.. What if how your training played little to no role in how efficiently you grew? Think about it: We have all seen a pro at some point train like shit and …. he is huge. Yet, we have all seen hundreds if not thousands of people train with great form and never look terribly impressive. Haven’t you seen a guy with huge legs, be it a pro or not, that doesn’t squat to parallel or below? I have seen skinny dudes squat their asses off and still have skinny legs. I have seen guys that squat twice what I squat and their legs suck yet mine are pretty damned good and my numbers would seem, by most, to be pretty sad. I will also add that steroids are on both sides of this equation as I have seen guys loaded to the gills on gear and they still suck while some of the best pros in the world are on less than most guys at your average state show. The steroid card can’t be played here.

    Genetically speaking, haven’t you seen someone that can eat pretty much whatever they want to and stay lean yet someone else can damned near starve themselves and never even come close to being ripped? Women are almost always able to get ripped abs and a ripped back but their hamstrings and glutes can still be soft. How much does your genetic potential play into how lean you are going to get no matter the diet??

    Isn’t it possible that form means very little in as far as results or growth are concerned? I think we can all agree that good form is the best proactive way to stay injury free but …. that has little to do with growth. When I say form I am also talking about rep speed, balance from left to right, bouncing, loose form, etc.. Think it’s possible? What about dieting? What if there is no difference in whether you go low carb, low fat or even low protein? We all believe that protein is an essential nutrient for growth and that protein needs to be high. What if it doesn’t need to be? I have seen people grow on very low amounts of protein. I remember competing as a natural middleweight when I was 22 and only eating 25g of protein per meal for 5 meals a day (along with carbs and some fat) and was in great shape. Dave Palumbo gets people ripped on low carbs and Chris Aceto gets guys ripped on low fat. I get people ripped after eating a day’s worth of waffles every week. What if it was more genetically related than it was the actual dieting protocol that you are using? Just sayin’.

    I see guys train hard all the time and I have seen this for years. I have also observed that some of these guys are pretty big and, yet, some look the same year after year. In fact, some of the hardest training people I have seen were nowhere near the national level let alone a pro. When I say that I want to reiterate that the majority of guys that train balls out are nobodies when it comes to competing. At the same time, a HIGH percentage of the guys that I know that don’t train hard, at all, are huge and strong as hell. Seems odd to me so I wonder why? Do the guys that train harder than everyone else overtrain more or are most times in an overtrained state? That would explain them not growing much, right? At the same time, that same ideology would explain why the big guys are growing like crazy – they don’t have recovery issues because they are hardly ever overtrained. Maybe training like a pussy actually pays off. Wouldn’t that be a bitch? It might suck but …. isn’t it at least POSSIBLE? Speaking for myself I would say that my arms took off with new growth when I decided that I would train them less because they were a strong point and I wanted to give other body parts more of my recovery time and leave my arms to only a few sets at the end of my workouts. They inexplicably grew to the point that I was getting compliments on my arms all the time. When people asked me what I did for them I would just smile and say “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you”. I wouldn’t tell them, either. Why? They would have instantly had me pegged as an “easy gainer” and that was about as far from the truth as possible. Training less and growing more… hmmm…..

    What about progression? What part does that play? Maybe progression doesn’t do shit, either, and is highly overrated. I mean, I have added 100 pounds to my bench and my chest still sucks. At the same time, those damned arms haven’t curled over a 100 pound barbell in 4 years and yet have grown tremendously. I was going over old log books this month and noticed that some of my biggest poundages were all the way back in 2001. Umm… I have grown quite a bit since 2001 and yet some of my weights aren’t anywhere near what they were that year. A few are but the large majority haven’t ever been what they were that year. I was curling 135 for some cheat reps in 1996 at a fat 200 pounds. I now compete at 198 and it is all I can do to get to that weight to compete and I can’t curl anywhere near that right now. My arms are likely over 2 inches bigger now than they were then. What gives? Kinda blows the progression idea out of the water, at least for me. I use myself as an example but ask yourself about your weights and how long you have been training? Does my situation apply to you, as well? I know MANY seasoned competitors that this is their story, as well. Just sayin’.

    What if time under tension played a huge roll or a bigger roll than progression? What if none of it mattered but as long as you trained and used those muscles consistently and let them recover you would keep growing? Does a barbell really make you bigger than a machine? I could tell you of one pro that did pretty much 95% of his contest prep training on nothing but machines. Yeah, yeah, he’s a pro. That just backs up my point, though, so thank you.

    I ask you to ask these questions because I am not sure that the little things matter as much as we may think they do. We tend to over-complicate things that don’t need to be over-complicated. This game may be incredibly simple: use your muscles, let them rest, grow and repeat. Instead, we are doing muscle biopsies to see if leg extensions work the fibers harder than a squat. Really? Why not just do them both? My point isn’t even to think out of the box, really. It is just to think for YOURSELF. Come to your own conclusions as you try to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t hold onto something because someone said “that is the way to do it”. I tell my clients all the time to question me and never to feel as if they can’t ask me why. Paying someone doesn’t mean you do what they say without asking why or questioning them. Quite the opposite, really: You are paying them so they damned sure better explain things to you and because they are getting paid they should listen to your questions and answer them. Again, I am not using this blog to throw my opinions out there on what I just blogged about. I’m …… just sayin’.

    Skip


    Facebook: Skip Hill
    Instagram: @intensemuscle
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    For Training Inquiries: [email protected]

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    • #3
      Sellin’ Your Shallow Soul For A Pro Card

      Monday, June 29th, 2009


      Oh my goodness… I think I touched base about how I come up with my blog ideas in my blog entry yesterday so … I was doing some plant work tonight in the front of the house and …. shut up Melissa, I know you did 96% of it with the kids but during that 4% that I was doing before getting on the computer to work I DID have something creep into my mind that occurred to me when speaking with a client not too long ago. So, buckle yourself in because I am going to go off on a rant here… (lights Dim) ….

      Please, please promise me that you won’t ever think a pro card is the end all be all and please tell me that you aren’t going to be willing to compromise your integrity to get one. First, have you ever seen one? They are hilariously and stupidly uneventful and I am completely convinced that everyone that gets one looks at it, looks up, looks back down at it and thinks or says “are you fucking kidding me? THIS is the all elusive pro card??” It literally looks like a library card or something similar. It is flimsy and made simply of paper much like a business card would be. Trust me, you expect sooo much more and it is one big, fat let down. Now, I obviously know that people don’t hunt for a pro card for the card, itself, but for the status that it brings. Sad thing is, what exactly is that status? For some it can turn into money from sales of DVDs and guest posings, etc.. For MOST of the pros, it doesn’t mean shit and most pros can’t function without a “real” job and for some others it means doing things for money that their mother would either roll over in her grave if she knew or have a heart attack that would put her in a grave and THEN she would roll over due to what her son or daughter was doing to keep from having to work a real job. Oh, and isn’t that funny because that brings me to my point. Buckled in?

      I have been in this business for a long time and I feel I have pretty much seen it all. I have seen the slutty women at the shows for years and I have seen the insecure guys that flex for 3 hours during a show and …. they are in the audience, not on stage, etc.. At times, this sport is so incredibly fucked up that I just have to laugh and think “did I REALLY trade in what could have been a lucrative future in baseball for THIS?” Then, I realize quickly that I am passionate about what I do and passionate about training and that I need to continue to do what I can to do right for the good people of this sport and there are a lot of good people out there, there really. They just get overshadowed by the complete screw ups in the sport and the industry. I have to say that even though I feel I have seen it all, I am still completely blown away by that person (and there are a lot of them out there) that SWEARS they are going to get a pro card and life is going to change for them. (Pink Floyd plays in the background: “hello, hello …. is there anybody IN there …. is there anybody home …. “) The answer is hell fucking no, nobody is home. If someone were home they would have told your dumbass to quit being so stupid, get a job and quit telling everyone how you got screwed at your last show or you would be a pro already…. Ok, I got carried away so I am going back on topic….

      First and foremost and out of the gate I want to say that if you are working towards a goal of getting your pro card then that is your right and I have to respect THAT part of it. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time and money and … a lot of everything. It doesn’t come easy, for sure. It is always good to have lofty goals and I encourage everyone to set high goals for themselves. I am not here to talk about people that are driven and can balance things like a career, kids, a mortgage, etc., with chasing a dream. Those people have my utmost respect whether they will ever get close to a pro card or not. I am talking about the OTHER kind of person that chases a pro card. Yeah, if you read the rest of my blog and you see yourself or someone you know in it, hey, don’t come getting all pissy with me because it isn’t my problem or issue and, honestly, I just don’t give a shit to hear you complain to me. You can’t blame the guy that calls 911 to report your house is on fire after you were playing with matches – he didn’t burn down your house, you did. He just reported it. So, “Yes, 911 operator? I would like to report a dumbass…”

      This sport is full of some of the laziest people on the PLANET. They are even lazier than my 17 year old daughter. My daughter is reading this right now saying to herself “no shit, lazier than ME??” For people that routinely train for a couple hours a day, do cardio, eat religiously, etc., you would think that they would have more energy than other people but a lot of the time they don’t. If I told you how many people I know that are sitting at home without a job because they aren’t willing to work while they “chase the dream” you would be shocked. I am going to add another disclamer here so that I don’t get some nasty email responses to this blog: Please know that I think it is one of the most important things that a parent can do to stay home and take care of their children instead of working and sending the kids to a sitter. I am a stay-at-home parent and I am incredibly fortunate to be able to work from home so that I can raise my kids and know what they are doing almost all of the time. I feel it is a priceless responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. However, I am not talking about those people because those people have my utmost respect, too. Just make sure that you aren’t lying to yourself saying you are home with the kids and they are gone to school all day, either. That is still lame and lazy so… nice try. If you can’t get a job then you don’t count for this rant. If there are other extenuating circumstances, please know that you are the exception. I will be crystal clear that the type I am talking about are right here: If you stay home and don’t do anything because you don’t have kids or your kids are in school all day, and you are planning your next workout or making time to do cardio or get to the tanner, you are a loser. The rest of the world is working double time to balance a career, balance the family responsibilities and just get some TV time for themselves and yet you are just staying at home preparing for your big pro win which, at least statistically, won’t ever come. I know that last sentence doesn’t pertain to you because you are firmly convinced that all of your “hard work” at home all day is going to pay off in a pro card one day and you “will show me”, alright, but it ain’t gonna happen. It won’t happen because that isn’t the definition of working hard and God has a way of evening the score and keeping things fair. Hard work DOES pay off many more times than the easy road does. I just checked with God, himself, and he verified this for me. And don’t laugh at me, either. I don’t laugh at your God, so don’t laugh at mine.

      If you are sitting at home planning on being a pro, what is the thought process?? What plan do you have when it doesn’t pan out for you? How long are you going to not work and stay at home doing nothing expecting that big pay off? What skills will you have to enter the work force if you ever do get it through your head that you aren’t going to be a pro?? What if you get divorced or your spouse dies, what will you put on your resume? You could always put something like:
      Position: Lazy, narcissistic bodybuilder (sometimes referred to as “domestic engineer” for those that want to REALLY impress others and dodge their laziness)
      Time frame: 1997 to present
      Skills: Can fuck really well but otherwise, no real skills.
      I think my point is being made here.

      Being around a bunch of pros doesn’t matter, either. I train next to a lot of pros and have trained with professional athletes but I have yet to ever walk away a professional NFL player or a professional bodybuilder, by proxy. So, if you have a bunch of friends that are pros, I hope you are friends with them because they are good people and not just because they are pros. If not, you better hope THEY aren’t as shallow as YOU because when that day comes that you aren’t a pro and they realize you aren’t going to be one, you are still going to want your “friends” to be around, right?

      It is sad, really. In fact, it is so sad that I almost hope those people DO get a pro card one day because they likely have so little respect for themselves that the pro card might be able to provide something to make them feel that they actually are successful. Even with the pro card, what’s next? Big money? LOL Don’t make me laugh. Maybe a 10k sponsorship for some shit nutritional company no one has heard of? Wow, the status of THAT would be pretty impressive. I mean, you could always spout off about how you are a pro and everyone should listen to you on message boards because, I mean, that has worked for some washed up pros, already, right? They get all hot and pissy with everyone because, dammit, they are a PRO bodybuilder or figure competitor, blah, blah, blah. They MUST know what they are talking about, right? Oh, brother.

      Here you go, just have the pro card, really. If it makes you feel better, get it and enjoy it and tell everyone about it because I bet they would like to hear it considering you probably can’t carry on a conversation about anything not related to training, diet or nutrition, anyway. Remember: You don’t DO anything that would warrant an interesting conversation. You are one dimensional and, boy, are people like YOU fun to talk to. Woo Hoo!! I guess that would explain why and how bodybuilders hang out with bodybuilders – so they can talk about incredibly exciting current events like “what did you do for bis today?” or “should I have eggs with my oatmeal for breakfast or for lunch?” You know, fun shit like that to talk about.

      I like to surround myself with well-balanced and interesting and successful people. Why? Because they have energy and they are fun to talk to because they can talk about a lot of different topics instead of basically just one. Some of my friends are bodybuilders and some don’t workout at all. I don’t pic my friends based on whether they workout or not, I pick my friends whether they are fun to be around and are motivating and exciting people to talk to and people that I can trust to be REAL people and not just someone that wants to be my friend because I am “Skip”. Fake people suck and so I leave you with this: Seriously, if a pro card is important to you then go after it. Just ask yourself: Who will be standing around you in support of you as a friend if you do eventually get the card? Will they be worth a damn and, more importantly ….. will you?

      Skip


      Facebook: Skip Hill
      Instagram: @intensemuscle
      YouTube: TEAMSKIP
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      For Training Inquiries: [email protected]

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      • #4
        Slowly Put The Plate Down And Back Your Fat Ass Away From The Buffet

        Saturday, June 27th, 2009



        Oh, I’m having a moment.

        I get my ideas for my blog entries from …. well, pretty much wherever and whenever they pop into my head. I don’t sit here and think “what do I write about tonight?” That is why you will find gaps in my blog entries so if you wonder why there hasn’t been an entry for a handful of days: I have not had a client or any of my friends say anything worth a damn to me to get my brain rock n and roll n. In short, it is the fault of my friends and clients, not me, when there are gaps in blog entries.

        Earlier today I am on the phone with one of my clients and he is bugging the shit out of me, right? Just kidding, Shawn. Anyway, I digress….. I was on the phone with a “client” of mine that we will call …. let’s say his name is “Shawn” for the sake of this blog entry. Shawn asks a lot of questions because … well… he wants to grow like all hell during the offseason so he wants to understand why my approach will be the best way to approach his offseason or if he should hire someone like Scram from Scratchy Package or whatever the name of that made up business is. So, I am talking with him (speaking? or talking? Damn, this is where I wish I had that english degree) on the phone and he asks the million dollar question: How is it that you think I can gain as much lean body mass (muscle for you dumbasses out there) staying relatively lean than I could if I just ate my ass off and didn’t bother with how much fat I was putting on? And this, my friends, brings me to my blog entry on a Friday night when I could be out with my wife at the movies or a strip club or …. both. Thanks Shawn. Anyway, out of sheer obligation here are the nuts and bolts and the reasons behind my approach…..

        First and foremost, Mr Shawn is older than shit so his health needs to be watched closely. Now, that is not to say that young guys don’t have to watch their health but young guys just don’t give a shit. I remember my 20s and I thought I was going to live forever and I thought that 40 meant you were pretty much half dead, anyway. Shawn is 36 or something close to that so he isn’t “old” but he ain’t no spring chicken, either. When you keep your body fat in check and keep it relatively low you don’t have to worry as much about things like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, etc.. Hell, even things like cancer are significantly reduced by keeping body fat levels lower. Plus, you can pull WAAAY more ass when you are leaner so that might have been the kicker for Shawn, too, I don’t know.

        Now, no one likely came to read my blog today for health advice and no one likely reads my posts on IntenseMuscle.com for longevity but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be smart about how you approach adding muscle mass, either. When you add muscle mass – forget about body fat – you are stressing the heart more. So, it is a safe bet that adding a large amount of body weight even when you are staying relatively lean is still a stress to the body. My advice is to keep the body fat lower so that the total weight gain is lower and that is the lesser of the evils when it comes to stressing the body’s systems.
        You don’t care about health or longevity?? There are still so many reasons to stay leaner in the of fseason that I can’t possibly cover them all here but I will cover a few of the more obvious ones.

        Eating cleaner (notice “leaner” is part of “cleaner” but just drop the “c” – I just noticed that and to think I don’t even get paid for these glimpses of brilliance) also allows the digestive system to work more efficiently. “Cleaner” means you are not only eating natural foods and a variety of foods but you are eating relatively low fat and the fat that you are taking in is “clean”, as well. The process of using clean fats as an energy source is a MUCH more efficient process than converting saturated fat to energy. We also can’t leave out things like milk and other dairy because those will also make digestion less efficient. So, you eat cleaner and leaner and your digestion is more efficient so that equates to more nutrients getting to your muscles and, thus, more potential growth. The alternative is dumping a bunch of food in and just letting the body sort it out. Yeah, real efficient. Nevermind the gas is so bad your wife will have an even bigger excuse to buy more ridiculously priced PartyLite Candles.

        Aside from digestion there is the fact that the body functions so much better when it isn’t carrying excess bodyfat. Your natural hormone profile is in much better condition when you are leaner and your sleep will be that much more efficient, as well. I have seen it over and over with clients and with myself that the leaner you are, the less sleep that you will require. Sleep becomes more efficient the leaner you are so that the body can get done in, say, 5 hours what it normally would get done in 8 or 9 hours. I am sure that some of you reading this have experienced not needing as much sleep when you are leaner and even for those that have not, I would bet one of my kids (preferably the teenager just in case I do lose the bet I still come out on top) that most of you reading this that have been heavier at one time, noticed that you could sleep for 10 hours and still not feel completely rested. This is the same situation but in reverse: The body is not running efficiently while you sleep. Keep in mind that I am not even talking about things like sleep apnea that are known to have much higher incidence in people that are overweight. The amount of bodybuilders that are on breathing machines at night is startling to me and this is almost entirely bodyweight related (not always but in my opinion it is no odd coincidence that you don’t find skinny guys or real lean guys with sleep apnea).

        “But Skip, how does this equate to more gains in LBM and how does this all measure up to just eating your ass off and growing that way?” There is no real good reason to gain 50 pounds of fat and 10 pounds of muscle. The people that do this are the ones that don’t know any better. I hear it all the time: “I just ate my ass off for the offseason and I grew like I had never grown before.” You got fat, bro. Yes, you grew but you got fat as hell and you are calling that “growth”. Nice try. Those same guys could have made the process that much more efficient by keeping track of their meals and working on timing and balancing calories in vs. calories out, doing some cardio and just plain showing some restraint. In the end they could likely have saved adding 20 or more of those pounds of body fat and yielded the same amount of muscle growth. For those same guys, it will suck to diet for a show when it comes time. Sorry you didn’t listen.

        Some points that I feel are strongly recommended in the offseason: Cardio is an absolute necessity. It not only keeps your metabolism primed if the amount of cardio isn’t too high but it also can have you recovering faster between workouts. If you are leaner and your oxygen uptake is better you will get nutrients to where they need to be a lot more efficiently and that equates to growth. Eating leaner we covered, already, but timing is important, as well. You do have to remain above maintenance with your calories, obviously, but it doesn’t have to be 1000 calories over maintenance as that will not equate to more growth. Do you need to consistently add calories and take in as many calories as you can without gaining more bodyfat? Hell yes, you do. I never once said that eating like a bird would make you big as hell. You need to eat big but you need to eat as big as you can without gaining a lot of body fat. When you hear things like “eat big to get big” that doesn’t mean shoveling down the chinese food at a buffet and competing with your friends for who can eat more. That is just a fast track to man titties. So many people take the approach of “more is better” for so many things in this sport and food is one of them. Look, if you are already fat don’t go eating yourself fatter. If you are gaining strength in the gym but you feel it is slow and yet you can’t increase your calories because you are getting fatter, you are going to have to be ok with gaining slow. It sucks but get over it because I guarantee that eating yourself fatter is not going to have you growing any faster and the process of leaning down either for a show or just the summer is going to suck, ten fold.

        When you approach the off season you want to go in with the idea of being able to work your calories up over weeks and months in increments that allows your body to adjust to the calories and hopefully to increase your metabolism to be able to handle more and more calories without gaining too much fat. If you increase calories by 1000 in a week, you are much more likely to gain body fat than if you increase by 1000 calories in increments of 330 every 2 weeks for a total of 6 weeks or even more. Go into the off season with the mission of being as healthy as you can be and looking like a bodybuilder instead of a “big guy”. The name of the game is size but you have to make sure that the gains you are making are quality gains. Control your off season by investing the time and effort into looking and feeling great instead of just shoveling the food in and hoping for the best.

        Skip


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        • #5
          Get yourself balanced before you can expect success

          Saturday, April 18th, 2009


          I have written about this in the past and figured it is so vitally important and so easily forgotten that I should bring it up again. I get clients that approach me on occasion and they have the typical mentality that they want to blow everyone off the stage, dominate the show and leave no one standing. It is great to hear that a potential client is so motivated and wants to pour himself or herself into a show leaving nothing undone. However, words are just that and I don’t have to get into their background and information too much further, sometimes, before I see that it is highly unlikely that this person will succeed.

          Now, I am not one to bust anyone’s dreams no matter how far-fetched I might think they are. You could be training for one year and tell me you want to win the California State show and I would say that a goal like that can lock you into a zone where you can pour 100% into your training and show up in the best condition you absolutely can. Remember, it isn’t my job or responsibility to predict whether you or anyone else will “win” or how you will place or even if you can be competitive. I help you build a house that we plan to be the best house in the area. If, while building that house, you ask me what the market will be for your home in a year how the hell can I know? I help people build. I can’t possibly know who will show up and what their “house” will look like. Point is, I will support you completely with whatever goal you set. When I will shoot you down is when you come to me wanting the world and yet have no pattern, at all, that will even remotely predict that you can accomplish this.

          What gives you away as likely not being successful at reaching your goals? If you don’t have your life in order you can forget it. I am not even talking about winning an insignificant bodybuilding show. I am talking about ANYTHING you are setting your sights on and setting goals for. First things first, this sport is expensive if you are going to do it right. I am damned expensive and so if you come to me and you say, “Skip, I can’t afford any supplements and I can’t afford that kind of meat because I had to pay you”, you are off to a really bad start. This is your first sign. You have to have your money in order and you have to be able to fund everything from the food to the supplements to the travel, etc.. You must know going in that you can handle it financially.

          Next order of business? Is your life a chaotic mess? Your job killing you? Extra hours? Sometimes guys have all the money they need but they don’t have a lifestyle that allows for 100% commitment to get the training done, the cardio done, the tanning done, the posing practice, etc.. You can’t tell me 5 weeks into a prep that you can’t do double cardio sessions because you don’t have the time. I don’t really care about your time. I care about you getting into your best shape that you possibly can to represent you AND to represent the name that I have worked so hard to cultivate. An addendum to this is travel for your job. If you have spontaneous trips for 4 days at a time to other cities this isn’t going to allow you to prep the way that you need to. Keep in mind that we aren’t talking about giving your best, here, we are talking about someone coming to me and saying that they want to dominate a show and destroy everyone. There is a HUGE difference between doing a show for the experience vs. owning a show but that is for another blog. : )

          As there are a ton of variables that I could write about I am only going for what I consider the top 3 today and number 3 is likely the most important one: You can’t have a spouse that doesn’t support you. If I have a client that laughs and says his wife is a bitch: HUGE red flag. First, he might be laughing but he is likely serious. See, calling your wife a bitch and laughing at the same time allows guys to think that this is ok if they were somehow overheard saying it. The typical response is “Honey, I was laughing”. We might not be smart enough to put the toilet seat down but we are damned sure smart enough to know if we call you a bitch, there better be a smile married to it. If your wife or husband isn’t on board, you are not going to succeed, period. Why? Because when you are dieting and cranky and shitty, you will want to pick at her for EVERYTHING. You will make up things to give her shit about. Plus, you have to keep in mind that the last thing she wants is to see you getting leaner and “hotter” because she already doesn’t support this and now you are catching other people’s eyes. Trust me, that does nothing to encourage support. It becomes a never-ending cycle of resentment: You resent her because she doesn’t support you and she resents you because you are a prick to her every chance you get.

          People say to me sometimes that they don’t understand how I can be enjoying competing with so much going on in my life. With 4 kids, a business, competing myself and helping my wife compete it can get hectic but I have had more success now than when I was young and had far more time on my hands. Why? Structure and having my ducks in a row. Financially, I am in a good place and my wife has been supportive of me for all of our 17 years so I am very fortunate in that regard. I also have learned to manage my time as efficiently as possible because without doing that, I would literally have no time to train. I simply have too many things to do in a day as a lot of you reading this also have to deal with. It is time management and it sometimes has to be dead on with little flexibility for an entire day like on Mondays. My kids know that Dad’s Mondays are rough and to take care of their business so that I can take care of mine.
          Before you decide to step to the plate and hit a home run, make sure to assess your situation HONESTLY and ask yourself if you are in a position to focus on the show that you have set a goal for. It just doesn’t make sense to set yourself up to fail. Maybe instead of focusing on a show with 100% dedication you should first work to balance your life and THEN decide if taking on something like a show is a good idea. Imagine what you could do if you turned that motivation from a show to your relationship or managing your time better? Trust me, the pay off for the latter is far more than what it is for a show. Plus, your wife or husband will win, as well.

          Skip


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          • #6
            Rice cakes, Otomix, fanny packs and the smell of pro tan

            Wednesday, April 15th, 2009



            “4 things you will find at every bodybuilding contest across the country for the last 20 years, Alex.”

            Listen, I get bored blogging or talking about the same shit over and over like how cardio is best utilized, what protein is the best (we all know that it is the TEAMSKIP blend from TrueProtein that even outsells Dante’s formula 3 to 1) or what exercise works the sweep of the quads the best. I will blog about that boring stuff, too, but in the meantime I gotta reminisce a little bit and I gotta show my age a little bit and I gotta show how incredibly rediculous things in this sport can sometimes look.

            Bodybuilders look in the mirror more than anyone else but yet we don’t see the stupid stuff that others are laughing at us for. Let’s get something straight right now: If you are still training in Otomix, give them back to Troy Zucolotto. He can’t find them and he is pissed. Gary Strydom called and he wants his string tank top back with matching yellow and black striped spandex – full length, yes, the ones that Stryper wore in the video. It doesn’t matter how big your legs look it should be at least a misdemeanor to wear them to the gym. I don’t want to look over and see your giblets crammed in spandex. Oh God, Oh GOD….. And one more thing: weight belts shouldn’t be used as a corsett. You use a belt to support your lower back for BIG lifts (and even that is debatable). You don’t use it to hold your gut in while doing curls or kickbacks.
            Even though I think that major crimes are committed in the gym, they are misdemeanors compared to the felonies I see committed OUTSIDE of the gym by bodybuilders. Seriously, can someone teach bodybuilders how to carry themselves and how to dress?? I am here for you, guys and gals. I am going to help you. First, ditch the tight swinger shirts. Nothing wrong with a big collar on your shiny shirt that says “I’m a disco fag” but let’s be real here: It really does have to fit. If I see a shirt so tight that buttons are being raped, I want to see it between 2 mammoth tits on a hot woman, not on you. There is also the jean shorts and Affliction t-shirt combo that has just come out in the last year or so. You can go to the department store and ask for it by name – “the white trash, Saturday night dress up combo”. It is kind of like when people with money wear a Ralph Lauren polo shirt and khaki shorts but yet …. it’s not. It’s not because this is supposed to be their “go out attire” on a Saturday night. A couple other things to consider not doing when you go out: Please don’t pump up to go out. That is just … really wrong. No baby oil on the arms, either. Another really bad idea. Do not walk like your nuts are the size of bowling balls. No one’s legs are that big and when you walk like that, no one THINKS you are walking like that because your legs are big. Why? Because we can all see the size of your legs you retard and they aren’t big. If you want to look big, get big. I know, odd, isn’t it?

            I know, I know, you have all been waiting on the fanny pack and I left it for last. Please, for the love of God, can someone explain to me why these are still being made? Where does one acquire one of these? Is there a store that sells fanny packs? How can someone not know how stupid these really look? Even I know how much my earpiece irritates the shit out of people so I take it out whenever I think about it so that I don’t look like a fool. I am not terribly bright and even I have the ability to say “hey, I don’t want to look like a bodybuilding dumbass today”.

            Now, I haven’t seen it yet but I have heard about it and I hope to God I never do see it. After 25 years in this sport I have been fortunate to never have witnessed the guy that puts on protan to go out so that he looks like he has a tan. Yes, it sounds rediculous but it happens. That smell, as any competitor will attest, is so universally known that I don’t know what I would do if I smelled it at a club. I would probably stand there confused for a minute wondering what that smell is and then when it hit me, I would SCRAMBLE for my phone because I would be TAKING A PICTURE OF THE DUMBASS THAT WAS WEARING IT SO THAT I COULD POST IT RIGHT HERE ON MY BLOG. If you do the crime you better be able to do the time.

            Skip


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            • #7
              How to pick your prep guy/nutritionist

              Monday, April 13th, 2009



              Look, everyone that does what I do likely thinks they are the best in their field or industry. I damned sure do. However, how do YOU know who is the best or better yet who is the best for YOU. There are a lot of nutritionists out there that can get you to your goal but …. can you function at work in the meantime because your brain is in dead mode? Are you going to potentially ruin or hurt a relationship because you are being mean and bitchy all the time? What about your kids? Treat them like shit and they don’t care if you are dieting and certainly won’t understand that dieting = mom’s a bitch. This brings me to my checklist of how do I pick the right prep guy/nutritionist:

              1. If his name rhymes with “blip” or “Sip” then you are ok. : ) Ok, number 2…..

              2. Seriously, the first issue is what is the EXPERIENCE of the guy that you are considering working with? Does he have hands on experience in the same area as your goals? Example: I know that if I was going to compete as a bodybuilder I would not care to work with someone that competed 15 years ago in a novice class because it is very possible that this guy doesn’t understand and can’t relate to being on stage and what it takes to get there. I know that some say things like “well, they have put so many clients on stage … “. Hey, I said ME. If it were ME, I would want someone that can walk the walk and can relate, directly, to what I am feeling and going through during my prep phase for a show.

              3. This one relates to number two in that if you have someone that you want to work with that is a competitor, IS HE OR SHE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO? It sounds silly but there are so many people in Denver that call themselves prep guys and nutritionists but yet can’t get shredded themselves yet people PAY them for advice. WTF??? lol I have never understood that. What is the thought process behind it: “Um, that guy looks 5 weeks out but is going to take 2nd simply because he out-muscled most everyone on stage, oh, I gotta work with the fat guy”. I don’t think I will ever understand that one.

              4. Obviously, PRICE is an issue and an important one to consider during these difficult economic times. You might find the perfect fit for a trainer and yet they are just too expensive. Right now, we all have to watch our money a little closer and cut corners when we can. Now, even though you have to consider the fees, what do you get for the fees that are listed? If someone is 1000 bucks but someone else is 600, do you go with the 600 knowing you won’t get the attention that the 1000 dollar guy will give you? Price isn’t always indicative of how good someone is but …. it is safe to say in MOST situations that the more expensive a trainer is, the likelihood of him being higher on the food chain in this sport is very likely. I mean, if fees are high but that trainer wasn’t worth it, he would go broke because people wouldn’t pay that much or they would find out quickly that the trainer wasn’t worth the money and let everyone know about it and ….. the trainer would go broke quickly. Word of mouth travels fast so the bad ones do tend to get weeded out that think they are worth more than they actually are.
              Shop around. Compare fees but ASK WHAT YOU GET for your money.

              5. DOES THE TRAINER DO TRAINING ON THE SIDE OR IS THIS HIS BUSINESS/LIVELIHOOD? Speaking for myself, if I was not good at what I do I would damned sure not be able to afford to do it as my job/career until 5am every night (4am now so I have to hurry….). You can bet that response time to questions is far higher when a trainer doesn’t have a “regular” job and does the training job on the side. This has to be taken into consideration with price, as well. I mean, if you pay more but you have your trainer corresponding with you several times during the day if need be, that price may be justified depending on the attention you are looking for.

              6. Is the trainer PASSIONATE about what they do or just in it because it is “easy” and can make a little gear money on the side. Ask questions but this one is tough to see ahead of time so references or word of mouth is going to be key for this one. Ask others that have worked with this trainer what they think and whether they were supported and whether the process of working with that person was one that the trainer was invested in and not just working with as many people as they possibly can.

              7. Lastly, and this one is high on the list of importance and it is: METHODOLOGY. In a nut shell, are you going to pay someone to starve you and torture you and help to put your career on the line along with your marriage or other relationships? Some trainers still do the “eat less and do more cardio” approach thinking they are badass trainers. All the while their clients are zombies. Check the methodology of the trainer and find out if you get cheat days or cheat meals or higher carb “refeed meals” or in my case: SkipLoading meals, etc.. Find out if they are known for no carbs or if they love carbs and keep fats real low, etc..

              I am certain I could come up with more points to consider but just know before you go pay someone a grand to starve you and tell you how great you look and then put you onstage using diuretics and everything they can use to “get you peaked”, that you can ask and ask and ask more questions. Just keep asking them. I mean, they want to work with you, right? It is your money, right? Make them jump through a couple hoops by asking them everything you can think of so that there are no surprises. You are the one paying so YOU are the one that deserves to be 100% comfortable with the person that you are accountable to for 10-20 weeks.

              EDIT: This also goes for people that aren’t even going to compete. These questions are important no matter what your goals are. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have the right trainer for your situation.

              Skip


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              • #8
                What Motivates You?

                April 9th, 2009



                I am old school. Well, I am old, too, but I prefer being called old school. I come from the era where the gyms were covered with dumbells and chalk and instead of neon there were pictures of bodybuilders on the walls from the magazines. There was no internet so I just figured that bodybuilders were big and ripped all the time, all year round, because those are the only pictures that were in the magazines. Much like Rich Gaspari in the pic that I posted, as a teenager I assumed that he walked around like that all the time. He was my motivation and I wanted to be JUST LIKE HIM but it wasn’t Rich that I thought about for years it was other people that I will get to in a minute.

                I worked hard in the gym thinking that if I just trained hard, I would get big and ripped, right? I mean, logically it made sense to a 15 year old, at the time. I didn’t eat much of what I was supposed to but there wasn’t a huge emphasis on nutrition then like there is now. You could still get protein powder but it tasted like ass and you had to open it like it was basically a coffee can – you had to use a can opener and I am not kidding. The other old guys are laughing right now because they know exactly what I am talking about. I bought everything I could afford (which wasn’t much) and would stand in GNC and dream of being able to afford Joe Weider’s Dynamic Life Essence. That shit was 22 dollars a bottle so I figured that was probably about as good as steroids. I just couldn’t afford even one bottle because 22 bucks then was like 60 now. Can you imagine? About 30 capsules of BCAAs for 60 bucks. That is why that shithead got so rich. Joe Weider was stealing from the wannabe meatheads of the 80’s.

                So, I am working hard in the gym at the local Y Center and I am hanging my Rich Gaspari pictures on my wall in my bedroom and I am journaling my workouts which, in that day was pretty gay (it wasn’t accepted and normal like it is today) and I am working out with my shirt off – not because I am buffed but because any little muscle that I didn’t notice before but would find during a workout was a HUGE deal to a 15 year old that was going to win the Olympia at 26. I gave myself until I was 26 because … well. ….. 26 was a nice safe number as I was only 15, so …. 26 was married and almost dead for the most part, right? I felt like it was far enough away to not sidetrack my pipe dream. So …. I am training and minding my own business and talking to all of the regulars, pretending to be one myself, and I have to get a drink so I head over to the fountain (water bottles were gay, then, too – alot of things were gay in the 80’s but damned sure not spandex, string tank tops and mullets for some really weird reason) so I head over to the fountain and this cat is standing in the doorway leaned up against it like guys used to do if they didn’t train that day – they would just come out and hang out at the gym looking suupr fly in their Z Cavarrichi pants and showing off their bigness… I don’t pay any attention to him because I am into my workout but this guy is huge. His name was Steve but I can’t remember his last name or I would out him completely right now. He hung out with a guy named Tom Bennett and I remember Tom’s name because he was such a dick so I will definitely out him hoping he googles his own name (because bodybuilders do that sort of thing) and comes across my blog and sees me calling him a dick. Unlike Steve, Tom was a dumpy kind of guy that was tall and top heavy and was not made for bodybuilding. He ended up wrestling for a little while and took a kid named Rob Szakowski under his wing and if you recognize the name Rob Szakowski, he would later become Rob VanDamme. Rob was an ok guy until fame got him and then I hear he turned into a real dick, too. Either that or it was just contagious, I can’t know for sure but to this day I don’t have dicks as friends. You can never be too careful. Anyway …. back to my LOOONG story ….. Tom’s fat ass is standing there with Steve’s pompous ass and Steve says to me “hey Skip” (ok, he didn’t call me Skip but the rest of the story is true, I promise) “you are looking pretty big today” and he says this sincerely or so I thought. I stopped, looked him over to see if he was kidding and he seemed to be serious so I said very happily while looking down at my chest and arms “you think so??” Steve starts laughing and says “no, of course not” and then dickhead number 2, better known as Tom-fat-ass-Bennett-dumpyass-goofy fucker, starts laughing his ass off along with him. Now, I need to paint the picture accurately and tell you that these two thought this was the funniest shit they had heard or said in a LONG time. Of course, I stood there looking at them like that cat in Shrek with the big eyes and just walked away. I can’t say I was devastated but I was embarrassed and in of all places, MY gym. They might as well have said those things standing in my living room and it may not have had the same impact.

                Do I have a point to all of this? Not really. I just like to hear myself talk. Seriously, of course there is a point and the point is that Rich Gaspari was just a picture on my wall that I could strive for and that I wanted to emulate and look like. My motivation for years was to continue on in this sport and show fuckers like Steve and Tom that they were wrong and I was going to succeed and the joke was on them. Oh, there were MANY other instances where I was laughed at or cheap shots were taken but I have to say that without them, maybe I wouldn’t have had the motivation to push so hard for so long. Sure, I love the gym and I have a passion for it – it is my therapy of sorts but maybe I would have traded it in if not for the turds that I came across that mocked me early in my life. What ever happened to them? I was asked this earlier today by a client and I didn’t give much of a response. They were both tragically killed by a car door while they were both changing a flat tire along the highway. They were both holding hands acting really 80’s gay and wearing string tank tops and otomix shoes and as I was driving down the highway I swerved at just the right time, opened my door and killed both of them. At least that is how it panned out in my dream. What REALLY happened to them? Who gives a shit. I have a cool wife of 17 years, 4 great children, a business that I love and am incredibly fortunate to have, and I have done ok on stage by my own standards. My life is good. Funny, because with my position in the industry and all of the people that I know and that know me, I have never once heard of Steve name mentioned in the sport. Karma really can be a fun thing. : )

                These days, my motivation is much different. As with anything, motivations change and evolve. I was an insecure kid when I got into this sport and likely remained that way for some time into adulthood. It wasn’t until I got married and had children and started having little successes in life that I really became secure enough that my motivations changed in the sport. My motivations now are very much personal. I am in the public eye more than most but I truly try to keep my bodybuilding personal and about me. That is why I like to sneak into shows and that sort of thing. I can do without the fanfare and attention. Funny, too, because the more secure I got and the more my motivation became personal, the more I progressed and the better I have gotten in the sport. When you stop comparing yourself to others and start challenging yourself to beat your previous best, the motivation turns inward. It makes the journey of doing a show or just besting yourself in the gym so much more rewarding. Oh, and you will NEVER find me being a dick to anyone in the gym for being small or not in great shape, etc.. If you are there busting your ass, you have my support.

                What are YOUR motivations?

                Skip


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                • #9
                  Going All In With A Pair Of Sixes

                  Wednesday, February 17th, 2010



                  I was speaking with a client earlier today and the topic of genetics came up, yet again. I say “yet again” because the topic has permeated so many conversations, lately, that I figured I might as well hit it again here in my blog. I realize that I have discussed this before but I think that it begs to be discussed again and again so that people get it. I think that most times that genetics are discussed in bodybuilding or weight lifting, it gets shrugged off for whatever reason. Maybe it is simply denial. I don’t really know but it gets frustrating when I try to give someone advice and time after time, when it has to do with genetics, it is discarded with little to no attention paid to it.

                  I am going to approach it from a different angle….

                  First and foremost, your genetic potential is predetermined. I don’t care if you want to believe it or not, I am telling you that it is a matter of fact. You will not somehow take some magical supplement or train some new way and surpass your genetic potential. Taking extra things like steroids or other hormones or training efficiently and mastering your nutrition will simply get you to your genetic potential quicker. That being said, as with all things in life, we are all dealt cards that we must play.

                  If you are familiar with Texas Hold Em you know that everyone is dealt 2 cards, to start. You take a look at those 2 cards and decide if you want to stay in or fold. Sometimes your 2 cards can be obvious to you that they make a great hand and other times you have to take a look at those cards and then take into consideration other factors like how your cards might stack up based on position on the table, what you have to bet, etc.. So, the guy sitting next to you could have a pair of Kings and you have suited connectors. You aren’t beaten by the Kings even though the Kings are a pretty big advantage. You must keep in mind that THERE ARE MORE CARDS STILL TO BE DEALT. You see where I am going here? You should and if you don’t you are one dumb son-of-a-bitch.

                  We all start out on this journey of getting huge, competing, etc, by essentially being dealt 2 cards. I have always considered my starting hand to be about a pair of sixes. In the game of Hold Em, that is usually only a really good hand if you are playing someone straight up or if there aren’t a lot of players at the table. When there are a lot of people at the table (say something like 10 million in gyms all over the country) that pair of sixes ain’t terribly impressive. I say I had a pair of sixes because I did start out young in the gym and came from a sports background so coordination wasn’t too hard to come by in learning how to train and I seemed to grow pretty well from the start but nothing that was going to give me big, purple stretch marks. I was known as the “workout guy” in school. Not too bad but not heading to the Olympia just yet, either.

                  On the other hand, I think most can relate to the guys that are seen in the gyms that are dealt an A/K suited or AA or KK. They don’t have to work too hard and they don’t have to train for long before most people that see them in the gym wish they looked like they do. Bitch is, in the game of Hold Em just as in the game of bodybuilding, you can get your ass handed to you after being dealt a strong starting hand by someone that came out of nowhere to put together a hand with 5 more cards, as the game progresses.

                  After you get a chance to look at your 2 cards and decide whether to stay in the game or go home, you get dealt 3 cards all at once called “the flop”. This gives you a MUCH better idea of what your hand is going to be by the end of the game even though the game is far from finished at this point. You now can take the 2 cards you were dealt and then add the other 3 cards to form your 5 card hand.

                  If the first 2 cards that are dealt are considered your starting hand in this game, then the flop is metaphorically something like the next 5 years in this game or sport we call bodybuilding. The first 5 years of this sport are going to give you a damned good perspective on what your finished hand is going to look like. It isn’t going to tell you EXACTLY what it will look like but it will give you a very good idea of whether you want to stay in, maybe hedge a few bets (most will put this one together) and take a chance on winning it all or simply folding. Remember, there is also recreational poker to be had. It doesn’t have to always be a huge payout tournament that you play in.

                  After the flop you will get another card to add to your hand and this is called the “turn card”. How very appropriately this card is named. If you don’t see your position in this game by the turn card, you are holding on for what most consider a chance shot at luck that the last card, the river card, is going to save your game. It can happen but it doesn’t happen often and is considered relatively rare and lucky. Not many people bet big that the River Card is going to change the game around for them.

                  In the end, you still have the guys that were dealt the best hands from the start, most likely still in the game with a statistically better chance than everyone else of winning. The numbers don’t lie. However, a well played hand can still win and will quite often. It just depends on how well that person plays that hand, what the flop looks like and whether that person decides to “put it all on the the line” to try to beat the guy with the great starting hand. It is funny, too, because the flop, turn and river cards are all considered “community cards” in Hold Em and that applies to bodybuilding, as well. Everyone has a chance to see what the first 5 years does to their physique and whether continuing is even worth it or logical. Hell, some stay in the game just out of curiosity to see if they can pull it off even when the odds are against them. The difference, here, is that people react differently to the outcome. Some will be pissed that they got beat and didn’t end up with the best hand and others will smile and be content with the fact that they played their hand the very best they could and enjoyed the game. I mean, it isn’t all about winning and losing, is it? Sometimes, people just enjoy playing the game, right?

                  I was dealt a pair of sixes and I am glad I stayed in the game. I expected 3 more sixes on the flop because I was a dumbass, disillusioned teenager and I was pissed when I saw that the flop was not at all what I expected it to be. In complete honesty, I actually did benefit from the turn card as I got serious only after I saw that Mr Muscleguy in high school wasn’t going to be turning pro training like a giant douche and eating like a kid with a bulging stomach and flies on his eyes waiting for rice to fall from a plane in the sky. My point is that I felt that I had to stay ripped all the time and so my flop turned out shitty. By the time I figured it out my turn card was much more impressive and, arguably, my river card, as well. Of course, I would like to think I still haven’t been dealt my river card but … that would just be me denying that I turn 40 in 3 weeks. The river card has been dealt whether I want to admit it or not.

                  My advice? Pay attention to the flop and be true to yourself and honest with yourself. You don’t have to have the best hand but you DO have to know the hand you are playing so that you can play it the very best that you can.

                  Skip


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                  • #10
                    My Friend Greg

                    Tuesday, January 19th, 2010



                    I have a friend. When we were younger we played baseball together. Now, I should probably define the word “together” as meaning I would play and he would sit on the bench and do nothing. However, we wore the same uniform and so we were on the same team so we played “together”. He was a nice kid and was at every practice and every game but he rarely played more than a few innings here and there and was not ever going to have someone watch him play and say or think, “Damn, that kid is going to be a damned good ball player one day”. From game to game and year to year he really didn’t improve much…. but he kept playing. For whatever reason he loved the sport. You might say he was passionate about it.

                    I, on the other hand, had a genuine love for baseball when it wasn’t basketball or football season but wasn’t going to work too hard on the drills or working the fundamentals on a repetitive basis. I figured it was just a bit too damned boring. Plus, I was pretty damned good. In fact, as arrogant as it sounds, I was actually pretty good at most everything that I did that was athletic. Even if I found something I wasn’t terribly good at, I would pick it up pretty quick and GET good at it. In baseball, I was told when I was young (or would overhear coaches talking about me) that I was so good that I might go somewhere with it later in my life. Hearing things like that doesn’t typically make a 10 or 12 year old work much harder if they are already not working very hard and hearing they can play big league ball one day. Oh, I was sure that the only thing I had to do was pick what team I wanted to play for. Getting there was almost a formality to me. Again, it may sound arrogant but remember that I was being told this quite a bit by adults around me and “in the know” when I was very young.

                    So, we have my friend that pretty much sucks at baseball and then you have me who it comes incredibly easy to. I was a catcher and I remember the first ball I caught behind the plate and the first pop up that I caught after diving for, near the 1st base bench. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a strong bat with a propensity to hit on 0-2 and 1-2 counts for probably 90% of my hits over the years. Defensively behind the plate, I was a standout, as well. The only thing I would have had to really work on was my arm. I was accurate and had a quick release but the arm power wasn’t there. This would be something that if I was going to go a long way in the sport I needed to work on but it was more than doable.

                    My friend would come over to our house and we would play everything from hot-box (pickle to some) or mock games or just whatever we wanted to do. I lived 7 houses from a massive baseball park so sometimes we would go down and pick out a ball diamond and just hit for the fun of it. We played quite a bit but nothing very structured where you practice over and over to make a weakness stronger. We just played and had fun.
                    Over the years I drifted away from baseball in favor of the much more lucrative sport of bodybuilding. I mean, once you are told how great you are and how far you will go, it seems almost anticlimactic to actually continue on that road, right? My buddy? He stuck with it but I didn’t know at that time. I moved away and he moved away and years later I heard someone say what he was doing for living. I actually laughed out loud when I heard it said that he was playing baseball for the White Sox farm team. I thought to myself: How in the fuck did this guy get to the point of wearing a White Sox uniform? Are they stupid? Don’t they know this kid sucks at baseball? Apparently, he was quite good I later found out. He played for 7 seasons though he never made it to the major leagues. I haven’t given it much thought but the other day I got to thinking about genetics and potential and all of those cliche words that get thrown around so much in the sport of bodybuilding. It occurred to me that genetics obviously were not only a part of bodybuilding but a part of baseball, among other sports, as well.

                    My friend, Greg, sucked as a kid because he likely wasn’t born with a gift of great hand-eye coordination as he really didn’t excel at any sports that I recall yet he played basketball and football, too. We have all seen the young kids that just make it look so easy and effortless and have what we call a gift. That was me. I think the gift is simply a genetic predisposition at being very good at something. If someone can throw a ball faster than anyone else they may have tighter or shorter tendons in their wrists and forearms allowing a different or quicker or more powerful flick of their wrist. I am obviously stronger than a lot of pitchers or catchers out there in the majors and yet I can’t possibly throw as fast as they do. This is a genetic component. I remember not having to EVER watch the ball into the bat or watch a ball into my glove and I rarely ever missed gloving a ball. Again, another genetic component.

                    Now, some would argue that Greg went off to college and mastered the art of hitting (he would end up being a designated hitter for many of those years) which is one of the most difficult things to do in sport today. Practice can damned sure make you better at something. Just like someone that does workout after workout over weeks and months and years to get bigger and stronger, the baseball player would do essentially the same thing by practicing his stance, timing, follow through, bat speed, etc.. Over the years Greg obviously got better the more he practiced because he damned sure wasn’t born with what anyone would consider a gift. He worked hard, no doubt, on getting better and better and I am sure that after being taught proper form and technique that this helped him to excel, as well. However, in the end, he didn’t get to the majors because of …. his genetic limitations. It wasn’t that he didn’t work hard enough. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have the best teachers in the sport – he damned sure did. He worked his ass off and still came up short of making the majors. He was PAID to practice and yet still couldn’t do it. Sound familiar (minus the getting paid part)??

                    All too many people think that hard work will get you to whatever your goal is. No, it won’t. If you think so you are not at all being realistic. Will hard work get you MUCH farther than not working hard? Duh. Will it take hard work to master anything or be better than anyone else at the same task? Bet your ass. But don’t think for a second that hard work trumps genetic potential because it doesn’t and it never will. No baseball player or bodybuilder has EVER overcome his genetic potential from sheer hard work and/or determination. Just like in bodybuilding you can’t change the shape of a muscle or your structure. You aren’t going to all of a sudden practice yourself into a hitting champion in the majors, either, if you don’t have the genetic potential to do so. You can train until you are blue in the face, liver falling out from too much drug use, wife leaving you for someone that is “normal” and your kids hating you for eating fruity pebbles in front of them after your workout and making them eat the “healthy” cheerios and you still won’t be a pro if that is not coded into your genetic blueprint.

                    Now, there will be plenty that will argue this. Some will take my words and twist them and say that I said that hard work means nothing, blah, blah, blah. Say what you want and the loudest ones running their mouths will be the ones that don’t have the genetic potential and yet don’t want to admit it. Oh, they know it but they don’t dare admit it. These are the people that are convinced that if they work hard enough, they will get there even though everyone around them knows better. To them I say: go for it. You won’t know until you give it all of what you have but just take this advice, please: Be smart enough to know when you have given your all and see the writing on the wall for what it is. If your goal is to be competitive and win some shows, no one would ever hold that against you. However, I will hold it against you, personally, if you see you aren’t going to be a pro and yet still continue to chase that warped dream at the expense of other things in your life and other people in your life.

                    Greg was smart. Along the way he walked away with a college education and the work ethic of someone that will always do the very best no matter what he takes on in life. He also doesn’t bitch, piss and moan about not making the majors. He is good with the effort that he gave to his dream and he knows he went as far as he could go with baseball – maybe even further than he ever thought he could go. I have a lot of respect for Greg and not because he played ball for the White Sox but because he worked his ass off, followed his dream and when he couldn’t work any harder, he knew when to call it a day.

                    Skip


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                    • #11
                      Retards Throwing Gang Signs

                      Saturday, November 7th, 2009



                      Something struck me as I was thumbing through the latest issue of NPC Newsonline. It is my toilet reading along with things like Men’s Health and 5280 (5280 is the elevation of Denver and the name of the city’s magazine that reviews restaurants, doctors and things of that nature). I pay special attention to Isaac Hinds’ spontaneous photography shots primarily because I know him from here in Denver and he can get some funny shots. I think he was covering the Arnold show from earlier in the year and as I was looking at the pictures I couldn’t help but shake my head as I noticed, what is to me, one of the lamest things that bodybuilders do when they take a photo. It doesn’t matter if it is on Facebook, a pic for a magazine or a pic with their buddies – and it is important to note that the females don’t do it. Nope, we look like complete morons unto ourselves.

                      Now, you can’t make an excuse for this so don’t try to justify it. If you do it, don’t even TRY to deny it, just laugh at yourself and know it is true. I bet at least a few of you see it coming but I am going to throw it at you, anyway: It is the old tradition of flexing the arm while making some stupid sign with your hand or fingers. We are WAY too cool to just shake someone’s hand and flex our arm for the camera, no, we have to do what I like to refer as the “meathead gang sign”.

                      It seems there are different gangs due to all of the signs that get thrown.

                      We have the “V gang” which is simply the first two fingers formed in a V. Another that comes to mind is the “1 gang” which is just the first finger, I think, referring somehow to being number one or something. I can’t forget the “fisted gang” which is simply a clenched fist and there is, of course, the one that I think is some Hawaii sign for surfers but to me looks more like when you signal to someone from across the room to “call me” like you are using a cell phone.

                      Now, the gang that you belong to isn’t that important. What is important is that you flex the arm so hard that until the picture provides a still image, you were shaking like an epileptic on clen.

                      I ask you who are reading this: Why is it that we feel we have to do this? Is it some unwritten rule? Do we need to show that we are part of this club or gang? I have never once seen a picture of Kobe Bryant acting like he is shooting an invisible basketball while taking a picture with a fan. I have yet to see A Rod act like he is swinging a bat in a picture nor have I seen a race car driver acting as if he is driving a car. It makes little sense, really. What does it say? Are we saying: You might not know that I am a bodybuilder so I must prove it in this picture? Do we expect that the person who asked to take the picture expects or wants us to do this? I wonder if it is simply because, God forbid, we take a picture with a fan or friend and …. have our arm look….. small. *GASP* The thought of it. I can’t stand the thought of a picture existing that would not show my arm in the best light and looking completely flexed and hard. I certainly don’t want anyone to think that my muscles aren’t always hard and flexed, right? Hell no, can’t have that.

                      So, the next time you are thumbing through something like the NPC news, see if you don’t notice the same things I do. The next time you take a picture with a pro and they start to flex their arm in some moronic sign, politely tell them that you paid well for the photo op and you don’t want to have your picture taken with a retard. A really BIG retard, at that. There are retards all over the place that would smile from ear to ear (and probably drool) to have you take a picture with them. And if you ever take a picture with me and I do that? Smack the fucking shit out of me. I will understand and I will appreciate it.

                      Skip


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                      • #12
                        There Goes My Life??

                        Saturday, August 22nd, 2009



                        What is your definition of hardcore?
                        Webster defines hardcore as: unswervingly committed; uncompromising; dedicated. I am dedicated. I am just not unswervingly committed and uncompromising. I used to be but I am not any more. This weekend I am reminded once again of my not being as hardcore as I once was.

                        As most of you know, I have four children. My youngest will be starting school on Monday and even after doing this three other times over the last twelve years it isn’t any easier, I don’t think. My oldest is seventeen so if you take five years away from that (starting school at five years old), you get twelve years. Where am I going with this? In usual Skip fashion you will make the connection shortly. I first have to ramble on and give you details that are likely insignificant but, hey, I have never once said I was good at this writing thing. In fact, I was accused not too long ago on facebook of butchering sentences; using quotations incorrectly and being unable to articulate my thoughts well. My response to him was only two words and, quite frankly, I articulated my thoughts well with only those two words but …. as usual I am going to use more than two words and as usual …. I digress …….

                        For myself, I was born into this sport with what I considered at the time was absolute hardcoredum or hardcorination or hardcore-ism-ation-ly-duration or … whatever other Shawn Wayon’s-ism I can come up with. You get my point, though, I think. I was fourteen and wanted to be the most hardcore guy (kid) in the gym. From the time I was about fourteen and through high school I would trade off other sports that I was very good at because they would impact my training intensity in the gym – or my ability to remain “hardcore” in the gym – whichever you prefer. I passed on baseball which was my ticket if any sport was going to be a ticket for me. I passed on football but I passed on that primarily because I was a pussy. That’s right, I said it. That shit fucking hurt. I didn’t want to get hit in the gut with a helmet over and over (first sign that I might not be as hardcore as I thought). I passed on basketball and for all of you turds that are laughing right now at the thought of me playing basketball, I was good. I was not a starter, usually, but I was consistently the 6th man. Yes, I hated being the 6th man and thought I should have started and traded that in, as well. I traded a senior trip to the Bahamas and the one that I want to slam my dick in a door to this day about was when I passed on playing baseball in Japan in my junior year of high school. My dumbass actually thought it was cool that the papers noted that I was not going to make the trip due to trading in the sport of baseball for bodybuilding. It wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t see how fucking stupid I was but it had to go into the paper for the entire town to read how fucking stupid I was. All the while I am reading and thinking “that’s right, everyone in town knows I am a bodybuilder now”. The point of this ramble session is that I traded not only sports but many other things away during my school days because they might have conflicted with what I thought was my reputation as a bodybuilder and my ridiculous goals of someday winning the Olympia. I say ridiculous because I had no chance of ever turning pro or even coming close to an Olympia stage but unfortunately for me I had no one to stand up and tell me. Would I have listened? Probably not but someone should have said it because there were many people that knew it and yet stood by as I spit away opportunity after opportunity thinking it would just get in the way of my hardcore existance as a bodybuilder.

                        Fast forward to about twenty years old: Yup, I’m pretty hardcore at this point. I was a BIG fish in a small pond and as long as I stayed in my little town I was known as Mr Muscle Guy. I trained my ass off, I ate a can of tuna once or twice a day – STRAIGHT FROM THE CAN because God dammit, I was a badass. I would go to Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house in my rolled up jeans and boat-neck cut Gold’s Gym sweatshirt (also cut off at the forearm and waist – but not too short at the waist – still just long enough to hit the belt line) and have my “hardcore” food in a bag after arguing with my mother until the point that she would just simply give up. I couldn’t eat “normal” food for even the biggest holiday of the year. No, I had to prove to everyone that I was different. I was hardcore and everyone around me was just a bunch of pussies that didn’t understand me.

                        I should also mention that I had no real job and was struggling to go to college because, well, it just didn’t seem to fit with going to the beach, training, etc.. Of course, in hindsight, it didn’t seem to fit all too well that I drove a beat up chevette and had no money to do much of anything so dates were not something I tended to go on a lot. I wasn’t without a girlfriend but I was that broke-ass boyfriend that only wanted to sit at your house and rent movies because I had no money to take you anywhere. As long as I had a great chest workout that day or squatted for the meanest pump I could get, I was on top of the world.

                        Fast forward about a year and a half:
                        I am working a bouncing job at the hottest bar in the area (I think we can all say we pretty much saw this one coming, yes?). So, I am now training at the baddest-assed gym (insert the word hardcore for badass at any point in this story) in the area, I now have money to put gas in my chevette and go out on some dates if I want to (though protein powders are expensive and …. an absolute necessity) and I bump into this hot little bitch at the bar. I throw a few Andrew Dice Clay lines at her and she is sold. Okay, I might come back and edit that part because my wife sometimes reads my blogs. I don’t think she reads them for entertainment purposes as much as to see if I am lying when I talk about her so ….. ok, the Andrew Dice Clay lines didn’t happen but I did lean into her the night I met her acting like I was going to kiss her but walked away. You know, the old “Top Gun” scene in the elevator. Yeah, it was cool twenty years ago but if my oldest daughter reads this she will be laughing her ass off at how cheesy her dad was. Say what you want but she bought it – HOOK, LINE AND SINKER and if she says otherwise, she is lying. Good LAWD…… if I don’t stop going off on these tangents I am not going to finish the story …..

                        Are you still with me? I will be tying this in very soon so bare with me …

                        I met my wife and shortly after we find out that we are having a beautiful baby girl. Well, it didn’t go that well at first. I mean, you gotta know that Mr Hardcore was struggling with the prospect of having to train and keep up with my bodybuilding lifestyle and keep training for the Olympia while only having placed seventh in his first show and … let’s just say it was a local show and I was in the lightweight class. Not exactly remnants of a pro in the making. Add to that the fact that while I was pursuing this bodybuilding dream of mine, I had not finished school and had no real job to speak of. So, I struggled with what the hell was going to happen. Ever hear the country song by Kenny Chesney called “There Goes My Life”?? Yup, I swear to this day it was written for me about my oldest daughter. In fact, if you wanted to just skip my entire blog you could just go listen to that song and you would get it. But …. you can’t because you have read this far and stopping now just wouldn’t make sense. I did my last show as a full-blown, hardcore badass in the Spring of 1992. I was a middleweight (barely) and it was my first class win ever. I had arrived (in my mind) and proved my hardcore status just in time to trade it all in on being a father.

                        Fast forward to this weekend – right now – as I sit here and type this and if you have read this far you are too kind for sticking it out:
                        Since that day that I was forced to trade in my hardcore status I have come to see so many things so much more clearer. Yes, I am sure that maturity, wisdom and knowledge would have helped but I really haven’t come to have much of any of those. Seriously, what I have found is that as time passed I realized I was still going to train and hopefully compete down the road at some point and I did. Of course, I always had my kids in tow and they would go to the daycare while I trained and I could only train at gyms with good daycare. In the middle of a leg workout when I was rattling plates and thinking I was the baddest-assed guy in there, I would be humbled by the voice over the loud speaker calling: “Skip, you are needed in the daycare” and I would have to stop what I was doing, go change a shitty diaper and smile and laugh with one of my four kids for a couple minutes before going back to the squat rack to pretend I was the baddest-assed guy in there …. yet again. The irony of my story is that as the years went by and I got less and less “hardcore”, I advanced and got better at the sport that I was so obsessed with so many years ago. I used that hardcore facade to kind of pretend that I was going to be somebody in this sport one day and yet I achieved nothing until I put it all into perspective. Did I win or even threaten to win the Olympia?? I think we all know the answer to that.

                        The reason this hits me this weekend is because my youngest child goes off to kindergarten on Monday. It has been almost seventeen years since that last show that I thought I had to trade it all in and yet all I had to really do was get things into perspective and simply grow up. I train hard these days. When I go into the gym I give it all I have and when I walk out I am satisfied that I couldn’t have trained any harder. I push it sometimes to the point that I wonder if I really should be training as hard as I do at almost forty years old. I don’t like guys that talk on their cell phones in the gym and I don’t like the guy that does curls in the squat rack. I push the envelope sometimes when it comes to getting ready for a show, too. In the end, though, I don’t consider myself hardcore because I am not willing to, by definition, “commit unswervingly” or “uncompromisingly”. I compromise all the time and I “swerve” all the time. I have little choice with having a business that takes up so much of my time and spending time with my wife and my four kids. So, at least by Webster’s definition I am going to have to start calling myself something else because hardcore just doesn’t work anymore. I think I will trade in the word hardcore for “passionate”. Yeah, it has a nice ring to it …..

                        Skip


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                        • #13
                          Retarded or Gay? Maybe Both

                          Saturday, July 25th, 2009



                          I struggle for ideas, sometimes, so I end up not entering anything if I don’t have an idea to write about. I admit that I have struggled a lot, lately, and I don’t like to force a lame entry because I feel that when I do that, everyone can tell. I was going through my facebook a couple days ago and it hit me what I needed to blog about ….

                          Now, I do admit to using situations that piss me off or things that people do that irritate the shit out of me for my blogs so it is very possible that if the right people read my blogs that they will see themselves and get all pissy about being made an example of. Oh well. If you do stupid shit and I catch you and I write about it, who’s fault is that?? If you speed and get a ticket is it the cop’s fault for giving you the ticket? I think not. So, it is hardly my fault if you are caught doing something stupid and I write about it. My friends know to watch their P’s and Q’s around me so that it doesn’t end up here so you better do the same.

                          It takes me a while to get to my point so just hang in there ….

                          I am bouncing around facebook and I come across an acquaintance that just competed and he has posted a bunch of pictures of himself and is pretty proud of his condition and for good reason. He was in his best condition to that date and had made pretty solid improvements from the last time he was on stage. Nice kid and I have gotten along well with him in the past so we don’t have any issues between us that I am aware of (until he reads this blog and recognizes I am talking about him). I am going through his pictures and I notice a couple comments by him about his placing being “controversial” and I thought it odd that he would say that but didn’t really care to research it too much. I just kept looking at the pics. I noticed another comment on another picture about how he should have won it all and I figured that this is still quite normal as people tend to not always be good with their placing and think they should have been a place or two higher. Still didn’t strike me. However, I get done looking at the pics and I notice that there are a ton of comments on his wall about the show and others commenting on how he should have blown everyone away and the general consensus is that he got screwed over from the judges. I always laugh at this because if you know anything about the judging of a show it is incredibly difficult to do this let alone at the national level. You would have to get a LOT of judges together before the PJing and basically say that “so and so is competing and we want to screw him over” and that is about the only way to do it. One judge can’t do anything and even a couple can’t do anything because the top 2 and bottom 2 scores are thrown out and then the remaining scores are averaged. You have to have a completely corrupt panel of judges, not just one or two judges, to screw someone over.

                          So, I am reading through the comments and they are primarily from college-aged kids saying things like “you got screwed bro, it was yours and they fucked you” and stupid shit from college sluts like “f them c u at the beach 2morrow and you should have 1 cuz u’s HOTTA than thoz otha guyz”. Even his mom came on and was telling him that he should have won. Now, your mom is alway gonna think you should win because ….. well… she is YOUR MOM. She kind of HAS to think you are the best. Note to you dumbasses that give your friends and family the credentials of a bodybuilding judge: They don’t know shit about your sport other than you shave your ass and balls and put on oil and tan stain and get on stage and flex your muscles. Deep down they probably think you are retarded and/or borderline gay but they support you because they are your friends and family. Again, they kind of HAVE to. Hell, I have competed for over 20 years and even I think it seems gay sometimes. Note to gays: Nothing wrong with being gay. I use the word gay sometimes to make a point because straight people don’t want to do things that might make them look gay. It isn’t about being “scared” of doing something gay. It is because we aren’t gay and don’t want to do gay things much like gays don’t want to do straight things like …. march in normal parades where people aren’t half naked and making out. I digress …… Point is, don’t count on your family or friends to tell you anything other than that you are a badass and should have beaten everyone up there. They aren’t wrong for saying it, your dumbass is wrong for believing it.

                          So, I keep track of his page for a couple days to see if it might die off what with the show being so close and figuring that with time he would settle down and see that he was, in fact, judged fairly and accept it a little more. LOL Yeah, right. At this point his responses are getting a little stupid as he is saying cliche things to kind of motivate himself – like, he isn’t responding with comments for others to read, he is instead responding with comments like he is talking out loud to himself to motivate himself. Kind of an odd Tony Robbins kind of thing. One of the things he posted was something like: “yeah, X place this time but next time I will destroy them and be on my way to my pro card – oh yeah baby” or something embarrassing like that. Truth is, I was actually impressed with his placing because I didn’t think he was really that good that he would place where he did. I mean, the show was a national show (I won’t mention the show) but it ended up not being a terribly tough or deep line up. None-the-less, he was in his best condition but was just too damned thin (and tall) for his weight class. He wasn’t beaten on condition which is a good thing but he was absolutely beaten on muscularity and structure – both of which I know first hand can get your ass beaten at the national level so don’t think condition will carry you because it damned sure won’t.

                          So, his comments didn’t die off but continued even after a couple people responded that he probably shouldn’t be such a shitty loser and keep his yapper shut (verbatim and it was pretty funny – thanks Sam) and have some class. What?? A bodybuilder carry himself with class after a show? Whatever are you talking about, Skip?? My clients HAVE to because I insist on it and I discuss with them my philosophy of competing several times over the course of a prep. You train and diet to win but you have no control over who shows up so you control what you can control, get into the best shape of your life and then you accept that the judges decisions are what counts for the placings of that show, win, lose or draw. I also tell them you may not agree but the judges don’t have any interest in screwing you out of a placing. Be proud of your hard work and accept your placing with class and dignity.

                          ADD: I know this doesn’t fit real well but I wanted to add something: Please, please don’t run around trying to impress people by telling them that you are going to win a pro card in this sport. I know I blogged about chasing a pro card before but it has to be said again. When you do this to try to impress your dumbass college friends it looks really pathetic to the people that actually know you won’t get a pro card in this lifetime (and you likely know it, as well). To say something like that is something a young kid would say when he doesn’t understand what it takes to get there and that, genetically, he likely doesn’t have any idea that it isn’t even a remote possibility. I am not saying that you shouldn’t dream and that you shouldn’t set the bar very high but at least be realistic and think about what you are saying before you say it. Reality is something that a lot of people don’t really grasp, fully, and they should.

                          Now, I am again out of material so if someone could do something really stupid or gay, that would be great. Just make sure to let me know what it was that you did so that you don’t do something stupid and gay and then, God forbid, I don’t even get to see it or know about it.

                          Skip


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