From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: 3 steps to greatness
Recently I was in the gym, lifting some weights and having a joke with some of the guys in the gym.
One of the fellows, a nice enough guy, called me a name that had me laughing out loud.
He called me a “genetic freak”.
A “genetic freak” in bodybuilding terms is a mythical person who can put on super-human amounts of muscle just by opening the refrigerator door and not by working hard. These people, “genetic freaks”, were born with the ability to put on endless slabs of beef.
My first thought when the fellow accused me of freakage was:
“Sure buddy, I'm a genetic freak. In the last 14 days I've only been in the gym 14 times. I only spent 8 years sweating in the gym. I only tried every diet, every weightlifting scheme and every supplement on the planet to get this way. Sure I'm a genetic freak“.
But I got to thinking to myself. I thought wait a second, maybe I am a genetic freak.
It sounds arrogant but hear me out first…..
Every man in my family looks exactly the same, and not a single one of them has a body like me. I'm a clear and obvious “genetic” outlier.
Half of the men in my family, the ones who work outdoors, are slim framed with big bellies and spaghetti arms. They are tan and look healthy enough to do physical work but they sure don't look like they've ever seen the inside of a gym.
The other half, the ones who have “real” jobs working indoors under fluorescent lights, are all doughy, pale and sickly and don't look capable of doing much physical activity.
None of them have a body like me, and since your genes come from mommy, daddy, grandma and grandpa you should all look pretty much the same. And in my family they do all look pretty much the same. Except for me.
But here's a little confession: I used to look exactly like them. I had the exact same body type as the rest of the men in my family. The simple reality is that I like to lift weights and they don't.
I hate to ruin my reputation as a “genetic freak” but I had to actually put in the time and effort to go from geek to freak. My muscle man “genetics” weren't born in me, they were forged in the gym. I'm not actually a genetic freak, but in real terms I am a freak for going to the gym for 8 years straight without quitting even a single time.
See exhibit A, Victor Pride at 21 years of age….
At 21 years old I looked like every other skinny white guy.
I recently had a genetic test done to see what my exact genetic make up is.
The test came back at 99.8% Western European genetics and .2% unknown.
I don't think the .2% unknown came from Mt. Olympus because it wasn't until I spent roughly 8 years in the gym that I was accused of being a “genetic freak”.
See exhibit B, Victor Pride at 30 years of age….
If I was born a genetic freak it took almost 30 years for those freak genes to kick in.
I'm not a professional geneticist but something tells me genetics had nothing to do with it and putting in the work had everything to do with it.
See, the simple truth is that in bodybuilding terms, no one is a genetic freak. No one is born with mega muscle. The only thing genetics determine is your muscle shape and symmetry.
Building muscle only comes from lifting weights, eating food and using hormones.
No one is born looking like Zeus or Adonis. And you will never look that way without doing the required physical work.
The “genetic freak” line is either a) a lie or b) an excuse. It all depends on who is saying it.
The genetic freak lie: “Yeah, I'm just a genetic freak. I can eat whatever I want and put on muscle. Thanks mom and dad“. Meanwhile he has a 3cc syringe loaded with testosterone, trenbolone and masteron ready to shoot into his glute, he lifts weights minimum 4 days per week and he eats bodybuilding foods and probably counts his calories.
The genetic freak excuse: “Oh, I'll never look like that because he's just a genetic freak.” So sorry to take away excuses, but when you call someone a genetic freak you're giving yourself an easy reason to be less than him. He isn't a genetic freak, he's just doing what it takes while you aren't.
Listen boys, everybody on planet earth is a human being and we all have human genetics. Nobody was born on Mt. Olympus. Your genetics come from mommy and daddy and whatever race they are. Irish people have Irish genetics, Nigerians have Nigerian genetics, Koreans have Korean genetics. And unless they do hard physical activity they all look like slop.
There are people who exercise and people who don't. There are people who eat right and people who don't. There are people who take muscle building hormones and people who don't.
There are people who do what it takes, and there are people who complain about doing what it takes.
The simple recipe for building a body is this:
You do the work you get the results.
You don't do the work you look like slop, like everybody else who doesn't exercise.
You can't be born a bodybuilding “genetic freak”.
You can turn yourself into one following this 3 step outline.
Step 1) Join a gym, make the gym part of your daily routine, lift weights in the gym
Going to the gym has to be part of your daily routine just like going to the supermarket and going to work. It's just something you have to do, somewhere you have to go every day.
Personally I hate going to the gym. I love lifting weights but I hate being in transit to the gym. I hate walking across the polluted street near my home, I hate waiting for the sky train, I hate walking behind slow people.
But the gym is a must, so I simply get up and go. Day in and day out.
If you want to be a “genetic freak” then that's what you do as well – you go to the gym. The gym is part of your daily routine. Take Saturday and Sunday off if you feel like, no problem, but go to the gym just like you go to the grocery store or whatever else you do daily.
When you're in the gym do some work. The gym isn't for social hour, it's not a place to play on your smart phone, it's a place to train. Get in, get it done, and get out. You don't have to spend all day in the gym, you just need to finish your business and get out. I'm rarely in the gym longer than 30 minutes. Hit it and quit it some say.
Training one bodypart per day is the worst way to train. Your muscles can be trained 2-3 times per week each for max results. One bodypart per day once per week is for bodybuilders who use tons of gear. They “get away” with training so little because the hormones build the muscle regardless of what they do.
If you've been lifting weights for less than two years, stick with free weights and basic exercises. The basics build the raw ingredients for the body. After you've got a body to work with you can mold it into shape later, like a sculptor who molds a lump of clay into a masterpiece.
2) Eat the right way
Food is fuel, but I'm not going to bullshit you about eating chicken, rice and broccoli. You'll never get to your goal eating like that and bodybuilders only eat like that during the last few weeks of a contest preparation.
You can eat real food, get full, enjoy your food and still get into great shape.
And you don't have to do all that crazy stuff like weighing your food and counting your macronutrients. All that baloney gets in the way of real life and I don't bother with that nonsense.
The simple fact is that if you want to lose weight you need to eat less, if you want to gain weight you need to eat more.
I like easy diets and here are my top 3 easy diets for getting into top shape.
- The steak and eggs diet – The steak and eggs diet is the only diet I am never hungry on. It's almost unbelievable, but when you eat these super-foods everyday you feel super calm and never hungry.
- Eat two meals per day – Frankly you can eat anything you want if you eat only two meals per day. Two meals per day from McDonalds will get you into better shape than 6 meals per day of chicken, rice and broccoli.
- Eat whatever you want, just eat less calories than you burn – Junkfood is fine if you're burning those calories off. I'm not a real big eater so sometimes I even need junkfood to get calories in. I've had 6 pack abs eating snickers bars, pop-tarts, coca-colas etc.
The one thing that fatsos all have in common is that they eat constantly. It's much better to eat meals, not snacks. But if you must snack, here are the best snacks on earth
- hardboiled eggs – if you have a hard time controlling hunger you should always keep some hardboiled eggs in the refrigerator. Each time you're hungry and it isn't meal time grab an egg or two and eat just the egg whites. The egg whites barely have any calories and they'll fill you up. Besides, the egg yolks taste like chalk when you hard-boil them.
- cottage cheese – this is a good snack to eat before bed because it has no carbohydrates and it provides long acting protein called casein.
- natural peanut butter (mix with yogurt if trying to gain weight) – 2 or 3 spoonfuls of natural peanut butter should be enough to take away the hunger until meal time. I actually used to eat peanut butter mixed with yogurt to try and gain weight, and it worked.
If you're a skinny guy you need to eat to gain weight. Skinny guys don't need to worry about eating clean. What you need are calories and lots of them. Here's an example of a skinny to freak diet strategy from John Doe Bodybuilding…
This is a shotgun approach, or beginner so to say. A shotgunner doesn’t worry about calorie count, he just eats. Pizza, subs, rice, steaks, whatever. Don't buy into that magazine bullshit for second if you want real muscle!! All of those guys in the magazines ate this way at one point or another, especially in the beginning.
Nobody ever got 200 + lean lbs of JUST chicken and rice, no Sir!! This is going to be roundabout the first 5 years of your training. Think of this as building the foundation. You don't go to a construction site and see the landscaping and driveway done before the foundation do you?
So why in the hell would you focus on toning muscle you don't have yet? Why would you focus on eating so strictly when you're already a hardgainer and thin as a rail? You need the shotgun blast approach buddy, anyone who is under 25 years old, a hardgainer or thin stature, needs to take this approach his first 5 years in the gym. The first 5 years will pave the way the rest of your bodybuilding endevor, you will get 90% of everything your going to get out of the weightroom, your first 5 years.
3) Performance enhancing drugs, PEDs, Hormones
Yes, I know everybody is scared to death of performance enhancing drugs (you'd prefer performance decreasing drugs?) but I'm going to talk about them anyway. They are a necessary part of bodybuilding and, in a world of estro-fied water and genetically modified foods, they are necessary to have a happy and healthy life as a man.
There is a difference between using hormones for bodybuilding and using hormones for a healthy life, and I'll talk a little about both…
Hormones for a healthy life
The reality is that male hormones aren't the devil they're made out to be and they're actually downright healthy. If you're scared of testosterone you may as well be scared of being a man.
The two healthiest hormones for gentlemen over the age of 30 are testosterone and human growth hormone, prescribed as male hormone replacement therapy by your kindly endocrinologist.
They will make you as healthy and as vital as a horse.
It's never too late, like the young man pictured below proves….
At a certain age, which may be different for every man, exogenous testosterone is needed. I was 27-28 years of age when I became aware that my testosterone levels were dropping.
To give a little backstory, I've always had an extremely high sex drive. 3-5 times per night was not abnormal for me. At the age of 27 that drive started to subside.
Around 28 years of age I had a girlfriend for an entire year. Before me she was a virgin. She was clean, unspoiled, untouched, not yet jaded, she had a terrific body and she belonged only to me. She was available to me anytime I wanted, but I could only manage to sleep with her 3 times per week and never more than once per night. I simply didn't have the desire or the drive for more.
In retrospect it is abundantly clear my testosterone levels were in the gutter (likely from excessive dieting as a natural as well as simple aging).
Knowing that low testosterone can be fixed in an instant I simply will not accept or allow low testosterone levels and at 29 years of age I started testosterone replacement therapy and changed my life for the better.
As a medicine, testosterone is a life saver and I expect to never stop using it. Even if I never touched a barbell again for the rest of my life I would still use testosterone for quality of life.
Hormones for bodybuilding
Hormones are a necessary part of bodybuilding. We could whine about cheating and immorality all day and night but facts are facts and I'm here to give the facts to you. As a natural you can be ripped and kinda skinny or you can be big and kinda fat but you won't be big and ripped as a natural.
You can look good naturally, really good, but you won't look like the guys in the magazines.
So what do you do?
First, you train naturally for at least two years. Two years bare minimum natural training, Hard and heavy training.
I'd like to see you with 5+ years of natural training and at the age of 30 or above before you go to the next level but I'm not your daddy and you'll do what you want to do, just pretty please listen to some helpful tips from a “been there, done that” guy.
I was 29 and had been training since 23 when I started using testosterone and superdrol (superdrol is illegal now).
Kiddos shouldn't touch the stuff, unless medically necessary, because as a kiddo (less than 25) you aren't fully and completely developed. Emotionally or physically.
As a natural trainer you will reach a point where gains stop. You don't continue to gain as a natural, you simply maintain or get a little leaner. That's when you add in Osta-Red. But you've gotta put in your time in the gym before you get to that point, and you've got to lift hard and heavy to get there.
If you've already put in your gym time, maxed out your lifts and your body naturally, if you train hard and know how to eat and you're thirsty for more then it's time to take it to the next level.
And if you do take it to the next level, you should be prepared to use hormones for the long haul. In the real world “cycling” steroids (example: using steroids for 8 weeks, then taking a 16 week break, then using again for 8 weeks, rinse and repeat) will get you exactly nothing in terms of lasting results.
If you're “on” you have muscle, if you're “off” you don't. You shouldn't “yo-yo” your hormones up and down if you want to stay healthy and fit. Simple as that.
Oh, and welcome to the “genetic freak” club. We're an exclusive club, we don't have many members, so we're very happy to have you with us.
Until next time.
PS – If you're unsure about your bodybuilding routine, if you're new to bodybuilding, or if you need a kick in the ass then check out my book Body of a Spartan. I stand by it as the best training program for natural trainers. Buy it. If you hate it, if you think it won't have you carved out of marble, if you don't feel like a new man after the first week then just send me an email and tell me so. You'll have your money back instantly.