So over the course of this week, after posting up a few different articles about Building Athletic Muscle, I received quite a few questions about bodybuilding and such so I thought I would focus this week’s Q and A on some of these main questions…

Q: What’s your main background in Bodybuilding?  Have you ever competed?

Yes, I competed in an natural bodybuilding show back in 2006.  I won 1st place in my height division, 1st place in the overall NOVICE division, then came in 2nd for the OPEN OVERALL division.

However, a week later I found out that the guy that beat me for first overall was DIRTY!

The bodybuilding commission that held the show called me up and asked if I wanted his 1st place trophy and I was like, “WHY???”

F*cking cheater…

Anyways, my first and last bodybuilding show was a success in my eyes.  It was good to do once but, my passion was in REAL athletic competition.  I need to actually be running, jumping, pushing, pulling, or lifting something to feel satisfied.

Going up on stage with a speedo on, all faked baked, and spray tanned up just wasn’t my thing…

But, I will admit I did enjoy going through the process and I learned of ton of valuable things along the way.  Lots of things I use today.

I got the chance to speak with a lot of different guys out there and get their thoughts and opinions on how to build more muscle and train.  I took a lot from what other successful guys were doing and applied it to my own training at the time and it worked.

But, in the end, strict bodybuilding just wasn’t for me.  I needed to be training for PERFORMANCE and not just for bodybuilding…  I needed to feel like an athlete again!

So that’s when I decided to get back to a more AGGRESSIVE style of training like I do today.

Which brings us into the next question…

Q: How did you create IRON MUSCLE?   

Well the basis behind IRON MUSCLE was to create a bodybuilding focused workout program that wasn’t strictly all bodybuilding but mixed in a blend of athletic based training as well.

It’s all structured around more conventional methods using OLD SCHOOL strength training equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, and bodyweight.

Mostly when I train and create workouts, I branch off and use kettlebells, sandbags, and other odd objects but, for IRON MUSCLE I wanted to create a program for the serious guy (or gal) out there that was looking for a way to build more muscle extremely FAST but, without having to focus in on using the same old types of boring bodybuilding methods or a ton of equipment.

So I mixed together all the things I knew that work best for building more muscle, strength, and athleticism…  Straight up aggressive power, bodybuilding, and strength training all blended into a KILLER 12 Week Program.

Q: What are your main influences when it comes to bodybuilding?

Growing up as a kid, I always looked up to Arnold.

My favorite movie has to be Commando where he is straight up JACKED and a total badass!

Who doesn’t love it when Arnold walks around totally unstoppable blowing sh*t up???

Of course I loved Arnold in Conan The Barbarian and Predator as well!

And you can’t forget him in Pumping Iron

That’s where I discovered Franco Columbo.  Franco was a HUGE influence to me not only because he was ripped up and jacked but, because he was athletic and strong as well.

Franco was know for Dead Lifting cars..  Boxing… And for being STRONG as all hell!

Another large influence was Vince Gironda.  I like his views on nutrition and his overall renegade approach to bodybuilding in general.

In fact, I took a few of Vince’s ideas and implemented them into IRON MUSCLE.  The whole last phase is based off of one of his most punishing schemes for building more muscle and strength.

Q: What if I’m a hard gainer and want to put on more muscle through bodybuilding but, don’t want to sacrifice my athleticism in the process.

Well, to be totally honest, I specifically created IRON MUSCLE for this purpose – To help build muscle in more of an athletic manner…

The key is to have the right blend of both functional performance based movements and bodybuilding movements.  Where most guys go wrong when they try to add on more muscle is that they mostly focus in on using only isolated bodybuilding movements.

Over time, they start to lose their overall strength, power, and athleticism.  this is exactly how I started to feel when I was getting into strict bodybuilding.

To avoid this, you would want to mix in functional performance based movements.

The performance based exercises you would want include are things like your explosive type movements such as jumps, sprints, and other bodyweight movements.  You would also want to include movements such as your deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, ect for all of your important “old school” strength lifts.

Then, you may want to throw other highly athletic combo type movements such and cleans, clean and presses, snatches, and thrusters into the mix to keep things functional and movement oriented.

From there, you would start to add in your bodybuilding type movements which are more isolated based.   

An example workout for your shoulders may look like this:

1A) (C0mbo + Power) Barbell Clean + Push Press 5 x 5

2A) (Strength) Overhead Press 4 x 6

(Bodyweight / Isolation Super Set)

3A) Pike Press / Handstand Push Ups 3 x submax

3B) Jungle Gym Recline Face Pull 3 x submax

(Bodybuilding / Isolation Circuit)

4A) Front Plate Raise 3 x 15

4B) Heavy Farmer Carries 3 x max distance

4C) Band Pull Aparts 3 x 20

This little workout will jack your shoulders up nicely. 

Q: What is YOUR favorite upper body movement for building more strength and muscle?  If you could only do ONE movement, what would it be?

A: Answer, if there was ONLY one upper body movement I could do for the rest of my life that I know for a fact that would give me everything I needed, it would be The MUSCLE UP.

The muscle up by far is the BEST upper body movement in my opinion.  It requires not only strength but also skill to achieve.  Not everyone can achieve a muscle up to which is why I feel it’s one of the best upper body movements.

With muscle ups, you get your pulling and pressing movements in which gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to building up the upper body.

Now, if you want to talk about a movement that will add on some serious strength and added mass, it’s the muscle up.  Just look at some of the physiques the top Olympic gymnasts possess…

Of course, these athletes train on rings and do muscle ups daily but, just like anything in life, if you want it bad enough you can get it.  There’s no way you wouldn’t see some results if you were to do muscle ups on a weekly basis.

The sad fact is, not everyone can do muscle ups.  In fact, only a very small percentage of people out there have the actual strength and skill to do a muscle up…

I have a solution for this…  The 8 Week Muscle Up Guide…  I created this specifically for people that can’t yet perform a muscle up.

It follows a very specific and progressive program that will help increase your upper body strength to help give YOU the foundation to perform your FIRST muscle up!

And, if you’re already doing a few muscle ups, you’ll start hammering out even more!

The cool thing is, I’m giving it away as a FREE BONUS along with my IRON MUSCLE Athletic Bodybuilding Program!  More details on that HERE.

Now, I hope that these few questions help you out a bit!

What other questions do YOU have about Athletic Bodybuilding?  WHO is your favorite bodybuilder of all time???

Drop your comments below!

Live Aggressive and Get Strong! 

PS – Just as a reminder, TODAY is the final day to grab my Athletic Based Bodybuilding program – IRON MUSCLE.

After today, I’m taking it away for good!

As I said above, when you grab Iron Muscle today, you’ll also receive The 8 Week Muscle Up Guide for FREE! 

>>> IRON MUSCLE + The 8 Week Muscle Up Guide