The most commonly asked question I ever get is, "does ____work?" I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been asked that question by a guy looking for the answer. From this or that supplement; to this or that drug; to this or that training method; high-carb or low-carb; high intensity, low intensity; for every possible machination of bodybuilding, someone has asked me for my opinion. Do I look like I know? I'm only five-nine, 205! I just like to train. So, for the most part, I really don't care if the subtle nuances in this great big thing we practice make that much of a difference. I just do what I like and whatever doesn't aggravate my injuries. After 35years it's not going to make that much difference to me anyway. And since it doesn't matter to me, I've been five-nine, 205, for a really long time. I'm, actually, quite happy staying right here in the groove that works for me. While weighing 260 might look pretty cool on my frame, I have no desire to do so. That's not to say I never did...
At some point in my mid-20s, I got up to a little over 230 and couldn't stand it. I was always walking around with my mouth open, glazed in sweat and wheezing like an old Ford with a leaky head gasket. I had a gallon jug of water in one hand and cooler in the other, and if either got below a quarter full while I was stuck in traffic, I began to panic. A "real job" was totally out of the question, so my income was derived by a smattering of various activities, half of them illicit, and none of them more than five miles from Gold's. Had my stellar genetics gone any higher than my knees, perhaps I would have chased this endeavor a bit further, but, in this business, being smarter than you look has its advantages.
So, here I am, steeped in physical mediocrity, albeit through jaundiced eyes. While anyone who has this much time in the iron game has it all over the average Joe, I'll never look in the mirror and see it that way; not with guys like Jay Cutler running around at my height and outweighing me by 100 pounds. And I really don't care anymore. Yet, because of where I am, what I've done, and who I know, I still get the questions about drugs, supplements and training from guys who look at a guy like Cutler and can't possibly begin to imagine the magnitude of what they‘re looking at.
I really can't blame anyone for being so in-awe and yet so lost. With so much bullshit to waddle through, I don't even know why anyone would put their magazine down and head out to the gym. Science, science, science.... Who gives a fuck about science? Anyone who does looks like they do. Jay Cutler doesn't give a rat's ass about science. Only the stringy little geeks do. What matters is what works in the real world - in the gym, and on contest day. University studies are for wimps because empirical knowledge trumps science every time. So, inevitably, you guys turn to us for the truth. And when you do, you get such a cold dose of reality that I sometimes think some people might feel better being lied to. There are enough illegal performance-enhancing drugs out there to grow hair on the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the legal ones,: pro-hormones, supplements, meal replacements, protein powders, training regimens and diet philosophies, all geared to building muscle and burning fat. No one could possibly do all of them, so they inevitably ask: "Does ____ work?"
In all the years I've been in this business, that question was only answered once to my satisfaction by anyone meaty enough to do so- Mike Matarazzo. His answer, "Everything works, but nothing works all the time," was his answer, and it has been my mantra since he uttered it. It's perhaps the single greatest truth in bodybuilding. Hence, it's in your better interest for me to answer the question, "does ____ work?" by telling you, "maybe." I say this regardless of whatever it is, because if I, or anyone else, tells you "yes," you're likely to give lesser credence to the only two things that work all the time in favor of something that might work some of the time.
What two things work all the time? Eating and training! True, this site would be awfully small and we'd have no advertisers if that's all there was to it, but until you have those two things dialed in, you're wasting your time, money and energy on anything else. I see too many guys who put the weight down after 10 reps and head to Denny‘s, and then wonder why, after a year, they only have 12-inch arms and no abs. Then, frustrated, their solution is to come to me and ask for a stack to put on mass. As comical as that may sound to some of you, to many of you it may well be a revelation. Ferocious training intensity and spot-on nutrition are 95 percent of the game. The other five percent can't possibly make up for it-no matter what it is. So go eat and go to the gym. Do that first, then start asking about what works. Intensity and consistency will always be the best medicine.