Over the past months I have received many emails from those viewing the blog. Here are the answers to your questions. Thank you for the questions, keep them coming:)
What got you into bodybuilding and how long have you been training?
I got interested in working out for baseball when I was 11 years old. I was told by a semi-pro baseball player that to make it to the bigs you have be in great physical condition. So, that is what I set out to do. My Dad financed a great weight room for the house which made it easy to stay disciplined. I had to walk through the weight room to get to my bedroom. As the years passed I began to enjoy training for sports more than playing them. Baseball came naturally to me. I wasn't challenged anymore. I got bored of it. Body building became my main sport. Body building is the hardest to master because you are dealing with actually changing the appearance of your body. Where as other sports are based on physical ability, bodybuilding is totally different. Everything you do reflects on your symmetry, shape, and definition. Anyone can weight train but not everyone can bodybuild. I have been training for the last 25 years and counting.
What is the difference between a natural body builder and the Mr. Olympia type bodybuilder?
That is simple--STEROIDS!!! The natural bodybuilder has only a small window of opportunity of protein synthesis during the day and night time after training. It takes intelligence, patience, and severe discipline to be a natural bodybuilder. Mr. Olympia bodybuilders rely on their drugs to get the results they need. If they aren't looking a certain way they can just up their dosage or stack with other drugs. It is much easier to build muscle with steroids, yet most of the steroid users that I have come across are not very intelligent. I met one guy, he was huge. When I asked him what he did to train his triceps he looked at me like I had three heads he said " Where are the triceps?" Are you kidding me! This guy didn't even know where the triceps were located. He had no idea how to train. It was all drug induced. So the difference between natural vs. steroid bodybuilding is clear. Natural guys have to know what they are doing to get ripped, steroid users can eat donuts and have no idea how to train and looked ripped. But the natural guy will have healthy working organs when they get older and will keep the muscle that they earned for many years, where as, the steroid dude most likely will have severe side effects and will have to get off the drugs or die. And they most likely won't see old age because many guys end up severely damaged from taking too many concoctions of anabolic steroids.
Why do Champion Muscles look different?
It depends on diet, supplementation, experience, training protocols, genetics, steroid use.
When you look at today's mr. olympia and universe they have extremely dense muscle tissue. This is because competing at that level the use of steroids is necessary. Steroids enhance protein synthesis in the muscle tissue. The nucleus works longer and activates the cellular machinery to constantly repair and rebuild the sacroplasm and sacromeres at abnormal rates. This ultimately causes the muscle to expand beyond normal. The residual effect is the muscle tissue is engorged with blood causing hypertrophy of the cells. This anabolic effect is why the muscle are always pumped up and big. When natural bodybuilders train they have a pump for a limited time. Once the pump is gone the anabolic look of the muscle is not as drastic as a steroid user because the blood volume is not at high and the muscle cell machinery is turned off. There is only a small window of opportunity for the natural bodybuilder to maximize the protein permeability of the muscle cell. Once the natural guy is pumped up they can have a similar anabolic look like the steroid user. However, there will always be an advantage for the steroid user because the muscle protein synthesis never shuts off. Their muscle are constantly feeding and repairing. They don't have the catabolic effect that natural athletes are constantly battling. Champion natural bodybuilders can only keep the anabolic effect for a short time. This is why they have a tough time maintaining the bulk and size. Most naturals have to compromise the bulk for definition. They can get very ripped, but it is rare to have bulk and be ripped at the same time. Naturals are the pure body builders. It take much more discipline and perseverance to build a natural physique. IT is more difficult to build muscle without the support of anabolic steroids. The true natural bodybuilder is the intelligent bodybuilder who excepts the laws of nature and lives within their own genetic disposition without compromising values, morals, or ego driven peer pressure.
Diet has a part in the equation as well. If the muscle is fed catabolism will be reduced allowing the muscle to stay full and pumped.
Experience the longer a person has been training the muscles become more dense and matured. The blood vessels and capillaries become bigger and more dense allowing for more blood to get pumped into the muscle.
Training protocols. Training correctly is important for how the muscle will look because if a person does power lifting exercising they will develop smooth bulky muscle where as a person training for definition will develop better looking muscle while staying lean.
Genetics some guys are just born with high levels of testosterone, growth hormone and have a great ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers as opposed to slow twitch fibers. They are the lucky bastards that don't really have to do much to look great.
How can I increase the testosterone?
You can increase your testosterone naturally by taking supplements and training.
I recommend orchic, livers, amino acids, sterol complex glandulars, and tribulus. These are all precursors for developing the anabolic drive in the body. Also, training intense for 30-40 minutes will keep the growth hormone levels from depleting completely. Also, performing 8-12 reps increases the production of testosterone. Lower reps 2-8 can help boost growth hormone levels.
How do you feel about all the new technology and machines that are now being used in gyms?
Personally most of the new technology is useless. When I opened my gym 11 years ago I went to conferences to see the latest technology. They have everything from standing on a vibration machine, to FittLynx (a computerized trainer). They are all gimmicks to try to lure new people into joining gyms. As a gym owner I have seen many different programs. We have to come up with new ways to keep people motivated and stimulated. So companies devise new technology to keep people interested in working out. Fittlinx is great for older people, middle aged folks and beginners. It is a fancy bells and whistle approach to lure new members. Fittlinx is a silly computerized set up that is attached to cybex machines. The member uses a barcode key to access the on screen. The screen becomes your trainer it is silly. It tells the person how much they lifted last and how many reps, it counts the reps and provides pacing for each rep. If a person needs to rely on a freaking computer to workout then they are not serious about training. Fittlinx is good for the middle class fitness wannabee. I have seen these types in every gym I have ever worked. They are the ones that most likely belong to committees, yacht clubs, country clubs, and were never athletes, rich folks who don't want to break a nail, the guy with the oversized omentum trying to relive his football days. They feel good knowing that they are apart of this new technology. FIttlinx is fittstinks in my opinion. Another worthless piece of equipment is the treadmill television. Again, this is another ploy to lure people to join up at a gym. Because the person has no direction or fitness knowledge, they have to watch television to pacify their time training. So by having a television on their own treadmill they can Oprah. Heaven forbid if we miss an episode of Oprah, OMG!!! Give me a break!! Much of the technology that has been developed is bogus and worthless. No matter how many gadgets and gimmicks gyms use to sell members NOTHING CAN REPLACE THE STANDARD DUMBELL AND BARBELL. I never use silly tools and gimmicks, I train purely, honestly and with only the bare minimum. I will take my gym any day over the hollywood fancy gyms. GIVE ME MY DUMBELLS!!!
What do you consider to be the best exercises for building a great looking body?
Delts: Upright Row / Posterior Fly
Bis: Body Drag
Tris: Power Pressdown / Reverse Dips
Quads: Sissy Squat
Hams: Prone Leg Curl
Abs: My Abdominal Training System
I am thinking about joining a gym in the area. What makes your gym different than others?
Many gyms are stuck with the 80's model. Silly isolation machines, lots of cardio machines, pools, gimmicky cookie cutter fitness aerobic classes seem to be the model for these gyms. These types of set ups are for driving up big numbers to entice people to join. If there are a lot of cardio machines then this must be a great gym approach is the idea. To have thousands of member who never actually show up is the goal. People at these types of gyms are only credit card numbers to the owners. Get their number and hope they never come is the objective.
My focus is to be cutting edge. Fitness is not one dimension. I don't have a ton of cardio equipment or fancy silly machines that talk to you. I have the necessary equipment to build a great looking physique. I am all about true training. What I teach cannot be duplicated or cookie cutter. I constantly change and challenge my clients because I care about everyone that walks through my door. I will do whatever I have to to see that my members see results. I teach correct methodology. I don't need a 4000. dollar bicep machine to build biceps. Just give me a straight barbell and I will make your bicep so phenomenal that people will wonder what your taking. My difference is that I know secrets to getting the body in the best shape possible. I only share my knowledge with my members and those that really want to change the way they look. A room full of machines is useless unless you know the best ways and methods to utilize them. So many people are just wasting time when they train, I provide the knowledge for people to maximize their time and to get results. That is the difference. Education over "just selling memberships".
I noticed you are selling a nutrition book on your website www.darylconant.com when do you expect its release?
The publisher told me that it is going through the final stages of development. Once that is complete then printing will commence. About one month I expect its release.
Thanks for the questions keep them coming. I will do my best to answer them promptly.