Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D.
Looking through old articles, I came across this one. Vintage Dr. Squat, if I do say so myself. Loved it then, and I love it now. Enjoy. Oh, by the way, each month hereafter, I (or someone else) will do an article based on questions culled from our forum. Lately there have been some GREAT ones…and some quite hilarious. We’ll see how it goes.
Your bod. You tinker with it. That’s what you do, that’s who you are. If you’re a competitive athlete, bodybuilder or just plain crazy about working out, you spend every waking moment visualizing its exterior as it will become, and pondering over its interior, either hoping it’ll stay the way it used to be, or that what you’re doing to its exterior isn’t a negative influence on it.
Your body is wondrous, generous and dangerous all at once. It is the link between life and death, wealth and poverty, and misery and happiness. It can be a source of pride or disgust. It provides the seed of life itself, and the causes for its decay. Learn to dance with your body. But you must learn to follow, not lead. You must learn to go with the natural rhythmicity of your biochemical self, following its lead in all that you do to it. Force nothing. Amplify rather than initiate. Your body is inclined to go where you never dreamed possible, if only you’ll let it do so.
A thousand years from now, man may know enough about his body to laugh at these admonitions. But not today.
That’s why I have chosen to entertain you — and hopefully not disgust you — with an article on how best to tinker. See, many of you are sophisticated and quite informed about your body. Yet the persistent mythology I’ve noticed surrounding tinkering tactics (that’s a Squatism for training) tells me that you have only scratched the surface of extant body wisdom.
Others among you know only that your body serves repository duties for substances blithely referred to as food, caring little about the negative impact they’ll have on the container (another Squatism meaning your bod). You’re no doubt the ones who buy the muscle mags because you like the pictures. But that’s OK too.
Still others will chide me, “Hey! Dr. Squat! I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent!” Maybe I’m mistaken, but isn’t that the formula for losing bodybuilding competitions? You’ve heard it before. “I’m bigger than he is, so why did he beat me out for first?” Or, “I have better symmetry than him, so why did the judges give it to him over me?”
Ever have such a day? Let’s call them “The days of whines and poses.”
Enough. Let’s get to the first question. It’s about MY bod, though. Not yours. Everyone these days has been asking me lately if my quads are predominantly red muscle fibers. At first, I couldn’t believe how anyone could ask me such a stupid question. Hey! I guarantee you! A 40 inch vertical jump and a 1000 plus pound squat cannot be accomplished with red fibers!
At the point of their query, further discussion became virtually spurious. So I ignored them rather than kill them. But after having several people ask me, I asked — really I bellowed — where they ever got such a goofy notion. Arthur Jones said it in one of his never-less-than-incredible diatribes in one of the muscle mags. Said he, “Hatfield’s quads are the weakest I’ve ever tested.”
I gotta get this off my chest before I bust! Arthur, you … you … aerobic wannabe!
There. I’m OK now.
The self-proclaimed greatest exercise physiologist who ever lived did indeed test my quads. I was down at his ‘gator-infested air strip in Ocala once a few years ago. It was just after I had blown my quad over in Hawaii. Rather than incite his ire (he’s been known to put a gun to peoples’ heads if they cross him), I submitted to being tested. Hey! What would you have done? I didn’t push hard because I couldn’t! And I didn’t have the guts to tell Arthur, who was at the time packing a concealed revolver. So, I obligingly grimaced and pushed with what appeared to be great effort. Happily, Arthur appeared happy. Little did I know that the bogus data he collected would find its way into one of his half baked theories on training! (Did you know that there are still people out there who continue to BELIEVE Arthur’s one-set-to-failure principle?)
Hmmm! Sorta makes you wonder why anyone would give this guy a forum! But, while we’re on the topic of self-proclaimed gurus, get a load of this next question from a gal who wrote to me recently and asked whether she should use steroids.
Q) I read an article by “The Steroid Guru” that it’s not dangerous for women to use small doses of non-aromatizing anabolic steroids. So, since all the other female bodybuilders are using them, I though I’d give them a shot. Do you agree?
Q) I ask myself, is it unfair of me to judge these two pseudo-gurus so harshly?
A) Nope. And furthermore, further discussion on the subject would be virtually spurious.
Aww! Let me be spurious.
Q) What’s the difference between aromatizing and non-aromatizing steroids? Don’t tell me that “aromatize” refers to how the drug smells, either!
A) Hmmm. As I recall, Jeff Everson had the best answer to this burning question. I quote:
“If your liver doesn’t quiver,
And your bladder doesn’t splatter,
Then it really doesn’t matter.”
But Jeff is a trained physical therapist. He’s a PROFESSIONAL tinker. So, let’s get a bit more down to earth, and put it in laymen’s terms. Aromatize refers to how the steroid molecule is metabolized in the liver, a process which invariably wrecks all sorts of havoc to the organ. The havoc shows up in your blood test — SGOT, SGPT and bilirubin — results.
But that’s only half of the story. Most of the well-known side effects of steroid abuse contribute NOTHING to greater strength or muscular growth! And ALL of them are either directly or indirectly the result of aromatization. These include the ubiquitous tissue bloat, gynocomastia, nasty disposition, liver malfunction and others. The side effects of abusing non-aromatizing ‘roids are milder or absent. That’s why drug abusers have grown to believe that they’re not as “effective” as the aromatizing varieties.
The amazing thing is that the Steroid Guru is [was] a skinny runt of a PENCILNECK himself! Clearly, he never benefited from any juice he may have used! All he ever got was a couple of jail terms!
Q) We’ve heard so much in all the muscle mag gossip columns about the “high fat” diet Vince McMahon “forced” all the WBF guys to go on. You were there. What’s the real scoop on this diet technique?
A) Upon my arrival at the WBF headquarters in Connecticut, Vince asked me who he could get to do the most sophisticated drug testing available. He was dead serious about keeping the guys off steroids. “That’s easy,” I offered. “Dr. Mauro DiPasquale in Canada is the best there is.” Mauro, recognizing a great research opportunity when he saw one, offered to help out beyond the drug testing he agreed to do for Vince. He offered to put them on the high fat diet and collect research data on the guys.
Hell! The Doc was already getting their blood and urine anyway, so why not! I have to admit, though, that Mauro’s explanation of the high fat diet sounded pretty convincing. All of us — Vince, the WBF guys, myself — bought into it. We decided together to try it. Seriously! The vote was unanimous. They were NOT forced to do anything! Can you imagine ANYONE in his right mind trying to force Big Jim Quinn or the ever-explosive Mike Quinn to do ANYTHING? Here’s what they bought into:
PHASES ONE AND THREE:
First three weeks of the sixteen week precompetition cycle, and the last three weeks prior to the competition, eat regularly (plenty of carbs and protein) for 36 hours and the other 5 1/2 days eat a low carb, high fat and protein diet.
Each of the 5 1/2 day’s diet is to consist of the following:
- At least 7000 calories
- Two Percent Carbohydrates (approximately 30 grams)
- Fifty Percent Protein (approximately 775 grams)
- Forty Seven Percent Fat (approximately 350 Grams)
One Percent alcohol (if desired): This means one bottle of stout beer or one whiskey without a mixer per day MAXIMUM.
During this phase — from weeks 4 through 12 of your 16 week precompetition cycle — you should stay on a high fat, high protein, low carb diet all the time EXCEPT when it’s time to train. Then, consume 200 calories of high glycemic index carbohydrate-rich foods (e.g., simple sugars) from 1/2 hour before, during, to 1/2 hour following training.
Did it work for the WBF guys? It did for a couple of the guys, but most just weren’t into the kind of discipline required to maintain such a rigorous diet. I was, and I did. For nine weeks only. Couldn’t take it any more! I lost about 5-6 pounds of fat and gained 5-6 pounds of lean tissue, and it wasn’t from any changes in my training regimen.
Point is, I still think there’s merit to it, but sheesh! It is NOT the most healthy way to live your life. Between bitch tits from aromatizing steroids and heart disease from a high fat diet, It’s no contest for me! I’ll take my bod and go tinker with it somewhere else!
That’s it for this month. Send in your questions, funny, dry, stupid or whatever. Anything but virtually spurious. I can take it. I leave you with this question: How can anyone claim to hold a valid opinion if they have never been exposed to the best available evidence?