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***Section 3 - Open Forum***

"This is a section, that I’ve added for members to submit an

article, on subjects that really don’t fit the other sections, this section is open

to all, and subject matter/opinion/comments are that of the original author and MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE THAT OF THE EDITOR, HULKSTER!!!"

Two articles are featured!!! By Donnie Whetstone, Gumbi, and The Admiral

A) POSING, ONE BODYBUILDER’S PERSPECTIVE – Written by Donnie Whetstone

Of all areas of bodybuilding I feel posing is still one of the most misunderstood concepts despite it being primarily what the sport is all about. Unlike out counterparts, Olympic and powerlifters, weights are not a part of the competitive process. They are a means to getting a desired effect. Its how well this finished product is displayed that can determine the final outcome. Notice, I said can determine. Anyone who's been in the sport awhile has seen their share of controversy, which sometimes add to the confusion posing has in the judging process, especially among beginners.

What I will attempt to do is give my perspective of posing. By getting down to the nuts and bolts, I hope that someone may benefit from it. Because, make no mistake about it, posing counts! To start with there is one thing that has to be done before posing can be the least bit effective on stage. You have to be prepared, meaning you have to be in the best shape possible. Only then will posing is a factor. There are magic throws, magic punches, etc. for other sports. Unfortunately there aren't magic poses. Only weeks of intensive dieting, training and mental anguish.

Components of Posing

I feel posing has three components:

Mechanic - body positioning during a pose or the execution of the pose.

Strategic - hiding weaknesses, showing strengths and exploiting weaknesses of competitors.

Artistic - transitions and showmanship

Now this is just me talking so lets not go cross-referencing with every muscle magazine you can find. Now each of these components plays a vital role during a certain stage in a contest. The catch is to know when to apply one or a combination of these components. For those who are not familiar with contests, you have 5 stages or rounds of posing.

Round 1 - Symmetry

Round 2 - 60 second compulsory (no music)

Round 3 - Comparison

Round 4 - 90 second compulsory (with music)

Round 5 - Pose Down

The breakdown you see here is primarily at NPC sanctioned meets. I've competed in Europe on a number of occasions and the breakdown is much different. Primarily the morning and evening routines are both to music and the same length. What I will attempt to do is breakdown each round and go over the component or components best suited for each round.

Round 1 - Symmetry

This round consists of quarter turns in which judges view and compare the front, left, right and rear of contestants.

Purpose - To evaluate:

1. Overall frame

2. Proportions

3. Width (front and rear repose)

4. Thickness (left and rights side repose)

Components - Mechanic and Strategic

Notice conditioning is not listed above. Conditions play a factor in the later rounds. I made a

highlight of overall frame because it's crucial. This element will determine to a great extent how far a bodybuilder will go in their career. We can all put on more size or get in better condition or bring up lagging body parts, but a bodybuilder's framework is why genetics is a household word for us. Shoulder to hip ratio, short torso, long legs, low rib cage, these are things we cannot control and in extreme cases, will keep a wanna-be competitor off the stage all together. As I said before, the primary components in this round are Mechanic and Strategic.

During repose we're all suppose to stand a certain way in uniform fashion so the judges can make the best comparison possible. Good mechanics is essential because of the uniformity involved. In Round 1 a superior competitor can actually trail their inferior competitor if their mechanics are off, and the inferior competitor is reasonably close in other areas.

Where does the strategy come in? After all we're just standing. Nowhere is this more profound in Round 1 than the left and right repose. The side repose has changed dramatically from its original form. If you happen to have a pre 1979 muscle magazine with line-ups, take a look at it. Today's side repose shows competitors twisting at the waist with arms outstretched to the front and rear. One of the purposes of the side repose is to evaluate thickness from chest to back. To do that there shouldn't be a profound twist in the waist and arms should be at the sides. The practice of twisting at the waist came about during the dawn of female bodybuilding. Then the female competitors lack the thickness to do the traditional side repose. So they were allowed to twist at the waist to give more substance to the pose. Another example of this is the front and back lat spread, which was removed all together. Somehow this practice managed to spill over to the men's division and now everyone is doing the repose twist. Now more and more contests are enforcing the traditional side repose. Contestants lacking the side thickness to excel in side reposes will still test the waters by doing the repose twist in hopes that they can get away with it. I even have my clients do it who presently lack the side thickness. Hey! You take what you can get.

Round 2 - Compulsory (60 seconds, no music)

This round consists of a 60-second free style routine with no music.

Purpose - To show the judges all positive aspects of a competitors physique.

Components - Mechanic and Strategic

In my eyes this is the most critical point of the competition. From this point the judges will determine their call-outs. If a competitor is going to get a crack at the top 5 and eventually a first place finish, it will be here. Too many times I feel competitors don't take this round seriously enough or they don't understand the gravity of it. The strategy is to show their absolute best qualities and hope the other competitors fail to do so. It's seen often in local shows. You'll have competitors doing handstands, splits, somersaults and the like on stage. That's great.... If your doing the evening show. In Round 2 there's no time for frills.

What I find most effective is to have two posing routines, one 60 second routine and one 90 second routine. That 60-second routine contains good mechanics and ten to twelve of the absolute best poses. Notice I didn't have Artistry mentioned. The 60-second should have good transitions. But not very artistic because artistry is time consuming. When I'm talking best poses I'm talking pose selection. Poses are like clothing. A person may like a certain line of clothing, however, they may not complement them very well. Selection poses is very similar. At this point a person must have a good grasp of their assets and select the right poses to best display these assets. Take for example, we have a bodybuilder with a symmetrical front. And it's obvious that's their strong point. There are literally scores of front poses. We will have our bodybuilder do many of these poses noting the poses that best exploits that strength and discarding the ones that don't. We will continue this process of elimination until we have the best poses for their front. Usually when a bodybuilder determines their best poses, these poses will remain with them throughout their entire competitive career, providing where aren't any major changes in their physique.

Round 3 - Mandatory Round

This round consists of competitors being compared in standard poses.

Men Women Emphasis

Front Double Bicep Front Double Bicep front symmetry and width

Front Lat Spread N/A front symmetry and width

Ab & Thigh Ab & abdominal and thigh detail

Side Chest Side Chest thickness and symmetry from chest to back

Side Tricep Side Tricep Tricep thickness and detail

Rear Double Bicep Rear Double Bicep back detail and thickness

Rear Lat Spread N/A back width

*Most Muscular N/A overall muscle thickness and detail

(*Not generally requested, but as I see it, is used often if competition is close)

Purpose - Precise placing of competitors.

Components - Mechanic and Strategic

Now it's tome to get down to the nitty gritty. It's time for the call-outs and until those first five

individuals are called front and center indicating the top 5 in most cases. Time is virtually standing still. If Round 2 was successful, meaning a competitor gave a solid 60 second, no frills, good transition, show-em every asset I've got routine, then they've probably left a good impression on the judges and stand a good chance of making the first call-out.

At this point the dieting and the self-denial begins to pay off. Conditioning is most critical at this point. As in Round 1 mechanics is very important due to the uniformity involved. Each pose needs to be executed to its fullest to bring out the best in each physique. Round 3 is also when strategy is most important. On many occasion I would hear preline-up prep talks in which competitors are being told either to hit their poses first or hit their poses last in order to steal a competitors thunder. To hold their strong poses longer such as a front double arm bicep or to maneuver closer to possible competition. To switch sides in order to show more balance than your competitors, example side chest and tricep. To practice secondary movements and flexion, to draw attention from the judges. This practice can make you or break you because if you want the judges looking at you then it's paramount that you are in the best shape possible.

Round 4 - Compulsory Round (90 seconds to music)

Purpose - Showmanship and Entertainment

Components - Artistic and Mechanic

Although the contest has pretty much been decided by this point, you wouldn't know it by the

disposition of the competitors. However, the mentality of the competitors have somewhat changed. At this point the fans, families and friends become the primary factor. I have not met a bodybuilder who did not want to give a great showing to their audience. Because they're the ones despite the outcome that are going to say "You did great!" or "Congratulations!" despite how you may feel at the time. So artistry and showmanship is the best way to show them your appreciation.

Although I mentioned earlier about having two posing routines, the 90 second routine maybe nothing more than the 60 second routine with a few frills and well synchronized to music. The music should be an extension of the competitors personality. Sometimes when a competitor tries to be what they are not, it can have a detrimental impact to the audience. The 90 second posing routine was not designed to be work. Enjoy yourself and the audience will enjoy your routine too. But it goes beyond just giving the audience a show worth enjoying. As a bodybuilder goes higher on the competitive ladder, showmanship may make the difference in their income. When a pro bodybuilder guest poses it's all entertainment and showmanship. And it's how well it's done that can determine any future bookings or shows.

Round 5 - Pose Down

Purpose - Gives the audience, a final look at competitors.

(Gives judges time to tally scores...)

Components - Strategic and Mechanic

Although pizza is prevalent on the minds of competitors now, no one wants to let their guard down. The competitors want to give the audience a final look at all of their assets and exploit the weaknesses of their competitors. Although it's informal at this point, good mechanics is still essential. Never let your guard down!

I've given you my interpretation of the importance of posing during competition from start to finish. I hope that it can give some insight to anyone wishing to compete or enhance his or her own posing program. I would like at a later date to discuss in depth the components that I mentioned earlier. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Donnie Whetstone, Certified Personal Trainer, USA Competitor,

E-mail: donnie@imgsys.com



B) NATURAL, NO THANK YOU! – Written by Gumbi

Before I started using steroids I considered myself a Natural Bodybuilder (O.K. you can stop laughing now!) and tried many if not most of the new products on the market: HMB, creatine, CLA, ephredine, DHEA, HCA, vanadyl sulfate and a host of other so called natural products. I must admit I also fell into the Natural Bodybuilder hype and filled my body with the above products in order to grow without the stigma of being accused of using steroids. But the end result (even after following Bill Phillips wonderful advice) was little growth, deteriorating health and an empty bank account. Granted I did make gains, 1 LB every month so I gained 12 lbs. (about 4.5 Kilos) in a year which I suppose isn't bad if your dream is to become an aerobics instructor. But I wanted to be BIG like the many pictures of pro bodybuilders you see in muscle magazines like Lee Labrada, Shawn Ray, Dorian Yates - you know, the guys who hawk protein as if they built their bodies exclusively on the stuff! Admittedly, I did grow while being Natural but on a recent 9 week cycle of steroids I gained 15.60 kilos of which I kept 12.70 (no, steroids are not "borrowed muscle" as some would have you believe if you know what to do between cycles). Even though I lost 2.90 kilos after the cessation of steroids my gains were phenomenal: that's over 2 1/2 years of natural gains obtained in a mere 9-week cycle! And these were safe conservative steroids dosages, not the kind of dangerous amounts today's pros use. My reasoning for trying steroids was simple: A.S. had a long track record and has proven when used in cycles (noncontiguous) in low to moderate amounts, overall long term health would not be negatively effected. It's when large dosages are introduced into the body for extended periods that the benefit/risk factor leans more towards the later. The propaganda and misinformation surrounding steroids espoused by anti-steroid lobbyist (i.e. magazine/supplement companies standing to lose large profits due to the legalization of Steroids) is largely untrue; side effects attributed to steroid consumption are more often than not associated with steroid abuse (excessive dosages) not responsible steroid use. But some would have you believe that any steroid consumption whatsoever no matter how safe the dosage is detrimental to your health and causes "Roid Rage" filling you with a desire to attack the local girlscouts with a chainsaw. Those who have and continue to advocate SCHEDULE 3 status for steroids, making steroids a controlled substance, has simply chosen to ignore the facts and manipulate the truth. Don't get me wrong! Steroids can be extremely detrimental to your health when used in excessive dosages. But the key word here is EXCESSIVE. Like any other drug, whether it is caffeine, ephredine, nicotine or any nonprescription medication, abuse will cause side effects detrimental to your health. If we look at the overall picture, steroids are far less dangerous than drugs that have become socially acceptable - drugs like alcohol, an addictive (steroids are not addictive) drug which has a far greater capacity for causing serious and sometimes fatal illnesses:

*High blood pressure

*Depressed immune system

*Cancer of the esophagus, mouth, larynx, pharynx, breast, skin, colon, stomach, pancreas, lung and liver.

*Heart or respiratory failure resulting in death

*Alcohol poisoning resulting in death

*Liver diseases: fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis

*Appetite and vitamin deficiencies

*Stomach ailments

*Sexual impotence

*Central nervous system damage

*Memory loss

*Headaches

*Nausea

*Vomiting

*Aches

*Weight gain

There are an estimated 10 million alcoholics in America and over 100,000 people die in alcohol related deaths each year; there is yet to be a single case where steroids have been directly attributed to deaths among steroid users. In fact, the approximately 3 to 5 bodybuilders per year who do die - die from diuretics or a host of other chemicals - not steroids themselves! Even if we assumed that each year those who died from diuretics or other drugs did indeed die from steroids, it would be a far cry from the 100,000 that die from alcohol related death each year in America alone compared to 3-5 steroid related deaths in the entire world!

Roid Rage is another laughable theory when you consider 50% homicides and 25% suicides in America have been committed while individuals were under the influence of alcohol. So much for Roid Rage! But these facts are somehow missed by mainstream media and purposely overlooked by a few individuals and shrewd bodybuilding magazines with a vested interest in keeping steroids illegal. I'm not saying we should outlaw alcohol but one must wonder why the U.S. government is targeting steroids when alcohol is a far greater threat to public health. Really it's a matter of personal responsibility regarding ones own health when using steroids as it is a matter of personal responsibility when consuming alcohol. And given the fact that steroids when used conservatively and safely, as with alcohol, benefits overall health, my reasoning for taking steroids seemed ethical and logical enough. But the U.S. government in all its wisdom has decided that you, the general public, shouldn't be allowed the freedom to make informed choices regarding your own body and health. I for one believe individuals have the ability to make intelligent choices and the right to apply them appropriately. It seems strange on the one hand that the U.S. government allows freedom of choice in regards to consuming alcohol, a destructive mind altering drug, yet persecutes individuals who administer steroids solely in the pursuit of building muscle?

The medical profession is another culprit in allowing so many to be misled about steroids. The medical community itself has only recently admitted what bodybuilders have known for years: that steroids cause profound muscle growth - and they advice the government on drug policies? On the one hand the medical establishment decries the use of steroids whether in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program or not, yet prescribes in the name of physique augmentation weight loss drugs, liposuction and plastic surgery which in themselves causes fatalities. I for one would prefer a doctor who recommended a proper diet/exercise program with conservative dosages of steroids (optional of course) than being put on an operating table all for the sake of keeping certain superfluous medical practices financially afloat. We have to remember that doctors are not retainers of unquestionable wisdom: they are human just like the rest of us and subject to desire financial self-preservation and profit which more often than not clouds better judgment. For example, which is more profitable: recommending a diet/exercise program with optional steroid administration or prescribing a multitude of drugs and/or expensive medical procedures?

Steroids have been around for over 30 years and common sense dictates to work with something proven effective and safe; somehow filling my body with a myriad new high tech supplements without a proven history seemed a bit foolish to me - does anyone know the overall long term effects of such supplements such as HMB, DHEA, Andrstenedione etc....? No. Moreover, there are far too many supplement companies stretching the truth and exaggerating a product's effectiveness all for the sake of profit. I know, I tried enough so-called Natural (what's so natural about DHEA and Andrstenedione?) products to theoretically grow enough muscle to give Jean-Pierre Fux a run for his money. But like so many I fell victim to the Natural Bodybuilder hype hoping against all hope that the latest product would send my gains through the roof! Boy, I sure was let down time and time again. But there's no guesswork with steroids and when used in reasonable dosages they have proven over the last 20-30 years to be both safe and effective beyond a reasonable doubt. So after much investigating, researching and debating, I gave up the quest for the Holy Grails of Natural supplementation and now augment my diet and training with what has proven to be the safest, most effective supplement of all: steroids!



C) SHOPPING IN TIJUANA - Written by The Admiral

How to get there…. There are several ways to get down to Tijuana. The two best ones are to either take public metro train down to the border town of San Ysidro from San Diego for $1.75 and then walk across the border or to drive to San Ysidro then walk across the border. I don't like driving across the border because I don't want anything to happen to my car, such as an accident and also there is an incredibly long wait coming back over the border. If you’re driving, then take I-5 south until you see the exit that says "last U.S. parking". Take that exit and there are several safe parking lots. Park your car then walk across the border. If you don't know the way just follow everyone else across. Once you cross the border you will reach the taxi stop. This is an area that has several stands and about fifty taxis. The drivers will ask if you need a taxi. Just say yes and follow him to his car. The price is usually either $4 or $5. When you get in the cab tell him where you want to go.

Now that you're there… There are two different types of places to shop for steroids. Either a Pharmacy or a veterinarian. If you go to a pharmacy then you have a wider selection of steroids to shop for. Stay away from the pharmacies that are on Revolution Blvd because these are where most of the tourist go and usually don't carry steroids or will just tell you that they don't. (The exception is the drug store inside the glass building that says "Cigars and shopping mall" located at 3rd and Revolution.) Try pharmacies in the area of Third street and Madero or other pharmacies that are a block off the main strip of Revolution.

The easiest way is to go inside a pharmacy and say, "Do you have anabolics?" Don't be scared because these places get people asking everyday. The people will go in the back then return with products to show you. Most places will bring their entire selection for you to see. The most common is Testosterone, Anavar and Sostenon & Deca pre-loads. I'm not going to go into a long list of what is real and not. If you can't tell the difference and don't know what to look for then you shouldn't be down there. The only products you can be 100% sure about are the pre-loaded needles of Sostenon & Deca Durabolin. The only problem is these only come in sizes of 1cc of 50ml strength, which means you have to buy quite a few to put together a decent dosage. The Sostenon goes for about $15 for one needle and the Deca for $25 for two. That means 400mg of Sostenon will cost you $120! Not exactly cost efficient, but some people prefer this since they know that there are no counterfeit pre-loads. Some pharmacies have quite a wide selection, but probably half the stuff down there is fake. That's why you shouldn’t be looking unless you know how to spot the fakes. For those of you who don't know the difference then you should head to a veterinarian. Tell the taxi driver to take you to a vet or animal doctor (most of them speak good English so it won't be too hard to get your message across). I won't go into detail about vets because that has already been covered in earlier Hulkster Newsletters. When at the vet look for some Laurabolin (Deca) or Reforvit B (Dianabol). There are other goodies to get there, but those are two of my favorites.

My recommendations…I suggest heading to a place called Pharmacia D'Lux. It is a blue building that sits on the corner of Third Street and Madero. Have the taxi drop you off here and go inside. Ask for Anabolics and then you're ready to rock. Ask them if they have a list to see. The person will give you a long list of items and prices. Some of the things they have I’ve never even heard of. They have just about anything you can think of. They have a system like most other places, the more you buy - the cheaper the price. Therefore a bottle of Oxitosona 50 that sells for $90 will cost only $80 if you buy two or more of those or some other items. It's easy to get dazzled and overwhelmed by the huge selection. I recommend purchasing a copy of the World Anabolic Review or a similar book. This will show you a lot of photos of fakes you will run into down there (such as the popular Methandrostenolone by Ludwig Heun GmbH KG) Never ever take the persons word that works at these places. They are just trying to make a sale and

often don't know the difference between real stuff and fakes.

I have to recommend that everyone’s first stop be at a veterinarian. You can find all of the following items there. Depesterona, Dianabol (Reforvit-B, Metandiabol), Equipoise (Equi-Gain, Maxigan), Laurabolin, Norandren 50, Ralgrow, Synovex-H, Testerona (25, 50 & 200). The Veterinarian is the cheapest place to get these items. A bottle of Reforvit-B at one pharmacy was $80 while at the vet it was only $20!

Here are some addresses to veterinarians.

Matriz Sucursal La Mesa

Granero Y Veterinaria Granero Y Veterinaria

Av. Constitucion # 1012 y Calle 10ma Blvd. Diaz Ordaz #117 La Mesa

Tijuana, Mexico Tijuana, Mexico

El Granero De Tijuana

Calle 2da. # 7014 Zona Centro

Tijuana, Mexico

Also here is a surprise I just found out about. There is a pharmacy in San Ysidro where you can buy steroids. I didn't get to check it out for myself, but I have been told that it is true. This would make it possible to go down and buy steroids without having to worry about bringing them across the border. Here is the location:

Farma-Mex

482 W. San Ysidro Blvd. Suite 2421

Coming back…Actually this is the easiest part of the whole trip. There have been several methods given in earlier newsletters of how to bring stuff back across the border. Here is my technique. I catch a cab (they are on every corner of the city waiting) and get in back. Tell the driver to go to the border and get to work. I take all the vials out of their boxes and put them in my socks. I wear Levi's wide leg pants so they look a little like bell-bottoms. This gives me plenty of room to stuff my socks and not have it show. If I have more then I put it in my crotch. The driver in front won't care what you're doing. I put all the boxes back in the bag I got from the store. When I get to the border then I walk up to the first trash can and throw the bag away. Then I stroll to the crossing point. You will enter a building to cross back and the first things you see are x-ray machines and metal detectors by the entrance. Don't worry because it won't pick up your vials even if they have metal tops. (I've brought over 15 vials of Testosterone with no problem.) Don't keep anything in a bag because these go through the x-ray machine and get looked at. You will the wait in line to pass a counter where a border agent will ask "nationality". Have your driver’s license ready and show it to them and say "American" or "US citizen". Walk across and you're home free. The key is to stay calm and be cool. Most people buy some tourist crap to bring back so they look natural. While your in Tijuana go to a strip bar and have a couple of beers to relax (not to many) or get a blowjob from one of the many prostitutes in the strip bar, whatever helps you relax. If you keep a cool head and don't worry then you should be fine. Good luck and good shopping.
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