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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 10/23/2002

Aerobics and Weight Lifting

by Oswald Verlinden

This report was written on July 11 2002, I wanted to wait some more time
to observe the future before sending the tips. In the end I write additional
comments dated 25 September 2002.
11 July 2002

My name is Oswald Verlinden, 30 years and I'm a fitness enthusiast from 
Belgium. I think I might have a very valuable tip, where I see many 
recreational bodybuilders go wrong.
I'm the kind of person who constantly watched his diet all year round, like 
many of us, without even being close to lean. I wasn't really fat, but I sure as 
hell wasn't lean either, somewhere around 16-17%. I also had the 
disadvantage to have started bodybuilding in the late 80s, begin 90s, right in 
the "lets get crazy super high 10.000 calories a day" era.  (Yes, I'm already 
training for 12 years now...) This had made me pretty fat as an adolescent, 
which I felt made it even more difficult in staying lean nowadays, because 
the fat that had once been there, came back easily.
I always trained very intense with weights for about 4 to 5 sessions per 
week, consisting about an hour each. I watched my fat intake, but most of all, 
I limited my carbs for years. ( 150/200g per day ) Something very popular 
nowadays. So until 4 months ago, I practiced intense bodybuilding, watched 
my nutritional program, eating 'clean' foods, full year round. That should get 
me in the succes lane, right? Wrong.
I felt that in the long run, my body was more catabolic than anabolic. My 
muscles felt flat most times, I wasn't vascular. And looking afterwards, I'm 
definitely not surprised. I was constantly in a battle trying to  - get lean - build 
muscle - don't get fat - get lean - build muscle - don't get fat......I noticed that 
nowadays most recreational bodybuilders are finding themselves in the same 
situation as I did.
To some degree I became very carb-conscious, maybe even carb-phobic and 
not only did it destroy much of my bodybuilding succes, but also did it take 
away a lot of the joy of life. Are you guys aware of what happens when you 
are going out shopping with your girlfriend for a few hours and forgot to take 
some 'clean' food along. While your girlfriend is enjoying a tasty sandwich 
in the run, you are desperately seeking for a shop where you can purchase 
some cottage cheese or a low-carb protein bar. Come on!!!
Now for years I've read that doing frequent and/or very intense cardio 
( aerobics ) is a sure roadblock to building musle mass. "Say no to cardio!"
Now I experienced that intense cardio is way more important towards succes 
than maybe we want it to be. In January 2002 I started a very succesfull diet 
and by the end of march, I was around 7% body fat. I used cardio as a side 
tool in achieving so. BUT THIS IS NOT THE TIP!!!
Here comes the tip. After I became extremely lean ( 5' 9" - 186 pounds - 7% fat), 
I decided to continue doing my intense cardio in trying to stay lean while 
building muscle at the same time. And boy oh boy, the results were far more
better than I could have ever dreamed of.
I slightly upped my calories and carbs every day after the strict diet period.
Every day I was afraid of losing my lean condition, because I was eating 
more. But the mirror surprised me every morning showing me still in great 
shape. I even dared to say yes to an occasional ice-cream, some cookies, 
pizza or fries. Now for more than 2 months already, I'm eating BIG TIME 
without getting even slightly fat!!!
For the biggest part, I still eat clean foods, but I enjoy a far more normal life 
than I used to. I easily eat up to 400 - 500 g carbs per day, with lots of 
protein. I still try to eat avoid high glycemic and/or fatty foods, but I noticed 
that even with them, it won't make me fat. Eating ice-cream, pancakes, pizza, 
fries, cookies, hamburgers, .... didn't even hurt my lean physique, but still I 
will only eat them as joy, not as a regular part of my diet. This big eating 
habit has given me the advantage of being more in an anabolic state, 
outweighing the possible catabolic effect from intense cardio. The 
abundance of nutrients that my body receives now, can be used to create a 
very positive environment for building muscle. I always have a huge pump 
now during my sessions and even during the day, so my muscles feel full 
and strong most of the time. I also got way more vascular than before.
Right now my weight has upped to 190 pounds and I'm still as lean. So 
there must be someting right about doing the right cardio work!!! Actually I 
look much leaner and feel much healthier and energetic.
What do I mean with intense cardio? Well, I don't know where the future 
will bring me, I still have to experiment with that, but I can only tell you 
what I do right now. For me, cardio is running. Maybe I'm blessed, but I 
enjoy running very much and I'm pretty good at it.

day 1 : 5 times an intense run of 600 meters, 2 minutes rest in between.
(For me it's 5 times : 1 minute 50 seconds per 600 meters)
day 2 : 3000 meters without rest
( I finish in about 10 minutes, so that's pretty intense! )
day 3 : recuperation : 6000 meters at a slower pace
( I finish it in about 23 minutes )
day 4 : rest
day 5 : back to day 1

So if you paid attention, my cardio work is pretty short but intense.
I really don't believe in what almost everybody is doing, slow and long.
Cardio is about making you a better athlete, not just burning calories!!!!
I believe the real advantage isn't in the calorie-burning effect during 
exercise but in your resulting higher VO2Max levels (taking you in a 
higher metabolism), which does not increase by slow-go cardio.
So, summary tips :
1/ use intense cardio to stay lean and be able to eat big time for muscle 
growth without getting fat.
2/ get lean - below 10% - to be able to observe your progress. I believe 
that many people get the wrong impression about their metabolism, 
because they cannot measure their progress very well with a higher 
body fat %. Look, if I'm fat and I eat some junk that day, if I would check 
myself in the mirror that evening and found myself again in a fat position, 
I create the false illusion that I get fat if I eat some junk. If you are fat 
and you diet for one or two weeks, you will still be fat of course. You 
might even look fatter, because your muscles get flat of dieting, so 
actually you will look weaker and fatter, even if you lost some fat.
So you could create the illusion that even on a diet you get fat!!!
Well, I noticed that because of this, people, including myself, create 
the false impression that they have bad metabolism, when in reality 
it's not. I found myself eating 150/200g carbs and not even reaching 
2000 calories a day for long periods still in a fat shape, so I really 
believed that my metabolism was ultra-slow, while now I know the 
opposite is true.
Now yesterday by coincidence I read a quote from Juliette Bergmann 
printed in a famous muscle magazine : "I don't eat any bread, pasta, 
potatoes or rice.  I'm a bodybuilder, not a marathoner." I think that's 
very absurd. Tell me if I'm wrong, but by instinct I feel there is 
something wrong about being a "great athlete" and only eating eggs, 
meats and fish with a little peace of watermelon...
Ps : I have never used anabolic steriods (maybe not important, but 
just as side info)
25 September 2002
I'm already in great shape for 6 months now. And I've again learned 
a valuable lesson.
First of all, the kind of training outlined in the previous report, had 
really put me in a state where I could litterally absorb any food 
without getting fat.  If you don't believe me, I invite you all to come 
down to Belgium and live with me for a week. It's unbelieveable, but 
it's true. I can eat anything without regret. And I mean anything!!!!! 

I personally feel that the intense running makes my body enourmesly 
sensitive to insulin, creating an environment where every gram of carb 
and fat is shuttled into my muscles and not my fat cells, this explains 
also the fact that I always have a huge pump during my weight workout.
On top of that I probably enjoy very fast metabolism now. I must 
honestly say that I got trapped into bad eating during summer.

To give you guys a clue :
Eating in total 2 large breads (each 600grams) with jam or chocolat 
paste each day as snacks in between.
Pizza as dessert after breakfast.
Big bags of potato chips during late night movies in bed.
Fries, ice cream party's, hamburgers, ... I ate it all (and enjoyed it all!)

I was really out of control, maybe because of the frustration of being 
restricted for years? I didn't even eat any vegetables or fruit anymore...
And I wasn't punished for it, every morning I would wake up still with my 
six-pack around, so why in God's name should I avoid those foods?
For my health of course. So in the meantime, I've substituted much of 
the bad things for good things, but the main point is that my life is 
normal now. If my girlfriend wants ice cream after dinner that day, I will 
join her. If we are out shopping and she wants to grab a burger, I will join 
her. If we are watching a scary movie at night and I feel like a tasty bag 
of potato chips, I will go for it! But I will do it in moderation now and fill 
up my big diet with more healthy foods. But still I will continue to eat 
much, around 4000 - 5000 calories a day.
Now comes the new tip :
Slow cardio or even medium cardio doesn't work.
After I felt I was in such a great shape from all the running in the 
previous months, I decided to participate in a running contest.
The route was 3000 meters and I ran against running competitors 
(members of athletics) who had been practising running for years now 
and weighing much less in bodyweight than me.
In the starting group of 55 competitors I placed 6th in 9 minutes 28 
seconds, really giving it all.
I was really exhausted after that run, I gave my best.
But it proved to me that my training had made me a great runner, even 
though I was a lot heavier than normal runners.
After this race some coaches approached me and gave me some 
running advice to even better my outstanding results. 
I had to run longer distances in my training, at a slower aerobic pace.
So I did.
I ran 12.000 to 15.000 meters a day at a comfortable pace. (aerobic 
zone : 70 - 80% of maximal heartbeat) It would take me an hour every 
And do you know what happened?
I got fatter!!!!!!!!!!!!
And to make things worse, I lost weight, felt flat and tired all the time, 
resulting in skipping bodybuilding workouts.
Don't ask me why I got fatter, normally I should have burned up 5 times 
more calories on that long run than on that intense 10 minute run.
This is where I decided that running should be a tool for me to be a 
great bodybuilder, but I should use the type of running that puts me in 
the right state as a bodybuilder, not as a runner. So I brought my cardio 
back to short and intense...result was that I came back in great shape 
with lots of energy. I'm not saying that the advice of the coaches were 
wrong, they were probably right, but it would make me a typical runner 
and not a lean bodybuilder.
Last tip
Don't use cardio exclusively while trying to get ripped. 
I tried this, it doesn't work.
You won't get ripped alone from running, use it as a side tool along 
with a calorie-restricted diet.
The real benefit of doing intense cardio stands in STAYING ripped once 
achieved, while eating big trying to build muscle.
I hope my experiences will benefit some athletes,

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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