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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016
From Flab to Muscles

Advocate Raina had always been an excellent student throughout. He was invariably on the list of favourites of every teacher. He scored the highest, did his homework and knew all the answers. Hardworking and intelligent, he made his way through the school and college and at no point of time he was any less than the best by far. And then he decided to become a lawyer and joined the law school. Success was always his for the asking, and the same continued in the law school as well.

Soon enough, he landed a job with a leading law firm, and worked as hard as he always had, which made him rise in the firm. He was now a known lawyer at quite a young age. But he was still not as happy as he wanted to be because somewhere deep in his heart he resented not having a ripped body. Now, that might sound odd for someone so successful professionally, but even the most successful people have mirrors in their bathrooms and when they don't like what they see in the mirror, all the success in the world matters little. The sight of a thick layer of fat around one's waist is a massive turn off and can make one feel like a loser. Advocate Raina was no exception. All the hardwork that he had put in order to do well seemed to have produced one absolutely unacceptable side-effect - the paunch.

To Advocate Raina it was particularly unacceptable because all his life he had been trying to find time to join the gym so that he could build a body worth displaying. And now when he could afford the most expensive gym in the city, he still did not have the time to workout. Worse, he was developing a paunch, which nearly sent him into depression. So, he decided to do something about it.

Since the layer of fat around his stomach and waistline was not too thick, it was not all that difficult to get rid of it, but building muscles was a different issue considering the time constraints he had, the gym instructor told him. He did not believe that it would be easy to drop the layer of fat as easily as the instructor presented, but he was still determined to give it his honest effort.

A combination of several kinds of exercises including cardiovascular exercises and weight training worked for Advocate Raina and he was successful in shedding quite a lot off his stomach and achieved a relatively flat stomach. However, he was not satisfied because he wanted to put on muscles. Part of this desire was inspired by the results he and his trainer had been able to achieve in a matter of months. Of course, he had put immense efforts into it. And now he wanted to put some more efforts and achieve what he had always dreamt of - a well-sculpted body. But that was going to be harder, his trainer told him. He also added that it would take not only a good deal of effort but would also be a time consuming effort. He would have to find time not only to workout but also to take adequate rest in order to be ready for more the next day or the day after.

Advocate Raina was willing to devote as much time as it needed, but there were undeniable time constraints and legal profession is too demanding when it comes to finding time to stay away from work. The time he had managed during the initial phase was not easy, and with the increasing workload it was getting further difficult. Advocate Raina had no clue as to how he could manage both his tight work schedule and the strenuous weight training sessions that demanded not only workout but also rest. He brought his problem to the notice of his trainer, and the trainer, who was well aware of Advocate Raina's problem, had already found a solution that could actually work.

The trainer then introduced Advocate Raina to the concept of High Intensity Training (HIT), primarily developed and popularized by Mike Mentzer. In the 1970s Arnold Schwarzenegger exploded on the world body building scene and inspired big bodies, and also brought the concept of 'volume training', in which the emphasis was on consistent heavy training with only as much rest to the muscles as necessary and no more. It was during this time that Mike Mentzer came forward and demonstrated that it was not about how many hours you train or how many sets you undertake, but about how intense your workout is. Body responds better to erratic challenges than regular ones, and builds better when put to heavy work every now and then instead of a rigorous everyday schedule of lengthy workout sessions.

Therefore, Mike Mentzer was saying the exact opposite of what most of the bodybuilders were saying around the globe. While the expert bodybuilders advised 6-day training in a week, Mentzer was talking of just one day in as long as 14 days. The top bodybuilders recommended multiple exercises for each body part so that every muscle, big and small, was worked out at all possible angles. On the other hand, Mentzer opined that just one exercise for each body part was enough to give results as good, if not better. Most of the bodybuilders were performing 15 to 20 sets per body part, Mentzer recommended just one. The central idea was to perform less number of exercises with as much load on the muscle group as possible to the extent of completely exhausting a muscle group, and then allowing it good time to rest and re-build.

Mentzer not only put forward his theory, but also demonstrated that it worked by winning the 1978 IFBB Mr. Universe contest. Later, Dorian Yates attributed his success in bodybuilding to Mentzer High Intensity Training. Dorian won Mr. Olympia six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997.

Advocate Raina found the Mentzer's bodybuilding theory tailor-made for his busy schedule. So, he would train once or twice a week as hard as he could and then let the body rest. The results were noticeable. Of course, Advocate Raina never turned to professional bodybuilding, but he did end up achieving his dream of having a body that he could feel happy about. That boosted his self-image a great deal and made him feel happy and more efficient, which, in turn, reflected in his courtroom performances. Advocate Raina was now doing much better in profession and life on account of a radical bodybuilding theory developed by someone he never knew.


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