The Philosophy Of Bodybuilding Champions

Clancy Ross used to say: Don’t talk to me during my workouts – talk to me after I am finished, and then I’ll help you. Clancy also would advise people to never talk to him about training after he left the gym.

Dwelling on the subject of training all day long causes endocrine tension, which can upset the chemical balance of your nervous system. This form of tension can be absolutely destructive to the muscle building process and hinder formation of new tissue. For the growth process to function to its optimum level, all of your glandular processes must operate with maximum efficiency. Worry and anxiety over constantly dwelling on your workouts can prevent the free flow of endocrine secretions which is necessary for the rebuilding of nervous energy force. Remember – nerve force is essential for rebuilding tissue.

When you are in the gym, you are there to concentrate on training and work; but the minute you step out of the door when the training session is over, fret not, turn it off. Give your subconscious mind a chance to perform its mystical job. Over-enthusiasm is the bodybuilder’s worst enemy. You must always remember that tranquility is the first rule of good health. I have never observed a champion who did not subscribe to this fact.

It is my honest opinion, based on thirty years of bodybuilding experience, that you cannot fail to make gains if you see yourself as you wish to be. Changing your workouts around constantly is not the answer, but a proper mental attitude is. Never doubt or lose sight of the fact that you will reach your goal. I personally agree with Reg Park, who contends that there are only one or two good exercises for each given muscle strand. The rest of the exercises are only variations.

Most of my training is done with workout partners, and the training is changed often to keep them interested and enthusiastic. I normally change the exercises each month only because my training partners are not capable of real concentration. Whenever I have a show or photo session coming up, I always revert back to my own specialized training program which works best for me. I also work out alone with as few people as possible in the gym and take the phone off the hook. Training without interruption allows maximum concentration and full attention to be focused on my workout. Any interruption can ruin a workout by dissipating nervous energy. Concentration such as this is not a conscious thing, except for the surface awareness of the proper amount of sets, repetitions and weight to use in each exercise. All great champions have this ability of complete concentration which allows them to use their nerve energy force to its maximum.

2 Comments
  1. In my 20s & 30s, I had the luxury of training in the back of our karate dojo. Brown-belts and above had a key, and we could go in and train at any time, day or night. Shotokan karate-do was practiced first, for an hour-and-a-half, and then those who wished to could do weight training after. The karate workout was most strenuous, and not many were interested in prolonging the agony!
    But I remember that our DBs, BBs, and certain simple machines were one-of-a-kinds, and I was honored to re-apholster them
    after a fire in ’89. Sensei David Palumbo was my instructor, along with Sensei Daniel Paquette, and Sensei Brian Kreizenger, among others.
    That dojo is gone now , and I train in a public facility, with mostly strangers… I am 55.
    But I remember working out for a couple of days with Larry Scott in Salt Lake City, in ’93, and doing reverse curls on a proper Scott bench, with 33s, Larry said, “get the weight up any way you can on this one, you’re allowed to cheat!” I’ll never forget the compliment he gave me regarding my forearms……bracchior-radialis? I was 29, and 168 lbs. Larry was @ or around 53….
    Larry Scott was a sweetheart of a man, and so are the surviving members of his family.

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