Written by Carlon M. Colker, MD, FACN
09 October 2006

Bodybuilding's Most Powerful Techniques

Thanks to all my good friends, my latest book just came out. It's called Extreme Muscle Enhancement: Bodybuilding's Most Powerful Techniques. I had not intended on writing another book unless the right deal came together. Thanks to Bob Chinery, Kelly Conklin and all the guys and gals at Prosource Publications, they put the right deal together and the stars aligned.

            We really did our due-diligence on this one. By that I mean we sampled more then 50 bodybuilding texts on the market. While a few had information on diet, they were lacking training information. Where others were strong on training, they lacked adequate information on diet. Still others had hardcore information on anabolic steroids, growth hormone and drugs, but were completely missing diet and training information. Some biographical or autobiographical books managed to work in a smattering of this information, yet lacked the detail needed to be meaningful.

            I guess the point here was to fill a major void. I mean, think about where you would send a guy who suddenly came up to you in the gym and started asking you a million questions. How do I get my muscles big? What should I eat to get big? How should I eat to lose body fat, but still get big? Are there any dietary shortcuts to putting on mass? What supplements should I take? How much should I put in my body? When should I take supplements? When should I not take supplements? How should I train? What kind of routine should I use? How heavy should I go? How many sets should I do? How many repetitions should I do in each set? Should I take steroids? Should I take growth hormone? Should I get liposuction? Should I get calf implants?

            Again, where are all the answers? Well, they are out there, but until now they were all over the place, and that's my point. I set out to make my book the first authoritative text that covers all major bases required for the bodybuilder interested in extreme physique building. These include everything from diet, training and drugs, to plastic surgery, implants and even site-specific injections. As in my articles, I didn't hold back. It's all there in black and white.

            I even included amazing pictures from my buddy Per Bernal, the greatest bodybuilding photographer in the world. Per and I sat together for hours in his Venice Beach studio and selected some of the most extreme images you have ever seen. He really broke out the secret stash for me on this one. I've got to thank him for including some never-before-published jaw-droppers.

            Funny thing was I actually wanted to put on the cover, my close friend, first training partner, and brother-of-another-mother for 25 years, Gregg Valentino. My idea was to have Per photograph him close up doing a back-double biceps. I wanted to plaster him from the front to the back cover with enough detail to show his freaky arms along with the back of his bald head, all his tattoos, needle marks and gnarly scars. But that idea was shot down because they told me it would be just too extreme even for my crazy book. I laughed. They were probably right. But in the end, we settled in on what I think still is a pretty extreme cover. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

            Major appreciation goes out to MD chief Steve Blechman. He's just awesome for encouraging me to include a little bit of my classic MD material. As a long-time writer and contributing editor for Muscular Development, I'm fortunate to have Steve as such a great friend. For years now, Steve has been the fearless leader of our bad-boys-of-bodybuilding. Like any good general who leads his forces into battle, Steve has never been one to hide behind the line. In fact, for years our bad boys have crashed every major show worth seeing and Steve was right there at the front leading the pack by example. You've just got to respect that fact.

            The truth is, the old guard at Muscle & Fitness and some of the guys from the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) used to hate us with a passion. As John Romano can tell you firsthand, we were so hated and feared that they even tried to ban some of us from the shows. My boy Romano will tell you that in many ways we are still the most unwelcome and feared bunch of writers because we tell the truth. We say it like it is, or as Steve says, "No bullshit." Those who are unafraid of the truth love us and welcome us, while those who live in fear hate us.

            Originally, this whole approach came out of Steve's efforts to bravely reform the sport. You see, what a lot of guys don't remember is that Muscular Development used to be called All Natural Muscular Development. Steve used this bully pulpit to expose the sport's hypocrisy and promote a healthy, drug-free agenda. I know this because I wrote for Steve those many years ago back in the trenches. His agenda scared the shit out of the powers that ruled bodybuilding because they knew all-too-well Steve was right on the money and had them nailed at every corner.

            Though Steve's agenda was noble, the truth is that the effort sputtered and almost died. I'm not afraid to say it because it's a fact and the truth is that the reader rules circulation and sales. As I've learned from Steve, if you don't give them what they want, your magazine will never get picked and will die on the vine. While Steve's message in All Natural Muscular Development was a good one, it was just not what the larger audience of readers wanted.

            Steve saw what was happening and was smart and agile enough to park his agenda and evolve the magazine. The new MD format does not condone the use of drugs, but simply reports on the state of the industry. Whatever it was, that would be what would end up filling our pages. We would set out to show the true pictures and tell the true stories. This included drugs, extremism, testosterone and everything in between.

            Looking back and knowing Steve as I do, I believe it was only through this truthful reporting of the facts that he was able to come to terms with the hypocrisy of our sport. In other words, by reporting the facts, you eliminate the hypocrisy. You see, Steve loves the sport of bodybuilding and back then he simply could not reconcile the idea of having the namby-pamby pictures of drugged-up bodybuilders training juxtaposed with articles on health and wellness that was found in other competitive publications. The hypocrisy was nauseating and intolerable, and he was right. The only way to set aside his original agenda and continue to love bodybuilding was to report it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Steve's formula of truth was something to be proud of because vindication in the form of the great success of MD has finally arrived. MD is on top and so is Steve with the rest of us right behind him.

            MD has the most qualified and most popular writers in bodybuilding. That fact simply can't be ignored. Everyone knows that the greatest collection of credible experts the bodybuilding industry has ever seen all write for MD. There is no question there. When you pick up MD, you just know you're going to get your money's worth with tons of useful information and a hell of a lot of entertainment. My book, Extreme Muscle Enhancement: Bodybuilding's Most Powerful Techniques, holds true to our tradition of cutting through the crap and getting to the bottom line while still keeping you entertained.

            Perhaps the book's greatest strength is the fact that I lay out the approaches I mention in a clear and concise manner so you can easily apply the principles to yourself. Since I believe that seeing what works for you firsthand is critical, and since I'm aware that if what you're reading is imprecise or disorganized, you have little hope of applying meaningful knowledge no matter how good it might be. My purpose was to create a text that would be the first comprehensive and authoritative text on male physique enhancement, but still be succinct, easy to understand and even easier to apply.

            Beyond the nailing down critical facts and revealing the necessary secrets, one interesting facet of the book is that I give you what I consider to be bodybuilding's most powerful techniques along with some great stories. As my readers know, I'm a firm believer in the idea that facts tell, but stories sell. In other words, if you really want to get a point across, you have to tell a story. Over the years, my articles have been peppered with many colorful stories from my past. What I found was that readers loved them. So, while early on I was gung-ho about the medical and scientific facts and anxious to use my experience as a physician, I quickly learned to also draw on my bodybuilding experience to entertain. This way, I could most effectively communicate meaningful information to my readers.

            Finally, special props go out to a few more of my boys. Super-extreme former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, bodybuilding mega-brain Chad Nicholls and the toughest set of ass-kicking brothers in the world, Ken and Frank Shamrock, have all been there for me. They are the best for being so encouraging and supportive.

            You can get Extreme Muscle Enhancement: Bodybuilding's Most Powerful Techniques by calling 1-800-310-1555 or ordering online at http://www.prosource.net/.