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Applied Bodybuilding

Vince Andrich

\Vince Andrich has been the driving force behind many of the most innovative and successful companies in performance nutrition and sports supplements. His success developing go-to-market product strategies, as well as authoring numerous books and articles, have one common theme: find the science, or concept that actually helps bodybuilders in the real world.

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Nautilus Training Concepts

Q. Vince, you seem to have been around the LA bodybuilding scene forever. I remember you back when you wrote the Supplement Review book and even still have your “no-nonsense” book you wrote with Rob Thoburn! What do you think of the Nautilus training concepts that Arthur Zones popularized in the ‘80s?

A. I like to use the Nautilus gym era as an example of how the gym experience can become overly mechanical. I know this company can’t take all the blame; some of the basic principles set forth during this era are easily traced back to a demise of cultural body transformation and the rise of mass-marketed gym chains. The list of Nautilus principles below, accompanied by my remarks, clearly points this out.

1. Train to all out muscular failure or don’t train.

Vince’s comments: Talk about mechanical—what’s the mental cost associated with do-or-die training principles? In essence, this belief means that nothing less than sheer, all-out effort can be associated with your training. If you’ve ever tried using this to motivate yourself to go to the gym each day, let me state for the record that it doesn’t work. You begin to resent the gym, because no one can pull a peak performance on demand, not to mention every workout. Peak performances come from the unconscious state that top athletes call the Zone. Mechanical programs make training in the Zone nearly impossible.

2. Do the exercises in pre-determined succession.

Vince’s comments: While this might be good for a specific goal, it is by no means the way to stay motivated year after year. Again, the result is boredom and resentment, because the program becomes like a rigid ball and chain.

3. Progress only comes from lifting heavier weights.

Vince’s comments: This concept is a half-truth. Yes, getting stronger will bring about gains in new muscle size. However, strength is dependent on many factors, including order of exercises, rep range, rest between sets, and the time it takes to complete a single set or rep.