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Only by ignoring the experts, was I able to build the world’s largest muscular arms. I refused to be held back by baseless rules and psychological restrictions of the experts. I was a nine-year-old sickly, skinny kid who started boxing at the Catholic Boys Club, to build up his body. But instead, I got beat up. I knew then that boxing was not for me. Two years later I started bodybuilding.

One important tip I want to stress for your educational agenda is to beware of the experts. Give a man the title of expert forces him to be one; even if he doesn’t have any idea of what he is talking about. How about a few utterances of the so-called experts of old: the world is flat; man will never fly; weight training will make you muscle bound; nutrition has nothing to do with disease. Those were the utterings of self-style experts who didn’t have the foggiest idea of what they were talking about. Millions of people believed them as though they were gospel.

Yet there were always people who didn’t accept the wisdom of the so-called experts and you know the results; rapid progress in all fields of endeavor, by people who refuse to be hampered by the experts. It is human nature to seek answers and bodybuilders head the list of seekers. I hear more crack pot schemes to build muscles overnight, from bodybuilders, than I can count. Hence, people out to make a buck will promise anything, knowing someone will buy into it.

I hate to disappoint you, but there are no magic solutions to building your body. Please don’t waste your time seeking them, searching out self-style experts, who will claim to have all the answers is truly an exercise in futility. If diligence, hard work, and intelligent application to the science of training and diet is magic, then spread it as if was butter, because it will certainly work like magic.

Of course there are experts in many fields, science, medicine, etc. I am talking about those “know-it-all, absent-of-facts” experts. I look back to my active training days when my arms were really growing. There standing in front of me, was a guy with 12 inch arms pumped up, telling me I was doing the curls wrong according to what he read. Here was a guy with no appreciable development, telling me results do not matter, it was the expert who wrote the book.

I read this story a while back and I thought I would pass it on to you as a graphic example of the blindness of the “know-it-all” experts. In the early era of auto making, the legendary pioneer of the auto industry, Henry Ford, was getting horrendous reports of severe injuries from shattered glass in auto collisions. He asked his company experts to produce shatter proof glass, but they told him it couldn’t be done. Ford’s answer was to go to the local universities where they hadn’t yet learned what “could not” be done. Consequently, shatter proof glass was invented. Listening to the experts is fine but ask questions, it will help sharpen your common sense in detecting what may be real and what is self-serving fantasy.

Not too long ago, you were at the top of your game with 16-inch biceps. Well-developed arms of 16 inches put you in the elite class of bodybuilders. It was almost an unwritten law that you weren’t going to get much bigger than that. The prevailing expert wisdom of the time was you were approaching your physical limit. At the time, being psychologically constricted by the experts, I was ecstatic when my arms reached 16 ½ inches. I thought, maybe I could get to 17, or the astounding size of 18 inches; now I am really dreaming because the experts say the human body is not designed to maintain muscles that large. The so called experts in bodybuilding had a laundry list of rules you dare not break if you wanted a muscular body. One unbreakable rule was not to do over three sets for a body part three times a week or you will over train and lose muscles instead of building them. We took the the self-help expert‘s advice to heart, and studiously avoided doing more than three sets. Everyone at the gym religiously followed the three sets per body part dogma. I was so obsessed with wanting big arms, I felt three sets might be enough, but my arms needed more work, yet I was fearful of breaking the three set rule. I decided I was going to try more sets and see what happens. I was only 15 years old, who am I to have the temerity to challenge the experts. I was frustrated with the prevailing wisdom. I decided to try doing six sets and see what happens.

To my elated surprise, my arms responded almost immediately to the extra work. I became embolden by the progress; I jumped from 3 sets to 6 to 12 sets. I began to accelerate my entire bodybuilding routine to an intensity guided by my body’s response. After initially watching me train so hard, with disdain, the boys in the gym watched in awe as my arms grew from 16 inches to 17 ¼ in three months. Seeing my rapid improvement convinced everyone to eagerly reject the now discredited advice of the experts. We pushed our muscles to the extent we had not dared to do previously.

Despite my success in dumping the overwork theory, I still hadn’t lost my awe for the experts. I heard that David Willoughby could scientifically tell your size potential by measuring key bones in your body. Dave got out the caliper and measuring tape, and in a very knowledgeable manner said, “Leroy, carefully measuring your bone size, the maximum biceps you could hope to develop is 18 1/2 inches. That is the largest size your bone structure could possibly handle. I advise you not to set your goal that high because that’s the max.” I was disappointed in Dave’s expert opinion because I had begun to dream of a record breaking 19 inches. Well, I built my arms to 21 1/2 inches. The bone size theory didn’t hold up, it looked and sounded good, but in the end, just fanciful theory. Ironically, David was the expert that officially measured my biceps at 21 1/2 inches. “Absolutely astonishing, beyond all calculations,” David embarrassingly said. I felt sorry to see David’s so called science collapse before his own eyes.

The self-style experts have been attempting to predict man’s physical achievements for years, telling athletes what their maximum potential could be and what records will never be broken. Yet there is always someone who defies the experts and breaks the records that couldn’t be broken. The experts once emphatically said running a four minute mile was beyond human capacity, until Roger Bannister said, “I can do it” - and he did it. Today, running a mile under four minutes is taken for granted. The psychological barrier was destroyed.

The experts scared off a lot of potentially great bodybuilders with the muscle-bound theory; if you lift weight you will become stiff and inflexible. None of this nonsense was based on fact. How about the so called supplements experts claiming the taking of vitamins was a waste of time, you don’t need them, you will just urinate them out. Now the so called experts have changed their tune, vitamins are drugs and you have to be careful overdosing on them. They are now saying the “worthless” vitamins must be regulated. If they knew what they were talking about in the first place, they would have not come to the conclusion vitamins were worthless. Are we suppose to believe them now that they claim vitamins are drugs?

I have gotten to the point that I laugh at most of the pronouncements of the so called “experts.” Stick to the proven journals of knowledge, Flex and Muscle and Fitness, the magazines that will give you all the pertinent information for you to digest and apply to your physical fitness. You must not look to be lead by the hand, just guided to fitness. Use all the information as a guide. It may apply perfectly for Ronnie Coleman but not for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but avoid at all cost, seeking the magic solution because there isn’t any!

Most champions throughout their careers are constantly adjusting, improvising, and experimenting. Trying this and trying that, more reps - less reps, more hours - less hours, more intensity - less intensity, heavy – light, etc., they learned to fashion their program to their body’s response. Never give up your ability to reason and apply the knowledge you obtain. Never surrender your instinct and common sense to anyone. From the earth is flat, to man will never get to the moon, the experts were wrong. So keep focused and BEWARE THE EXPERTS!


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