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What It Takes To Be A Champion
By Leroy Colbert

Champions are made, not born. You can be a champion. It only takes the extra-added ingredients champions are made of. I know, for I have met and discussed bodybuilding with practically all of the champion bodybuilders, active and inactive. Most of you will not recognize the names of these great pre steroids taking bodybuilders that I have trained with, these natural greats rein in the fifties, sixties and seventies I Leroy Colbert was the first man to build 21 inch muscular arms, drug free and I am proud of it. I love bodybuilding and I am not for one minute trying to put down the current bodybuilders who take steroid they must take them to compete. In my competitive days they were not available. The reason for this article is to let you see how the basic road to physical excellence has changed little. During my talks, I discovered what it was that made these greats different from the average bodybuilder. I found without exception, that these champs had self-confidence in spades. They knew where they wanted to go and nothing was going to stop them from going there. All of the greats followed the same pattern. Their methods may have differed, but their ultimate goals were identical.

Let me tell you straight, what it takes to be great. The talks I had with Joe Abenda. I will never forget the invigorating workouts Joe Abenda and I had together. In those workouts, I learned first hand the innermost drives that compel Joe to train hard and scientifically to win his goal of a perfect body and the Mr. America title. Joes trained four to six times weekly, never missing a workout. He attended night school, and from school he went to the gym. Joe believes that persistence in training is extremely important. Your body cannot grow fast, strong, hard and muscular if you do not accustom it to progressively harder consistent training.

The great Steve Reeves believes that a bodybuilder must follow the principle of isolation training. He must isolate his muscles as much as possible. Never press standing if you can press sitting down. You eliminate the problem of balance and unnecessary waste of energy.

Abe Goldberg of great chest fame says, always think positive, and never harbor the thought of defeat. Tell yourself that you will succeed. Visualize you muscles growing daily; make mind over matter a reality.

Clarance Ross, symmetry king, believes you are what you eat. Hot dogs and soda will not supply the food your body needs to nourish your muscles and help them grow. Eliminate, potatoes chips, candy, hot sauces and gravies from your diet. Instead, eat the food the champions build on such as salads, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, fruit, fruit juices and vegetable juices. Always supplement these foods with hi-protein, wheat germ oil, and vitamins.

Jack Delinger says late hours are the mortal enemy of the bodybuilder. Your muscles must have restful sleep in order to grow. Don’t stay up late drinking and smoking and expect bodybuilding to remedy it all. Try being in bed no later than 11:00 P.M. Make healthy living a way of life.

Reg Park says handle weight as heavy as you can. Play a game with yourself and try to add more and more weight to your exercises in each workout. Forces out those reps, the tough ones are the muscle building ones. Push yourself with each workout. This forced training will increase your stamina to train harder in each succeeding workout. Tough workouts are the key to a steel-cabled Rock of Gibraltar physique.

George Paine says sleep at least eight restful hours a night. Don’t waste a drop of energy. Devote your drive to building a rock of health. Avoid tension, energy draining arguments and stress during the day. Relax your body. The ability to relax is the difference between being peppy and faggged out during a workout.

Marvin Eder says follow all of the great principles such as: flushing the muscles, grouping all exercises for one body part together, to subject the muscles to maximum work. Super sets doing two alternate exercises for the muscles, one right after the other, such as a curl and immediately following with a triceps extension. Marvin says using these great principles makes for continuous progress bypassing that dreaded sticking point.

Doug Strohl says that a bodybuilder should never do fewer than six reps for building muscles. If he does, he is training for power, not muscle size and stamina. Reps forces muscle building blood through your body, making the muscles grow faster. Low reps fail in the all-important quality of pumping the muscles.

Tom Sansone, another great champion and I have trained for extended periods of time. Tom is a champion Mr. America bodybuilder, and we will elaborate a little more on Tom to let you see how all the cumulative advice of the greats worked to build the magnificent physique of Tome Sansone. Tom follows all of the principles we have heard from the champions. The cumulative advice is what makes the champion, not just one principle, but also all of them together make the finished product. we were going through one of our sure fire muscle building routine.

In a recent interview I asked, “Tom, as a champion, do you have any special advice you can give to our aspiring readers?”

“To tell the truth Leroy, you have worked with all the greats. I doubt if I could add anything to their all encompassing advice.”

“I understand your reasoning Tom,” I said, “but just tell me how you applied yourself to become a champion?”

“To begin with Leroy, I feel a bodybuilder must never give up. Perseverance and hard work cannot be beaten for making anyone a champion.” Tom stated.

Here are some rules every bodybuilder must follow, if he is to succeed:

1. He must discipline himself. He must never miss a workout unless absolutely necessary.

2. He must never over indulge in alcoholic beverages.

3. He must never keep late hours.

4. He must not eat empty foods. What I mean by empty foods are foods that destroy you instead of building you up. Hot condiments, abundance of candy, potato chips, soft drinks, hot dogs, coffee, tea, and the like, are foods, which if predominant in your diet, would ruin your chances of ever becoming a champion.

5. You must get eight to ten hours sleep a night to allow your muscles to relax and grow.

6. You must think positive; you must no let negative thoughts and tension sap your energy.

7. You must follow the system of progressing training in order to set a good foundation for your physique.

8. You must take a vitamin-mineral supplement with hi-protein to assure you of getting all of the vital nutrients in your diet.

9. You must eat an abundance of green vegetables, meats, fish, cereal, milk, bread and fruit for an adequate bodybuilding diet.

10. You must develop your instinct for finding the best combinations o sets, reps and routines to follow. Develop your instinct by having an open mind. Don’t get in a one routine rut. Experiment, because in experimenting, you develop your instinct for better exercise selections with quicker results.

11. Train heavy and hard, incorporating all of the principles such as; flushing, cheating, isolation, super sets and muscle priority.

Tom states, “In my opinion, Leroy, these are the 10 most important points a bodybuilder must adhere to if he wishes to add his name on the roster of champions.”

“I know that every bodybuilder who heeds your advice has but one way to go and that’s up.” “Thanks to Tom for letting us in on your ideas of building a champion physique. This was some the wisdom of the great bodybuilders of yesterday” which can be applied today.


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