Connect
To Top


Champ Training

A few years ago Toney decided on a radical scheme for improving his arms, namely to train them three times a week for a couple of months.


As someone who happens to make most of his living writing about how the pros train, I feel a certain obligation to keep it real for readers, lest they waste time, court injury or overtraining or experience any other adverse results from imitating the workout regimens of the world’s most muscular specimens. Recently I read something about ’07 IRON MAN Pro champion Toney Freeman that I had reported on in the past, and I really want to make sure I get the message out: “Don’t try this at home.” 

A few years ago Toney decided on a radical scheme for improving his arms, namely to train them three times a week for a couple of months. The plan was a rousing success for the X-Man, as he managed to add a full inch to his guns, which now stretch the tape out to 22 inches in contest condition. My fear is that a bunch of guys have read that and are out doing the same thing. 

Being a man whose arms have been a source of frustration for a full quarter century, I’m aware of how tempting the prospect may seem. I sure would love another inch on my arms, believe me. I’d take it over a Ferrari at this point, though probably not if you threw Shakira into the deal. Still, hitting arms three times a week is definitely something I’d be willing to try if it could deliver the goods. For just about everyone, of course, it won’t. 

You really, really need to take everything you read about the pros and the way they train with a grain of salt before you copy it. As I’ve said many times before, the pros aren’t like you and me. They’re genetic superiors who often look the way they do in spite of the way they train and eat, not because of it. That’s why guys like Ronnie and Jay can use loose, sloppy form and not only remain free of horrible injuries but grow to immense proportions as well. Current Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson was able to get completely shredded several times every year dieting only for four to six weeks and without doing a lick of cardio. 

Besides genetic advantages, the pros usually have certain chemical advantages. Steroids and other drugs help a human being recover and grow from training volumes and frequencies that would put the average guy in the hospital from exhaustion. It’s fine to be inspired by the incredible physiques of the pros. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that the way they train is going to be equally effective for you. IM

Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodybuilding, available at RonHarrisMuscle.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Contest Prep

  • Peak Week

    Learn what a top competitor goes through in the final days before a contest. By Mike Carlson Most of us have...

    Sharon OrtigasDecember 17, 2016
  • NPC West Coast Men’s Physique Results

    Click on the link to see all the results: WC_16__Final-Mens Physique Men's Physique Class A   Men's Physique Class B Men's Physique...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 27, 2016
  • NPC West Coast Men’s Bodybuilding Results

    Click on the link to see all the results:  WC_16__Final-Bodybuilding Master Men's Bodybuilding over 40   Master Men's Bodybuilding over 50...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 27, 2016
  • The Advent Of Classic Physique

    A new NPC category will breathe competitive life into athletes who are stuck between divisions.

    Iron Man MagazineDecember 26, 2015
  • Blurring The Lines And Birth Of The Hybrid Training

    The classic era of bodybuilding and weightlifting undoubtedly occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s. Back then, gyms weren’t deemed “hardcore,”...

    Iron Man MagazineOctober 8, 2015
  • The Future Of Men’s Physique

    The relatively young sport is only in its adolescence, but it’s experienced explosive growth. What will the division look like 10...

    Iron Man MagazineOctober 5, 2015
  • Go Pro – Thinking Outside The Gym

    Training outdoors can provide a valuable mental and physical boost. We go to the gym, we work out, and we move...

    Iron Man MagazineSeptember 14, 2015
  • Water Manipulation for Cuts and Striations

    I’m often asked how to manipulate water prior to a contest or photo shoot to get as ripped and hard-looking as...

    John HansenFebruary 17, 2015
  • Staying Motivated for Competition

    Q: I’ve just started to learn about natural bodybuilding, and after being a tad disappointed when coming across a lot of...

    John HansenNovember 21, 2014