I was proud to be invited to be one of the Pros for the first Natural Bodybuilding VIP Camp, held by Natural Pro Bodybuilder Layne Norton. The event took place from Friday, June 29th to Sunday, July 1st out in Tampa, Florida. Only a limited number of people were signed up for the event because Layne wanted to make sure that all the attendees had the same opportunity to train with the pros and benefit from the experience.
Along with myself, other Natural Pro Bodybuilders in attendance included Dave "The Texas Shredder" Goodin, Brian Whitacre, 3x Lightweight Champ at the WNBF World Championships, Francisco Montealegre, 2x WNBF Pro Champion, Alberto Nunez, IFPA Pro Bodybuilder, Nicole Weeks, 3x NGA Pro Figure Champion, Paul Revelia, NGA Pro Bodybuilder, Isabel Norton, NGA Figure Pro and, of course, Layne himself, 2010 IFPA Pro International Champion.
All the Natural Pro Bodybuilders trained with each of the camp members on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We did chest and back on the first day, shoulders and arms on the second day and legs on the third day. All of the attendees really trained very hard and many of them were doing very heavy lifts in the squat or deadlift during the weekend, usually accompanied by the screams and encouragement of everyone there.
We trained at the Powerhouse Gym in North Tampa. This is a very old school gym that looks like it's been around since the 1980's. It was a welcome change from the family oriented, fitness clubs that have overtaken the fitness industry. This gym was populated by powerlifters and those who like to scream and train heavy. It was my first time in the gym and I liked the heavy duty atmosphere.
In addition to the training, all the camp members (as well as the pros) were treated to a series of seminars at the University of Tampa on Friday afternoon. I was able to attend some of these seminars and they were very informative. They included talks on Bodybuilding Supplements, Periodization, Balancing Bodybuilding into your Lifestyle and Cardio and Overtraining.
The lecture I was most looking forward to was the seminar on Occlusion Training. This subject has been discussed in Ironman Magazine before. In fact, Layne wrote the article about it. This is where you restrict blood flow to a muscle group and then train that muscle with low resistance and high reps. Although the blood gets into the muscle, it is restricted from leaving. The result is new muscle growth due to the metabolic response of the restricted blood flow. I am very anxious to start this in my own training!
On Saturday afternoon, we all met up at DNC Supplement Store in Tampa for a roundtable discussion. The floor was open and the camp members were allowed to ask any questions of the pros and experts. This was a long, 2 1/2 hour seminar so many subjects were discussed and all the camp members really got a lot out of it.
All in all, the first Natural Bodybuilding VIP Camp was a huge success! I got to meet a lot of great people for the first time as well as spend time with old friends. I think this event is going to get bigger and bigger so if you are interested in attending next year's camp, make sure you sign up early because attendance is limited. Thanks again to Layne and Isabel Norton for inviting me to be a part of the first Natural Bodybuilding VIP Camp as well as all their hospitality!