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Q: Did Bertil Fox influence your early training?

7207-train5Q: Did Bertil Fox influence your early training?

A: Yes. He trained in a harder, briefer, heavier way than did most elite bodybuilders of his era. That appealed to me.

While the basic format of “harder, briefer and heavier” is what the typical bodybuilder should apply, precisely how it’s applied makes the difference between success and failure.

In his prime, the 1970s and ’80s, Fox was one of the most genetically gifted bodybuilders ever—and on steroids. He responded extremely well to brutal workouts that would be excessive for most bodybuilders. He also used certain exercises and loose techniques that, while they were productive for him, aren’t productive for typical trainees.

Bodybuilders of Fox’s stature and today’s pros have bodies that are much more robust than those of typical bodybuilders, and they also have much greater recuperative abilities. I overdid exercise intensity, as well as volume and frequency of training, trying to mimic Bertil’s brutal workouts.

Had I applied the basic “harder, briefer, heavier” format at a level appropriate for a steroid-free trainee who’s of normal genetic potential and average recuperative abilities—as in the instruction I promote today—I’d have made far greater progress and without getting injured. I urge you to learn that lesson and spare yourself the frustration and disappointment that I went through as a young bodybuilder.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or www


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