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Flex, Highs and Videotape

Information, motivation and muscle sensations abound on tapes and DVDs

If you don’t own any of the many training videos available these days, you could really be missing out. They can be tremendously motivating. Two of the most inspirational videos I’ve ever seen are Dorian Yates’ ‘Blood and Guts’ and Ronnie Coleman’s ‘The Unbelievable.’ It doesn’t matter that most of us will never approach the size of those men or use anywhere near the weights they do. Just watching men with such extreme muscular development pushing the limits of intensity and breaking past the barriers of normal human tolerance for pain is astonishing. When the bodybuilder happens to be close to contest condition, it’s almost like an anatomy lesson’you can clearly observe the actions of each individual muscle during training. Who needs an MRI?

Some of the videos show not only training but also a day or more in the life of the athlete. It’s neat to see that these giants eat, sleep, relax and hang out with friends and family just like the rest of us mortals. Ronnie Coleman’s latest DVD, ‘The Cost of Redemption,’ really gives you an insight into how much food is required to feed a man who packs more 300 lean pounds on his frame and who trains as brutally hard and frequently as he does. It follows Ronnie over the course of four consecutive days, not only at the gym but also in his kitchen and his two favorite restaurants as he puts away what can only be described as obscene amounts of egg whites, grits, chicken, steak, potatoes, french fries and corn bread.

The tapes and DVDs, though, are more than just inspirational and entertaining; you can actually learn something from them. The champions have their own style of training and their own little twists on the standard exercises that you can try out for yourself. For example, Ronnie trains with a very explosive style that harks back to his years as a competitive powerlifter. In contrast, Jay Cutler, in his ‘New, Improved, and Beyond’ DVD, uses much stricter form, with peak contractions and slow, controlled negatives. It proves that there’s indeed more than one way to build muscle. Watching just a few minutes of a training video before heading off to the gym can amp up your workouts, so I consider them a wise investment for all serious bodybuilders.

Editor’s note: To order any of the videos or DVDs mentioned, visit, or call (800) 447-0008. Ronnie Coleman’s ‘Redemption’ is the current best-seller.

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