Bottomline Bodybuilding

JUST ANOTHER DAY

That last cycle made you pretty strong. All the major lifts are up. Gains are up too. You put on a solid eight pounds this time out and the dosages were modest. It was great having that barbell loaded with a weight that has eluded you for so long finally being pushed to full extension. As much as measurements have never been a major concern, they are the most tangible of barometers when it comes to progress. That extra half inch of growth on the upper arm was a nice surprise. Looks good. Now for the moment of truth.

The cycle's been over for weeks now. Any remainder or "half life" residue is long gone. It's leg day and it's time to see just how much of that chemically assisted strength you've retained. Most people will tell you that it can't be done. They say that any strength gains obtained through performance enhancers are the result of having the drug in your body. Once they're gone, so go the gains. But you refuse to accept that. Your mind set is different. The way you see it is; I lifted it then, I can lift it now. That cycle was not a free ride. It was meant to take you to the next step. That step is here.

It would be so easy to rationalize. You may think; 'Now that I've acquired some size, I should cut up -- maybe do some high rep leg extensions.' After all, the last thing you want to do is overtrain at this point. Everyone knows that one cannot be expected to train naturally with the fervor that is possible while using steroids. But any accomplishment is considered impossible until proven otherwise. There comes a time where it's necessary to err on the side of overkill.

It's moments like this that exemplify the training experience. What you put into your training is what you get out of it. Not only is it something that can't be taken away from you but it may very well be the one thing in life that you are completely and exclusively responsible. Results are twofold. You look better because of the effort, and you feel better for having exerted the effort. The progress isn't always linear but that makes the effort that much more noble. If you have the self discipline to alter your physical structure, you can do anything.

It wasn't easy getting into the gym today. Things have been getting hectic and you have a lot on your mind. There couldn't be a worse time to be working legs. You decide to do squats.

After a couple of warm up sets you start to question your motives. The weight feels heavy. By the time you get into the "power" set, you're wondering if this just ain't your day. It isn't the heaviest weight you've ever lifted, but close. The brain is relaying a signal to the body. 'It's too much. Six reps are enough. Rack it!' Then you remember an expression not heard of late. Something that you recall from the past. Who said it? Was it from an old movie or maybe a passing remark from one of the older gym members?

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