Fake Weights and Inflated Claims
Fake Weights and Inflated Claims
by Ron Partlow ~ source
So I was looking through a very popular, international bodybuilding magazine the other day. There was an article featuring a popular pro, and his chest workout. Well it was actually his ?INSANE Chest Workout!!!!? Or maybe it was ?crazy? or ?mind blowing?? I hear that ?sickening? is the new buzz word to describe a killer workout. Maybe it was SICKENING!?!? I can?t remember now.
lacour2Anyways, I know it?s all for fun and that?s cool. Magazines gotta pump up the guys and make it exciting, which I am totally in support of. I grew up reading all those same magazines, and those same training articles are what helped to motivate me to work out like a manic. It?s good stuff. I remember walking past the magazine rack in the supermarket every week, checking to see if any of the 4-5 magazines I purchased monthly had released a new issue yet. They were the only lifeline we had to the pros and pretty much ANY good information at all. I learned a lot from the training articles.
Yates rowHowever, one thing about the article caught my eye. There was a picture of the featured pro, dumbell pressing. My veteran eye could see that he clearly had 110lb dumbells, however the caption to the photo said they were 160lbs each. This could have easily been a simple typo, or editing mistake. However, it occurred a few more times in the same article. It said he incline pressed 405 for 10 reps. The pics showed him with 405 on the bar, mid-rep, getting a heavy spot. Now maybe he did it that day, I?m just saying that I?m pretty sure it?s writer?s embellishment.
The article also had a few other things about weights used that didn?t make sense, and were not supported by the pics included in the article. In my head, all I kept thinking about was an old friend of mine telling me, ?There?s two things I never lie about.....my weights, and my women.? I always remembered that, haha. What good advice indeed.
Now I?m not being a stickler for accuracy and I?m not a weight nazi. I?m not offended by some FUN being slipped into the mix. It?s a great article and had a lot of really good tips in it. I was also really happy for the guy in the article, because he deserves some exposure, and they had lots of hardcore pics of him training. However, I thought to myself that it might be more beneficial to all the young guys coming up, if they knew the real weights this guy was training with. It may help them avoid injury, and learn to focus more on proper technique instead of being fed this hyped up image that every pro uses the biggest dumbells all the time, every workout, forever. Know what I mean? I mean, there?s no shame in using 110lb dumbells on the flat bench when you?re on the last exercise....you?re 16th set of chest.
Fux 1I remember back in the late 90?s when Jean Pierre Fux was doing a photo shoot and blew both his knees out. I?ll never forget the pics in the magazine. They showed him collapse under the bar as both his patella tendons ruptured from squatting 6 plates a side. Since it happened during the shoot, there was a full, split second photo record of the grizzly event.
I remember the story. The photographer apparently wanted to get pics of JP squatting 6 plates. So JP, only a couple weeks out from a Pro show, wrapped up his knees really tight, and proceeded to give the photographer the shot. It was literally the worse possible time for him to attempt a lift like that, and he paid a huge price with the end of his career. Makes you wonder how many other pics we see are being taken under the same conditions? If he had gotten that rep, I wonder if the article would have read that he repped it for 10? A SICKENING 10 reps!
Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Shoulder-PressesAs for fake weights, they have been used for decades, but I?ve only seen them once. It was at a shoot for MuscleTech back in 09. They had fake dumbells that looked like 150lbs but they weighed about 60lbs, as well as some fake 45lb plates that looked extremely real. Even though that makes things way safer for the athletes doing these shoots, it doesn?t fix the problem of every kid thinking that they need to lift super heavy all the time, every day.
I?ve also seen pics of myself that have had weights photoshopped into them. It was a picture of me deadlifting, and I think I was using 225 during the shoot. This was early the day after competing, so I was very tired. Photographer wanted several reps, and he needed 3-4 seconds up and 3-4 seconds down. It was way harder than it normally would have been, because I had to alter my form into a very weak position so that I could crunch my abs through the entire rep. VERY awkward. I saw the pic a few months later and I was deadlifting 405....with my abs crunched! Looked good though.
I?ve also heard many people say that since bodybuilders shoot with fake weights, it means they are super weak. They don?t seem to get that it?s because of the demands of shooting those types of pics. Holding an awkward position with even a light weight in your hands, abs fully crunched, every muscle tensed from head to toe, trying to capture the perfect image....that requires fake weights or photoshopping weights. Also, from everything I?ve seen, most pics are shopped to realistic standard. For example, the pic I saw myself in, wasn?t shopped to some crazy 700lb deadlift in an obviously studio style setting. It was shopped to 405, a weight I could easily train with. Most companies know that they need to keep that element of believability for consumers to take them seriously.
Another thing that I see a lot of, are videos where everyone is trying to be Ronnie Coleman in their own way. We all know he set a new, ultra ridiculous standard for strength in the bodybuilding world with his now famous 800lb squats and 500lb benches for reps. This brought on an attitude that in order to make a good training video, the bodybuilder must really push the limits of his strength to the max. I will admit that it?s entertaining, but it also can create the same problems as the magazines fudging numbers. It gives the impression that the bodybuilder in the video trains with those weights all the time, and it exposes the athlete to a higher risk of injury.
I?ve even seen training vids, where the guy in the video gets hurt. A strained hip, or pulled quad can put a damper on what was to be a good training vid. It leaves me
wondering if the guy got hurt by true bad luck, or did he get hurt because he was adding plates for the camera?
Now, don?t get me wrong, I?m also open to the idea that these superhuman images were part of the reason I found the articles so exciting when I was a kid. Maybe they helped motivate me by feeding me all that imagery? However, I remember seeing all the pics of Yates back in the day, where he was obviously actually training, with real weights. No tank top, no lighting.....just real hardcore images. I always thought those were the best pics.
What do YOU think? I guess it comes down to making the articles and videos entertaining so they sell mags and get hits. Do you think that?s all good? Do fake weights and exaggerated claims bother you, or do you favor the artistic freedom of the photographer, and the entertainment value of the finished product? Would you rather watch a video of a guy taking risks for the camera, or do you prefer to see him use the weights he normally would select?