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Boyer Coe Interview
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st3

There's a very interesting interview on Brian Johnston's site with Boyer Coe.

Steve
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SanDiego

Very interesting... especially the part where he would have done better training with Arthur had he been allowed the time to "feel" and focus on the exercise at hand (not the same as having good form; one can have good form and still not "feel" an exercise).

I've held the opinion that the only bodybuilders who can get away with this lack of "feel" (mind-muscle connection) for an exercise are those with ridiculously long muscle bellies.
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Crotalus

Thanks for mentioning the interview .

What I found interesting was Boyer's problem of getting stronger but muscular size not following ... a problem many of us HIT people have run into.

With Boyer I noticed it was during his 15 minute workouts . It seems this strength without size problem occurs with the very brief training agendas even with the genetically superior like Boyer and no matter how hard you train - even with Arthur Jones training you.

I eventually ran into the same problem in my training and with the HIT mentality I developed along the way, you think the answer is to train even harder and reduce volume further.

Obviously there comes a point when that no longer works and it becomes necessary to back off the intensity and increase the volume even though that goes against everything you thought was right.

I wasted a couple years training before that point sunk in to my rock head.

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goya

If I could have had a little more time to focus on each exercise and really feel it, I believe that the results would have been better, but with Arthur, I always felt like I was trying to run a race. I know that my heart rate must have been close to 200 at the end of each workout. I did manage to get stronger on each exercise machine but absolutely no increase in muscle size. After about eight months of no results Arthur lost interest, and so that was the end of the training sessions. I did change my workout and re-gained about 20 pounds of muscle.


It would have been interesting if he would have described the changes he made in more detail. Did he only slow down the speed at which he did the workout taking more rest between exercises? Did he add more volume? It would have been interesting from the point of view of specificity.

Also did the change involve steroids? The reason I ask is because he mentions then later in the article.


I do believe that the type of training (HIT) would certainly help you get stronger on those particular exercises, but not much in the way of great muscle growth. However, that type of training, or various forms of it that Dorian Yates followed, combined with anabolics could provide you with tremendous growth. The best shape I ever attained was at age 48 in 1994. I trained in this manner: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps all trained on one day, about four exercises for each body part, one set to failure. The next day I would rest completely. The following day I would train Legs, Back and Biceps in the same manner; then a day of complete rest. Abs and calves were worked a little more often. The most important thing in this type of intense training, since you are handling such heavy weight, is that you MUST be properly warmed up before doing maximum poundages for reps. I performed every rep in a smooth, deliberate manner. I never did an ounce of cardio at that time, but made liberal use of anabolics and growth hormone and that enabled me to get in my all time best shape. This was for the 1994 Masters Mr. Olympia.

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henry_bordeaux

Crotalus wrote:
Thanks for mentioning the interview .

What I found interesting was Boyer's problem of getting stronger but muscular size not following ... a problem many of us HIT people have run into.

With Boyer I noticed it was during his 15 minute workouts . It seems this strength without size problem occurs with the very brief training agendas even with the genetically superior like Boyer and no matter how hard you train - even with Arthur Jones training you.

I eventually ran into the same problem in my training and with the HIT mentality I developed along the way, you think the answer is to train even harder and reduce volume further.

Obviously there comes a point when that no longer works and it becomes necessary to back off the intensity and increase the volume even though that goes against everything you thought was right.

I wasted a couple years training before that point sunk in to my rock head.





i have some of those videos on dvd - and after doing those routines for about 6 months boyer coe is using 150 or 160 on the nautilus overhead press...

this is nothing for a professional bodybuilder - something like 130lbs in the standing press...

how can he be so big - while being so weak...not the other way around...
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SanDiego

Crotalus wrote:
Thanks for mentioning the interview .

What I found interesting was Boyer's problem of getting stronger but muscular size not following ... a problem many of us HIT people have run into.



I think part of the problem lies in defining "stronger". Did Boyer actually gain strength or did he just become "better" at using the line-up of Nautilus machines (which could be attributed to a number of different factors, aside from strength... better conditioning, neural adaptations, etc, etc... skill).

He said himself that he felt he would have done better had he been given the time to really focus and feel each exercise...
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SanDiego

henry_bordeaux wrote:

i have some of those videos on dvd - and after doing those routines for about 6 months boyer coe is using 150 or 160 on the nautilus overhead press...

this is nothing for a professional bodybuilder - something like 130lbs in the standing press...

how can he be so big - while being so weak...not the other way around...


I have seen some of the footage. As far as I know, he never performed the press first in the routine. If his heart rate was at 200bpm (as he mentions), I think his poundages would be drastically reduced compared to what a bodybuilder is capable of pressing normally.
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Marc1000

I also enjoyed his interview exercisecertification.com/books
/Library/FitSci2008/Boyer%20Coe.pdf

I found his discussion of his modified HIT split routine where he trains divides his training between chest/shoulder/triceps and Legs/Back/biceps with 4 sets per body part and a single set for each exercise to be interesting. He thought this routine got him into his best shape ever.

This volume is still incredibly low for a bodybuilder and very similar to Mike Mentzer's volume when he was competing.

I couldn't tell from the interview if he did either:

A.)
Trained Chest, shoulders, triceps on Monday, rested Tuesday, trained Legs, back, biceps on Wednesday and then rested until the following Friday with the expection of calf and ab training.

B.) Trained Chest/shoulders/triceps on Mon, rests Tues, trains legs, back, biceps on Wed, rests Thurs, trains legs, back biceps on Friday, rests Saturday, trains Chest, shoulders, triceps on Sunday, etc.

If I had to guess, its probably option B.

I have realized that I get better size with a *slight* increase in volume-training 2-3 sets per body part than with the minimalist routines. This can mean either 2 set of the same exercise or a single set of multiple exercises for a bodypart. YMMV
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cmg

henry_bordeaux wrote:
Crotalus wrote:
Thanks for mentioning the interview .

What I found interesting was Boyer's problem of getting stronger but muscular size not following ... a problem many of us HIT people have run into.

With Boyer I noticed it was during his 15 minute workouts . It seems this strength without size problem occurs with the very brief training agendas even with the genetically superior like Boyer and no matter how hard you train - even with Arthur Jones training you.

I eventually ran into the same problem in my training and with the HIT mentality I developed along the way, you think the answer is to train even harder and reduce volume further.

Obviously there comes a point when that no longer works and it becomes necessary to back off the intensity and increase the volume even though that goes against everything you thought was right.

I wasted a couple years training before that point sunk in to my rock head.





i have some of those videos on dvd - and after doing those routines for about 6 months boyer coe is using 150 or 160 on the nautilus overhead press...

this is nothing for a professional bodybuilder - something like 130lbs in the standing press...

how can he be so big - while being so weak...not the other way around...


Depending on how long he was off anabolics - he could be very weak for a long time. His own hormone production could be extremely low and slow to get back up to normal levels if he was off during the Nautilus time period. Remember he was doing steroids for a LONG time.

In 1994 with "liberal" use of steriods and growth hormone he CAN handle more volume and frequency.

Regards,

Ron

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cmg

Could not find the interview. Can anyone give the link?

Thanks,

Ron
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henry_bordeaux

Ron,

this may have been a reason...

fact is...for whatever reason boyer was far from being strong during that period and was far from training hard during that period...

to state that he gained a lot of strength with no size is just plain wrong.
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marcrph

Portugal

cmg wrote:

Depending on how long he was off anabolics - he could be very weak for a long time. His own hormone production could be extremely low and slow to get back up to normal levels if he was off during the Nautilus time period. Remember he was doing steroids for a LONG time.

In 1994 with "liberal" use of steriods and growth hormone he CAN handle more volume and frequency.

Regards,

Ron



Can anything of value be gleamed from an admitted drug user?
A drug-free Boyer Coe might have given us some insight, but alas, another one bites the dust!
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jeffpinter

California, USA

goya wrote:
If I could have had a little more time to focus on each exercise and really feel it, I believe that the results would have been better, but with Arthur, I always felt like I was trying to run a race. I know that my heart rate must have been close to 200 at the end of each workout. I did manage to get stronger on each exercise machine but absolutely no increase in muscle size. After about eight months of no results Arthur lost interest, and so that was the end of the training sessions. I did change my workout and re-gained about 20 pounds of muscle.


It would have been interesting if he would have described the changes he made in more detail. Did he only slow down the speed at which he did the workout taking more rest between exercises? Did he add more volume? It would have been interesting from the point of view of specificity.

Also did the change involve steroids? The reason I ask is because he mentions then later in the article.


In 1983 Boyer and I worked out in the same gym when he returned to California after the AJ stint in Florida, and I had a chance to talk to him at length about the experience. He said a couple of interesting things in regard to the above.

Normally, when off steroids, his BW was about 200 pounds, but that at the end of his training with AJ it had dropped as low as 178 pounds (although he did intentionally get quite lean...as evidenced by the pictures). When back in CA, he want back to his old training routine, which included more volume and variety.

His general assessment of the AJ experiment was not a positive one. I recall him saying that he did not enjoy the training, and if one can not look forward to the workouts, then progress will not be made.

I contend that the main reason for the less than spectacular results was due to steroids...or the lack thereof. Boyer had just retired, and the fact that he was "coming down" from the steroid high from years of competition contributed to his lack of progress. Of course, AJ always dismissed steroids, believing that genetics and proper training would more than make up for them.

All these factors contributed to a lackluster experiment, and as far as I know this was last time AJ trained any bodybuilders.

Jeff

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Growl

marcrph wrote:
cmg wrote:

Depending on how long he was off anabolics - he could be very weak for a long time. His own hormone production could be extremely low and slow to get back up to normal levels if he was off during the Nautilus time period. Remember he was doing steroids for a LONG time.

In 1994 with "liberal" use of steriods and growth hormone he CAN handle more volume and frequency.

Regards,

Ron



Can anything of value be gleamed from an admitted drug user?
A drug-free Boyer Coe might have given us some insight, but alas, another one bites the dust!


It is difficult to learn anything of value from someone taking steroids if you are a natural. The same thing goes for taking advice from a genetic marvel.

The problem is compounded when a genetic superior is also taking steroids. You will then get all kinds of crazy advice. Just read the latest advice from the champs in Muscle and Fitness or Flex Magazine.

People who have experience training while using steroids and natural can tell you what some of the differences are and I do appreciate the honesty of those who admit it.

In the end we have to be very careful about taking advice. Think about your best body part. If you have a muscle group that just seems to grow, then you may have had somebody approach you and ask what you do for it. Your honest answer may be, "oh nothing really". An old friend of mine with monstrous calves would say "go running a couple times a week" when asked how to build calves.

Jeff



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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

jeffpinter wrote:
It would have been interesting if he would have described the changes he made in more detail...

Also did the change involve steroids? The reason I ask is because he mentions then later in the article.

...His general assessment of the AJ experiment was not a positive one. I recall him saying that he did not enjoy the training, and if one can not look forward to the workouts, then progress will not be made.
Jeff


That last statement makes the most sense to me.

Couple that with the fact that AJ probably demanded Boyer NOT be on steroids and you have a recipe for lesser results.

Too many variables were changed in both directions:
Previous Training > Training with AJ
Training with AJ > Post-AJ Training

This is no way to conduct any experiment and expect decipherable results.

Scott
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goya

simon-hecubus wrote:
jeffpinter wrote:

...His general assessment of the AJ experiment was not a positive one. I recall him saying that he did not enjoy the training, and if one can not look forward to the workouts, then progress will not be made.
Jeff

That last statement makes the most sense to me.

Couple that with the fact that AJ probably demanded Boyer NOT be on steroids and you have a recipe for lesser results.

Too many variables were changed in both directions:
Previous Training > Training with AJ
AJ Training > Post-AJ Training

This no way to conduct any experiment.

Scott


Thanks Jeff,

That was very enlightening. I agree with Simon that as soon as you add steroids to the equation it really skews the results either too positively (his other program was a great success on steroids) or too negatively when not taking them or worse when just off them where one loses most of their previous gains.





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Maximise

Sorry, either I'm blind or going mad but I can't find the link sorry.
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bdog

It's interesting because Boyer said that he didn't think HIT would work for size but was great for strength. Sounds like what many of us are finding with consolidated routines. He then goes on to describe his training routine for the '94 Masters and it is a modernized HIT routine! I'm sure everyone caught this.

Four sets to failure per body part isn't exactly high volume. In fact, it's not even close. And he rested in between the workouts. So it's obvious Arthur had an influence on him.

When I first started HIT, I trained each muscle 3 times per week with 1-2 sets per body part. If I were to re-do that period over again, my HIT workouts would have been working each muscle only once per week but with more volume per workout like 2-3 sets instead of 1-2.
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bdog

Maximise wrote:
Sorry, either I'm blind or going mad but I can't find the link sorry.


Here ya go:

exercisecertification.com/books/
Library/FitSci2008/Boyer%20Coe.pdf




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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

bdog wrote:
When I first started HIT, I trained each muscle 3 times per week with 1-2 sets per body part. If I were to re-do that period over again, my HIT workouts would have been working each muscle only once per week but with more volume per workout like 2-3 sets instead of 1-2.


Hi Bdog,

I have a tendency to agree that as you reach a certain level, that is a good HIT approach.

You might find a few "hardliners" will disagree, but if that is "modernized HIT" (and again I agree) then it is a step in the right direction of having a more adaptable and applicable training system, with INTENSITY as a foundation training element.

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waynegr

Switzerland

bdog wrote:
It's interesting because Boyer said that he didn't think HIT would work for size but was great for strength. Sounds like what many of us are finding with consolidated routines. He then goes on to describe his training routine for the '94 Masters and it is a modernized HIT routine! I'm sure everyone caught this.

Four sets to failure per body part isn't exactly high volume. In fact, it's not even close. And he rested in between the workouts. So it's obvious Arthur had an influence on him.



HIT training, 4 sets of 10 reps at 2/4 = 240 seconds,

German very high volume training, 10 sets of 10 reps at 1/1 = 200 seconds,

So which training is high volume ???

As you know I now do 3 to 5 sets.

Not sure why you think Boyer is not that strong as he is very, have you not read Elliongtons book The Advanced Bodybuilding Book, with Boyer on the front, or ever see the Bodybuilding film Walking Tall ???

Wayne




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NEW_AT_HIT

Feeling the exercise?

I would be careful of feelings. That sounds like a trap AJ would warn you not to fall into.

Isn't that why we are charting our progress? We are putting feelings aside and letting the numbers speak for our progress?
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OSAKA/J

(I think the proper name of the film was "Stand Tall").

At any rate, SanDiego made a good point earlier. This is something others have made as well. Being able to press, say, 250 pounds on a machine will not automatically carry over to a 250-pound free weight press. While there are a few marvels out there who can make the switch with no problem, the majority of us will NOT.

I remember seeing some of the footage as well, and I noticed that Coe seemed very weak overall. Maybe it was because he'd come off the juice, or maybe because he simply wasn't used to the machines' action, or, as SanDiego mentioned, maybe it was due to a lack of neural adaption. (My guess is all three, although which predominated is anyone's guess).

In any event, Growl's point is a good one: Pretty useless to take advice from anyone who has better genetics AND is taking steroids; all the rules seem to go out the window in that scenario.

Osaka/J
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goya

Reading that kind of arcticle makes you realize how much merit drug free bodybuilders have.

You are always trying to find the right balance on the narrow margin between undertraining and overtraining.
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bdog

waynegr wrote:
HIT training, 4 sets of 10 reps at 2/4 = 240 seconds,

German very high volume training, 10 sets of 10 reps at 1/1 = 200 seconds,

So which training is high volume ???


Four sets per BODY PART would still be considered low volume among the bodybuilding norms today. Four sets per EXERCISE seems more the norm imo. Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this.


Not sure why you think Boyer is not that strong as he is very, have you not read Elliongtons book The Advanced Bodybuilding Book, with Boyer on the front, or ever see the Bodybuilding film Walking Tall ???


Where did I say Boyer wasn't strong? What I said was that Boyer commented on how Arthur's training regimen was good for strength but not good for size. It's in the article.

I found it ironic that Boyer went on to get his best results on a HIT style training routine. What he changed with Arthur's routine was to slow down the pace so he could focus on each muscle more, add more volume to each workout, i.e., 4 sets per body part instead of 1 or 2 and split his routine so he could again focus on each muscle group more. This is similar to what Mentzer did and many other bodybuilders who practice HIT.

Bryan
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