“If I have seen further than most, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”
Every so often you have people who come along that completely transform the traditional paradigm…
It is truly a remarkable feat of genius and imagination. These are just a few examples:
~ Copernicus…The Origins of the Universe
~ Newton…Calculus and the Button Hook Theory
~ Darwin…Origins of the Species
~ Steve Jobs…Apple
~ Mark Zuckerberg….Facebook
These true giants transformed the world as we knew it through creativity and genius. On a much smaller (but very important) scale, the fitness industry has seen its own set of giants including:
~ Eugen Sandow (April 2, 1867- October 14, 1925)
~ Angelo Siciliano (Charles Atlas… October 30, 1883 – December 23, 1949)
~ Bob Hoffman (York Barbell…1898 -1985)
~ Jack LaLanne (September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011)
~ Joe Weider (November 29, 1920 – March 23, 2013)
And last but not least for his significant impact in the world of bodybuilding…
~ Arnold Schwarzenegger (July 30, 1947 to present)
When it comes to health and wellness, these giants are the true forefathers in the world of fitness.
In the early days of bodybuilding, exercise physiology and sports nutrition were in their infancy. How much protein to eat or the specificity of training wasn’t as much the main concern. This is where our forefathers come in. These giants had a vision… and their vision was based on experiments, observations, analysis, and conclusions. The gym was the test tube… the experiment was the pump… the observation was the reflection in the mirror… and the analysis was on note pads.
Who could have known that years down the road the conclusion would agree with the hypothesis?
Lift Big…Stress = adaptation
Eat Big… Nutrition = replenishment and repair
Rest… = Recovery and growth
Throughout the years the giants would refine their methods of training:
Pyramid training…fast twitch type 2 fibers for strength
Forced reps…creating greater damage
Drop sets…going beyond failure
Negatives…equals greater damage… equals greater adaptation
When it came to food:
Fruits and vegetables
Water….plenty of water
Each principle built on the next, creating the next generation of bigger and leaner bodybuilders. The word (and the looks) spread fast and began to permeate into other areas of sports…football, basketball,track, soccer, and in modern times, golf.
It’s not that science hadn’t studied human motion (kinesiology) or food (sports nutrition)…they just hadn’t explored it to the extremes/specifics that our forefathers had. What that meant for the average bodybuilder (outside of the California, New York area) was that your knowledge was limited to hearsay and opinions within your local gym – this is still problematic.
I found this out first hand in my early days of bodybuilding. Everyone had an opinion to give when they found out you were getting ready to compete – especially the out of shape people.
Fortunately I stuck with the giants and fruits of my work paid off by winning the 1990 Mr. Texas and 1991 Mr. USA. Those were the good old days. A lot has happened since then. I had the opportunity to go back to school. I enrolled in a kinesiology and nutrition class at The University of Texas at Tyler. As Doctor Phil would say…going back to school would provide many “Aha moments”.
The kinesiology teacher went through the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID Principle). He continued with muscle fiber types, rest, recovery, muscle fiber tears, aerobic, anaerobic, and anaerobic glycolysis. The terms were like muscle memory for my brain…I knew these things…I didn’t know the science behind them – remember…my knowledge came from the gym.
The nutrition class was just the same…lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats. I never knew that the reason I ate protein and carbs together every 3 hours was because it is the optimal way to stabilize blood sugar and burn fat…I just knew it worked! Again…at the time, my guide was the pump, the reflection, and the notes from prior years.
Sports training has really changed over the past 30 years. We now have information that can allow for one to reach his or her goals with specifics that have only been available in recent times. The thing that I am the most proud of is the creativity and ingenuity that came about from a few “muscle heads” that had
the vision, perseverance, and dedication to see their dreams come to fruition.
Who would have known…. We were right all along?
– Kelly Hitchcock
As the owner of K H Fitness in Tyler, Texas, Kelly brings tremendous knowledge of diet and exercise. Kelly has won multiple titles in bodybuilding including Mr. Texas and Mr. USA. Kelly is married and has 2 children who are both active in athletics. Kelly trains high school, college and pro athletes including football players from the University of Houston, Mississippi State, the Dallas Cowboys and others.
note- Kelly was my bodybuilding training partner in the early 1990’s.