Bodybuilding Magazines: Deception, Misinformation, Lies

image via: bodybuilding.com;

image via: bodybuilding.com & strongfit.com

I stumbled upon something interesting while looking for information on popular old time strongmen such as Eugen Sandow, Arthur Saxon and George Hackenschmidt. I was particularly interested in their diets. In an online article, I found the following text which sheds light on the nutritional plan of the Saxon Trio.

For breakfast they ate 24 eggs and 3 pounds of smoked bacon; porridge with cream, honey, marmalade and tea with plenty of sugar. At three o’clock they had dinner: ten pounds of meat was consumed with vegetables (but not much potatoes); sweet fruits, raw or cooked, sweet cakes, salads, sweet puddings, cocoa and whipped cream and very sweet tea. Supper, after the show, they had cold meat, smoked fish, much butter, cheese and beer. Following this they had a chat and at one o’clock went to bed.

I was shocked by the enormous amount of food that those guys were supposedly consuming. Let’s calculate the approximate number of calories:

24 eggs=2016kcal
3 pounds of bacon=5400kcal


Honey, marmalade, and sugar – the quantities are not specified, but let’s say the total of the three is about 200kcal (it could be much more)

Ten pounds of meat – since the type of meat is unknown, I will assume that it was on the low side when it comes to calorie density (200kcal per 100 grams). In that case, 10 pounds equal about 9000 kcal.

Sweet fruits, sweet cakes, salads, sweet puddings, cocoa and whipped cream and very sweet tea – I will assume that the total amounts to 500kcal although it could be much more.

Cold meat, smoked fish, butter, cheese, and beer – approximately 1000 kcal (could be more)

Total: 18 116 kcal.

Note: I understand that due to lack of information I cannot calculate the total number of calories with great precision. Keep in mind that I used low estimations for the unknown portions.

As you can guess, even the “ectomorphest” of the ectomorphs will get fat by eating 18 116kcal a day. Honestly, the second I read that snippet, I knew that something suspicious is going on and quickly found the culprit.

The source of this material is Muscle Power Magazine, courtesy of Joe Weider.

Once you know this EXTREMELY important piece of information, everything starts to make a lot more sense.

Apparently, muscle magazines have been pushing the idea that you need to eat a ton of food to grow bigger for a long time. Whenever a natty fails to get muscular, the usual explanation is “you are not eating enough”. As you can guess, this is politically correct nonsense.

As one could expect, the text is written in a way that leaves a few exit doors.

1.The size of some meals is unknown.

2.It is not specified whether this was the menu of a single man or all three of them.

If we divide the number by three, we get 6000kcal. I am almost sorry to inform you that 6000kcal will still make you fat as hell.

Rippetoe used to recommend this number to skinny noobs. The horde of skinny-fat dudes who follow this diet and think that a 350lbs low bar parallel squat at 250lbs is strong reveals the effectiveness of this anabolic wonder.

According to online sources, Arthur Saxon was about 5’10” and 220lbs {source}. This means that his maintenance calories would be about 220lbs x 14-16 = 3080 – 3520kcal (I used Lyle McDonald’s formula to make this calculation. You can find it here.)

Consequently, a 6000kcal diet would have made this man fat in a hurry. Of course, people will say he was a performer and needed extra calories, but this is nonsense. He wasn’t doing marathons every day.

Running like a scared motherfucker from a lion for one hour will burn about 500-900 kcal. Now that you are informed, I hope that you understand how much effort it actually takes to burn over 3000kcal. That’s why so many people are getting fat as hell on 4000kcal diets and fatter than hell on the 6000kcal version.

In conclusion

The source of your info is crucial. Never forget that the media are full of deceptions designed to sell you something that you may otherwise refuse to buy.

Moreover, you should know by now that food does not have the capacity to break the natural limits, for the fact that it does not alter the natural synthesis of protein.

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