In many sports, packing on size and muscle is highly encouraged. But in soccer, it can get you booted off of your team. Such was recently the case with German goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who was effectively released from his long-term professional soccer contract after becoming a ripped bodybuilder.
Wiese, who was part of Germany's 2010 World Cup team, signed with Hoffenheim of the highly competitive Bundesliga league in 2012. Hoffenheim was expected to be one of Bundesliga's best teams, however, they struggled mightily, with Wiese giving up 15 goals in his first four matches.
The 32-year-old's struggles continued and he eventually started pumping iron to deal with the pressure. However, it appears that Wiese may have went too far with his muscular growth in a sport that caters to lanky, conditioned athletes. After Hoffenheim witnessed Wiese's offseason transformation this year, they terminated his contract, which was set to last through 2016.
Wiese has since explained the reasoning behind his bodybuilding obsession, which you can read below:
I had to get all the Hoffenheim problems out of my head, and so I dealt with it this way. I tried to break down all the negatives – I don’t want to join a bodybuilding championship, I was just enjoying myself, having fun.
When I came to Hoffenheim, we thought we could challenge for European places. Then everything backfired. And every time we lost, it seemed it was my fault; I was being analysed and criticised, not the team. It was all about me.
Despite my experience and confidence, I had never faced this before. It culminated in a fan protest at the club’s office – a fan protest, just against me! There were only a few of these fans, but this made me feel deeply unwanted, and I would never wish this on another player.
It was like being in a horror movie. The pressure was inhuman. I could not play freely.
It's unknown when and if Wiese will return to the soccer field. He hasn't played a match in over a year and wasn't even invited to try out for Germany's 2014 World Cup team, which went on to win the championship.
Who knows....maybe Weise likes bodybuilding so much that he doesn't care and plans to leave the soccer world behind him for good.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. And the picture that Polish cyclist Bartosz Huzarski recently tweeted is drawing well over a thousand words - many of them involving accusations of steroids.
Huzarski posted a photo of his extremely veiny and muscular legs after the 18th leg of the 2014 Tour de France. As you can see on his twitter feed, there are plenty of article links and comments about steroids. But are we to automatically assume that Huzarski is juicing just because his legs look freakish?
Cycling is a sport that's been rife with blood doping and performance-enhancing drugs, so I can see why people would jump to this conclusion. However, let's also consider what Huzarski had been through up until the 18th leg.
The Tour de France consists of 21 legs, which, combined, equal 3,664 kilometers (2,276 miles). So this means that Huzarski had rode about 3,140 kilometers by the time he posted this photo, which could definitely bring out a vascular, muscular look. And as he explained in the following post, most people aren't used to seeing legs like these because they don't do intense cardio training:
Of course I will not have legs like Victoria's Secret models, or Mary from a nearby vegetable shop, or anyone working in an office who does not do a 10km bike ride or an hour run three times a week.
Unfortunately, it does not work like that and this is what you see in the picture. It is not unhealthy.
I know that not every Mr. Olympia throughout history was big on squatting. For example, 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney never really repped anything over 225 when he did squats. Others, however, used this intense leg exercise to the fullest en route to building massive legs. That said, let's quickly look at three Mr. Olympia's who kicked ass on squats.
1. Ronnie Coleman
Okay, so this one is kind of obvious since Coleman's 800lb+ squat video became a YouTube sensation among bodybuilders. Even still, I can't let being obvious keep this guy out of the number one spot for squatting. Take a look below at the legendary 825-pound squat video just for old times' sake:
2. Franco Columbu
Franco Columbu was just a freak when it came to strength. Despite being just 5'4", 194 pounds, Columbu took fifth place in the World's Strongest Man competition - an event where he severely dislocated his leg. The two-time Mr. Olympia also had a very impressive squat, maxing out at 665 pounds.
3. Jay Cutler
According to a magazine, Cutler was squatting "close to 700 pounds" as a 19-year-old. Some are quite skeptical of this, however, I'll give Jay the benefit of the doubt. The four-time Mr. Olympia has some massive leg development, and just watch him do front squats below:
This week saw Baltimore Ravens starting running back Ray Rice given a two-game suspension for assaulting his wife at Atlantic City's Revel Casino. As some may already know, Rice and his wife, Janay, fought in a Revel elevator last February, which ended with the 3-time Pro Bowler punching out his wife. He was then caught on a security tape dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator.
Since then, Rice has been arrested, indicted by a grand jury, and issued a half-assed apology for knocking his wife out. Perhaps the apology is why he got the sweetheart deal of only missing two NFL regular season games for beating up a woman.
One interesting observation that's arisen out of all this involves Rice's suspension only being half that for a first-time steroid user. As an NFL blogger from the Morning Call pointed out, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson will spend the team's first four contests on the sidelines for using PEDs, while Rice can suit up by Week 3.
I know that in professional sports, using steroids is considered the ultimate sin. But should this really be treated twice as harshly as hitting your wife and children's mother so hard that she's unconscious for minutes - long enough for you to be seen on video dragging her across the ground?
I personally don't get how this equates to a two-game suspension, versus a first-time steroid user being sidelined for four contests, so somebody please explain it to me.
As for Rice, he ranks second in Ravens' history in career rushing yards (6,180), second in rushing TD's (37) and second in combined TD's (43). He slowed down quite a bit last year, only gaining 660 yards on 214 rushing attempts, and 321 receiving yards on 58 catches. However, Rice figures to continue being an important piece for Baltimore once he comes off of suspension.
I've been into bodybuilding for over three decades now, and, embarrassingly, I can't count the number of times that I've skipped out on squats. I'd always push them towards the end of leg day or tell myself that I was going to do them to close out triceps/shoulders day...only to once again avoid doing them. Let's face it: squats are hard, they suck, and who likes picking all those weight plates up and loading them on the bar!?
I should say, though, that these days, I never skip squats. No, I didn't somehow manage to block out how bad squats suck from the back of my mind. Instead, I learned more and more about what I was missing from not doing them, besides massive quads and glutes.
Squats help cut Body Fat
When one thinks of cutting fat and getting ripped, squats aren't usually the first exercise that comes to mind. However, a study in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome showed that test subjects with the most muscle in their legs had lower body fat. The reason why is because lower-limb muscle mass greatly reduces the amount of visceral fat in men. Now this isn't a green light to bring brownies to the gym, however, it is an encouraging finding nonetheless.
Squats require Lots of Calories and Energy
When put up against just about any other weightlifting exercise, squats are king in regard to burning calories. A study once measured the metabolic demand of 1 rep of bench press, lat pulldown, tricep extensions and squatting. The latter easily won after being shown to require 3.3 times as much energy as the other three exercises. In fact, even when bench, lat pulldowns and triceps extensions were combined, squats still required about 10% more energy to do.
So as you can see, squatting isn't just about building tree-trunk legs. There are also some major calorie and fat-burning benefits to be gained by doing these exercises.
The UFC is pretty thorough about steroid testing, which is why a number of mixed martial arts fighters have been suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission over the years. That said, these suspended fighters should be longing for the old days of the Pride Fighting Championships.
Spanning from 1997 to 2007, Pride FC was a wildly popular MMA organization in the early and mid-2000s. Pride featured some of the sports all-time greats, including Fedor Emelianenko, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ken Shamrock, Wanderlei Silva and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
But underneath all of the popularity and great fighters, there were always rumors about rampant juicing. And just recently, MMA veteran Enson Inoue (12-8-0) put lots of truth behind this speculation by presenting old requirements for Price FC drug testing. As you can see from the slip of paper that Inoue provided, steroids were "specifically excluded from the scope of the test."
There's really no need to read between the lines here. Pride only cared about testing for recreational drugs, not performance enhancers in the "steroid based family." So basically, any fighter could've been juicing and gotten away with it.
Of course, it's not like this new information from Inoue is going to start any MLB-type investigations into the legitimacy of Pride FC. After all, the organization sold out to the UFC in 2007, with the Japanese office eventually getting laid off the same year. However, this info should shed some light on how easy it was for Price athletes to get away with steroid use.
Many of you probably already have your own bodybuilding diets that you like to use. Even still, it's always fun to think about trying somebody else's diet for a change. That said, I think it's definitely worth bringing up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's 12 Labors Diet.
The Rock used the 12 Labors Diet to pack on muscle for his leading role in Hercules, which is set to hit theaters on July 25th. The first thing that sticks out about this diet is how it requires seven meals a day. The centerpiece of most meals is chicken or fish, along with lots of rice and vegetables - common staples of many bodybuilders' diets.
Judging from the trailer, which you can see below along with the diet, everything seems to have paid off. The Rock is a massive, ripped-looking 260 pounds. For a 41-year-old man, that's definitely impressive to say the least.