QUESTION: Tom, there is one thing that I really would like to know – your measurements. You have a physique that (in my opinion) is ideal and your photos are a real inspiration to me. I am able to move up in weight gradually with my workouts, so I know I am building muscle, but I never have a measurement to shoot for – . biceps, chest, waist, hips, etc. Also, it seems like certain ratios (for example, chest to waist ratio, and maybe there are others?), would be helpful also. My thinking is that if my waist and hips are “growing” faster than my chest, then that might be an indicator that I am gaining fat where it likes to show up first (hips and waist). The measurements I have of myself are: chest, waist, hips, biceps, forearms, thighs, calves. Thank you.
The amount of time you rest between sets can significantly affect your results. Rest up to three minutes between sets if pure strength development is your priority, and one to two minutes if muscular endurance and tone is your priority. Three minutes permits the muscles to recover from fatigue so that you can generate enough energy to perform another maximal lift on the next set. Benefits are not discreet. That is, there is carryover from one style to another, so that if you rest just one minute between sets, you will still increase endurance and tone, and if you rest three minutes between sets, you will still gain endurance and tone. I recommend one to two minutes for most people. More than that and you may end up spending more time chatting with others in the gym than getting down to what you're lifting for in the first place, that is, getting stronger. The guiding principal with weight lifting is volume. That is, the equation sets x reps x weight (in pounds). You can see that the more work you do the more benefit there is. If you take a lot more time resting than lifting, then you minimize your benefits. Take breaks between sets for sure, but get back to work as soon as the muscles are rested.
Although most bodybuilders claim to be true natural, true natural bodybuilders are in fact rather rare. However, true natural bodybuilders do exist. I am one of them, and I am proud of it. I hope you also choose for the true natural way of bodybuilding. As far as I know there exist no magazines nor contests for true natural bodybuilders. I believe there are 2 main reasons for this: it is impossible to test whether a bodybuilder is TRUE natural, and true natural bodybuilders simply don't look impressive enough, especially if you are used to see enhanced bodybuilders.