|Nasser El Sonbaty - Nasser on the Way - Part 1 Review
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|Nasser El Sonbaty - Nasser on the Way Part 1 (DVD) - Taped four weeks out of 99 Olympia. Includes his real four contest preparation training sessions at Powerhouse Gym Fountain Valley California. Many topics includes: how he trains, how he diets, how he feels...etc. So much information for serious bodybuilders. BUY IT NOW
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REVIEW OF THE DVD
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The DVD started off with a collection of clips showing Nasser's workouts to come. He was big and conditioned for the DVD, and while not at his all time best, was still in very competitive shape. Nasser had size everywhere even in his back which was criticized frequently when he was competing. I think he got so much flak for his back due to frequent comparisons to Dorian Yates. Obviously, just about anyone's back will be weak compared to Dorian's. Even Ronnie Coleman lacked the lower back hardness that Dorian displayed. Nasser's back was thick, it was just not as deeply etched and cut as it could have been. For a man of 5'11 and 1/2 in height, Nasser had some inredible thighs.
Chest & Shoulders
September 21st, 1999
Fountain Valley, California
About four weeks prior to the Mr. Olympia
The DVD started off with Nasser training chest, starting off with some dumbbell presses for his chest. The DVD featured commentary by Nasser and Nasser said that he started training in 1983 at a body weight of 187. Nasser said that his current offseason weight was around 150 kg (over 330 pounds!!). Talk about a wall of muscle on a sub six foot tall frame.
Nasser moved on to perform incline barbell presses and his workout technique was different than any other bodybuilder I had seen. He was using the rest-pause training principle and he said he found a program which fit for him and that he benefits from it very well. Bodybuilding is highly individual and no one routine will necessarily work for everyone. It is important to constantly change up your workout program and determine what works best for you. Nasser said that sometimes he has to train lighter and other times he has to train heavier. I had not seen much training footage from Nasser before watching this DVD because he had not been in any of the Battle for the Olympia DVDs that I reviewed. I had only ever seen a few training clips of him from his website and I always felt his form was very poor. However, watching the DVD his form looked ok (at least for chest).
Nasser said that his chest was feeling very pumped and hard and he said his weight was 305. He took off his shirt and his chest was definitely looking pumped up. It lookde to me that he was nearing contest condition as planned. He hit a front double biceps post and he had wide flaring lats and big arms, and his chest didn't exactly sink during this pose, which happens to a lot of bodybuilders who hit it. Nasser hit a most muscular pose and his skin was looking relatively thin and he displayed vascularity which suggested to me that he did not have much water to lose. For more pictures of Nasser El Sonbaty, click the gallery below:
==> CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF NASSER EL SONBATY
Nasser started his shoulders workout next and had a very good upper body pump going on. When he hit another most muscular, his vascularity once again was very apparent. It seemed to me that he was already very close to contest contest. He had perhaps the very slightest bit of water to lose and he did say he was 305 pounds. Judging by his condition, I could not see why he should have to compete under 280 pounds. Next Nasser was shown signing an autograph for an employee of the gym he was training at and I noticed the cost of a day pass on the wall - $13! Back in 1999 to boot. Talk about a high cost of living in California when a lousy day pass to a gym costs 13 bucks. Oh well.
Next Nasser was shown with his puppy and he fed her a little food. Nasser seemed to really appreciate his pet and she seemed like a well tempered dog. Nasser showed his lunch which was a salmon sandwich and coleslaw. Nasser said the coleslaw was not something to include in a contest diet, but since he knew his body it would be ok. He said he includes salmon in his diet twice per week because he wants to get the fish oil intake. He said he drinks beverages which do not contain many calories - he was drinking sparkling orange water because it was a calorie free drink which tasted like orange water instead of plain water. I also like these types of drinks - I have a penchant for Dasani lemon water sweetened with Splenda.
Calves, Arms, Trapezius
September 22nd, 1999
Nasser started his workout and in the commentary explained a little about his diet. Nasser said that during his diet he would take in between 400-600 grams of protein and his carbohydrate intake would vary. Talk about a lot of protein! Frankly I'm not sure if that much protein is necessary, although the general school of thought is that 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is ideal for muscle building (bulking). I would advocate that type of diet for years since it came up most frequently in my research, although lately I've been examining other findings which do not necessarily advocate that type of protein intake.
During Nasser's arms workout I noticed that his biceps looked somewhat funky. Nasser has been accused of using synthol many times and when he was doing some single arm dumbbell curls, I felt that his biceps did not have a natural shape to them. I didn't think he had used synthol at that point in his career, but I think maybe he did. It was unfortunate that Nasser felt the need to use it, since he had a winning and world class physique before ever doing so. Another point to make is that he never had weak arms! Even in relation to his enormous physique, his arms were always very strong.
==> CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES OF SYNTHOL USE GONE WRONG!
Nasser hit some poses in his tank top and was looking very good. For his post nutrition meal, he drank a fruit punch flavoured protein shake and ate some papaya. He said that while his strength varies during a diet, he had a great pump during his workout and completed all the sets and reps that he wanted to. Nasser seemed very regimented to me, going in the gym with a workout plan in mind and sticking with it. Next, Nasser was shown in the change room after finishing up his workout.
Nasser was shown eating another meal next, and stated the importance of fish oil.
Fish Oil Info And Products
Abs, Calves, Back & Cardio
September 24th, 1999
Nasser started off with his abs workout and moved to calves after that. Abs and calves are similar in that you can train them more frequently than other muscle groups since they tend to recover faster - at least for most people. Like any muscle, they do need rest, but no doubt if you worked out for any appreciable length of time, you will notice that calves and abs tend to recover faster than other areas such as back or legs.
Nasser started his back workout next, beginning with barbell rows which he performed with the cambered (EZ) bar with two plates per side. He wore gloves and straps during this exercise, although I prefer chalk because it binds the palm of the hand to the bar, rather than simply strapping the wrist. Both are helpful aids for this exercise though, when grip is your weak link. No need to worry about grip during a back exercise - you are not performing that exercise to develop your grip but to develop the muscles of your back. Next Nasser moved on to perform cable rows - another exercise that I like. Nasser also performed some partial deadlifts and machine rows. I noticed a small bandage on Nasser's left arm and it makes me wonder if he had injected anything like a painkiller to require that bandage. Some bodybuilders use painkillers such as nubain, used intravenously. This helps them along with their workouts when they have nagging injuries so that they can still continue training up to the time of their contests. Nasser finished his workout with t-bar rows, lying on the incline. Nasser took off his shirt to pose and was in very good condition. His abs looked deeper than they did at the beginning of the workout. Nasser said that he does cardio as part of his contest preparations and had to do it whether he likes it or not. Nasser said that he needed to use more than one machine to get in shape and said that this is a requirement of anybody. I'm not sure I agree with him on that since the effect of cardio is the same no matter what machine you use. Nasser hit some back poses and while his back was quite wide and thick, he had very little detail in his back. It was not size, but conditioning, which was the problem with Nasser's back. Nasser said that he liked everything about bodybuilding except for the diet.
Legs & Cardio
September 26th, 1999
Nasser weighed himself at the beginning of this segment and was weighing in at 302 pounds. Nasser said that people ask him irrelevant questions sometimes and he did not much care for them. I understand his point, although I personally don't think questions like that would bother me much - depending on how many times I was asked the same questions, anyway. Nasser said that bodybuilding is a 24 hour a day job and that you have to train all the time to sustain growth (or even just to prevent muscle loss). Nasser flexed his quads and they were looking very big and fairly cut. Nasser spoke more about bodybuilding in the commentary and came across as an extremely intelligent individual. Even though English is not his first language, he was very articulate and eloquent in his speech. I was very impressed - most bodybuilders who speak English as their first language do not come across as well as Nasser. He is definitely one of the smartest pro bodybuilders ever. Nasser did squats, and did use a lot of weight, but only for half reps (and he said they were half reps and performed them intentionally). I liked the point that Nasser made when he said that smaller bodybuilders always claim to be more aesthetic and proportional when in reality there are many smaller bodybuilders who do not fit that criteria, as well as many larger bodybuilders who are in fact very aesthetic and proportional. Nasser hit some poses after his legs workout, and even without having an upper body pump, his upper body was looking very well. Nasser's legs were always a strong point for him.
Nasser ate some papaya once again after his workout. He said he ate them in part due to the digestive enzymes they contain. On that note, I think I will buy some papaya for that exact benefit - it can't hurt!
October 13th, 1999
10 days prior to the Mr. Olympia
Nasser weighed himself 10 days out from the Mr. Olympia contest was was weighing 131.7 kilos (292.6 pounds)! Crazy weight for under six feet tall. Nasser ate a meal and said that it was a high protein, low fat, low carb diet. Nasser was drinking some fluids with his meal which he said he did intentionally to slow the digestive process so that he could eat less as part of his contest diet.
Outside of his home, Nasser spoke a little bit about training and gave some great pointers to the DVD viewers. Back in Nasser's home, he showed us his nutrition log and told us a little about what he ate going in to a contest. He said that he does not keep a log like this in the offseason, but during his contest prep, where little details became very big details (in the words of Tom Platz), Nasser keeps track of what he is doing. Speaking of Tom Platz, if you are interested in a very candid seminar where Tom Platz talks about all aspects of professional bodybuilding including training, nutrition, supplementation, and steroid use, check out his seminar DVD by GMV:
==> CLICK HERE FOR THE TOM PLATZ SEMINAR DVD REVIEW
In the bonus footage, Nasser was shown in his garage where he had a tanning bed and TONS of supplements - not to sell, but for himself to use. Nasser's contact information was presented in the DVD:
Nasser El Sonbaty
5663 Balboa Ave. #198
San Diego, CA 92111 USA
This was a very good training DVD and it surpassed my expectation in some ways. I did expect Nasser to be in great condition in the DVD, but I did not think that his training would be very intense. I actually thought that it would be pretty weak and horrid judging by some of the clips that I had seen on the internet in the past. But his training form and intensity were both pretty good and his conditioning was excellent. Nasser ended up placing 6th at the 1999 Mr. Olympia and didn't begin his decline in professional bodybuilding until 2001. After seeing this DVD and realizing what an incredibly intelligent person Nasser is, as well as being an excellent spokesman for bodybuilding, I hope that he returns to the competitive stage. I think Nasser stopped responding well to training, nutrition, and supplementation, and he last competed at the 2005 Europa Supershow where he placed 14th. I think after over a year off he could get back in shape and still do well in the pro ranks - obviously not at the same level as he displayed during his prime, but he could do well nonetheless. I was always a fan of Nasser, but after seeing how intelligent he was during this DVD, I became an even greater fan. On Pro Bodybuilding Weekly he said that he was still working out, and I do hope he makes a return to bodybuilding.
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