by Craig Titus
This column does not represent the opinions or views of IronMagazine, it’s advertisers or affiliates. Craig’s column is unedited and for entertainment purposes only, read at your own risk.
What’s your opinion in regard to these so-called “Guru’s” in the bodybuilding and fitness industry? Have you ever used a “Guru” during you career?
The first thing I’d like to point out is that I’m certainly guilty myself of using several different “gurus” over the years, trying to better my physique but more importantly attempting to find some sense of consistency in my contest conditioning. My experiences using different coaches, nutritionists and self proclaimed contest preparation gurus have been both good and bed as well as borderline worst case scenario. I’m fairly certain that must athletes would agree that it’s always best to find what works for you though trial and error over the years. Certainly don’t see any problems with expanding your knowledge by using a “guru” but my concern would be it they’re qualified or not.
What I find hilarious are these guys who boast themselves as “Pro Creators” or pre contest “Gurus” and have never been on a bodybuilding stage, nor have they used the same drugs they’re instructing their client to use, when you’re making a choice as hiring a “Guru” to assist you, make sure the individual meets some criteria and not just self proclaimed. Above all, make damn well sure this “Guru” or trainer or Nutritionist truly cares about your results and has a genuine interest in your well-being. Some criteria to look for is really quiet simple…has this “Guru” completed at a high level of competition themselves? Has this “Guru” used anabolics, HGH, insulin or any or the drugs they’ll want you to use? And lastly, and I believe this to be most important, what kind of track record does this “Guru” have with other bodybuilders? Simply put, if the person you’re entertaining the idea of hiring has never competed, has never used anabolics and other performance enhancing drugs, and above all does not have an outstanding track record…then that “Guru” is not for you! With that being said, let me share some experienced with you and give you my opinion as to who knows what they’re doing by my own escapades. Now the best I’ve ever looked in my career was at the 2001 San Francisco Pro Show. Why I ever hired other’s to assist me fallowing that show I’ll never understand…to this day I still in my mind kick myself in the ass!! I truly believe without a shadow of a doubt, that if I continued to train with Chris Cormier, using our training and contest prep methods, I would’ve placed it the top five consistently at the Olympia for the duration of my career, Chris and I placed 1st and 2nd at the 2001 S.F. Pro Show as well as 1st and 5th at the Pro Ironman Several weeks before. Our Philosophy was actually very simple…we trained heavy using extreme intensity…we slowly decreased calories over a 16 week period until the skin was transparent and the muscle bellies were full…and then we changed nothing, simply coasting into the show, that’s it! No gimmicks, no special drugs to eliminate subcutaneous water, no restricting water in general, we just walked on stage. In fact, Chris was very much against hiring Dorian Yates to assist me for the Olympia I should’ve listened. I know what you’re thinking, Dorian Yates certainly meets the criteria to be a contest “Guru” Truth is, Dorian definitely competed at a high level, and he’s most definitely used inordinate amounts of steroids, but he lacked the most important criteria there is, he had no interest what sooner in my well-being. Simply put, his only concern was the $5,000.00 I paid him for his services. Fallowing the 2001 Olympia I spent the next 48 hours in the hospital hooked up to I.V. bags as a result of server dehydration. In fact, I almost passed out on stage during my posing routines, feeling absolutely terrible and knowing I’ve just made the biggest mistake of my career. Yates had me using Dorian Yates approves protein powder during my contest diet…he never used it during his rein as Mr. Olympia, it didn’t exist!! He never came to my hotel room prior to the contest to check on my conditioning, totally offensive. And lastly, when it was time to eat, to consume more calories to fill out starving muscle he had me take more Demadex, one of the most powerful diuretics made, almost killing me as a result. Make sure you’re working with someone who truly cares about your results! I’ve also worked with Hany Rambod, the “maybe the Pro Creator now but my experience with ole Rambod left a really bad taste in my mouth. Hany had me consuming apple pie filling and oatmeal in huge amounts while injecting insulin resulting in a watery physique and placing eighth. Now it certainly could’ve been my structure keeping me out of the top five, but structure doesn’t constitute being bloated and watery, sugar and insulin does! To make matters worse, insult to injury, Hany was nowhere to be found back stage. He was jumping from Pro to Pro looking like a puppy staved for attention instead of working with me. Now he’s the “Pro Creator” taking credit for genetic freaks who could diet on cupcakes and ice-cream and still place in the Olympia. Chad Nichols, although he hasn’t competed on an IFBB was an excellent “Guru” to work with! I worked with Chad for the Arnold Classic placing 6th while beating other Pro’s who placed higher then me earlier in the year. What made his abilities and knowledge even more impressive is that my contest prep was done over the phone and using photos for visuals. Milo’s Sarchew is a chemical genius, plain simple. His field of expertise is in the use of anabolics, HGH, plasma expanders and insulin. I worked with Milo’s for an offseason program to maximize the muscle gains in between contests. Using his insulin and anabolic program, I gained 9 pounds of muscle in 7 months. His program was extremely detailed and he certainly took genuine interest in my results. During my years training with Chris Cormier, who coincidentally is the best training partner I’ve ever had, we sometimes used Charles Glass to push us through some grueling work-outs. If you’re looking to maximize results with your training methods, then Charles Glass is the guy!! His knowledge in the field of weight training as well motivational skills are second to no one!! Charles Glass’s track record speaks for itself, period. George Facah is someone I’ve never worked with, however I have competed with George in several IFBB contest. Farah was always in shape, always processed the most excellent conditioning in every show he’s competed in, proving he absolutely knows what he is doing with the knowledge to be consistent. And most importantly, from what I’ve been told by several of his clients, he honestly takes great pride in his work and truly cares about his clients’ well-being. As Far as nutritionist are concerns Keith Klein in, Houston, TX has the skills! I worked with Keith for many years during my NPC days from 1988-1996. In fact it was Keith’s diet and nutrition schedule I used to win the 96 USA Championships, taking the over-all title. Looking back at my career, the biggest mistake I ever mistake I ever made was moving out of Houston, TX, Literally leaving every aspect of my training that worked for me. Let me close by saying, no I’m not at all against using a “Guru’ to assist you in your bodybuilding aspirations, I would just make damn sure that person meets the general criteria I’ve point out.
Do Pro Bodybuilder’s really use the supplements they’re endorsing? How do I know which products to use?
The question you should be asking yourself is…what supplements did that particular bodybuilder use while winning the Olympia title 4 times, or the Arnold Classic twice or whatever show your favorite bodybuilder won? Or even more significant question would be, what types of anabolics and other athletic enhancing drugs do these champion bodybuilder use with the supplements they’re endorsing? Keep in mind, you can use all the premiere supplements you want, but without steroids and HGH you can not achieve the physique you see in the bodybuilding magazines, specifically in the supplement ads. That being said, I can’t say for complete certainty that for the most part, bodybuilders actually use the supplements they’re endorsing. I do know for a fact that Chris Cormier did use Muscletech products, and I also know several other IFBB pro’s who actually use the products they’re endorsing. But at the same time I know many more that never used the supplements they endorsed. In fact, same of these pro’s actually received protein powders from other companies while endorsing their competitors. Me, I cam tell you I never used Met-Rx while preparing for and then winning the 96 USA Championships…but the ad in the magazines certainly stated I owed my championship physique to Met-Rx. I can also tell you I never once used Pinnacle products. That’s not entirely true, I did use the powder on a couple occasions however I found myself being unable to stomach the taste. While endorsing Pinnacle I was actually using Max Muscle products that I was getting from my buddy who owned the Venice Beach location. I agrees to hangout in his store a couple times a week and in return I received product for my appearances. When a Pro Bodybuilder is using and endorsing a product for several years, and he’s winning the Olympia four or eight times along with quite a few other competitions, it doesn’t really matter which particular company he’s endorsing following all his championships did the Pro Bodybuilder use to build his elite physique over the years? Not who he’s all of sudden endorsing now that the physique is already achieved. For example…Jay Cutler was endorsed by Muscletech for Many years. He was a vital and major marking tool in Muscletech ads for as long as I can remember. He is one athlete who only used Muscletech products, but swore by them many times to me personally, Cutler achieved the greatest title in bodybuilding not once but four times by winning the Olympia all while using and endorsing Muscletech products. The point is, Cutler’s physique is built, he’s arguably the best bodybuilder in the world, but he didn’t achieve his physique by using the supplements he’s currently endorsing. He achieved his nobility in the bodybuilding world while using Muscletech products. It cracks me up when I see these Athletes who’ve won the Olympia title several times over and then sign lucrative deals with other supplement companies saying “this is what I use.” Well they were not using those products for the 10 years building their exceptional physiques, what I’m saying is, when your trying to make a choice in regard to the supplements you want to use, don’t concern yourself with what company your favorite bodybuilder is currently endorsing…operative word currently…concern yourself with, which company was your favorite athlete endorsing while winning the Olympia over the course of his career. That’s crucial. Other examples…Kia Greene is endorsing MuscleMeds and he just took 2nd at the 2012 Olympia…Branch warren is endorsed by Muscletech…the current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath is also endorsed by Muscletech and chances are he’s actually using the products. Whoever your favorite Pro bodybuilder is, pay close attention to what products they’re using now, when they’re slowly becoming an elite athletes not what product they’re using after their physique already been built.
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Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.
2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall
1988 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — 1st, Middleweight and Overall