Bodybuilding Loses Joe Weider and Nasser El Sonbaty

The bodybuilding world was shocked recently with the loss one of its underrated stars and one of its founders.

Nasser El Sonbaty passed away on March 20, 2013. It has been reported that he died in his sleep in Egypt. El Sonbaty did not fit the “dumbbell” stereotype that is often perpetuated in bodybuilding, but he was a graduate of the University of Augsburg with a degree in history, political science, and sociology. Perhaps it was this tremendous amount of knowledge that led to the belief that he was a messageboard legend named GH15, the name used by someone on the “inside” of bodybuilding and was not afraid to tell all of its secrets and give the truth on training and supplementation.

I met Nasser one year at the Arnold Classic Fitness Expo in the late ’90’s and he certainly seemed to be fan friendly (sometimes you can tell a lot in a quick 2 minute meeting…for instance Vince Taylor was great, Lou Ferrigno, not so much). In 1997, many felt Nasser beat the champ Dorian Yates, but as many 2-5 contestants learn in the shows, it’s hard to beat the man on the top. I loved bodybuilding during this time and that was my “glory age” and Nasser was certainly no joke. I’m not going to speculate on what the cause of death was for him to die at 47 years of age, but I know what you’re thinking. But then I know that many people suddenly die for a myriad of reasons, so until I hear that drugs caused the early death, I think it’s best for all of us to reserve judgement.

Then on March 23, 2013, Joe Weider died at 93. Perhaps Joe Weider is the man responsible for making it where we can all touch a dumbbell. Bodybuilding existed more as a subculture for many years, but Weider and his family took it to the masses with magazines, supplements, contests (e.g. Mr. Olympia) and of course, equipment. Everyone I know started with a Joe Weider bench when they first got introduced to weight training as a kid. I know I sure did and I’m sure I have some sort of Weider product in my house 20 years later.

I shook and had my picture taken with Ronnie Coleman as well before he became Mr. Olympia, but I don't think he was as honored as in this shot with Joe

I shook the hand and had my picture taken with Ronnie Coleman as well before he became Mr. Olympia, but I don’t think he was as honored as he is in this shot with Joe.

However, it must be said, that what made Joe’s success in bodybuilding also made him a sort of pariah. Just as baseball turned a blind-eye to drug use in its sport in order to drive attendance after the 1994 strike, it is said Joe Weider did the same thing as his “athletes” did more and more drugs in order to at least get into the money spots in his contests. You weren’t at the top of the game, until you won the Mr. Olympia. While other sports count rings, bodybuilding counts Sandows. Joe Weider was responsible for making that Sandow matter to the contestants and us fans.

Many folks brought Air Jordan’s because they thought they’d play better basketball, they bought the baseball mitt because of their favorite baseball player, so can we really be mad at Joe for influencing people to use the supplements of their favorite “Weider athlete”? Yes, I know, Weider didn’t tell that his athletes were using all kinds of drugs to get into that shape, but NIKE didn’t come out and tell that Michael Jordan would’ve been Michael Jordan whether he wore their shoes or not.

So in that case, I can’t hate the playa or the game.

But I don’t care what anybody says, wearing a Kangol and Adidas are RPEs – “Rhyming Performance Enhancers”.


Like everything involving weight training and nutrition, Weider had a habit of putting his label on everything, whether he earned it or not.


CSD Kid Story of the Day: Sometimes Calling Heaven Is A Little Complicated

Get a good look, as this iconic sign is even gone in The D.!

Get a good look, as this iconic sign is even gone in The D.!


I was at my aunt’s house last month when she had us cracking up with this little story:

Her granddaughter wanted to use her mom’s cell phone.

Her mom asked her, “Who are you calling?”

Granddaughter responds, “I’m calling Jesus!”

Mom says, “Really, what’s his number?”

Granddaughters says, “666-111”

Mom replies, “That’s not Jesus’s number, that’s the devil’s number!”

Granddaughters comes back with, “Oh, then 12345.”

Mom comes back just as quick with, “Well, you better use Nanna’s phone then cause that’s long distance!”


“The Bible” On History Channel – You Won’t Confuse Jesus For Osama Bin Laden, But You Might Confuse The POTUS As The Devil


When I brought up the hidden race-game that I thought was being played in History Channel’s The Bible (read here), I did not see this one coming.

Seems like the series is also taking heat now because the Devil in The Bible tends to have a striking resemblance to, well…

Satan or the POTUS2

Hey, I’m just saying.

While I’m not in Hollywood, but I have slept in a Holiday Inn Express before, I know NOTHING happens by mistake when making a film. Everything from where people stand, to what they look like, what they say, how many times they say it and to who they say it to is all controlled…and that’s to name just a few areas.

Now my wife, and in full disclosure she is not of a darker-skinned people group, noted that it’s interesting that the devil even favors anyone “black”, when there’s no making that mistake with Jesus! Let me go as far as to say (my apology, Jesus doesn’t have blond hair), I think Jesus resembles one Brad Pitt a little bit!

Jesus In The Bible



However, one thing’s for sure.

Nobody’s confusing Jesus for another guy who was from that part of the world:


I don’t think, and I could be wrong, that had the Jesus character resembled old-boy up above, that no one would not have noticed.

I’m yet to watch episode #3, but early word on the street is that the enthusiasm of many Christians about the mini-series is declining. The unnecessary violence, loose interpretation of scripture and lack of context is causing a bit of a backlash.

May I also mention, the racial overtones as well may make me turn off.

Fox News reports, “The couple behind the show, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, dismissed what they called “foolish” reports that their show’s villain looked like the President.

“This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor,” they said in a statement sent to FOX 411. “He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics– including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.”

Downey added: “Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.” – (

Okay, if I give them the benefit of the doubt, Mehdi Ouzaani may not have been chosen because he looks like the president. But, how did they not notice his transformation after make-up (see photo below)? Also, regardless of what he played in the past, why did his skin become so dark?

Sounds like the old O.J. Simpson Newsweek cover.

As a matter of fact, why didn’t Mehdi Ouzaani play Jesus?

Paul says in Philippians 2:2-4

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Sometimes we as Christians just assume that everyone thinks and sees the world as we do, but anyone who is part of the non-dominant people group in any region can attest that this is not true. We need to ask, “Is this offensive, does this offend the people I’m trying to reach?” That’s not being “PC”, that’s having the mind of Christ and it also builds up unity in The Church.

bible obama devil split 660

Would the public accept this "Jesus"?

Would the public accept this “Jesus”?

But what do you think?

Is this a big deal about nothing? Let us know in the comments below!

Anyone remember this one?

Anyone remember this one?

CSD Review: The Bible On History Channel – When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong


I remember my college professor making the point that the problem with visual representations “based on facts” is that they do not become “based on”, but “facts” when introduced to a wider audience. With this thought in mind, I offer many criticisms of The Bible that is airing on the History Channel up until Resurrection Sunday.

Why am I being critical? Because this series is being aimed right at families, churches (as you can see in the photo above), and non-Christians since it’s being featured on the History Channel. As a fan of the channel, I’m even a bit trusting on the facts, so I’m going to expect them to do a good job on this one since we all have the script right?

I watched episode one, and I just had a chance to catch up on episode two just in time before three airs. While I thought about writing about one, two had me punching the keys on the computer.

So, here we go…

Not enough time spent on creation and the fall of man.

The entire book is based on the events in Genesis 1-3, so I think much more time should have been spent here.

I’m not against “historical realistic” violence if you will, as Schindler’s List, Roots, and other realistic portrayals of what mankind has done to one another is something I generally do not shield from my children.

The Bible itself does not do that. That said, the violence in this flick is not in The Bible! Where Scripture gives us details, put them in, but why add violence to accounts where the Bible is silent? Secondly, you know families are going to be watching this together, so why make it so graphic? Trust me, when I see someone’s head being held by a guy then his sword goes across his neck, I don’t need blood to convince me that he’s being killed. My kids get the message as well. So it is earning its TV14 rating, but for the wrong reasons in my opinion.

Next, the racial element.

I think our friends over at Answers In Genesis summarize my next point best:

“The various subgroups we see around the world today remain virtually identical genetically to each other except for superficial, on-the-surface physical traits like skin shade and type of eyelids. Just as the exhibit concluded that there is really only one race, the human race, it corresponds to the biblical teaching that we are all of “one blood” (Acts 17:26). Scripture distinguishes people by tribal or national groupings, not by skin color or physical appearance. Clearly, though, there are groups of people who have certain features (e.g., skin shade) in common, which distinguish them from other groups. We prefer, though, to call these “people groups” rather than “races.” Using the words people groups also helps avoid the evolutionary baggage often associated with the word race.” (

Therefore, if the program is trying to portray this 21st century realism, why still stick with the same old European-looking protagonist in most of the Biblical stories? Then, the one darker-skinned person who is featured is Samson, who is big, black, and loves Philistine (white) women?

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Oh yea, he has a bit of an anger problem as well. This guy isn’t exactly Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. I wouldn’t want Samson around my daughter either! But of all the stories to put in a darker-skinned actor, why choose and mold one into some Old Testament Jungle Fever tale? Sometimes I have to wonder if any of these shows have anyone from another people-group as advisors or in decision-making positions. While the series didn’t say, “This is a tale about an interracial relationship”, that’s exactly the subplot. If it were not, and all of these people were from the same region, why not make the Philistines from a darker-skinned people group as well? Now you completely remove the racial element from the story…just like the Bible does.

If they would've asked LeBron, he would've told that brotha who played Samson, "Don't do it man, I took some heat for this one!

If they would’ve asked LeBron, he would’ve told that brotha who played Samson, “Don’t do it man, I took some heat for this one!

Oh yes, speaking of Samson and “race”. I read on one blog where the person asked, “Why did Samson have to be black?” Sounds like we both asked the same question, but perhaps for completely different reasons. Sounds like their contention is that Burnett made Samson “black” when historically he was not, and that was not “right”. So to that kind of reasoning I say…

Since we do not know what the color of Jesus was, why do we still have the same blond-haired blue-eyed handsome white guy? Charles D. Hackett, director of Episcopal studies at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta told Popular Mechanics, “The fact that he probably looked a great deal more like a darker-skinned Semite than westerners are used to seeing him pictured is a reminder of his universality, and [it is] a reminder of our tendency to sinfully (emphasis mine) appropriate him in the service of our cultural values.”

Perhaps more Western movies portraying Jesus should put a disclaimer like my daughter did last week

Perhaps more Western movies portraying Jesus should put a disclaimer like my daughter did last week

Why did I highlight sinfully? Because the Western image of Jesus is idolatry for many, as any image of Christ does not fit that image is considered untrue. To show anything else in this country would be met with, “That’s not Jesus!”

Well, show me his actual picture and change my mind.

Now I understand why God said,

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
(Exodus 20:4 ESV)

I’m sure this issue will come up again when they actually show “Jesus”.

– Wait, did they just say that it was Samuel’s sons that were sinning before the Lord? What about, 1 Samuel 3?

12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God,[a] and he did not restrain them.


Come on folks, you at least have to get the people in the story right, we all have the script! If I heard or saw that one wrong, somebody please let me know.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll be checking the other episodes just for entertainment purposes alone. But so far, I’ve been greatly disappointed and I expect better. I don’t agree with Mel Gibson theologically (or personally on many issues as I would later find out), but when he made The Passion, he got it right. I was hoping Mark Burnett’s The Bible would come close and in my opinion, he’s headed in the opposite direction. I expected certain portrayals in 1966 when The Bible: In The Beginning was released, as this was a much different country. But overall, at this point, I’d say it was a much better movie than this longer 2013 version.



CSD Interview: Raw Dog Talks Winter Hibernation and Unwrapping Your Ride For The Spring



I’ve been smelling burnt rubber for many years and have had the opportunity to talk cars with many guys. One skill you learn is whether guys actually have the baddest ride on the street/strip or if they only dream about it and know theory. Some of you may know what I mean, the guy who tells you how to modify and run your ride but he hasn’t driven anything fast since he bounced his momma’s ’77 LTD with a 351 and the air cleaner cover flipped over to give it that WHOMP sound (don’t judge me…I did that on my dad’s ’77 Bonneville, but I’ve owned faster rides since then!) Then there’s “money guy”, who really only has a fast car because it attracts ladies and he has money. His car is only used to its potential on freeway ramps or when he’s running late for work.

I would bash “Vette-guy”, as many of those guys fit the money-guy description, but that would be disrespectful to the Woodward Dominator, “Raw-Dog”. Raw-Dog earned his name as a guy who tells it like it is and has the knowledge and the ride to back up whatever he’s telling you. But best of all, my man is humble, a great father and a wealth of wisdom that he’s always willing to share. He is the man I call when I need knowledge on car care (any many other things as well) as he has worked in the business of detailing money-guy’s rides in his early years and knows cars and how to care for them inside and out. Now, the man has quite a stable of his own, one that would make the GM fan-boys proud. When he talks, I get my notebook and grab my camera to shoot his rides.

I consulted Raw-Dog before the snow began to fall as I needed his expertise on how to prepare the Mustang. In a few weeks, it’ll be time to pull the Stang out for some good times and I wanted his knowledge on unwrapping the mummy. However, I figured this would be a great time to share his knowledge with all of you as well as it may help some of you CSDs out there who may store your rides during the winter, when you’re being deployed or at rebuild time.

Trust me, you’re going to want to bookmark this post.

Why can't my interior look this clean!

Why can’t my interior look this clean!

I won’t tell you how fast his ZO6 is in the quarter, but let me say that he runs with the folks pulling their wheels way off the ground and resting on nice trailers, while he turns on his A/C, cruise control and tunes to make the 40-mile trip back home from the drag strip. His ride is not exactly stock (well, I guess it depends on your definition), but it’s certainly not a trailer queen and he has no problem running on the dragstrip or road course.


How many years have you been storing cars over the winter?

I’ve been storing cars through midwest winters since 1998 when I bought my first car, a 1988 IROC-Z. My methods have evolved slightly over the years, but essentially boil down to a few important steps with everything else more preferences than anything.

First, I fill them up with gas at the gas station and drive it right to my storage location to have a full tank for storage. The less air space in the tank, the less moisture can develop. I never use fuel stabilizer, and usually just burn through the first tank of fuel the first week of spring (that fuel has slightly degraded – lower octane now so be nice and play it safe and avoid detonation!) . Fuel stabilizer could help, but I always worry about putting anything foreign in the fuel system and have never had an issue with my method. My IROC is 25 years old this year, original fuel pump, original injectors and runs like a top. Same with my other cars, so this works for me. If you are storing a car for longer that one winter I’d say drain the tank. That typically dries out injector seals and such, but after more than a year gas turns to varnish, so you’ll plug everything up anyway. Lose-lose on storing for more than a season here.

Once at storage location, I fully clean them and dry them, inside and out. If you don’t clean them and you use a cover, the dirt particles left on the surface can be rubbed/dragged over the paint by covering and removing the cover, and can do more harm than good. Also, you want it fully dry to avoid any moisture, mildew issues. Then I do all my battery disconnect/trickle charger connection stuff, inflate tires to proper pressure to prevent flat spotting, drop a mothball or two in the engine bay to prevent rodents chewing wires and making homes, then throw the cover on. Some people put their cars on jackstands to unload the suspension, but I have been told this can cause issues with seals in struts being unloaded for so long, so I don’t do that. Figure your suspension wears just slightly less sitting there than when driving, so what’s the difference right? Why risk it?

What are you storing right now?

Currently I am storing that same ’88 IROC, my 2006 C6 ZO6, and I attend to my father’s toy as well, which is a supercharged 2002 Z28 Camaro.

This is another way CSD's put their kids to bed!

This is another way CSD’s put their kids to bed!

What advice do you have as we prepare to unwrap that gift from the winter?

Certainly how your car comes out of storage has a lot to do with how it went into storage. I’ll get into some details in the next few questions, but I usually put my cars into storage and take them out the same way each year.

In my opinion, there are 3 critical areas to pay attention to: the battery, the fuel (I explained in point 1), and then the oil. The first and most important item to me is the battery. The worst thing to do is leave the battery connected to a car that is stored through a winter. Some feel that simply jumping in the car and running it occasionally through a winter to keep a charge is a good idea. I feel that there are two reasons why this is not ideal. First, in between instances of running, the battery will drain (even if not too low to start) and begin to lose some of its capacity that will never come back even when recharged. I always used a trickle charger and have my battery plugged into that, and never have anything connected to the car itself. Also, cold dry starts have plenty of moisture but little oil is present on things (pistons, bearing, cranks etc.), and this just can’t be better for internals than sitting still until spring with fresh, warmer, quicker cold-start lubing oil is in the car. I always leave old oil in my cars for the winter then change it fresh the first day out. Oil accumulates condensation and moisture, so there is no reason to change it before storage, and then drive on degraded oil in the spring.

If someone just left the car outside all winter and/or didn’t prep before snow, what should they do before cranking it up?

Did this person disconnect the battery or at least put in a fresh new charged battery? If that isn’t a concern, I would certainly check under the hood and tailpipes for any debris in the way, then leave the hood open and check everything immediately after startup. If you hear something weird, or see/smell smoke, kill it and then look it all over again. Once mechanically sound and running again, that paint is definitely going to need some love. So I’d advise a wash, clay, high-speed polish and a wax immediately.



Did you ever find you had problems in the spring that you didn’t have before storing the car?

Yes! Before I began using trickle chargers, I ALWAYS had battery issues in the spring. Now, I never do. Sometimes you have other things happen, a mysterious leak or flat tire or something like that, but usually its the way you left it.

Any other nuggets of wisdom you think may help us novices out there?

Change the oil the day you take the car out of storage. Also, the car may run rough the first week out of storage, but like I noted above, likely due to that degraded fuel and will improve with the first fill up. DO NOT GO WIDE OPEN THROTTLE ON THIS OLD FUEL (the octane has significantly dropped over this time), and detonation kills ring lands!!!


Okay, don't go WOT like this!

Okay, don’t go WOT like this on old fuel!

Where’s the first “non-purpose” place you’re going to drive when you pull your ride out for the summer?

To this question I’d usually make a joke like – “To the dealer to trade it in to pay for my kids day care”, but I know when the weather breaks I’ll be going right to Woodward to see some action and meet up with you.


Did somebody say cruising? Just a few more weeks!

Did somebody say cruising action? My girl can hardly wait…

Hot-mod plans for 2013?

No big plans as last year was a big mod year with the heads and all that. I think I’m just planning on upgrading my dry sump oil tank from an 8 qt to a 10 qt to mitigate cooking a bearing out on the racetrack (oil starvation). Also probably a new C5R timing chain to keep those ridiculously expensive new heads/valves in one piece during track days at Waterford, Gingerman and Grattan.


Vette Rest


Hopefully I can get Raw Dog to drop some fatherhood knowledge on us as well in the near future. This man’s garage is impressive, but his family is far more precious and most importantly, he knows it! I really appreciate his time and the great answers.

If any of you have any tips or comments, please let us know below!

Wise Words From Jack LaLanne

The kids and I are performing variants of a 5×5 routine (yes, that includes Boney at 6 years of age) and for motivation while training, I like to pull up old Jack LaLanne videos.


Now Jack was before my time, although I certainly do remember watching him on TV growing up. Of course now that I’m getting “old”, I respect the work and knowledge of Jack even more as he just seemed like a hyper-guy making infomercials back-in-the-day.

So on one of the videos, I heard him say this recently:


Your age is:

Your Physical condition

Condition of your mind

How you feel

I like that formula!

Therefore, at 42, perhaps I’m…

Age = Physical condition (strength about same as when I was 30) + Condition of your mind (25? I’m learning something everyday but have learned enough to finally be an adult!)+ How you feel (28 – I feel that best I’ve felt in many years…just can’t stay up as late and function the next day like when I was street racing at 18).

So, if I divide the total by 3, am I around 27 or 28?

I feel and think that’s about right!

LaLanne has inspired me to do something on my 43rd birthday that I’ve never done before. I’ll let you all know what I decide to do.

How about you? Anything you might be willing to try to achieve for your next birthday?

Also, does the formula fit you as well?

Let us know in the comments below.


CSD Interview: Big Breeze Talks Old School Bodybuilding

Why does a man climb a mountain? For the same reason every wannabe Iron Head goes to crazy Venice Beach to visit a small run down gym…because it’s there!

A couple of weeks ago when my son and I were in the LA region, we made a stop to Venice Beach to see the place where bodybuilding began, “Muscle Beach”.


Sunset at the Muscle Beach gym

While there, I had to send photos to the one person I know who knows more about the early days of bodybuilding than I’ll ever know, my cousin Breeze. This brother remembers the days when guys used steroids as the icing on the cake to their physiques and not steroids and “related products” as main ingredient to the dish.

First, a little background on Breeze himself. Two things Big Cuz has that most of us will never have:

a.) The coolest nickname ever

b.) More muscle per inch of height than we’ll ever see on our frames – Most of us look “average” with clothes on, while Breeze could easily say, “I’m training for the World Strongest Man competition” and people would believe him easily if he was sporting a three-piece suit.

When I first started lifting weights, Breeze was the only person I knew that did anything like “that”. He was a family legend and my first real introduction to clankin’ steel was with my other cousin Kev, in Breeze’s home gym. To this day, I still would love to have a nice cozy dedicated weight room in my home that could compare to the set up he offered. Mirrors, pulley from the ceiling, bench, DBs, all the basics you needed to go limping up the stairs when you were done.

I’m hoping Breeze will bless us with more old school iron lessons, but I wanted him to at least let us get to know a bit more about him and what he has to offer with the following interview.

Check out the great history of Muscle Beach at:

Check out the great history of Muscle Beach


When did you first get into bodybuilding/weightlifting?

Born: 1962

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, a era of greatest music, baddest cars to pound the pavement and one of the best era for toys, cartoons and comics. What I remember most from the comic books were the ads, from Charles Atlas training system and Joe Weider barbell sets to protein snacks, and the Bullworker. Every department store, Sears, Montgomery Wards, to Kmart sold a 110 lb. weight set and its own benches. We all had a uncle, cousin or friend who had something, pictures of Arnold or Frank Zane with bikini babes on their arms.
Wow it looked like fun, and I can’ t remember my first muscle magazine, but I was age 12 or 13 when my father gave me a choice Karate classes or barbell set. But off to sears we went and the rest is history, an all time love for weight training and the sport of Bodybuilding.

You don't know about the Bullworker...and I didn't either until Breeze mentioned it! That's OLD SCHOOL

You don’t know about the Bullworker…and I didn’t either until Breeze mentioned it! That’s OLD SCHOOL

What word of advice do you have for youngsters wanting to lift?

I’ve had my up & downs in life, “but the Iron, cures all”.

Every doctor should write a prescription, “PICK TWO EXERCISES PER BODY PART, 3 SETS EACH, SEE ME IN TWO WEEKS!”

The Legendary Frank Zane – IFBB Mr. Olympia 1977-1979

Thanks Breeze, and we look forward to hearing more from you in the near future!