The Future of Bayesian Bodybuilding

Why the domain change? What’s with the recipes? How did the seminar go? As regular readers of this site probably noticed, a few things have changed recently. Behind the scenes, a lot more great developments have taken place. Before I elaborate on what this means for you and what you can expect from Bayesian Bodybuilding in the future, let’s start where it all began.

Several years ago I became, to my knowledge, the first person in the history of T-Nation to publish an article there without having any prior reputation. I had a few local clients, but I didn’t have impressive credentials. I wasn’t a fitness model. I didn’t even have a website at the time and I had zero online presence. This gave me hope that a voice armed with nothing but the truth can still reach an audience in the fitness industry. That hope led to a website, which led to a company.

Since then, I’ve published several print and online articles, but I spent the vast majority of my time on my (online) clients and my work as a ghostwriter. Ghostwriting taught me a lot. It gave me a revealing insider’s perspective on the fitness industry and working with various top editors made me a better writer.

However, being a ghostwriter is a strange profession. You basically have nothing to show for your work. You see your articles in magazines with some celebrity’s name on them and you obviously can’t tell anyone you wrote it. Nor would you want to in most cases, because most ghostwriting gigs are basically “This is my new method. I want you to prove that it works using science. Oh and make it nice to read.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to make a living from my passion in bodybuilding. As a writer, I want to share the uncompromising truth about everything related to fitness. Therefore, I hereby quit ghostwriting. I have a few projects that I’ll finish, but I’m no longer accepting new assignments.

Quitting ghostwriting means I’ll have more time for clients, my website and other projects. Here are some things that are changing in Bayesian Bodybuilding.

 

Guest Articles

From now on I will also feature guest articles on Bayesian Bodybuilding. The only requirements of guest articles are that they are related to bodybuilding and are evidence based. It doesn’t matter who you are. I will evaluate every article based on its own merit. If you’re interested in writing for Bayesian Bodybuilding, just send me an email with the article to MennoHenselmans[at]BayesianBodybuilding[dot]com.

Guest posts are one of the reasons I changed my domain (website url) to my brand instead of my personal name. The other is that Bayesian Bodybuilding is no longer just me flying solo (though rest assured that all messages posted under by name were in fact written by me and it is me that you will reach when you message me). Which brings me to the next change.

 

Recipes

I’m working together with a cook to develop awesome bodybuilding recipes that I’ll post in the new recipes section. This will not be your typical recipe dump. Every recipe is stringently rated by me on various aspects. Only the crème de la crème is accepted. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be awesome. Much to the dismay of the cook, the current acceptance rate of recipes is about 1 in 20, which is lower than the acceptance rate at Harvard University. If it’s not something I consider incorporating in my own actual meal plan, it won’t be in this section.

Got a recipe you think is suitable for this section? Email it to me at MennoHenselmans[at]BayesianBodybuilding[dot]com and we’ll try it. If we like it, we’ll post it under your name.

Subscribed to my articles but don’t want to receive email updates for recipes? You can change which categories you’re subscribed to in your account panel by logging in (see your subscription confirmation email or go to the Meta tab in the sidebar on the right).

 

High Calorie Healthy Snack: Oriental Truffles

The first recipe of the new recipes section.

 

Academia

I’ve working on several scientific studies at the moment, mostly in an advisory role. I would like to continue contributing to the scientific community, so I’ve started partnering with students and universities. I think one of the main areas of improvement in science is that too much research done by students is wasted, dumped into an archive somewhere instead of published into a scientific journal. I published my bachelor’s thesis and I’m still working on getting my master’s thesis published. Are you a student writing a paper that you think may be eligible for publication in a scientific journal? Send me an email (MennoHenselmans[at]BayesianBodybuilding[dot]com ) and I’ll help you publish your paper. I’ll critically review your paper, assist you with the statistical analyses and help you during the publication process. For free.

 

Clients

Over the past 2 years I’ve had the pleasure of coaching national level bodybuilders, other personal trainers and international fitness models. I’ve also had a waiting list for almost a year now and I know I haven’t responded to everyone yet who asked for online personal training. I’m currently revising my consulting options so that I can better accommodate everyone. If you emailed me, I will contact you as soon as a spot opens.

 

Seminars

My last seminar with Børge Fagerli was a major success on every front. Aside from me forgetting to stop ticket sales when we sold out, causing us to have to ask the hotel to cram the room with additional seats, everything went smooth as a baby’s deep squat. We got tons of great feedback and Børge and I have become genuinely close friends. Due to this success, we’ve decided to hold another seminar. It will take place during the weekend of February 1 & 2 in Bergen, Norway. Updates soon!

 

Menno Henselmans seminar

Me presenting during my seminar with Børge Fagerli in Norway.

 

Other Projects

I’m in the process of developing an app for Android and iOS that serves as a pocket personal trainer. Also, I’ve started writing my first book, well the first book with my name on it at least. I’m not even going to give the vaguest of promises of a deadline for either of these projects yet, since I know the obscene amount of work that goes into writing a book and I know very little yet about apps.

 

Finally, you can strongly influence the future of Bayesian Bodybuilding. Here are just a few examples of how you can participate in the growth of evidence based bodybuilding:

  • Post links to discussions that you’d like me to chime in on.
  • Submit your own recipes or articles.
  • Send feedback about the website. Suggestions are always welcome.
  • Partner up to publish your research.
  • Post requests for new articles.

And if you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to send me a message via the Bayesian Bodybuilding Facebook page, my personal Facebook profile, Twitter, email or the comments section.

30 Comments

  1. Tristan says:

    Thats great news!

  2. Ano says:

    Great to hear the seminar went well. Also awesome to see what you’re up to can’t wait for more articles!

    • Ano says:

      Also, as a request for a future article: what is your opinion on training frequency for optimal muscle hypertrophy? Hypertrophy Specific Training, for example, states that a muscle should be trained every 36-48 hours, based on just one RCT. Contrarily, (drug-using) professional bodybuilders mostly use a split-program with a frequency of 1x/week.

      • Optimal recovery time varies from 1 to 5 days. Once a week will never be optimal, even on drugs. The optimal frequency depends on your method of periodization, your training split and of course in practice your schedule. This article is in the making, so I’ll get back on this in great detail.

        • Karl says:

          Cant wait.
          In terms of volume for each muscle group, how many reps/sets do you think is a good range to be in for each session?

          In terms of training muscle or muscle groups pr session, what do you think is most optimal. Training muscle groups each session or just one muscle each session?

          • Karl says:

            forgot to add

            I store most of my fat/weight in my lower body legs,hips,ass. So when i weight train lower body i also get bigger there faster because of fat but also i feel the muscles are growing faster then upper body. I dont want to get a bigger lower body i just want the model V body so just have strong legs but not big.
            How do you approach that in terms of training for lower body?

          • What’s your fat percentage? Simply lowering the volume for legs should suffice to limit lower body hypertrophy, but reducing your fat percentage is the logical first step. Lower body fat storage is much more likely than possessing Tom Platz leg genetics.

          • Oeh this completely depends on your entire set-up. First of all, how many days per week are you training?

  3. Wouter says:

    Hi Menno,
    Great to read about all your plans. When I read the articles on T-nation you are referring to, I just had to read more. Stick to your approach, it really sets you apart. Best of luck!

  4. Ivan says:

    I like how you mix science and bodybuilding.
    I would really like to see a routine made by you.

  5. James says:

    I love your scientific approach to the subject however am personally disgusted by bodybuilders, especially pro. I just am totally “turned off” by working on body parts. Although I am mainly interested in performance and athletics I still find myself flexing when no one is around. What’s that about? Likewise fighters after winning sometimes. Why? Is it innate?

    • Ha, flexing definitely has sociocultural function as a display of dominance. Also, people psychologically like to look at themselves when they’re at their best to boost their self-esteem. It’s probably partly innate behavior because primates do it too.

  6. Regarding feedback/critique of the site, the only thing that sticks to mind (for me) would be maybe putting the dates on your articles. As I notice they are generally undated, and it would be nice to know when the stuff was published on this site.

    • I actually purposefully removed the dates, because I edit anything that I believe to be no longer true. The goal of all my articles is to make them timeless.

      • Even better, thanks. :)

      • Tod says:

        This may be true, there may be a better way to communicate this than having no dates on your articles. As a random surfer, I was drawn in by your writing (and unusually rational approach to fitness in an industry full of speculative bullshit) but I was immediately put off by the lack of a date on your articles. We are on an Internet that is 20+ years old, and it can be very frustrating to read an article only to find out at the end that it’s a decade old and contains outdated or outmoded information. I usually scroll down to the comments (as I’ve done here) to ascertain the age of undated articles before I read them.

        It’s your blog, of course, but I suggest dating your articles and renewing the dates when and if you periodically scan your articles to ensure their continued accuracy. Perhaps a format like “Updated 00/00/0000” would be worth considering.

        • Mr Prytania says:

          I agree with Tod. If you edit or reviewed articles then “Last verified on MM/YY” would not only inspire confidence in your readers but also allow you to review if you still want the article up there.

  7. http://www.weightrainer.net/training/rules.html <–he dropped the ball on this one.
    So what are your thoughts on this article of his?

    Here are my 2 pence on it:

    Preface: "I haz 5 degrees and real world experience, so I know science
    sucks/isn't perfect/can't beat real world experience [insert a bunch of
    self righteous smug and smarmy ad hominems here + appeals to authority
    here.]"

    Burden of proof is on you to show that "SCIENCE IS TEH
    BIASED FINANCIALLY/CONSPIRECEH" bro….yeah, not off to a good
    start. I can't even begin to count how many times I've heard that shit
    from Young Earth Creationists…As if "real world experience" (whatever
    that means) is enough to destroy/override basic logic and empiricism.

    1) Ignore 99% of what we see on the internet? Shall that include this article too? :P Okay fine, perspective is important, so the main crux of it gets no arguments from me.

    2) Good conclusion be terribad way to get there. Um, just because
    something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn't mean it
    SHOULD be done that way. Like Slavery…Finally, what about folks like
    me who CAN'T do push-ups or pulls ups even when lean because we're too
    weak? You'd be amazed what a god-sent those machines are when used as a
    stepping stone to the exercises he speaks of. Or what if you're too
    strong for even handstand push-ups, doing it for reps even WITH a
    weighted vest? How you gonna add more weight to that? Also, I don't
    think even *he* believes this, as he recommended donkey calf raises as
    his "MUST DO" program for trainees…despite the fact that for folks
    like me with big bellies and weak/bad backs that that would probably be
    suboptimal to say the least. I get much more out of say, standing calf
    raises.

    3) "WHO CARES?!" Everyone who has ever been screwed by
    them, that's who. How about saying, "they matter, but they're a given,
    so don't worry about them."

    4) Aaand, now we get to the real bogosity. Damn near NOTHING but appeals to authority (yes, even if the person is an expert in the field it is STILL an appeal to authority as even an expert still has to provide evidence…yet this ENTIRE screed of an article of his only has 1 citation. Pathetic.) Because everyone
    has the same recovery ability/training experience/etc right? What about
    muscles like the calves that do better with higher frequency compared
    to the triceps that do better with lower frequency? What about people
    who aren't training hard vs those going to total failure on each set?
    Or those with a bad back or knees? Or what if the person is working out
    in the late afternoon when they are biologically primed to do so or in
    the morning on an empty stomach when they aren't? Way more variables
    there to make it a one-size fits all.

    5) Okay, no major arguments for this one, but then as he himself has pointed out, curls *do* have a good use, for helping you to get a better mind/muscle connection. The classic example being someone who feels the burn in their triceps and/or shoulders instead of their chest on the bench press (as an example Casey himself has used).

    6) Again, no major arguments from me.

    7) Okay, this one is actually a very good point. I should know, as I've
    thrown out my back and pulled (or at least strained) my thigh muscles
    trying to do 3 sets of 6 reps barbell squats going to total failure on
    each set, but without having researched or really been instructed on how
    to properly do them. So, again, this gets no arguments from me.

    8) Again, no arguments from me, as comparing yourself to others constantly is just going to make yourself miserable.

    9) Agreed. Yet he also suggests buying the following in #12 he says he
    wants you to buy: "Bag of dextrose (also called "corn sugar"),
    Potassium-based salt substitute, Bottle of magnesium tablets, Box of
    table salt [and] Protein powder"

    This is despite him bashing protein powder (and repeating the 1 g/lb myth when even despite the fact that it's more like 0.82 g/lb shown here:
    http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/the-myth-of-1glb-optimal-protein-intake-for-bodybuilders/ ) So which is it?

    10) Fair enough, but it doesn't HAVE to come from an animal. As long as you're eating protein with a complete animo acid profile, you should be fine. The only difference that would (possibly) make is if it's a matter of bio-availability and as you've said, the amount is more important than the absorption profile either
    way. Though I don't claim to be an expert of any sort on this (and I
    love animal proteins better, so there's my bias).

    11) Very good point. Not only good for weight training/body building, but good for your health in general. :)

    12 & 13) Woo boy! The post work out carbs myth and anabolic window
    myth–that is, things you respectively debunked here:
    http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/optimized-workout-nutrition-carbs-protein-revisited/
    and here: http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/workout-nutrition-is-a-scam/

    14) Very good point there.

    15) Again, good point.

    16) Good idea, as it lets you track your progress (provided one doesn't get *too* obsessive about it).

    17) To which I would add to Casey–learn how to do science, how to read
    scientific journals and be consistent. And drop the self righteousness,
    and the appeals to authority. There's enough of that in the health
    industries as it is.

    Also, I think Alan Aragon said it best as far as science and research is concerned:

    "Scientific research is not bias-free. It’s not free of financial
    interests. It’s not free of study design flaws, and it’s not perfect.
    However, it’s the best tool that we have for getting closer to
    understanding the way the body works, the way that nature works. As
    imperfect as research is, it beats the hell out of hearsay and gym
    dogma."

    • I’d say this is a perfect example of the anti-science mindset prevalent particularly among powerlifters to ‘keep it simple and hardcore, stupid’.

      • Figures. Shame, as he’s the only person I’ve seen to do some good science regarding predicting one’s muscular potential. The reason I simply *had* to call out that article of his was because he went and made it his featured article. I was like, “Really?”

      • So I read 17 in Casey’s article and I wonder if what he says about the amount of muscle gained (above someone of average untrained individual of your height and bone structure) for a drug free person being, at most, 30-40 lbs, even for the most genetically gifted bodybuilders?
        Ditto for another point from him and others noting that lean, 18” arms being are rarity in drug free bodybuilding.

        Those both in mind, I can’t help but wonder how legit this guy’s claims of gaining 100 lbs. of muscle in 6 years, and having 20.3” arms are:
        http://www.furaffinity.net/full/8132833/
        Granted, he *is* 6’3′, but even then, it still sounds like a bit much (provided he’s drug free anyways).

  8. Also, cracked.com once shared a study from the 1930s they say supports the claim that having sunlight shining on your penis increases testosterone by 200% in #5 in this article: http://www.cracked.com/article_20133_5-reasons-modern-life-driving-manliness-to-extinction.html

    Quote from the article:

    “However, speaking of naked … there is a way for the modern man to load up on sun in the extra-speedy manner that suits today’s hectic life. See, what really needs the sunlight the most is a man’s dick.
    Skipping all that “modesty” and “pants” horse crap and exposing male
    genitals to direct sunlight is said to increase testosterone levels by a
    neat 200 percent.

    Be warned, though — there’s only one study on this, from 1939,
    and we don’t know that it wasn’t just a huge prank. Still, what does a
    busy modern man in desperate need of that testosterone fix have to lose?
    Besides his pale complexion and status as a non-sex offender?”

    And here’s the link they provide: https://www.archive.org/stream/annualreportofdep1939mass/annualreportofdep1939mass_djvu.txt

    I will note that I did find a few red flags. 1) I Ctrl + F searched for things like “200%” “double” “triple” “testosterone” etc and didn’t really find anything supporting that original claim. Not to mention the claim just reeks of broscience.
    Even if the getting more sunlight thing is good for overall health and even testosterone levels, the let your penis see the sunlight to get your levels of it tripled seems a bit silly.

  9. The who wrote content is termed Preston. Bookkeeping exactly what I throughout my regular
    job but soon my wife and I start our new internet marketing business.
    He is indeed fond of golf and he would never stop doing out.
    Illinois is our birth place but I ‘m going to have to act in every year
    or two different. I’m not great at webdesign an individual might to help check my
    website: Mia Parking

  10. Thao says:

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

    Thanks!

Leave a Comment