Bodybuilding & Strength

Strength By Sonny 2014 Physical Transformation Guide (Part V: Gym Superstitions and Weird Practices)

If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it!

By now you know my story. I’ve been hitting the gym for 8 years. I’ve stuck with what’s work. I’ve made adjustments when they were needed. Most importantly, I’ve committed myself to being a lifelong student of MYSELF.

Today, I wanted to share some of my gym superstitions with you so that you can see what has worked for me. Hopefully, you will adopt some of these because they have helped me out immensely throughout my bodybuilding career.

I do everything I can to train in the heat.

Walk into any gym and you see the same thing every time… gym bros lifting wearing shorts and tank tops.

Foolishness. In my mind, you average gym goer is already inhibiting his gains by doing that.

What they don’t realize is that the heat is your best friend.

The heat (and the sweating that results) is what will push your physique to the next level. Consider it a life hack for winning the muscle building game. There are numerous benefits to training in a heated environment, but here are the main ones:

– stimulates muscle fibers

– makes you sweat more (sweats out the toxins)

– makes your heart beat faster

– reduce muscular strains and fatigue

– mental edge

I have been training in layers since 2010. No matter what time of year… no matter what the outside temperature is… I start off my workout in layers. I peel off layers as I progress in the workout. That is what has worked for me since 2010.

It has enabled me to build a denser physique with greater fullness since then. Long Island, New York… Washington, DC… Winston-Salem, NC… Austin, TX…

All different environments with varying degrees of heat… I trained in layers with all of them.

*** Washington DC was the most brutal because that was most intense summer heat I have ever experienced (Summer 2011).

By layers, I am talking about long sleeved shirts (thermals), leggings, and sweatpants. Here are some suggestions I have for you:

Simple Long-sleeved thermal shirts

Long Sleeve Thermals make you sweat… which helps you win the muscle building game in the long run.

Very cheap. Very durable. I have used the same thermal shirts for training since 2010. A very good investment all around.

Spandex Leggings for men

I know what you are thinking. Spandex are for the cardio bunnies at the gym. Not true at all. They are for serious athletes and for those who are serious enough about their training to know the importance of keeping everything tight. This is especially important for the legs on leg day.

They keep the legs heated. This helps you sweat even more. Here are two particular brands I have used:

I’ve used these leggings since 2011. I wear them under my sweatpants at the gym.

These are a solid option and a great for keep everything tight and heated.

I love these leggings. They keep everything really tight.

I started using the Nike Combat Pro leggings just this past Spring and I really like them. In my opinion they keep everything just a little bit tighter than the Under Armour leggings. The bottoms also extend down to about mid calves. In my opinion, this makes it more efficient because you don’t necessarily need it to extend all the way down to the ankles. By coming down to just this calves, this keeps the calves tighter as well.

I strap it and wrap it.

I train like an animal but safety always comes first. That’s why it’s important to lift with proper form where you are controlling the weight. Most people get hurt because of improper form and incorrectly using a muscle.

People also wear down their body due to a lack of emphasis placed upon joint preservation.

It’s not really natural for people to be benching and squatting heavy weight. Our joints simply were not built for doing those kinds of lifts in the long run.

As a result, you need to take the necessary steps now to ensure that you can train intense and maintain joint health to the best of your ability.

I have been using straps and wraps since 2008. They help keep everything tight and help me feel the majority of the lift on the targeted muscle (instead of my joints). If I didn’t use these tools, I would have the joints of an old man. Thankfully, I have used them so the wear and tear on my joints has been minimal.

Here are my suggestions. They have been lifesavers for me:

Harbinger Wrist Wraps

Believe or not… these help you lift more weight. They also give you a mental edge.

Wrist wraps protect your wrists. They keep that area tight so that they do not get strained on heavy presses and curls.

They have been particularly useful for me on heavy presses because they keep the wrists in the neutral position, minimizing the chances of them suddenly snapping back.

I have also benefited from using them on heavy curls for biceps.

McDavid Elbow Wraps

This is the most important support I use… even more important than a weight belt.

This should make sense. If you spend years doing the right thing (training your ass off)… your elbows are going to take a pounding.

It is inevitable. The best way to prevent weak elbows (or at least hold it off for as long as possible) is to start taking the necessary steps NOW.

Take Fish Oil. Take Flax Oil. Use elbow wraps whenever you train chest, triceps, and shoulders.

I have used elbow wraps since 2008 and they have been a lifesaver.

*** Also because they keep everything tight, they also make me feel stronger on my heaviest pressing movements.

Altus Knee Wraps

Another life saver since 2008.

If anyone should have absolutely destroyed knees, it should be me. Up until college, I spent years playing sports and sprinting on hard surfaces.

I have also hammered my legs with heavy squats and leg presses over the years. As much as we would like it to be true, our bodies are not indestructible. We are not machines. Everyone has their brick wall that they eventually hit and things start to break down.

Your knees need to be protected at all costs. Once your knees are shot, they are pretty much shot. Just ask Dwyane Wade.

Don’t get it twisted… training legs like a bodybuilder will wear down your knees over time.

If you want to keep everything tight and preserve the knees, you wear knee wraps on those heavy leg movements. This will lessen some of the load on the knees and give you the best shot of feeling it on the targeted muscles.

*** Make sure you order two because they are sold individually.

I wear a mouth guard when I lift.

Protecting my grill since 2011.

My best friend in college used to wear a mouth guard at the gym. I picked up the habit from him.

There are a lot of benefits to doing this.

1) Many people have a habit of grinding their teeth when they lift. My friend actually started wearing his mouth guard after he chipped a tooth on a set of deadlifts. If you have this habit, wearing a mouth guard should protect your teeth from grinding down on each other.

2) It strengthens the jaw muscles. Over time you can develop a more powerful jaw which improves facial aesthetics. I will get in to this at a later time as it is something I have actually spent a decent amount of time working on.

*** I think it also gives me a mental edge. I feel like a beast showing my fangs when people see the colored mouth guard I’m rocking.

One Weird Practice I do before a Vegas trip…

Get shredded. Bang tens. I’m not gonna bullshit you. I get shredded so I can go to Vegas in the summer and bang hot chicks. I like doing that at least once a year.

I put myself through an intense diet and training preparation so that I can take a break and do that.

I have long known about sexual transmutation and the reality of sexual magnetism.

I have self-control because I have eliminated pornography from my life.

As a result, I can willingly give up sex and orgasm whenever I want.

So that’s what I do. For about one month (roughly 30 days) before I go to Vegas, I give up busting a nut completely.

I just don’t do it. I focus on other things. I save up my energy and life force since they are already drained from the dieting. I do this so that by the time I get to Vegas, I am in the best shape of my life… my sexual magnetism is at its highest… my energy is through the roof.

Once I get to Vegas I go nuts 😉

This concludes our physical transformation series for 2014. I want to thank you guys for your patience. I know I have not been posting as often as you would like.

That’s going to change as I will be posting much more often now that I have a lot more free time.

Let me know any questions or comments you may have.

Also feel free to e-mail me.



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  1. Milun
    December 17, 2014 at 10:33 am — Reply

    Wasn’t expecting a fifth article in the series! Gotta say though the thought of working out and sweating underneath layers of clothing doesn’t sound nice… I’ve got a few questions for you man 1) does your gym have air con? 2) do you wear the knee and elbow wraps over the top of your compression tights and top? 3) what shoes do you wear in the gym? Thanks man, have yourself a great Christmas and New Years!

    • December 17, 2014 at 7:04 pm — Reply

      1. My gym has air conditioning. I’ve worked out in gyms with no air conditioning before and those were awesome workouts. The old world Gym I went to back in New York was basically a garage right next to a junk yard in the hood. Very hardcore training environment.

      • Milun
        December 18, 2014 at 1:21 am — Reply

        Yeah my old gym was like that too and I had the best workouts. When I walked out the door drenched in sweat and a breeze hit me it felt amazing.

        • December 18, 2014 at 4:33 am — Reply

          Dude nothing beats those sweltering workouts around end of July-August… those are man maker workouts.

  2. Taylor
    December 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm — Reply

    Hey, good article Sonny.

    I see your hard work pays off.

    Vegas is definitely an easy spot to pick up. One of my buddies just slays it down there. In fact, if you can “pull the trigger” so to speak in Vegas it’s likely one of if not that easiest place to pick up in the US.

    So many drunk girls roaming the lobbies of hotels, walking the strip, in the casinos, clubs and the obvious pool parties.

    Now I only got laid once last time I was down there as I was too nervous to do a lot of approaching. My friend though was a machine. I think he tapped like 10 or 11 women in the 7 days we were there. The women were all over him. He is 6’2, white, and has the face of a male model. He is a little out of shape though. He has no abs and is a little chubby. He does have cool style and good grooming.

    Now there’s a chance a bunch of us are going to Vegas again in this March. I know I need to a lose a few pounds before then but is the build that important for scoring down there? I still don’t think if I had the body of a greek god I would pull anywhere near the kind of women my buddy can pull.

    So does a really handsome face beat a good body? My buddy has no shame at all taking his shirt off and he even has a small gut. He just works so fast. Grinding hard on the dance floor and making out with random women in the pool within minutes of meeting them. I seen some of the women he took back to his room real quick and none were less than a 9.

    • December 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm — Reply

      The biggest thing is that “closer mentality”. sounds like your friend just doesn’t give a fuck and goes for what he wants.

      Closers go for the close. They hit on chicks and the chicks know that the dude is going to try to have sex with them. The DTF ones go with the flow and let the guy pull them.

      • Taylor
        December 18, 2014 at 12:29 am — Reply

        Haha, you are right about him not giving a fuck.

        To be honest, I could never figure out what he was doing so good. He seems to have no game at all. In fact, he picked up a stripper that was one of the hottest girls I have ever seen in my life.

        He says it’s no different picking up a hotter girl than an average one. They’re either down or they’re not he says. Is that true that it’s no different scoring with the really hot ones? I admit I’m not really there yet with my game

        • December 18, 2014 at 4:34 am — Reply

          No difference. The one constant is that the chick wants a dude that has confidence.

  3. eneG
    December 17, 2014 at 10:09 pm — Reply

    hello sonny,i need some help here.
    17 year old guy. I am doing the low carb diet that you recommended for fat loss and i’ve lost weight,even though i wasn’t fat to begin with.This is my first time dieting,so I wanted to know how can i stop this diet and not get fat,because I’ve heard that when people stop dieting,they get as fat as they were before
    Thanks alot,respect

    • December 18, 2014 at 4:35 am — Reply

      Keep the diet (same general foods). Just put some carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potato in there.

  4. LP
    December 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm — Reply

    Awesome. I have some info regarding this topic:

    You can’t effect that to any extent with exercises. That’s not how the body works and this is a complete waste of time. Do you know how to make your face more defined? Diet and supplementation paired with a moderately low body fat. High protein with a low-carb diet, containing lots of Magnesium and Zinc. The next step, and one of the most important in regards to facial features, is hormones. Your goal should be a high level of “free” testosterone with a low level of estrogen. The key here is to effect the way your body distributes fat. “Lowing your bodyfat alone is not effective” as all it does is hollow out your eyes and make your look like a drowned rat. These changes are effected by the androgenic and to some extent the anabolic effects of Testosterone. Therefore you have to make sure your free testosterone is high, and that your DHT is high, but your estrogen is very low. This balance is what characterizes an attractive masculine face. The effect is that the facial fat thins at key points (cheekbones, chin and jaw angles, nose to cheek bridge, brow angles), but stays thicker in others (eye sockets, lips, planes of forehead, nose, upper eye area) which is what ultimately increases facial aesthetics. There is no other way to define or change your face. End of story.

    I’d like to see an article on aesthetics from your view

    • December 20, 2014 at 1:00 am — Reply

      Mouthguard has definitely helped strengthen the facial muscles when lifting. I also chew gum everyday. I’ll show before after pics.

      Also there’s an illusion aspect to it as well… such as different ways to rock facial hair.

      • LP
        December 20, 2014 at 2:53 am — Reply

        No doubt the mouth-guard will help. My brother also chews gum daily (for years) and his jaws are noticeably stronger than my own. I just wonder to what extent it will help. I honestly look forward to this.

        That guy from the podcast about testosterone is right. Its all about free test.

        • December 22, 2014 at 4:00 am — Reply

          Yea. Jay knows his stuff.

  5. March 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm — Reply

    […] 3:01-3:06- Like I wear like uhh the Nike spandex, sweatpants, and then usually a thermal like this… (I talk about the importance of this in an article a while back.) […]

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