💪 3 Bodybuilding Rules From a GOAT

And just like that, it’s August. Though we’re still a long way off from the bitter chill of winter, it’s never too early to think about bulking season. And, of course, The Ripped Report has plenty of tips to get you started.

Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • Bodybuilding tips from the legendary Steve Reeves.

  • Eat these foods for a natural source of performance-boosting nitric oxide.

  • Blessing Awodibu reacts to his disappointing placing at last month’s Chicago Pro.


Lessons From Olympus

Credit: @stevereeves_official / Instagram

Before Arnold redefined the sport of bodybuilding, Steve Reeves touted a physique that dropped jaws from coast to coast. Reeves not only won the 1947 Mr. America contest — at the time, the world’s biggest, most prestigious bodybuilding show — but also won the big-screen role of Hercules in the ‘50s, earning him renown around the world.

Reeves achieved his greatest bodybuilding feats in the pre-steroid era, but even today, many lifters consider his physique to be ideal — aesthetic, but not huge; flowing, not bulky. And if you look at the soaring popularity of the classic physique division, you could argue that Reeve’s stock will only go up. To learn some time-tested tips from the man himself, keep reading.


Fast and Furious

GIF: Giphy

When you’re at the gym with your music playing and your blood flowing, nitric oxide is at work in your body. It helps to widen your blood vessels and, in turn, can boost your training, improve recovery, and protect your heart and brain health.

This powerful free radical is synthesized from the amino acids L-citrulline, L-arginine, and nitrates. Eating foods rich in these substances is a great way to naturally boost nitric oxide. And while you might already be eating some solid dietary sources of nitric oxide, there’s always a chance that you could use a little boost.

Lucky for you, many foods filled with nitric oxide are easy to find at grocery stores and (if we can be subjective for a moment) pretty delicious. From watermelon and cocoa to poultry and seafood, we’ve got your cheat sheet for performance-boosting grub.


Blessing’s Struggles

Credit: blessing_awodibu / Instagram

Perhaps once considered one of the bigger dark horses at the upcoming 2023 Mr. Olympia, bodybuilder Blessing Awodibu has hit a rough patch. It started when he skipped the 2023 Arnold Classic earlier in the year. While his plan was to spend more time working on his physique, things really didn’t go well when he finally did take the stage at the recent Chicago Pro.

In the end, Awodibu didn’t even make the podium at the event. Now, those whispers of doubt around the community are getting louder, and Awodibu recently opened up about his struggles in a talk with Mr. Olympia announcer Bob Cicherillo.

“What happened out there, man?” Awodibu asked Cicherillo rhetorically. “I mean, [expletive]. I mean, I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you, man. It was a really, really tough prep, man. Especially mentally, and there was a lot on the line for me and a lot of pressure. It was a lot of pressure.”

Awodibu still needs to win a pro show to even qualify for the Olympia this year. And his next shot will come at the 2023 Texas Pro later in August.


Hammer Those Biceps

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  • The hammer curl is one of the premier biceps-builders. Here are a few tips next time you perform this stellar move on arm day.

  • While you’re reading up on hammer curls, check out our deep dive into the best dumbbell sets for all your lifting needs.

  • The Men’s Open and Bikini divisions got some new qualifiers for the 2023 Olympia, thanks to the 2023 Bigman Weekend Pro.


Golden-Era Heavyweights

GIF: @boomunderground on Giphy

Which of the following old-school bodybuilders is your favorite? Pick one to vote:

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Talkin’ Trap Bars

Image: Ajan Alen / Shutterstock

In the July 25, 2023, edition of The Ripped Report, we asked your opinion on the trap bar deadlift. Here’s how you voted:

  1. Love it (70.48%)

  2. Indifferent (21.90%)

  3. Hate it (7.62%)