💪 A Legendary Squat Set

Today's newsletter is brought to you by Natural Stacks' lineup of brain & energy-boosting, recovery, & sleep improvement supplements

Speaking of recovery, you'll need a nap just from watching bodybuilder Kyle Kirvay squat 495 pounds for 22 reps

After you're done cursing your parents for not being as jacked as Kyle's, keep reading for big news from Breon Ansley, a bodybuilding-specific arm workout, and a special report on PEDs from Generation Iron


Breon's Making Moves

Image Courtesy of @breonma_ on Instagram

After the 2022 season, Breon Ansley is stepping away from the Classic Physique division. There are a couple of reasons why this announcement is so significant.

First, Ansley is a Classic Physique trailblazer. After Danny Hester won the first Classic Physique Olympia in 2016, Ansley became the first man to win back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. He also won the inaugural Arnold Classic Classic Physique title in 2018, cementing him as one of the most accomplished CP athletes on the circuit.

However, Ansley hasn't had much luck in the big shows as of late. He took second to Chris Bumstead at the Olympia in 2019 and then dropped to third place in 2020-2021. At the 2022 Arnold Classic, Ansley placed fourth and was publicly disappointed. It's not clear what Ansley's true intentions are, but we can speculate a couple of points:

  • It doesn't seem like Ansley is retiring. In his post, he mentions "a few exciting details" and a "gameplan". It seems like Ansley plans on still competing, which brings us to our second point...

  • Ansley may be moving up to the 212 Division. He says he weighs 206, which is just a tad under the 212 weight limit. Considering Ansley is only a couple of weeks removed from the Arnold Classic, he could easily bulk up past 212 and then cut back down come showtime. It's worth noting that if Ansley does intend to compete in the 212 Olympia, he will need to qualify.


Redefining Light Weight

Image Courtesy of @kylekirvay on Instagram

If you're overdue for an ego check, then allow us to lend a hand: IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Kyle Kirvay can squat 495 pounds 22 times

It's not atypical for bodybuilders to lift relatively heavy weights for high reps. In 1992, Tom Platz reportedly squatted 525 pounds for 23 reps. Chris Bumstead and Nick Walker have both repped out 405 for sets of 10-plus reps. And with nearly 500 pounds on the barbell, Kirvay's squat session ranks among the heaviest and rep-iest sets in the history of the sport.

If you're familiar with Kirvay, you're probably not too shocked. Back in February "The Tiger" entered his first-ever powerlifting meet and set four New Jersey State Records and a National bench press record in the USPA (United States Powerlifting Association). For context, he squatted 804 pounds at that meet, which is also on par with Ronnie Coleman's iconic 800-pound squat (which Big Ron hit for two).

This article may inspire you. Or, you may cry yourself to sleep after reading it. Either way, we hope it reminds you to never skip leg day (you know Kirvay doesn't). 


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The 411 on PEDS

In 2021, the bodybuilding and fitness community lost 21 dedicated bodybuilders. It became one of the darkest times in bodybuilding history and sparked outrage in the bodybuilding community. At the center of the conversation was focused on steroid use, despite the fact that some of these deaths were noted as a result of non-steroid-related issues.

Generation Iron began conducting research in direct response to these deaths to figure out what exactly is happening. But it hasn’t been easy. The challenge in researching and writing this piece was evident from the start with many individuals declining to talk about the topic. The lack of transparency was enough to make them dig deeper. With steroid use being a taboo subject in bodybuilding, as well as sports in general, many individuals embedded in the industry were not willing to come forward.

After dedicated time and research, Generation Iron has put together an in-depth investigation into bodybuilding, PED use, and health — hoping to draw a connection, or possibly prove a disconnection, between the recent deaths and the habits found in our sport. Let’s start first by breaking down some key and public information about common PEDs used in bodybuilding.

For more content like this, subscribe to the Generation Iron Newsletter


Who Says Cheaters Never Win?

Credit: Maksym Fesenko / Shutterstock

Lifting weights isn't an algebra test, so it's ok to cheat (sometimes).

We're talking about cheat reps specifically, where you use a little body English to eke out an extra couple of reps for more overall muscle growth

Cheat reps aren't news. Arnold Schwarzenegger notably performed barbell curls with loose form in order to hit reps with upwards of 135 pounds (and it seemed to work out pretty well for him). 

Here's the thing, though: You need to know how to implement cheat reps and use them sparingly. Also, some exercises are safe to cheat and some aren't. Check out our list below on the best and worst bodybuilding exercises to cheat your form on.


Everything Else From Around the Web

Image Courtesy of ALL best fitness is HERE / Shutterstock

  • If there's one thing gymgoers of all strength backgrounds can get behind, it's that big arms look good. For competitive lifters, big arms help stabilize weight and support pulling strength. For competitive bodybuilders, chiseled arms quite literally win shows. If you're on the hunt for more arm mass, consider trying this bodybuilding arm workout, tailored to different experience levels.

  • Terrence Ruffin has had a stellar 2022. After placing second to three-time Classic Physique Olympia winner Chris Bumstead at the 2021 Olympia, Ruff Diesel won the 2022 Arnold Classic, becoming the first man in that division to win the title twice. Recently, Ruffin shared the diet he followed leading up to the AC. (Yes, it includes protein powder.)

  • Cardio is the vegetables of exercise — a grueling and bland experience for some, but totally necessary. That said, what type of cardio should you choke down? Is low-intensity, fasted cardio better for fat-burning, or is HIIT (high-intensity interval training)? According to Dr. Jim Stoppani, there is an answer: HIIT. Read more to find out why.

Soooo don't just leave us on read, tell us, what'd you think of today's email?