|Darrem Charles - From Dream to Reality - Muscletime Titans 5 DVD Review
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Darrem Charles - From Dream to Reality - Muscletime Titans 5 DVD Review
Darrem started out by introducing the DVD saying that it was the first of many to come and that this video would give the viewers an insight into the world of what Darrem does and what his training and bodybuilding lifestyle entails. The DVD was shot two weeks before the 2005 Mr. Olympia, leading up to the just before the Mr. Olympia contest.
Workout #1 - Quads
Fitness First Club
Deerfield Beach, FL
Darrem pulled up in a new car when he got to the gym. Something which he does frequently. I always see him pulling up with a new car every single time I see him in a video. I don't see where he gets the money to afford all these cars, because even the highest paying bodybuilders around do not make all that much money. Ronnie Coleman probably makes between $500,000 to $1 million per year, and along with the rest of the top five bodybuilders in the world, he is in an elite group of bodybuilders who are doing quite well for themselves. In general, even bodybuilders just outside of the top five like Darrem, would not be able to afford expensive cars as he does. I don't know how Darrem can afford it.
Darrem started his workout with leg extensions. He moved on to leg presses next, starting out with four plates per side (360 pounds in total plus the weight of the sled). Darrem said that he would do a couple of warmup sets first before going heavy. He increased the stack to nine plates on each side for his next set (810 pounds). he wrapped his knees and hit the press performing 15 reps with the weight. For his last set, Darrem pressed a huge pile of plates with a person standing on the leg pres. I couldn't tell how many plates but it looked to be around 1,200 pounds, which he did for a good 10 reps.
After the leg presses were complete, Darrem performed squats with his knees wrapped and using the pad for his traps. I never really understood the necessity of performing squats without the padding. It just feels uncomfortable to perform squats without it in my opinion, and it doesn't take away from the muscle building potential when you protect your traps and neck with padding. I guess some meatheads feel that you aren't working out unless you are causing yourself discomfort or even minor injury (and how many of these guys do you see suffering said injuries and walking around the gym self medicated on painkillers to make up for that?). Darrem is proof that textbook form is just perfect for gaining mass as well as staying injury free. Darrem then did a set of squats with 315, and followed it up with a reverse leg press type of machine, using each leg individually, he pressed so that the seat moved and not the panel his foot was pressed up against. This type of equipment is not available in any of the gyms near me from what I can tell, but I will have to go check. Darrem then flexed his quads for the camera and what caught my eye was the striations. His legs were in fantastic shape and always impress me - even in this case two weeks before the contest. He could have honestly entered the show in the shape he was in at the time and had a respectable showing. His condition is far and beyond that of many of his nearest competition, and very few can compare with him in this regard. Dexter Jackson comes to mind.
The camera zoomed in on Darrem's thighs during a set and they were huge. For a guy who is 5'8, he is said to weigh 230 pounds. With legs like his, that number may be accurate sinec he does have a lot of lower body mass. Arnold was around the same weight at 6'2 (which is certainly not an accurate height in my opinion), but Arnold's legs were puny by comparison to Darrem's. Yep, you heard me. Arnold was all upper body (from the front) when compared to Darrem, who actually has back and leg thickness. Although to Arnold's credit, his calves were larger than Darrem's.
Darrem hit the leg extensions next, and you could see the separation in his thighs flaring with every rep. When Darrem would walk around, his legs didn't seem any more lean than mine are, but when he flexed, you could see detail everywhere, as well as great hardness and vascularity. When Darrem flexed his thighs, the difference was extremely drastic.
On stage @ the 2004 GNC
The footage of Darrem on stage at the 2004 GNC Show of Strength was very impressive. He was ridiculously conditioned as well as being full. He had paper thin skin and cuts everywhere from head to toe, even in the problem areas like glutes and lower back. His tie-ins were fantastic and he was no slouch in the muscularity department either. Darrem definitely looked to be a possible winner of the show, but the title ended up going to Victor Martinez, who was bigger and with a better genetic structure. If Victor could come in to a show with Darrem's conditioning, he would place even better than he does (and win more pro shows). Darrem was in sick shape at this show and I would have had no problems with him winning it all.
Workout No. 2 - Chest
Fitness First Club
After doing a brief warmup, Darrem started his chest workout by doing incline dumbbell presses using the 120 pound dumbbells for 15 easy reps. His initial warmup was some brief stretching, and this set was his warmup working set. He next used the 130s for about as many reps (13), but with more effort, reaching failure on the last set. Next he did seven reps using what appeared to be around 150 pounds in each hand. He did a flex in his tank top before spotting his son on a set and moving on to machine presses on the Nautilus machine (non Smith Machine variety) using three plates per side (225 pounds in total). This is another exercise Darrem performs to add mass to his upper chest. He followed this up with a set using the same weight plus an added 10 pounds per side increasing the total to 245 pounds. For his third set he added another 10 pounds per side making the new total 265 pounds. He took a drink of water before the set began and you could see how thick and swole his biceps were. He has some of the best guns in the biz as far as I'm concerned. He did the set with excellent form again and it looked like he got a good pump from it.
For his next exercise, he did presses on the same machine, but on the flat bench, starting off with three plates per side for a total of 225 pounds.
He took his tank top off next to show the viewers the kind of shape he was in. He was looking fantastic! Big and full shoulders, thick and round chest, deep cut abs, big arms with pipeline veins, trim waist, and an excellent overall taper. His overall physique was very complete and he looked good enough to enter a show and win that same day. Darrem is the type of genetic freak who never gets fat. He is always lean and cut with abs year round, simply because his DNA allows this. When he shows up at a contest, he is even more shredded.
Darrem hit some poses and was looking excellent as described above. I really think he should have come out with a DVD sooner because he looked to be in such excellent shape in this one, and a previous DVD would definitely have sold, and brought in Darrem some extra cash to buy more cars lol.
Darrem went back to work, hitting the same exercise for chest, which he performed with great intensity before moving on to pec deck flyes for his chest. I personally love flyes for the chest. It is a great movement and one which creates an excellent pump in my upper body.
After his set, Darrem hit some poses. A little prior in the DVD Darrem had taken his shirt off and left it off. One thing I notice people in society saying is that they are "fat and happy". Now realistically, they are fat, and have accepted that. No one WANTS to be fat. No fat person looks in the mirror and says they want to look like that. They may accept it, but every last one of the wants to change that aspect of themselves. There may be some exceptions but not very many. I bring up this point, because people like Darrem LOVE being muscular. Not to say he works out without a shirt on very often, but you can guarantee that he looks in the mirror and loves what he sees. He gets a big kick out of being jacked, just as anyone would.
Next up, Darrem posed with his son. Let me tell you - his son looked damn good! For 15 years old, he had a more complete physique than tons of people I know who are far older and have been working out for a lot longer. This kid may very well be a future IFBB pro!
After the father-son posing, Darrem hit some individual poses for the MuscleTime cameras, and was looking excellent as before. He had a great pump and was looking full from top to bottom. Darrem is one of the few current pro bodybuilders who I would want to look like.
Tips - Part 1 - Diet
Darrem says that the key to changing your physique is to understand your body type. Darrem NEVER does cardio! Unbelievable. Darrem says it's hard for him to hold on to muscle due to his body type. This is also a blessing as you read above because he is so insanely shredded even without cardio! Darrem never strays too far away from his contest condition and this is mostly diet mediated. I was damn impressed with this portion of the DVD. The fact that Darrem does no cardio - a man who is one of the most shredded bodybuilders to walk the earth - left me shaking my head in disbelief. Gawd damn! Darrem went into a lot of detail with regard to his dieting strategies, and I firmly believe that nutrition is the single most important controllable factor related to building muscle. If you watch this DVD, pay close attention to this segment. Darrem is a very intelligent bodybuilder and has plenty of great things to say about nutrition, so be sure to listen up.
On stage at the 2004 GNC
Darrem came on stage posing to the song "Lean Back" in the same posing routine he used a little bit later at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest. Both Darrem and Melvin Anthony have fantastic posing routines which consist of posing and dancing. Note: POSING is also included. Some bodybuilders just get up on the stage and dance, but Darrem and Melvin both incorporate tons of posing and flexing in with their dance routines which are incredibly entertaining. These two are arguably the best posers in the history of bodybuilding and the crowd loves it. If more pros put a bit more effort into their posing routines, more tickets to contests would sell and bodybuilding would become more mainstream. Not every pro has the physique necessary to pull off such dance routines though.
Workout #3 - Back
Melvin entered the gym next with his training partner Brandon. Brandon was 23 years of age and had just started competing the year before. Darrem had many positive things to say about him and he appeared to have some good size. He looked to be about 5'10 or so and was very thick.
Darrem started off with wide reverse grip chin ups for his back.
Darrem took off his sweater before moving on to his next set wich was filmed directly from behind him and his back loked amazing! His back was seriously an anatomy chart that would put a road map to shame. For Darrem's next exercise, he performed lat pulldowns using the triangle bar and the set was once again filmed at an angle that detailed the freakiness of his back. Darrem said he was a little flat but that at least he was drying out. Frankly, I think it is a load of crap to say that he was flat in any way shape or form. He looked awesome. Pros just like to make excuses like saying they are flat so that the viewers think they would look even better under different circumstances. Frankly, Darrem looked great in this DVD, and he was definitely near contest condition. Darrem hit some poses after performing a set and was looking freaky as always. His lats would just flare out with the slightest effort on his part. Excellent physique! He hit a back double biceps pose, which was the thickest I had ever seen of him. He also did some twisting back poses and looked excellent in them as well.
Darrem's next exercise was barbell rows on the Smith Machine. This is an exercise which I see King Kamali doing a lot. It seems like it would be a decent exercise, but personally I would prefer doing this movement with free weights. I suppose the benefit of using the machine is that the initial plate loading would be easier on the machine rather than loading the plates from an empty bar on the ground. Next Darrem did deadlifts on the Smith Machine. This is another exercise I would also rather perform using free weights. Darrem was using 315 pounds on this exercise, which is relatively light (compared to Ronnie Coleman for example in his DVD "The Unbelievable"), but Darrem is one to focus on perfect form and the mind-muscle connection.
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL REVIEW OF RONNIE COLEMAN'S "THE UNBELIEVABLE"
House Tour & Posing in the Gym
The Charles Viper & House
Darrem's car was shown next and like Flex Wheeler before him, he was no slouch in the "buying overpriced cars" department. I still don't get how Darrem has the cash to buy this stuff, but I won't question it any more. Maybe he is good at investing or maybe he is in a great deal of debt. I really have no idea.
Darrem introduced the viewers to his spacious house, which he has introduced on other productions before this one. Darrem has an incredible house. It needs to be seen to be believed. Darrem showed off his awards and also his magazine covers in Flex and Muscle & Fitness as well as Muscular Development. He followed this up by showing us some of the meals which he includes as part of his bodybuilding diet.
Posing in the Gym
Darrem hit a lot of excellent poses in this portion. As always he was in phenomenal shape and even moreso for a guy who never does cardio! This fact will forever impress me. He was full and cut and looked great from side to side and top to bottom. He was front to back jacked. The MuscleTime guys were taking pictures for their website. Darrem looked like a work of art.
Workout #4 - Arms
Fitness First Club
Deerfield Beach, FL
D. Tips - Part 2 Finances
This was another part of the DVD that I was very happy that Darrem included. I wanted to figure out exactly how he was spending so heavily on items that it didn't appear he could afford from bodybuilding alone. Darrem said that he had made money with investments and things like that. This put things into perspective a little bit and made me realize that smart financial planning was a part of Darrem's life. Darrem stated that his net worth was as much as one million dollars. Darrem said that there are lots of pros, but only about five guys who can spend big. He cited laziness as a reason why other pros cannot do this. While I would agree, I also should point out that Darrem seemed to be lazy with getting this DVD out! I would have hoped he would have produced one sooner.
Darrem started off with rope pushdowns for triceps which he performed in a tanktop. He did double arm lying triceps extensions next. While this second exercise is a good one, I would avoid the first one, since it isn't intense enough for me and I don't any significant pump from it. Some good club music was playing in the background at the time. The gym he was at definitely had stuff figured out in terms of music. Darrem next did reverse curls for triceps. Don't confuse this with reverse curls for forearms. The triceps version are performed with the positive contraction going with gravity and done on the cables. The song "Dontcha" by the Pussycat Dolls was playing on the radio again.
Darrem next moved on to biceps and "Let's get it started" by the Black Eyed Peas was playing on the radio. He performed seated dumbbell curls for his biceps using perfect form and both arms at the time, rather than alternating reps as most people do. He did some flexes and stretches after doing a set set and followed that up with a third set before moving on to standing curls using the cambered bars. Darrem was using excellent form and his subjective intensity was high.
Darrem hit some poses next and then did another set of the standing cambered bar curls for biceps. His next exercise was preacher machine curls, an exercise Dorian Yates swore by. After doing another set, his arms workout was complete.
Las Vegas, October 2005
Darrem in Vegas
17 Hours Before Mr. Olympia Judging
Darrem talked about nutrition leading up to the show. Since Darrem is not one to do cardio and always come in as shredded as can be, I honestly wonder if he doesn't use diuretics too? Maybe he just uses a bit of winny to harden up, or maybe some thyroid drugs like clen or T3. This is sheer speculation of course, but if Darrem is a hard working pro who chooses not to do cardio, why would he do dangerous drugs? I would hope he cares enough about health to just do the cardio instead of any type of harder cutting drug. He is a genetic freak, so you just never know with this guy.
Flex showed some pictures of himself with Flex Wheeler in 1995 as well as some other pictures ins a small photo album he had. He was looking fantastic. He even showed a picture of himself and Ronnie Coleman in 1992, back when they both had hair, lol. Although Darrem is balding, Ronnie actually still does have the ability to grow hair, he just chooses to shave it, presumably because he doesn't want an afro.
The next photo Darrem showed was pretty tragic. Darrem showed us a picture of his mother and explained that she was murdered. Apparently someone who had a problem with his landlord (who was not Darrem's mother) shot her point blank five times just to take his frustration out. This was three weeks prior to the 2002 Mr. Olympia, and obviously did not help Darrem in his preparation. You could tell Darrem was still sad about it.
Darrem showed us some pictures of his cars as well as some other things in his room before taking off his clothes to pose. His legs were freaky and cut to shreds. He had separations and cross striations. He was definitely as shredded as can be, his back and glutes were so detailed that you could see every fiber in an anatomy chart and maybe even a few more lol. I'm telling you, he looked sick. Some pics of Darrem were being taken of him looking sharp. He had an excellent look and was ready for competition.
Darrem won the 9th place award at the 2005 Mr. Olympia Contest!
The credits rolled and Darrem said his next DVD would be called "The Art of Posing".
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