Gustavo Badell: "Common Sense"
Steve Buccilli

Gustavo Badell: "Common Sense"
Produced and filmed by Mitsuru Okabe
Issued in 2006
Length: 4 1/2 hours
Format: DVD (on 2 disks)

This is Gustavo’s first training DVD. His previously released DVD (GMV's 2005 release, Gustavo "The Great" Badell) is more a chronological posing and competition history. This new DVD was filmed by Mitsuru Okabe, on location in Las Vegas, four weeks prior to the 2005 Mr. Olympia, where he took 3rd place for the second year in a row. 

The DVD starts out with an intense back workout. One thing you will quickly learn about Gustavo is the many warm-up sets he does before hitting the heavy weights. In this workout, he starts out with one-arm rows. His first set is done with very light dumbbells, about 20 lbs.; he ultimately ends up with dumbbells weighing 140-160 lbs. or so. His technique is somewhat different than most in that he leans forward, bracing his hands on the dumbbell rack, but his feet are next to one another. (Most trainers place one foot in front of the other to increase support.) But Gustavo's technique will force you to be more strict with the movement. His bent rows are done on a platform: he extends the weight all the way down, so that the plates go lower than his feet. This causes an intense stretch at the bottom of the movement. He eventually ends up with 365 lbs on the bar. Gustavo then runs through the gym using just about every back machine there is. His form is excellent, as is his concentration.

The next workout is arms, and like the back workout, he takes his time warming up. As the viewer, you will learn that extensive sets are the norm for Gustavo. He hits every arm muscle from every conceivable angle. Shoulders are next -- and in true Gustavo form, he starts out with bent-over laterals. Here is an example of the number of exercises he does:

Bent over laterals
Press behind the neck
Hammer shoulder press
Front press
Front alternate raises
Side laterals
Cable side laterals
Dumbbell shrugs
Upright rows

Nine exercises! No wonder he has someone changing the weights for him! Speaking of which, on many of his trips to the gym Gustavo is accompanied by his son and a young kid named Brian. Brian changes all the weights for Gustavo. Gustavo calls his family, and Brian, his “team.”

This is a full-body workout, and you basically see what Gustavo goes through leading up to the 2005 Mr. Olympia. There are 2 discs, and on each is an extensive interview in which he details competition, diet, and his career, among other things.           

The market for training dvd’s is over populated with training videos. Every top IFBB pro has at least one video out. So why buy Gustavo’s? Well, the DVD is much like Gustavo himself. It's very well done, offering just the right amount of everything you need -- just like Gustavo, a man whose physique is complete and looks good from every angle.

You will not see the biggest guy in bodybuilding here, nor will you see the freakiest guy, nor the heaviest weight to ever be used (although Gustavo does go pretty heavy doing 405 lb. front squats, and 495 lb. regular squats). What you do see is a quality physique going through an intense workout each and every time he hits the gym. In my opinion, Gustavo is a cross between Lee Labrada and Rich Gaspari: very symmetrical, but still powerfully built and hyper-muscular. If you want to know about how this man trains and how he diets, as well as a little about his home life, get this DVD. You won’t be sorry you did.

Steve Buccilli
March 2006