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44 Killer Biceps Workout 54 The Brute

Get stubborn biceps to grow with a bombardment of superior repower. These three workouts ingeniously ignite growth through clever programming and sheer intensity. By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

Force Challenge The rst installment of our 3-month Brute

Force Challenge is a down payment on a newer, stronger you. Prepare to get stronger than you ever imagined. Brought to you by Applied Nutriceuticals. By Dan Filipe and Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

66 High/Low Ab Training 78 9 Biggest

If you want a rock-hard midsection with deep abdominal cuts, you have to mix it up. Here are 10 timeless strategies to help you get your best six-pack ever. By Bill Geiger, MA

Training Mistakes There are a lot of wrong turns on the road

to a better body. Weve clearly marked warning signs for the nine biggest obstacles that are bound to get in your way. By Adam Garett, CPT, and Bill Geiger, MA

88 Great Finishes

Any of these nine unpredictable nishers will put the cherry on top of your bodypart workout and keep your muscles primed for explosive growth. By Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CPT

Shut Up and Squat No program is complete without the mother of all lifts. A
world-class coach explains why you need to squat, how to do it right, and which variations pack the most punch. By Bill Geiger, MA

10FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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FEBRUARY 2014
108
Tools of the Iron Trade If you dont know a D-handle from a

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16 MUSCLEMAG ONLINE
Whats on musclemag.com this month

hex bar, then this is the article for you. We break down every bar, bell and attachment that can help you build more muscle. By Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CPT

For Your Body Type When it comes to nutrition, one size

118 Nutrition

20 24

FEEDBACK FREEZE FRAME

denitely does not t all. Use this guide to customize your food intake to match your individual frame and body type. By Steve Stiefel

FIRST SET 26 EXERCISE OF THE MONTH


By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

28

MAKE ONE CHANGE

124

By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

1-2-3 Muscle Meal Guide Dont be afraid of the kitchen. Check out
our easy, step-by-step instructions for ve fast, creative muscle-building meals. Building muscles never tasted so good. By Carlo Filippone, IFBB Pro

30 32

PUMP QUIZ
By Bill Geiger

TROUBLESHOOTING 101
By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

130 Sports Med:


Pain is a part of the iron life, but you have to know the difference between discomfort and injury. Learn how to treat and prevent soft-tissue damage that can keep you out of the gym. By Guillermo Escalante, Ph.D., MBA, CSCS

34 36 38 40 42 43

FACE OFF

By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

Sprain vs. Strain

BODYBUILDERS CHOICE
By Steven Stiefel

MUSCLE MEALS
By Frank Hoffman By Steven Stiefel

NUTRITION R&D SUPPLEMENT REVIEW ON SHELVES NOW

132

Jacqueline Suzanne Sensuous brunette Jacqueline Suzanne


is ridiculously hot. If our gym looked like this, wed denitely be in danger of overtraining. Photos by Justin Price

ON THE COVER
Roman Fritz by Gregory James

12FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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FEBRUARY 2O14

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150 Back Day With HP
Newly minted IFBB Pro HenriPierre Ano (better known as HP) shows off the eye-pleasing aesthetics that are going to rock the stage in 2014.
BY BILL GEIGER, MA

162 Bronx Leg Bombing


After learning the ropes as a professional boxer, 212-pound standout Marco The Beast Rivera now brings his characteristic aggression to a brutal leg workout.
BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT

174 Jacked of All Trades


How Conan Stevens, a former ballet star turned actor, keeps his massive seven-foot frame in shape for epic roles in Game of Thrones and The Hobbit.
BY ALEX ZAKRZEWSKI

HARDCORE
136 174

Departments
176 178 181

140 The Rise


of Romans Empire
How bodybuilding changed the life of Roman Fritz, and forged an indomitable spirit in one of the sports most promising young athletes.
BY FRANK HOFFMANN

CONTENTS ATHLETE PROFILE By Alex Zakrzewski MAKING GAINS By Alex Zakrzewski MARKETPLACE FITMART

ON THE INSIDE COVER Marco Rivera

Photo by Gregory James

14

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Visit musclemag.com for exclusive videos, articles, galleries and more.

SIX IFBB PROS WHO WILL LIKELY HAVE AN AWESOME 2014 SEASON
These six iron warriors nished 2013 in great form and, provided they can stay healthy, are set for career years this coming IFBB season. Check out our list and be sure to let us know which up-andcoming athlete is about to take the bodybuilding word by storm.

Were HUGE on Facebook and Twitter! Follow us at Facebook.com/ MuscleMag and @musclemag.

Facebook: facebook.com/musclemag Twitter: twitter.com/musclemag YouTube: youtube.com/musclemagintl

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Our new-and-improved Feedback page has been creating quite a stir among fans and pros alike. Got something interesting, funny, profound or just plain weird to say about your favorite sport? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter and your muscle musing just might make it into print. 16
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Making Gains
We want to hear your training success stories. Are you bigger, stronger or more shredded than ever before? Send us a message on Facebook, include a snappy photo of yourself looking Olympiaworthy, and much like the inspiring gym rats on pg. 176, you could nd yourself in the pages of your favorite bodybuilding magazine.

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FEBRUARY 2014 ISSUE

GROUP PUBLISHER Cheryl Angelheart EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mike Carlson MANAGING EDITOR Dean Brierly ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Donna Diamond ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER Laura (Flores) Thorne LEAD DESIGNER Andrea Jankun ART DIRECTOR Andrius Krasuckas A/R MANAGER Alice Negrete PRODUCTION MANAGERS Lisa Snow, Patrick Sternkopf ONLINE CONTENT MANAGER Alex Zakrzewski COPY EDITOR Gretchen Haas CONTRIBUTORS Michael Berg, Guillermo Escalante, Dan Filipe, Carlo Filippone, Adam Garett, Bill Geiger, Frank Hoffmann, Jimmy Pena, Steven Stiefel, Eric Velazquez, Alex Zakrzewski

MuscleMag is printed monthly in the U.S.A. 2014 by Active Interest Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. The information in MuscleMag is for educational purposes only. Its not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals. Consult your physician before making changes in your diet, supplement and/or exercise program. MuscleMag, 24900 Anza Dr., Unit E, Valencia, CA 91355 - Toll Free: (800) 423-2874 MuscleMag (ISSN 1086-3400) is published 12 times per year (2014 cover dates: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec) by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. Advertising and editorial offices at 24900 Anza Drive, Unit E, Santa Clarita, California 91355. The known office of publication is 5720 Flatiron Pkwy, Boulder CO 80301. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MuscleMag, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Subscription rates in the United States are one year $34.97. Canada: $49.97. Foreign: $84.97 (U.S. funds only). The publisher and editors will not be responsible for unsolicited material. Manuscripts and photographs must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Vol. 17, No. 2. Printed in the United States by RR Donnelley, Strasburg, VA. 2013 by Active Interest Media Publication. Copyright 2014 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, either in whole or part, in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Efrem Zimbalist III Chairman & CEO Andrew W. Clurman President & COO Brian J. Sellstrom Senior Vice President & CFO Patricia B. Fox Senior Vice President, Operations

The Box Magazine is Now Available on iTunes!


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Requires a digital subscription or digital single copy purchase

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FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AT Facebook.com/MuscleMag AND ON TWITTER @musclemag

Q:
Bodybuilders are too big. We need the 60s and 70s physiques back. Theres nothing cool about looking like a gorilla!
Yes and no. I mean, you have people like Dexter Jackson competing well into their 40s, but then you have people like Markus Rhl who are just too darn big. It takes both size and aesthetics to win and become successful.
KYLE J.

@CARLISILIFTS

More cardio and less weight. We want bodybuilders looking like Captain America, not Hulk.
EDUARDO C.

Theres no such thing as TOO BIG!


F*** aesthetics! I want to see bigger-than-life bbs, not skinny guys that are a dime a dozen!

I think some physiques are getting ridiculous. I prefer the way they looked back in Arnolds day.
SHAUN H.

BILL B. JR.

JACK A.

To the guy that said more cardio and less weight: *facepalm*

OSCAR B.

20

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2014

NEW FORMULAS NEW ATTITUDE


Visit us at: www.appnut.com
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2013 Applied Nutriceuticals These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent and disease.

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Q:
Anything by The Village People, young man!
GEMMA B.

Mouthings
FROM THE PROS The Terminator 2 soundtrack. I heard it in a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it took my training to a whole new level!
@SIDSALIAN

Muscle

In Da Club by 50 Cent! In the video hes working out hard. Plus, his body will motivate anyone to hit the gym.
WILHELM B.

one track, it would be Bone Crushers Never Scared. Besides being a good track, I apply the theme of the challenge when Im lifting. If youre scared, go to church!
RENNIE G.

A Place for My Head by Linkin Park. Whenever I hear the refrain, I can feel more power in my muscles!
MATEUSZ K.

I am a believer in the thought that we shape and create the life that we choose, and I believe that the tool that we have to use is our mind.
@KAIGREENE

Till I Collapse by Eminem. Not only does the beat get you pumped, the song is telling you to keep going until you collapse!
MIKE P.

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. I love the hype I get from the rocking and screaming sound! Total adrenaline!
BAO S.

Domination by Pantera. Theyre my favorite band, and the song is fast and makes me want to break something. So I take it out on the weights.
@LUC ANDREW R.

Walk by Pantera and Reunited by Wu-Tang Clan always give me that push.
SARAH Z.

I listen to a lot of dubstep for the upbeat tempo, but if I had to choose

Ludacris Move Bitch ( featuring Mystikal). Works wonders on my last set when I need all the help I can get!
BONGANI JAY M.

Lets get this straight, people: anatomy muscle pants are only hot because a hot girl is wearing them. #oddfashion
-IFBBVICMARTINEZ

The Rocks WWE theme. You feel the electricity as soon as it hits. It makes you feel unstoppable. Focus!
CAMERON E.

Oh, boy, legs just locked up so bad I cant even walk into the school to get my kids! Im parked on a bench outside school!
@BRANDONCURRYBSN
Shutterstock

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WORLDS STRONGEST BODYBUILDER

IFBB PRO JOHNNIE JACKSON

FREEZE FRAME

Live in terms of your strong points. Magnify them. Let your weaknesses shrivel up and die from lack of nourishment.

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FEBRUARY 2014

23

FIRST SETWorldMags.net EXERCISE OF THE MONTH


By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

THIS MONTHS EXERCISE

TARGET MUSCLES GLUTE-HAM TIE-IN

Romanian Deadlift
THE START
STEP 1: Stand upright holding a barbell in front of your upper thighs with a pronated (overhand) grip. STEP 2: Keep your feet shoulderwidth apart and a slight bend in your knees. STEP 3: Keep your head neutral
and your eyes focused forward.
Arguably one of the greatest exercises to target the glute-ham tie-in, the Romanian should be a mainstay in every leg routine. For endurance work, hit sets of 15 to 20; and for more size, do sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Biggest Training Errors


1. Rounding your back. This is not a
stiff-legged deadlift (SLD). The SLD is the only move where you allow your lower back to round. The key to the Romanian is to keep your low back completely arched with your abs drawn in tight. That will ensure maximal hamstrings/glute work while protecting your low back.

2. Allowing the
strongest (and safest) path of the bar is extremely close to the body. If you let the bar fall away, youll be weaker and youll put your low back at risk of injury. You actually want the bar to virtually drag up your legs. In the bottom position, ignore the tendency to look up. Keep your head neutral. When you look up, you put too much undue stress on the cervical spine.

EXECUTION
STEP 1: Keeping your chest up, abs tight and the natural arch in your low back, lean forward from your hips, pushing them rearward until your torso is roughly parallel to the oor. STEP 2: As you lean forward, keep your arms straight and slide the bar down your thighs toward the oor until it reaches your shins. STEP 3: At the bottom, keep your back at and head neutral with the bar very close to your legs. STEP 4: Flex your hamstrings and
glutes, and lift your torso while pushing your hips forward until you bring the bar back to the start position.
Even though both the knee and hip joints are involved, the Romanian is actually an isolation move and not considered a compound (multi-joint) move.

bar to travel away from the body. Your

Make sure to keep the bar very close to your body while your knees are bent, back is at and chest is up.

3. Looking up.

BEST ALTERNATIVE

SMITH MACHINE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

If the free-weight version proves too difficult or youre new to the move, try it on the Smith. The Smith machine removes the need for balance and allows you to concentrate on simply pulling the weight with your hamstrings. If the path of the bar is angled, make sure the bar travels up and toward your body and not away from you.

26FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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Photos by Robert Reiff Model Johan Karouani

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THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

1995 - 2014 Beast Sports Nutrition. All Rights Reserved

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musclemag.com|OCTOBER 2011???

FIRST SETWorldMags.net MAKE ONE CHANGE


By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

What Happens When ...

You physically cross your hands when doing cable crossovers?


The Cable Crossover is a very popular and effective singlejoint exercise that targets the chest, but what happens when you actually allow your hands to cross, one over the other, as you bring the handles in front of your body? The Cable Crossover is an isolation move in
which you normally bring the handles together in front of you in an arc.

The cable crossover is an excellent addition to the repertoire for your chest. Stand in the direct center and slightly in front of the cable crossover area with your knees slightly bent and feet staggered. Typically, after grasping the handles and bending your elbows slightly, you bring the handles in front of you, keeping the slight bend locked in your arms. (Think hugging a barrel.) When your hands meet, you squeeze your pecs together for a peak contraction before reversing direction.

ABOUT THIS MOVE

While the cable crossover is a phenomenal isolation tool, try allowing your hands to cross over each other for an entirely different feel. Reason being, your arms are naturally able to travel across your body, and because cables unlike dumbbells provide constant tension throughout the range of motion (ROM), you can call upon your pec bers to continue working beyond the point where you typically stop the move. That lets you target those stubborn inner pec bers with greater accuracy. In fact, by always stopping at the midline, youre withholding a good number of inches along the natural ROM. Those inches can mean inches to your chest in the long run. From one set to the next, be sure to alternate which hand travels above the other. You can even alternate reps in that manner. Either way, that will help you work the inner pec bers as thoroughly as possible, leaving no ber untouched.

MAKE THIS CHANGE

GET THE BENEFITS FROM BOTH

The greater range of motion will prove benecial, but because your hands arent pressing against each other, you do sacrice some of the intensity of the peak contraction. Thats one reason why you should utilize both versions within your chest routine. Remember, youll probably have to lighten the load a bit to allow your hands to cross over each other. Furthermore, youll notice that your delts get a little more work as well, so you want to make sure your rotator cuffs are warm before hitting any heavy sets.

28FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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Photos by Robert Reiff Model Kelechi Opara

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FIRST SETWorldMags.net PUMP QUIZ


By Bill Geiger, MA

BEST PICKS
moves is considered the best mass builder that should be done rst in your back workout?

on Back Day

ANSWERS
1. Your rst exercise is critical
because thats when your energy levels are highest; as you fatigue, your capacity to push heavy loads diminishes over the course of your workout. Go with exercises in which you can push the most weight, which in almost all instances are multi-joint moves over single-joint exercises. Answer D is single-joint, so its out. Answer A requires you to lean against a machine, meaning you cant go very heavy because it minimizes body English and requires you to be more strict. Answer B isnt even a back exercise. Your best choice is answer C.

What are the best exercises when training lats? Test your iron IQ with these three challenging questions on training back.
1 which of these
After warming up,
A) SUPPORTED T-BAR ROW B) BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW C) BENT-OVER BARBELL ROW D) STRAIGHT-ARM PULLDOWN

2. It all comes down to elbow position in relation to your body. When your elbows stay in tight to your sides as you pull, the lower lats are more highly engaged; when your elbows are out wide away from your sides, the upper lats are better recruited. Answers B, C and D all require you to keep your elbows close to your sides as you pull, so they do least for the upper lats. Answer A is correct. 3. Leaning backward as you
pull is natural, but keep it to a minimum because it takes the focus off the target muscle. From question 2 above, we know that the target when doing a wide grip is the upper lats (elbows are out away from your sides as you pull). Whats doing the work then? Not the lower lats but the lower back (erectors). If you want to do lower-back work, do designated lower-back exercises (like hyperextensions, good mornings, stiff-legged deadlifts) rather than effectively turning an upper-lat move into a lower-back one. Answer D is correct.

Which of these moves best targets the upper lats to help accentuate your V-taper?
A) WIDE-GRIP SEATED CABLE ROW B) CLOSE-GRIP SEATED CABLE ROW C) REVERSE-GRIP PULLDOWN D) ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW

When doing wide-grip pulldowns, leaning backward as you pull reduces the emphasis on which muscle group and recruits this muscle group?
A) LOWER LATS; UPPER LATS B) UPPER LATS; LOWER LATS C) LOWER LATS; ERECTOR SPINAE (LOWER BACK) D) UPPER LATS; ERECTOR SPINAE (LOWER BACK)

30FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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Photos by Gregory James Model Charles Dixon

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FIRST SETWorldMags.net TROUBLESHOOTING 1O1


By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

TARGET
1

LUNGE
2

One of these photos shows a critical but common mistake on the lunge.

CAN YOU SPOT WHICH ONE IS WRONG?


About the Lunge
The lunge is an excellent multi-joint move for the legs. During the lunge, all of the muscles of the legs including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and even the calves are at work. The front and rear legs, as well as the core, are all responsible for helping balance the entire body from the start to the nish of this exercise. Adding dumbbells or holding a bar across your traps can help make the move more difficult.

Spot the Error


Because the lunge is such a dynamic move, its important to get the little things right, especially when hoisting weight. When you step forward with one foot, bend both knees to lower yourself, making sure your front knee doesnt pass your toes. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the oor and then reverse direction, driving through the heel of your forward foot to return to the start. That said, when you dont step forward far enough, your knee travels beyond the plane of your toes, putting too much stress upon the front knee joint.

Be sure to take a long forward step so that when you descend toward the oor, both the front and rear legs approach 90-degree angles. Your front shin should be close to perpendicular to the oor in the down position. That will help send the work to the hams, glutes and quads while protecting the knee joint itself from undue strain.

Fix It

BEGINNERS TIP Start with no weight whatsoever. And for a while, nd a mirror and perform the lunge as you watch the angle of your front leg. Youll begin to associate the correct feeling in your legs with the perfect form. If you dont take a long enough stride, not only will you lessen the effectiveness on this staple move on all three major leg muscles, but the sheering forces upon the knee will immediately begin tearing down and shortening their lifespan. Once you have the form down pat, go ahead and hold dumbbells or use a bar across your back or step into a Smith machine. Whatever the case, at all times draw your abs in tight by pulling your bellybutton toward your spine. That will ensure intra-abdominal pressure and help protect your lumbar spine.

32FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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Photos by Robert Reiff

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THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

1995 - 2014 Beast Sports Nutrition. All Rights Reserved

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FIRST SETWorldMags.net FACE OFF


By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS

Standard Pressdown

vs.

Underhand Pressdown

Both versions of the pressdown target the triceps. Which version is best for the lateral head?

Standard Pressdown

ADVANTAGE

Overhand Version The triceps consist of three muscles: the lateral, medial and long head. Each head

has a distinct attachment on top, but they all share a common tendon that crosses the elbow and attaches at the ulna. You can target the triceps with either compound moves, such as close-grip bench presses, or with isolation moves, such as the pressdown. While you cant completely isolate any particular muscle of the triceps during any move, you can involve one over the other to a greater degree depending on the angle of your arm to your body and with slight rotations of the wrist. Exercises that place your arms at the sides of your body help target the lateral head. However, rotating the wrist so that you have an underhand grip on the bar places more stress on the medial head of the triceps and less involvement for the bigger, more visible lateral head. The medial heads main purpose is to stabilize the elbow. Therefore, the winner is clearly the overhand grip when it comes to lateral head size.

34FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

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Photos by Robert Reiff Model Steve Cook

Arguably the most popular exercise to begin your triceps routine, the overhand pressdown can help send much-needed blood to the elbow joint to help prepare it for the workout ahead. Be sure to to keep your elbows pinned to your sides throughout each repetition. If you allow your elbows to be pulled forward, you will remove the emphasis from the triceps, involving more abs, delts and chest into the exercise. Vary the distance slightly between your hands on the bar from one workout to the next. Finally, keep your eyes focused forward and your head neutral to protect your cervical spine from injury.

Reverse-Grip Pressdown

Similar to its overhand counterpart, the underhand version will target the triceps with extreme accuracy. The reverse-grip pressdown is an isolation, single-joint move, which isolates the triceps without the assistance of other muscle groups or joints. You may have tried the rope pressdown in addition to the overhand version, but have neglected this underhand variation. However, since it helps target one of the heads specically, its important that you incorporate it into your routine, if not every workout, for balanced development. Keep your knees slightly bent, with your chest up and your abs pulled in tight, putting yourself in the strongest position possible.

te am bsN athle te

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Roelly Winklaar / IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

NOX-RW1 2014 BSN For best results supplements should be taken as directed over time, at maximum dosage in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary. *When used in conjunction with CELLMASS 2.0 & NITRIX 2.0

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

BSN Pros know: To finish strong, you have to start strong. And whether youre going for muscle growth, endurance, or improved overall performance, nothing sets the tone for your next workout like the highest-quality pre-workout product available: N.O.-XPLODE 2.0. When the others start winding down, youll still be pushing it to the edge... another step closer to your goal. N.O.-XPLODE 2.0. Once you try it, you will never train without it!

START STRONG. WORK HARD. FINISH FIRST.


ENERGY & FOCUS ENDURANCE & STRENGTH* PUMPS* & PERFORMANCE*

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www.BSNonline.net

FIRST SETWorldMags.net BODYBUILDERS CHOICE

By Steven Stiefel

MILK VS. WATER


IN YOUR POSTWORKOUT PROTEIN SHAKE

If

you shake your own protein, then you probably average about 20 to 25 grams of protein per scoop. After workouts, you may heap in a second or something in between to get in up to 50 grams per serving. Thats typically about 200 calories when mixed with water. Deciding what beverage to add to your postworkout shake depends on several factors, including your budget and how much protein you need after workouts. MMIs rule is that you need about gram per pound of bodyweight after training. Thats 50 grams for

a 200-pounder. If you weigh this amount or less, then you have no need to add more protein from any source of milk. However, if you go with one scoop, then either form of milk bumps your protein consumption. Another crucial factor in protein mixology is rate of digestion. Whole milk will drastically slow protein absorption due to its fat content. Nonfat milk contains very little fat, but its carbs, from lactose, are not ideal after workouts. The best source of carbs at this time is dextrose (secondarily glucose).

WINNER
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Water

Take in one to two scoops of your favorite protein powder. Add amino acids and dextrose or glucose, and combine with about 12 ounces of water per scoop (depending on label recommendations). Nonfat milk is runner-up. Fatty forms of milk slow protein absorption even more not so good after workouts, but benecial at other times of day.

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Shutterstock

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FIRST SETWorldMags.net MUSCLE MEALS

By Frank Hoffmann

Thai Chili Shrimp with Coconut Rice


IME PREP T s te 10 minu IME T COOK tes 20 minu

INGREDIENTS
10 oz. raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) cup dry basmati or jasmine rice 1 oz. unsweetened coconut akes 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk cup water Dash of ne sea salt 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. Thai chili paste

Thoroughly rinse rice and place into your rice-cooker bowl, add unsweetened coconut akes, coconut milk, water and salt. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover bowl and turn on rice cooker. The rice cooker will turn off once the rice is cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the rice is nished cooking, transfer into a large bowl, uff with fork and let cool. While rice is cooling, add olive oil to a pan heated to medium, add shrimp and chili paste, stirring until all the shrimp is coated. Cook shrimp until theyve turned completely pink, about ve to seven minutes. Serve atop rice and enjoy.

DIRECTIONS

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Serves 2; per serving


Calories

473

35 g
Protein

58 g
Carbs

11 g
Fat

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SERIOUS RESULTS FOR SERIOUS ATHLETES

You show up early. You stay late. You do extra reps and never hold back because you know the dedication it takes to be a serious athlete. HMB supplementation with training has been proven to help increase strength, improve endurance, and reduce recovery time. Check out the research and read about other serious athletes like you that take HMB at HMB.org. Then follow the links to get HMB and the results you deserve.

Visit www.HMB.org/mm

HMB is developed, licensed, and marketed by Metabolic Technologies, Inc. Individuals providing testimonies in ads are sponsored athletes or have received the ingredient HMB as a gift from Metabolic Technologies Inc. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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FIRST SET NUTRITION R&D WorldMags.net


THE ABCs of BCAAs
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of essential amino acids that include leucine, isoleucine and valine. Your body cant synthesize them, so you have to get them through food and supplementation. Here are some of the key benets that BCAAs provide for those trying to build muscle and reduce body fat. BCAAs increase energy and drive muscle protein synthesis. Taking BCAAs before workouts gives you more energy at the cellular level. Since BCAAs are delivered without having to be processed by the liver, they quickly begin to fuel muscle protein synthesis, stimulating better strength and muscle gains. BCAAs increase insulin release for greater muscle growth. After workouts, BCAAs drive recovery and growth, since BCAA consumption boosts insulin release. This anabolic hormone helps drive nutrients such as glucose (to restock muscle glycogen), amino acids and creatine to muscle cells. BCAAs also help reduce the release of cortisol, the stress hormone that causes muscle breakdown. BCAAs, particularly leucine, help you burn stored body fat. Leucine helps you burn body fat through a few different mechanisms. First, ingesting more leucine helps boost your bodys metabolic rate, the numbers of calories you naturally burn. Second, leucine helps reduce appetite, helping you create a gap between calories consumed and calories burned. Then your body more preferentially utilizes body fat rather than muscle tissue because having plenty of leucine in your system protects muscle.

VITAMIN D PROTECTS MUSCLES


Most research supports the ability of vitamin D-3 supplementation to boost testosterone levels. New research adds to the benets of this potent form of the sunshine vitamin, demonstrating that it may also protect your muscles from breakdown (catabolism) from intense training. In addition, it may help you recover more quickly from intense training. Vitamin D-3 appears to protect muscle breakdown from exercise by reducing an inammatory protein known as TNF-alpha. Athletes with lower vitamin D levels are more susceptible to muscle breakdown due to this protein. For best results, supplement 400 IU of vitamin D-3 every day for two to three weeks, and then take in 400 IU of D-3 every third day.

While its important to get all three of the BCAAs, emphasize leucine over valine and isoleucine. Most BCAA products contain leucine, valine and isoleucine in a ratio of 2:1:1 because of leucines superior benets. Research shows better results when BCAAs are taken in this ratio as compared to leucine alone. For best results, take 3 to 5 grams of BCAAs about 30 minutes before workouts and 3 to 5 grams after workouts for a total of 10 grams per day.

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THE SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT
A recent study found that gobbling down a meal might spur greater release of insulin than consuming a meal more slowly. Thats perhaps an important nding for those seeking to lose body fat. Here is a good rule of thumb: Before and after workouts, you should take in your protein shakes as quickly as possible, spurring insulin release to benet muscle feeding and repair. At other times of day, consume whole-food meals more slowly to signal your body to slow insulin release, helping to avoid sending these justconsumed calories to body-fat stores.

By Steven Stiefel

CARNITINE BOOSTS MUSCLE BUILDING


Comprised of the amino acids lysine, methionine and other nutrients, carnitine is a potent supplement for encouraging body-fat burning. It also supports muscle growth by moving stored fat to the mitochondria, where fats are burned for fuel. New research shows additional benets. One study found that during times of stress, carnitine helps inhibit the mechanisms that break down muscle tissue. When stressed, your body often turns to muscle tissue as a primary source of fuel to help it through a grueling period. So carnitine may provide benets for those who have performed intense workouts, helping them recover from the resulting stress to muscles. Another recent study conducted on football players concluded that carnitine supplementation helps give athletes more energy. Since carnitine helps provide fuel to the powerhouses in your cells, you feel more energized during athletic activity. Research has also shown that higher levels of carnitine may increase testosterone receptors inside muscle cells. Boosting the number of these androgen receptors helps you increase your natural testosterone levels. For best results, take 1 to 1.5 grams of carnitine before breakfast, another dose about 30 minutes before workouts, and a third before bedtime, for a total of up to 4.5 grams per day.

COFFEE DRIVES STRENGTH GAINS


People split pretty evenly into coffee addicts and those who nd this drink unpalatable. Research shows that drinking coffee provides numerous health benets, including helping to reduce body fat, protect against disease and provide anti-oxidants and other nutrients. Most people seek the instant energy coffee provides by stimulating your central nervous system. Research demonstrates that the amount of caffeine in three cups of coffee not only helps you lift more weight, but also reduces the amount of perceived muscle soreness. To recharge your workouts, drink three cups of coffee an hour or two before workouts, or supplement a little more than 2 milligrams per pound of bodyweight about an hour beforehand. In other words, a 180-pounder can get in up to about 360 milligrams, depending on individual tolerance.

Photos by Robert Reiff

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FIRST SET SUPPLEMENT REVIEW WorldMags.net

GET INTO BEAST MODE


This product from Beast fuels your workouts with ingredients backed by research.

ou know the feeling that comes over you as youre getting ready to go to the gym: Your adrenaline starts to rise, and you feel a certain excitement because you want to press and pull heavy weights. But before you release your inner Hulk, its important to think like Dr. Bruce Banner and use science to plan your workouts (you wont like your workouts when youre angry). These supplements, contained in Beast Mode, will help you perform like a superhero in the gym. Heres why.
* BETA-ALANINE HELPS BOOSTS STRENGTH. Beast Mode contains CarnoSyn beta-alanine, a trademarked form of this amino acid. Beta-alanine taken before workouts helps improve muscular strength and endurance. Supplemental beta-alanine combines with histidine in your body to form carnosine, a small protein molecule. Research shows that increased levels of carnosine during exercise improve strength and endurance. Beta-alanine also improves the benets of creatine when taken together and may help reduce body fat. * NITRIC-OXIDE (NO) BOOSTERS PROMOTE GREATER MUSCLE PUMPS. Beast Mode contains several potent supplements that promote muscle pumps, driving more blood, oxygen and nutrients to your muscles so you can lift more weight or perform more reps. These include arginine alpha-ketoglutarate and agmatine sulfate. Arginine is an amino acid that helps boost NO, a small gas molecule that allows blood vessels to relax, improving delivery to muscle tissue. Glycerol stearate also helps deliver intense pumps and maximum vascularity. * NEUROSTIMULATORS INCREASE FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION. Beast Mode contains a spectrum of supplements that helps athletes boost concentration during training. These include tyrosine, Gingko biloba, Bacopa monniera and others. Tyrosine is an amino acid that increases energy, improves mood and enhances mental focus by boosting energizing brain chemicals and hormones. Bacopa monniera stimulates thyroid hormone, and Gingko biloba helps improve blood ow. * INTENSITY SUPPLEMENT PROVIDES ENERGY FOR LONGER, BETTER WORKOUTS. Beast Mode adds central nervous system stimulators to its formulation to help you work out stronger for longer. Among these, the product includes a natural form of caffeine, coffea robusta (bean), as well as Nelumbo nucifera, and a host of B vitamins known for boosting energy (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6 and B-12). FOR BEST RESULTS: Take one scoop of Beast Mode about 30 minutes before training. You can adjust your dose upward to three scoops within a 24-hour period, but dont exceed that. Keep in mind that this product contains natural forms of caffeine that may affect sleep when taken later in the day.

BEAST MODE
SUPPLEMENT FACTS
Serving Size: one scoop Calories per Serving: 30 Servings Per Container: 45 in 650gram bottle Price: $39.99 Availability: GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, bodybuilding.com For more info: www.beastsports.com

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FIRST SET ON SHELVES NOW WorldMags.net GROWTH CYCLES


Try Cyclo Tren from Infinite Labs to boost testosterone for better muscle growth.
From an early age, our growth often comes in spurts. These are times when the body seems more willing or able to grow than at others. The same applies to athletes and bodybuilders seeking greater muscle development: during certain phases its just easier to grow. One of the ways you can create your own growth spurt is to utilize supplements that support testosterone production and thus anabolism. Cyclo Tren from Innite Labs was formulated with ingredients designed to help make your next phase a growth cycle. First, Cyclo Tren contains a testosteroneboosting matrix that contains D-aspartic % 1.5+)longifolia and fenugreek, among other supplements. D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which increases testosterone production. Eurycoma longifolia boosts testosterone production as well as helps to release bound testosterone from sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), an unhealthy substance that reduces the effectiveness of the testosterone youre already producing. Fenugreek not only boosts testosterone, research shows that it also increases strength while reducing body fat. Cyclo Tren includes two additional proprietary blends. One contains carnitine, caffeine anhydrous and Coleus forskohlii to ramp up lean mass and reduce + 5"0(!2!(//0.+gen Management, the other blend, includes Vitex agnus-castus and diindolylmethane (DIM) to help boost the positive benets of higher testosterone levels without unwanted estrogen spillover. For best results, follow label recommendations and use the product for only 12 consecutive weeks at a time, then take a break for at least the following 12 weeks. innitelabs.com

PATH TO PROGRESS
Cell Block 80 from Clean Machine provides multiple ways to increase muscle mass.
If youve reached a plateau where you go to the gym and put out your best effort but still think youre not seeing the gains you should, then Cell Block 80 may provide the key to get you out of this holding pattern. This product was developed to help you make the most of your bodys natural production of testosterone, as well as to help boost the amount you can make. Of course, you have to put in the hard work in the gym, but you also have to make sure that your body is delivering testosterone to muscle tissue. Cell Block 80 was developed to help you achieve this effect. The product relies on multiple pathways that help you maximize the benets of testosterone. Cell Block 80 contains DM33 prickly pear, nettle root and ashwagandha, among other active ingredients. Here are some of the potential advantages that each of these active ingredients provides:  ,.%'(5,!.$!(,/(+' estrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of either of these hormones cause unwanted effects, including gynecomastia and malepattern baldness. !00(!.++0$!(,/,.!2!*0/!4$+.mone binding globulin from attaching to testosterone that your body naturally produces, allowing the hormone to better support muscle building. /$3#* $%*.!/!/ a testosterone precursor, and it also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone that slows muscle growth. For best results, follow label recommendations. cleanmachineonline.com

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Who knew the smallest of muscles can summon some of the greatest workouts? Try these killer sessions and watch your biceps grow by bounds.
By Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS Photos of Steve Cook by Robert Reiff
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hock and awe. For most major muscle groups, crushing the bodypart with heavy weight is enough to spark serious change. But when it comes to the smaller muscles like the biceps, load will only get you so far down the road of progress. After all, were talking pretty small muscles compared to the majors. Its for that reason that weve designed this months killer series. We take load seriously, no doubt, but we deliver it with techniques and tactics youve never tried. Elements of training that when combined with intensity actually produce better results than you imagined. Weve even taken methods that sound familiar to you into uncharted territory. And uncharted territory is exactly how youll describe your arms when youre done.

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KILLER BICEPS BUDDY STYLE WORKOUT NO. 1


Getting creative with biceps can serve as a rude awakening for one of the smaller muscles in the body. But since its a muscle that has such a huge impact on your overall physique, lets allow creativity to do its work. Grab your training partner and get started. Our rst killer workout is steeped in an old-school tactic: buddy style. If youve never done buddy curls before, it basically has you perform a 1:1 ratio of reps to rest. For example, on a standard buddy set of barbell curls, youll select a weight with which youll reach failure at around 10 reps. Do one rep, then pass the bar to your training partner. Hell do his rep, then hand the bar back to you for two reps. Hand it back to him for two reps, then its back to you for three reps, and so on and so forth, until you reach 10 reps on your last set. After a brief rest period, you then work backward, starting with a set of 10 and working downward to one rep. If you do the math, thats a lot of work. Probably more work for biceps than youve done in quite some time, if ever. Similar to the rest-pause method, the buddy system is a simple (and brutal) concept that takes advantage of your bodys rapid-recovery energy systems. When you start a heavy set of curls, you rely primarily on phospho-creatine (PC), the primary energy source stored in skeletal muscle that fuels short, powerful bursts of activity. PC depletes rapidly, but fortunately it also replenishes rapidly, usually in 10 to 20 seconds. The main

SEATED ALTERNATING DUMBBELL CURL

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BARBELL CURL

KILLER BICEPS WORKOUT NO. 1


EXERCISE
BUDDY SYSTEM Barbell Curl3 Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curl4 Reverse Barbell Curl3 Alternating Hammer Curl
1

SETS1

REPS2

1 1 1
4

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

Be sure to do a couple of warm-up sets prior to your working sets. 2 The reps go in 1:1 reps/rest ratio. After one rep, your partner does one. Then you do two, and so on and so forth. Once you both have reached 10 reps, reverse directions all the way down to one rep. 3 For the barbell curl and reverse barbell curl, go ahead and share the bar. On the other two moves, stake claim to your own set of dumbbells, using verbal and nonverbal cues to help each other begin your share of reps. 4 While you wait for your partner to complete his reps, you can rest the dumbbells on your quads or on a bench. Because youre doing so many reps, select a weight that is roughly 50 percent of your 10 RM.

benet of employing the buddy system is that youll have lifted more total pounds in a given set simply by mixing in these calculated rest periods. Now, for most of the moves in this killer workout, you dont have to hand over the weight to your partner. You can be on one bench and your partner can be on another. Verbal and nonverbal cues can be used to initiate or signal when its your turn to go. For this buddy-system biceps blitz, each exercise will only be performed up to 10 reps each and then back down to one. After youve both arrived back at one rep, its time to switch exercises after a two- to three-minute and well-deserved rest. Finally, because of the number of killer reps youre hitting, select a weight that equals roughly 50 percent of your 10 RM. musclemag.com
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CLOSE-GRIP BARBELL CURL

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STANDARD-GRIP BARBELL CURL

KILLER BICEPS ARE YOU 21 MATERIAL? WORKOUT NO. 2


The rst exercise in this next killer workout has you taking 21s to a whole new level. As you know, 21s have you working half of the range of motion for seven reps, then the other half for seven more reps, and then nishing with seven full reps. But were adding a few brutal twists. First of all, while you can use any exercise for 21s, were going with the standard barbell curl because its not only the best biceps builder, it lets you alter your grip width on the bar to hit each head differently. A close-grip hits the peak (long head) to a great degree, while a wide-grip targets the short, inner head with better accuracy. The shoulder-width (standard) grip hits both rather evenly. With those truths in mind, what youre going to do is 21 reps for the upper half of the curl, the lower half and then 21 full reps. Heres how: Youll work the top half of the curl (from 90 degrees up) with the seven close-grip reps, seven wide-grip reps and seven shoulder-width reps. Youll then lower the bar and hit all three grips for the lower portion of the ROM before nally ending with seven full ROM reps using each grip. Because youre doing so many partial and full reps, select a weight that corresponds to about 50 percent of your 10 RM. Youll know pretty quickly if you chose a weight thats either too heavy or too light. Once youve done all of your full-range reps, rest two minutes and repeat the sequence from the top (literally). As youre resting, head over to the seated row and attach a straight bar to the cable. The lying cable curl is one of those oft-neglected moves that just cant be duplicated. By lying down, you remove momentum from the equation because your back is pressed against the bench (or oor, if you dont have a seated row). Moreover, the constant tension of the cable not only blisters your biceps but even the delt/bi tie-in gets a lot of work just holding the bar. NOTE: Your partner needs to stay close to the stack because when you reach failure at the rst rep range, youll drop the weight a few plates (roughly 25 percent lighter) and hit failure again. You nish this brutal biceps routine on the high cable curl for three sets of 20 to ush and pump the muscle.

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LYING CABLE CURL

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KILLER BICEPS WORKOUT NO. 2


EXERCISE
UPPER PORTION (90 DEGREES UP): Close-grip Barbell Curl Wide-grip Barbell Curl Standard-width Barbell Curl IMMEDIATELY HIT THE LOWER PORTION (HALFWAY UP): Close-grip Barbell Curl Wide-grip Barbell Curl Standard-width Barbell Curl IMMEDIATELY FINISH WITH: FULL RANGE OF MOTION: Close-grip Barbell Curl Wide-grip Barbell Curl Standard-width Barbell Curl Lying Cable Curl
3

SETS1

REPS2

2 2 2

7 7 7

2 2 2

7 7 7

2 2 2 3 3

7 7 7 20 20

Two-Arm High Cable Curl


1

WIDE-GRIP BARBELL CURL

Doesnt include warm-up sets; do as many as you need but never take warm-up sets to muscle failure. 2 Select a weight that corresponds to roughly 50 percent of your 10 RM 3 Upon failure on each set, have your partner drop the pin to make the weight about 25 percent lighter and immediately keep doing reps until you reach failure again.

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Preacher Curl
If you loved the 21s style for the barbell, another very useful exercise to try them on is the preacher, for which your partner will use his arms as the stopping point for the half-reps. On the top half of the reps (above 90 degrees) his arms can also serve as a way to help you gently force more reps. If youre wondering why we start at the top, its because that portion is the arms strongest angle, but we seldom reach failure there. Typically at the end of a set, we fail at the start of the rep (within the rst 6 to 8 inches) of any style of curl, even though the biceps still have gas in the tank above 90 degrees. Reason being, the forearms generally become the limiting factor. Best way to remedy that is to exhaust the top, then the bottom portion, allowing you a certainty that the full range of motion has been successfully utilized.

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DUMBBELL SCOTT CURL

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KILLER BICEPS GIANT WORKOUT NO. 3


If you want great arms, you have to go to extremes, and this workout does exactly that. Because the angle of your arm plays such a key role in working both the inner and outer biceps musculature, youre going to work the entire spectrum in tri-set fashion, starting with the exercise that targets the short (inner head) better than any other, and then nishing with a move that arguably isolates the long (outer head) without equal. Your arms will literally travel from straight in front of you to a point as far behind you as possible. Youre about to work through the most complete biceps spectrum possible in one giant set. To begin, head to the preacher curl, but approach it in reverse to hit the great Scott curl. The Scott curl has you reversed on the preacher bench to allow your arms to hang straight down in front of you. No other move in the gym allows such emphasis on the short head, because it removes the tension on the long outer head and puts the onus of the work on its counterpart. After your set of Scott curls without rest turn around on the bench and hit a set of EZ-bar preacher curls to failure. The preacher curl, while still primarily a short head move, places a bit of tension on the long head. Upon failure and resting only as long as it takes to get into position, attack a set of seated dumbbell curls with your arms directly at your sides, which will hit both heads evenly. To end the giant set, sit back on the incline bench for a set of incline curls, which really help you focus attention on the long head. Upon failure on the incline curl, rest one to two minutes and repeat the sequence. After all that, can you visualize the travel radius of your arms? From directly in front of your body in the Scott curl to directly behind you during incline curls? Thats the key to the giant set. In addition to these angle-specics, youll also be using forced reps at each point of failure on a couple moves. Thats why an attentive partner is so critical on this arm day. Following the giant set, perform a few peak-specic sets of drag curls on the Smith machine. On each rep, hold the peak contraction for at least three seconds. Finish this routine by bombarding your forearms (and biceps) with the reverse barbell curl performed in negative fashion.

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INCLINE BENCH DUMBBELL CURL

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SMITH MACHINE DRAG CURL

KILLER BICEPS WORKOUT NO. 3


EXERCISE
Dumbbell Scott Curl giant with EZ-Bar Preacher giant with Seated Dumbbell Curl giant set with Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl Smith Machine Drag Curl Reverse Barbell Curl
1 2

SETS1
3

REPS2
6, 10, 12

6, 10, 12

6, 10, 12

3 4 3

6, 10, 12 10 104

Doesnt include warm-up sets; do as many as you need, but never take warm-up sets to muscle failure. Choose a weight so that you reach muscle failure by the target rep. Hold each rep at the peak contraction for three seconds (or as long as possible). 4 Beginning on your rst rep, lower the barbell as slowly as possible, taking up to 10 seconds to lower it. Your partner should completely help you on the positive (concentric portion). Upon failure, force at least two to three more reps. Your partner should help only enough to get you past the sticking point. Upon initial failure on each set, force your partner to squeak out a few more reps.
3

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MMI7+5((0217+675(1*7+&+$//(1*(PHASE ONE

CHALLENGE
ny true gym rat can recall a moment of sheer inspiration after witnessing a Herculean feat of strength, whether in person or on TV. It might be a scene from Pumping Iron, a Rocky training montage, a clip of Bill Kazmaier from the Worlds Strongest Man or even a YouTube video of modern-day gym animals like Matt Kroc or CT Fletcher. Whatever it is, were willing to bet that it involves an obscenely heavy object getting benchpressed, squatted, deadlifted or forced overhead. Collectively known as the Big 4, these basic lifts are the foundation of true strength. This 90-day strength challenge organizes and periodizes lifts to help you unleash your ultimate bruteforce potential in the weight room.

THE BRUTEFORCE

Welcome to Part One of our ultimate three-phase strength-training guide to transform you into an absolute powerhouse. This 90-day program is designed to deliver big gains in the lifts that matter most.
BY DAN FILIPE AND JIMMY PEA, MS, CSCS PHOTOS OF JOHAN KAROUANI BY ROBERT REIFF

TRAINING SPLIT
The Brute-Force Challenge Sample Training Split

DAY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

WORKOUT The Big Lifts Supplemental Work Rest Lower-Body Machine Work + Abs Upper-Body Machine Work Supplemental Work (Optional) Rest

THE BIG PICTURE


By splitting the program into three phases, youll be able to focus on key strength aspects each month while consistently increasing the weight in the Big 4 lifts throughout the entire 90 days.

The big lifts are done all on the same day each week, using a sliding percentage of your one-rep max. The next day (and perhaps one more day that week), youll perform supplemental exercises specically designed to support and assist your strength gains. Its topped off with a couple days of upper- and lower-body machine work to round out the weeks training split and give your joints some much-needed recovery. Taking a full-body approach is an excellent strategy for overall strength development due to how the mind and muscles

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communicate. Hitting the entire body in a single session will stress more of the central nervous system and instigate a cascade of muscular and mental physiological processes. Every week, Day One will involve training the squat, deadlift, bench press and standing overhead press with 50 to 95 percent (depending on the month) of your maximum weight. If youre not quite sure how much weight that means for you, check out our sample table to help you estimate. Now, this may surprise you, but youre only going to be taking one set to absolute failure, where you cant do another rep. Most of the time youll be stopping the set long before you actually fatigue. In other words, youre going to save the all-out effort for the last set of each exercise. Think of that one set as Game Day. Each month, Day Two will focus on a specic aspect of strength crucial to maximizing your gains. These supplemental exercises can also be done one more time in the same week, but this is strictly optional. Be sure to listen to your body as you progress through the program and start to increase the percentage of your 1RM. If you feel youre not fully recovering come Day One, you may choose to do the supplemental-day exercises just once a week specically on Day Two. The other days of the week will include rest days and machine training days for your upper and lower bodyparts. This should take the stress off your joints and help you recover for the big lifts on Day One.

DAY ONE: THE BIG LIFTS


EXERCISE Squat SETS^* 3 3 1 SETS^* 3 3 1 SETS^* 3 3 1 SETS^* 3 3 1 REPS 5 with 50%RM 5 with 65%RM To failure with 75%RM REPS 5 with 50%RM 5 with 65%RM To failure with 75%RM REPS 5 with 50%RM 5 with 65%RM To failure with 75%RM REPS 5 with 50%RM 5 with 65%RM To failure with 75%RM

EXERCISE Deadlift

EXERCISE Bench Press

EXERCISE Standing Overhead Press

Note: On your lightest sets, move the bar through the positive (concentric) portion of the rep as quickly as possible. Only your very last set of each exercise should be taken to failure. On that last set, choose a weight that matches 75 percent of your 1RM and do as many reps as possible. ^ Does not include warm-up sets * Rest as long as two to three minutes between sets or less if you feel completely rested.

DAY TWO: SUPPLEMENTAL WORK WITH UNILATERAL MOVES + HYPERTROPHY


EXERCISE One-Arm Incline Dumbbell Bench Press One-Arm Dumbbell Row Off Rack One-Arm Dumbbell Deadlift Single-Leg Press Close-Grip Bench Press Lateral Raise Seated Row SETS 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 REPS 6-10 (each arm) 6-10 (each arm) 6-10 (each arm) 6-10 (each leg) 8-12 8-12 8-12

DAY FOUR:/2:(5%2'<0$&+,1(:25.$%6
EXERCISE Leg Extensions Leg Curls Standing Calf Raise Weighted Crunch Swiss-Ball Crunch Hanging Leg Raise Plank SETS 4 4 4 3 2 3 3 REPS 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 15, 25 To failure To failure To failure

PHASE ONE: ELIMINATE WEAKNESS


For this rst month, youll start off at 50 to 65 percent of your 1RM for each of the Big 4 lifts, nishing off with one set taken to absolute muscle failure at 75 percent of your 1RM. Day Twos supplemental exercises will focus on xing any strength-limiting imbalances through unilateral training. This will help expose and correct any muscular weaknesses, because when you train an arm or a leg solo, it doesnt have the benet of its opposing limb helping to balance the bar or press

DAY FIVE:833(5%2'<0$&+,1(:25.
EXERCISE Pec-Deck Flye Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Cable Upright Row Smith-Machine Shrug Standing Cable Curl SETS 4 4 4 4 4 REPS 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 10, 10, 8 12, 10, 8, 8 12, 10, 8, 8

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EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

DAY 1

DEADLIFT
START: With your feet beneath the barbell, squat down and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. (With weights above 75 percent of your 1RM, try an alternating grip, with your dominant hand in an overhand grip and the other with an underhand grip.) Keep your back at, chest up and the bar ush against your shins. MOVEMENT: With your chest up and back at, take a big breath, squeeze your core and glutes and lift the bar by pressing through the oor, extending your hips and knees to full extension. Be sure to keep your arms straight as you drag the bar up your legs till youre in a standing position. Keeping your core tight, lower the bar along the same path until the plates touch the oor. Let the bar settle before you start your next rep.

Imagine this move as one in which youre pressing with your legs through the oor as opposed to just lifting with your upper body, because its as much of a press as it is a pull.

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EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

DAY 1

STANDING OVERHEAD PRESS


START: Stand holding an Olympic bar at shoulder height (upperchest level). Keep your head neutral, abs tight and low back arched. Spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width. MOVEMENT: Powerfully press the bar overhead to full arm extension. Squeeze your shoulders for a count, then slowly lower the bar back to your upper chest and repeat for reps.

To help alleviate lowback stress as well as to squeeze out a few more reps, allow your knees to absorb the downward motion by bending them slightly.

PROLOGUE: WEEK ZERO STRENGTH TEST


Over the span of a week and after a thorough warm-up (with some trial and error), try to determine as close as possible the most weight you can lift for three reps. Again, dont attempt to nd a 1RM, as its not necessary for this purpose (especially if you train alone).

EXERCISE Squat Deadlift Bench Press Standing Overhead Press

SETS 1-3 1-3 1-3 1-3

REPS 3 3 3 3

*Keeping a journal is important if you want to track progress and monitor gains. Youll be able to note certain nuances within your repertoire and decide whats working and what isnt. Even if you dont keep a journal of every single rep, a loosely kept log of your lifts can be an extremely useful tool.

more than its share as you can on a machine. One of the reasons you may be missing some lifts or just not able to pile on the plates could be down to a weak link in the chain you never knew existed. Think of the last time you couldnt lock out your arms during your nal rep on the overhead press. The shortfall likely came from your triceps. Some close-grip bench work is just what the doctor ordered to make sure you dont miss the next one. Or how about that time you got pinned under the bar on the bench press? Unilateral training exercises, like onearm incline dumbbell press, will help nd that weak link and restore it. Not only that, but research conrms that training one limb at a time forces the recruitment of more muscle bers and produces more force. This is because a limb working alone requires more effort to move a weight from point A to point B than when its working in concert with another limb. Also, unilateral training tends to maximize the number of growth-prone fast-twitch bers that are called into play. Unilateral work provides your core with a serious jolt, and the stronger your core grows over time, the more effective as well as injury-free youre likely to be.

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SQUAT
START: Stand erect holding a bar across your upper back with your feet about shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and your toes turned out slightly. MOVEMENT: Keeping your head neutral, abs tight and torso erect, bend at the knees and hips to slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit down in a chair. Pause when your legs reach at least a 90-degree angle, then forcefully drive through your heels, extending at your hips and knees until youre standing again.

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For gains in strength, practice variations of the squat one other day a week. Try the lowbar squat, the box squat, the front squat and the overhead squat.

Incorporating a proper leg drive by tucking your feet behind your knees and driving down through the oor will bring your whole body into the lift and help you move heavier weight.

BENCH PRESS
START: Lie faceup squarely on a bench with your feet at on the oor. Grasp the barbell with a wide, overhand grip, well outside your shoulders. MOVEMENT: Unrack the bar and slowly lower it to your lower chest. Keep your wrists over your elbows and your elbows pointed out to your sides. When the bar reaches an inch or so away from your chest, forcefully reverse direction without bouncing and press the bar upward, driving it back over your face to full extension without locking out your elbows.

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EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

DAY 2

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The incline dumbbell bench press is a compound, multijoint move for the chest and will prove to be one of your most important mass builders. Moreover, few moves will better showcase how the dumbbells will help you nd imbalances between each side of the body. Training them independently will settle the equation. TARGET: Pecs MOVEMENT: Lie faceup on the incline bench set between 30 and 45 degrees with your feet at on the oor. Hold a dumbbell in one hand just outside your shoulder. Place your nonworking hand on your hip or across your chest. Powerfully press the dumbbell upward toward the ceiling and return the dumbbell to the start and repeat.

You can increase your stability during the lift by widening your stance on the oor and placing your free hand on your hip.

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The single-arm deadlift has its advantages, because with few exceptions, you can produce more force on each side of the body than you can when using both sides together. Not only that, but the resting side of the body receives nervous stimulation as increased blood ow heads to the opposite side. TARGET: Back, legs, core musculature MOVEMENT: Stand with your feet spaced about shoulder-width apart. Place a dumbbell on the oor outside one foot. Squat down to grasp the dumbbell with a neutral grip, keeping your back at, chest up and eyes focused on the oor a few feet in front of you. Take a deep breath and powerfully press through the oor with your legs, extending at the knees and hips and pulling the dumbbell up until youre in a standing position. A slight lean away from the dumbbell side at the top is natural and recommended. Reverse the motion along the same path, allowing the dumbbell to settle on the oor before starting the next rep.
Be sure to give yourself ample rest between each side. From one workout to the next, begin with the opposite side than you began with in the previous workout to avoid muscular imbalances.

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This is one of those moves where hitting one arm at a time ignites unparalleled growth. Because you can use a little torque, you can actually recruit more muscle bers and generate more force than when using both arms simultaneously, like you would during the barbell bent-over row. TARGET: Lower lats MOVEMENT: Bend over at the waist and place one knee and the same-side hand on a at bench. Keep your other foot on the oor beside the bench and hold a dumbbell in the same-side hand hanging straight down with your arm fully extended. Pull the weight toward your hip, keeping your elbow in close. Pull your elbow as high as you can, squeezing your shoulder blades together for a full contraction, then lower the dumbbell along the same path. Repeat for reps then switch arms.

A common mistake during dumbbell rows is to bring the dumbbell straight up from the oor to the torso. However, the best line of pull is up and back toward your hip. That gives you a greater range of motion and time under tension for your stubborn lower lats.

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EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

DAY 2

To increase the intensity, you can use one hand to force more reps by pressing your quad just above the knee to help raise the weight. Be sure to keep your knee, foot and shoulder in alignment.

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This version focuses on each side to individually correct strength imbalances and better isolate each thigh. Putting your foot higher up on the footplate works the hamstrings and glutes to a greater degree; lower on the footplate better emphasizes the quads. TARGET: Quads, glutes, hamstrings MOVEMENT: Load the leg press with just under half of what you use for sets of 10 reps when doing both legs at once. Sit squarely in the unit, putting one foot up just off center on the footplate. Your foot should be at with your toes straight or turned slightly out. Your other leg should be extended on the oor under the cart. Unlock the cart and control the descent of the sled as your knee approaches the sameside shoulder. When your knee approaches a 90-degree angle (and before the lower portion of your glutes lifts off the pad), smoothly reverse direction, pressing through your foot to full hip and knee extension. Dont lock out your knee at the top.

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Similar to the biceps, the triceps are often dependent upon single-joint moves for growth. But the close-grip bench press is by far the exception. Because youre able to recruit the delts and chest into the equation, you can overload the triceps with serious weight. TARGET: Triceps; chest and delts MOVEMENT: Lie back on a at bench with your feet at on the oor. Grasp the barbell with a narrow (inside shoulder-width), overhand grip. Press the bar up slightly to unrack it and hold the bar above your chest with your arms extended. Lower the bar to your lower chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Do not bounce the bar off your chest when the bar approaches an inch or so away from your sternum, pause and press the bar back up to the starting position. Squeeze your triceps and chest at the top and repeat.

Doing this move inside a power rack is not only safer, but you can adjust the safety bars to various levels, overloading different sections of the range of motion with more weight than you would normally attempt.

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LATERAL RAISE
By starting the move with the dumbbells at your sides, the middle delts take on the bulk of the action. Raise the dumbbells slightly above parallel for maximum recruitment.

The lateral raise is great for pre-exhausting the middle heads at the start of a shoulder routine or for getting an extreme pump at the end. This is an isolation move or single-joint exercise that works without the assistance of the triceps in performing the movement. TARGET: Middle deltoids MOVEMENT: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your abs tight, chest up and shoulders back. With your head straight, hold the dumbbells at your sides with a neutral grip. Without using momentum, raise the dumbbells out to your sides in a wide arc, keeping your elbows and hands moving together in the same plane. Raise the dumbbells just above shoulder level and hold momentarily in the peak contracted position. Slowly lower the dumbbells down along the same path and repeat for reps.

SEATED ROW
Because youre using a neutral grip and your elbows remain tight to your body, this move targets the lower lats with laser-like accuracy. Many guys misunderstand this move to be a middle back exercise, but a wide, overhand grip would be best at targeting the middle back. TARGET: Lower lats MOVEMENT: Attach a close-grip handle to the seated row cable machine and sit upright on the bench facing the weight stack. Place your feet against the foot platform with your legs slightly bent. Reach forward to grasp the handle while keeping your back at and chest up. Pull back until your torso is erect and your arms are fully extended. Pull the handle toward your midsection. Keep your elbows in close to the sides of your body. Keep your torso erect and your head in a neutral position as you squeeze your back muscles. Hold for one to two seconds before slowly returning to the start position.
The neutral grip calls into play your forearms and biceps, which allows you to pull a lot of weight. If you have pulling straps, use them. You dont want to have to end the set because of your grip strength.

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MACHINE TRAINING DAYS + CORE WORK
With so much time spent going heavy with free weights, youll start to feel that the Olympic bar is your new worst enemy. Switching things up with some machine work later in the week will take stress off your joints to make sure youre ready for the next day of big lifts. On these upperand lower-body days youll be working to failure within the 8- to 12-rep range to optimize muscle growth. By maximizing hypertrophy, youll build larger muscle bers and in turn further your quest for ultimate brute strength in the Big 4 while minimizing the chance of injury. Focusing on core work in the middle of the week will pay dividends in keeping you upright in the squat and overhead press, and leave you enough time to recoup in order to optimize performance on Day One. Stick to a traditional four-set, pyramid-type rep scheme, adding weight as you drop your reps each set.

BRUTE FORCE

SUPPORT
The physiological demands that are placed on your body by the Brute Force Challenge are severe. Performing the four Big Lifts in a single workout taxes nearly every muscle ber in the body and central nervous system. This workout is a potent stressor that can have profound ramications on multiple internal systems, and it demands a supplement program to create the necessary anabolic environment for muscle growth and strength gains. Follow these three protocols for optimal broad-spectrum muscular support.

PRIME YOURSELF FOR TRAINING


Brute Force Challenge demands a high level of effort, especially the Day One workout. If you go easy that day, then strength gains and progress are going to be slow. UNCUT by Applied Nutriceuticals is a unique preworkout supplement that boosts motivation and provides intense mental and physical stimulation. Unlike most clumpy beverages, Uncut uses more than just simple caffeine to amp you up. Its novel blend of N-acetylcysteine, amentoavone, Huperzine A and rauwolscine not only kick-starts the central nervous system and increases vasodilation, it also boosts neurotransmitters in the brain that amplify the neuromuscular connection. This enhanced rapport between brain and muscles can help you push out those few extra reps that will make a huge difference in your training goals. Uncut also supports vasodilation, resulting in greater muscle pumps and wider pathways for anabolic nutrients to reach your muscles.

FINDING THE RIGHT PERCENTAGE


If you never max out on a particular exercise, you can estimate your max from the table below as long as you go to muscle failure and use good form without assistance from a spotter. Lets say you can bench press 225 pounds for eight reps with solid technique. Using the chart, eight reps is equal to 80 percent of your one-rep max. Mathematically, divide 225 by 0.8 and youll nd that 100 percent of your 1RM is 281 pounds. To gure out how much 75 percent of your 1RM is to use in these workouts, simply multiply 280 (which is 281 rounded REPS %RM down) by 0.75. Your 1 100 working weight for 2 95 these sets is 210 3 93 pounds. You should be able to do about 10 4 90 reps with 75 percent of 5 87 your 1RM, but as 6 85 fatigue sets in, your 7 83 rep counts will fall. 8 80 Note: These equations 9 77 are imperfect at best and are used as a 10 75 safety measure to 11 67 determine 1RMs without 12 65 a maximal effort.

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MANAGE TESTOSTERONE LEVELS


The good news is, performing compound movements such as the Big Lifts spurs a greater release of testosterone and HGH from your endocrine system. The bad news is, intense training can staunch the ow of these anabolic hormones while producing the stress hormone cortisol, which squelches your musclebuilding efforts. DRIVE by Applied Nutriceuticals helps create an environment that promotes anabolic ratios of testosterone to estrogen and testosterone to cortisol. The combination of forskolin and icariin can modulate estrogen receptors in such a way as to have pronounced benets for muscle mass, strength and even libido. A study published in The Journal of Obesity Research found that subjects who took forskolin in roughly the same amount as found in a dose of Drive experienced a 33 percent increase in free testosterone and enjoyed signicant increases in muscle mass while they lost fat. The other active ingredients in Drive including Cordyceps sinensis and dodder seed extract (a traditional Chinese treatment for low testosterone) help promote a pro-testosterone environment and a healthy metabolism, and may enhance aerobic conditioning.

CREATE SYNERGY
Combining Drive and Uncut results in a synergy that is more powerful than the sum of their parts. When taken together, vasodilation is increased as well as sensitivity to nitric oxide (a major role player in vasodilation). Stacking Drive and Uncut can also result in surprising strength gains due to a cascade of biochemical processes in which greater amounts of acetylcholine and calcium are released. This further enhances the stimulating effect of the two supplements and boosts muscular contraction force, both of which help you move more weight.

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The best way to build a rock-hard midsection with deep abdominal cuts is to mix it up. Here are the 10 keys to chisel your middle and the high/low workout that delivers results.

very two-bit trainer who has a website or Facebook page touts a secret formula to building a rock-hard midsection, but Ive got news for you folks: The principle of muscle confusion is just as critical to carving out your abs as it is to building other bodyparts. So anyone who contends that you should be doing just high reps to chisel your abs or, on the contrary, lower reps as the only way to go has completely missed the boat. The fact is you need to combine both approaches when it comes to abs, utilizing weighted moves that help thicken and build the grooves and valleys that create 3-D abs with bodyweight, and high-rep movements that keep your midsection lean and tight. Some of the confusion comes from the physical makeup of the abdominals. Unlike some of the larger skeletal muscle groups, theres a greater degree of slow-twitch muscle bers in the various midsection muscles (rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis). As you may recall, the explosive fast-twitch bers are the ones capable of more growth, and theyre best trained with heavy movements in relatively lower-rep ranges. The slow-twitch bers are

more aerobic in nature and dont grow to near the degree of the fast-twitch variety; theyre geared more for endurance (high-rep) activities. It follows, then, that training only with heavy-weighted moves for low reps doesnt do much for the slow-twitch bers, and higher-rep movements dont do jack for the fast-twitch bers. Neither approach, it seems, would therefore offer an optimal solution in your pursuit of a rock-hard midsection. But what if you instead trained both the fast- and slowtwitch muscle bers in the same workout for more complete development? You could start with weighted, low-rep moves to help build up the bricks of the six-pack, then follow up with high-rep bodyweight exercises to help keep your midsection lean and tight. Thats exactly what this workout does: You combine the best of both worlds in a single ab routine (or you can alternate high- and low-rep days). Ultimately, the abdominals get worked in a variety of ways rather than from just a single approach, which not only more optimally builds up the muscle but keeps your workouts and your training from becoming stale.

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for three sets. Its important that you reach as close to muscle failure as possible at the target rep. Do heavy/low-rep movements rst. Because you fatigue over the course of your workout, you dont want to save the heaviest moves for the end. Instead choose the most challenging exercises early in your workout when your strength levels are high. Progress to less-challenging exercises that you can do for more reps. Relatively easier movements are best left for the end of your routine so that you can make the abs burn with higher-rep sets. Research shows that the burn you feel with higher-rep training actually begins metabolic processes that help your body gobble up stores of body fat in the surrounding tissues. No question, higher-rep train-

Assembling a workout in which you achieve multiple rep targets requires you to understand a few important considerations.
Choose exercises and weights that allow you to complete the target number of reps. On weighted and very demanding bodyweight movements, increase or decrease the resistance so that you fail at your target rep. If the weights too light, dont just stop at the target rep; add weight on your next set. With the low-rep exercises, try and reach a target of 10 reps

Kneeling Cable Crunch


TARGET AREA: Upper abs START: Attach a rope to the upper cable and kneel just in front of the cable facing away from the unit. Position the rope by the sides of your head and lock your arms in this position relative to your head for the duration of the set. DO IT RIGHT: Keeping your thighs nearly perpendicular to the oor, contract your abs to curl forward and down, rounding your lower back and holding the peak contraction for a count. Let the weight slowly pull your body back to the start position.

Dont pull with your hands keep them locked in position beside your head. The action in your abs will pull your torso forward and down just make sure you dont pull with your hands.

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ing has its place in abdominal training. Try and keep rest intervals on these high-rep sets shorter as well to increase the fat-burning effect. Remember to ne-tune difculty so that you reach failure at close to the target rep range. That might entail increasing the weight, holding the peak-contracted position for a count longer, bringing your feet higher on leg raises or simply choosing more challenging movements. Its important that you challenge yourself at each step of the program. Choose two moves from each exercise grouping. So you should be doing two low-rep moves and two highrep moves each workout. Include exercises for the upper as well as lower abs and obliques, as well as the core. A well-rounded ab workout targets all these areas. (Each exercise here indicates which part(s) it focuses on; just remember that its impossible to completely isolate a particular portion of the abs. Rather, a certain area can be emphasized as it undergoes a greater degree of contraction than other areas.) Try this routine three times a week, allowing for at least 48 hours rest between workouts. As with any muscle group, the abdominals grow stronger during the time after your workout given rest and proper nutrition. Hit your training hard, rest and do it all over again no sooner than every other day. As you get stronger, increase the overload. Consciously try and add an extra plate each week to the weight stack to challenge your abdominals to become stronger, much like you do with bench presses and arm curls. On bodyweight movements, strive for an extra rep or two or cut your rest interval by a few seconds. Take about a minute rest between low-rep sets. While you can conceivably decrease your rest interval to boost the workout intensity, you sacrice your recovery period and will likely fail faster. Take the full 60 seconds so that you can attack each set with full intensity. With bodyweight exercises, see if you can rest just 20 seconds between sets. Dont forget that to get shredded you need to pay careful attention to your diet and cardio in order to ght the fat that covers your abs. Dialing in your midsection means watching calories especially calories from carbs and unhealthy fats and increasing the number of calories your body burns so that you run a daily calorie decit. Even the best training systems are limited by what you do in your kitchen and your supplementation program, so for the best chances of success, make a commitment both in the gym and in your nutrition program.

HIGH/LOW AB WORKOUT
Choose two exercises from the low-rep list, and two more from the high-rep list (high reps and/or timed moves) for the sets and reps indicated. Repeat three times weekly.

LOW-REP MOVES
EXERCISE
Choose Two Moves for 10 Reps Kneeling Cable Crunch Captains Chair Windshield Wiper Captains Chair Weighted Knee Raise Exercise-Ball Cable Crunch

SETS
3

REPS*
10

HIGH-REP MOVES
EXERCISE
Choose Two Moves** for 25 Reps Hip Thrust Reverse Crunch Oblique Crunch Straight-Leg Crunch Reach and Catch Crunch Legs-Extended Crunch Exercise-Ball Crunch Tuck Crunch Choose One Timed Move for 60 seconds** Plank Russian Twist
* On weighted exercises, choose a resistance so that you fail at 10 reps. On bodyweight moves, if you can do more than the target rep, make the movement more difcult or choose a harder move so you fail at the target rep. ** Or choose one high-rep move and one timed move done for 60 seconds. *** In seconds.

SETS
3

REPS*
25

60***

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Captains Chair Windshield Wiper

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TARGET AREA: Lower abs, obliques START: Stabilize your body on the chair, grasping the handles so that your forearms are supported on the pads. Your body should hang freely with back support provided by the bench to better stabilize your body and reduce swinging. Keep your feet together and position your legs to one side. DO IT RIGHT: In a smooth motion, contract your feet up and then toward your midline, then crossing over to the other side of your body as you lower them under control. Make sure your spine curls up from the bottom to engage the lower abs as you raise your legs. Repeat, reversing the motion, coming to a full stop at the bottom to reduce swinging.
You can do this hanging from a pull-up bar as well, but the chair better stabilizes your body so that you dont swing into your next rep. If this is too easy, try holding a medicine ball between your feet. Straightening your legs increases the resistance. Do a drop set by starting with your legs extended, then as you reach failure, bend your knees and continue repping to failure.

Captains Chair Weighted Knee Raise


TARGET AREA: Lower abs START: Step up onto the chair, stabilizing your body by pressing your back into the pad. Place a dumbbell between your feet and lock a bend in your knees and hips for the duration of the set. Rest your forearms snugly atop the arm pads. DO IT RIGHT: Without swinging your body, contract your lower abs to curl your knees up as high as you can, making sure your glutes curl up off the backpad. Lower under control, coming to a full stop at the bottom so you cant generate momentum going into your next rep.

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Exercise-Ball Cable Crunch
TARGET AREA: Upper abs START: Movements done on an exercise ball already increase core activity to stabilize the body and allow you to get a better abdominal stretch. Now with a weight stack you can easily increase the workload, too. Attach a rope to a lower pulley and position an exercise ball directly in front of it, about a foot away. Lie back on the ball and grasp the rope and pull it next to your head, locking it in this position throughout the set. Roll forward just a bit so that the bottom half of your glutes is just off the edge of the ball, feet spread on the oor for stability. DO IT RIGHT: Contract your abs to crunch up as high as you can. Keep the rope locked in position beside your head to ensure arm movements arent contributing to the action. Press your low back into the ball to help you go as high as you can. Hold the peak contraction for a count, then lower under control, allowing the weight to pull you all the way down for a full abdominal stretch. Reverse direction without bouncing.

Its easy to do a drop set by doing as many reps as you can with the weight, then simply releasing the rope and continuing the set with just your bodyweight.

Hip Thrust
TARGET AREA: Lower abs START: This lower-ab move has a fairly small range of motion but is challenging and requires a degree of coordination. Lie faceup on the oor with your arms out to your sides, palms down. Raise your legs so that theyre perpendicular to the oor. DO IT RIGHT: Pressing your hands into the oor, contract your lower abs to lift your hips up off the oor, as if pushing your heels into the ceiling. Lower under control.

You can increase the level of difculty by doing this move off a decline board or using ankle weights. Either way, keep the motion controlled so the muscle has to do the work.

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Reverse Crunch
TARGET AREA: Lower abs START: A basic movement in which your upper body is stabilized and you bring your knees into your chest (and glutes off the oor). Lie faceup on the oor with your hands by your sides, feet off the oor and knees and hips bent about 90 degrees. DO IT RIGHT: In a smooth motion, contract your lower abs to bring your knees over your chest without changing the degree of bend in your knees. The lower portion of your glutes should lift off the oor in the top position. Return to the start position under control.
If you simultaneously crunch your shoulder blades off the oor as you do the reverse crunch, both the upper and lower portions of the rectus abdominis get worked. This is called a double crunch.

Oblique Crunch
TARGET AREA: Obliques START: Lie on your side on the oor with your knees and hips slightly bent. Cup your head with your upper hand to support it and position your other arm down in front of you. DO IT RIGHT: Contract your obliques to crunch up in the vertical plane as high as possible; at the same time, raise both legs together off the oor as high as you can.

Maintaining your legs in contact with the oor is an easier variation; consider doing all reps with your feet coming up, and when you cant do any more reps, continue by reducing the intensity with your legs planted on the oor.

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Straight-Leg Crunch
TARGET AREA: Upper abs (lower abs contracting isometrically) START: Lie faceup on the oor and position your legs straight up in the air perpendicular to your body. Extend your arms in front of you (or you can support your head with your ngers so long as you dont pull on your head). DO IT RIGHT: Without jerking, contract your abs to reach toward your toes, bringing your shoulder blades off the oor as high as you can. Lower under control back to the start.
You can add a bit of oblique work if you reach to a point just outside your toes. Alternate sides and reach up as high as you can.

KEEP THE MOTION SMOOTH AND UNDER CONTROL. Dont use momentum or try to race through your reps. Go slowly and strive to feel the muscle contracting without the assistance of any other muscle groups. Momentum robs the muscle from doing the work, reducing the muscle-building stimulus. DONT PULL ON YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR FINGERS, WHICH CAN LODGE YOUR CHIN INTO YOUR CHEST AND DISRUPT NATURAL SPINAL ALIGNMENT. When supporting your head, dont interlock your ngers; your hands should simply be supporting your head, not helping you pull on it. Keep your head in line with your torso by imagining a tennis ball positioned between your chin and your chest. FOR MAXIMUM INTENSITY ON YOUR ABS MOVES, HOLD YOUR BREATH AS YOU COMPLETE THE MOVE, THEN EXHALE AT THE END OF RANGE OF THE MOTION. Holding your breath allows you to maintain intra-abdominal pressure, allowing your abs to contract more strongly. Hold your breath until youve reached the top of the move (the peak-contracted position), then exhale. WHEN FULLY CONTRACTING YOUR ABS, THE RANGE OF MOTION IS TYPICALLY VERY SHORT. In basic crunches for the upper abs, for example, bringing your shoulder blades off the oor is sufcient. Its also important that you dont return all the way to a resting position between reps so that you maintain constant tension on your abs throughout the set. When coming down from the top position in a crunch, dont allow your shoulder blades to completely touch down in the bottom position.

Reach and Catch Crunch


TARGET AREA: Upper abs and obliques START: Lie faceup on the oor with your knees bent, feet at on the oor about 18 inches apart. Keep your head neutrally aligned so that your chin is off your chest. Extend your arms in front of you positioned to the outside of one knee. DO IT RIGHT: Contract your abs to rise up (trying to get your shoulder blades off the oor) and slightly over, reaching for a point just outside your knee. Lower under control and repeat to the other side.

Going higher up is better so long as you dont use momentum to help rise up. Nor do you want your shoulder blades to touch all the way down between reps.

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Legs Extended Crunch
TARGET AREA: Upper and lower abs START: Lie faceup on the oor and extend your legs out, keeping your feet together and just off the oor. Cup your head with your
This works both ends of the rectus abdominis because youre bringing your rib cage toward your pelvis in the crunching motion while at the same time bringing your knees into your chest.

hands but dont pull on it. Keep your chin off your chest at all times. DO IT RIGHT: In a smooth motion, contract your abs to bring your shoulder blades up off the oor as high as possible. At the same time, pull your knees back toward your chest, lifting the lower portion of your glutes off the oor in a motion that resembles a reverse crunch. Exhale as you hold the peak-contracted position for a count, then reverse the motion.

Exercise-Ball Crunch
TARGET AREA: Upper abs START: The unstable surface makes your core work harder, and the exercise ball allows for a slightly longer range of motion, as you can increase the stretch in the down position and go higher at the top by pressing your glutes into the ball. Sit on top of a large exercise ball and roll forward just a bit so that the bottom half of your glutes is just off the edge of the ball. Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the oor for stability. Lie back so that your hips are well supported on the ball and cup your head with your hands. DO IT RIGHT: Without pulling on your head, in a smooth motion crunch up as high as you can, bringing your shoulder blades off the ball as high as possible. Consciously press your low back down into the ball and squeeze your abs hard at the point of peak contraction. Reverse direction, exaggerating the range of motion at the bottom to fully stretch your abs. Dont bounce off the ball at the bottom.

You can incorporate the obliques into this move by rising straight up and then angling one elbow toward the opposite-side knee, alternating sides. As you rise up, actually rotate one shoulder toward the opposite-side knee; dont just ap your elbow.

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Visualize pushing your lower back into the oor to help you rise up higher, but dont use momentum.

Tuck Crunch
TARGET AREA: Upper abs START: Lie at on the oor and lift your feet up so that your knees and hips are bent about 90 degrees. Support your head with your hands but dont pull on it. DO IT RIGHT: Contract your abs to raise your shoulder blades as high off the oor as possible. Hold the top position momentarily as you exhale. Return under control to the start position but try and stop short of a position in which youre completely resting on the oor.

For added difculty you can have someone carefully place a weight plate across your back or you can go for longer periods of time.

Plank
TARGET AREA: Core with emphasis on transverse abdominis START: Get into the pushup position with your body straight, then lower your elbows to the oor so that youre resting on your forearms. Keep your back at throughout. DO IT RIGHT: Theres no actual movement. Keep your abs pulled in tight; visualize pressing your belly button back into your spine and hold it there as long as possible. Do this movement for 60 seconds.

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Try doing this for time rather than reps. Strive to lengthen the amount of time you do each set or shorten the rest interval between sets.

Russian Twist
TARGET AREA: Obliques (upper and lower abs working isometrically) START: Sit on the oor and bend your knees, lifting your feet just off the oor. Sit back as if doing a partial situp, using the weight of your upper body to counterbalance your legs; only your glutes should be touching the oor. Clasp your hands in front of you, arms bent. DO IT RIGHT: In a smooth motion, twist your torso in one direction, bringing your hands to that side, and then twist completely in the opposite direction. Your feet should move just slightly to maintain your bodys center of gravity. Continue this backand-forth motion.

CAN HIGH REPS HELP BURN FAT?


If low reps help build the muscle, what do high reps build? Though youve probably heard that spot reduction is a myth the concept that doing ab exercises cant selectively help burn body fat around your midsection the fact is that science suggests that high-rep training can increase fat loss in the local area. In 2006, a major study showed that nonstop, continual exercise (with a light weight, of course) actually stirred up the lipolytic (fat-releasing) effect in the surrounding tissues. The increase in localized fat burning was triggered not by doing traditional bodybuilding sets in which you work and then take dened rest intervals, but rather through nonstop, continuous activity. Thats why lighterweight/shorter-rest ab training can help you strip fat a good complement to low-rep ab training.

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TRAINING TRAPS

By Adam Garett, CPT and Bill Geiger, MA


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Everybody makes mistakes, even advanced bodybuilders. Here are the 9 most critical errors that can derail your muscle building.

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ith the new year upon us, gyms are lling up with new members whove taken the vow to get in shape. Thankfully, most of those individuals are gone by February, meaning we no longer have to stand in line at every piece of equipment. Until then, however, were forced to watch guys whove spent years on the couch accumulating rolls of fat attempt to do simple bodybuilding exercises in comical ways: the barbell curl with a simultaneous pelvic thrust and low-back extension, the bench

press with the bounce off the chest and the quarter squat with hundreds of pounds on the bar. Yet these wayward individuals arent the only ones wholl fail to see progress; intermediate- and advanced-level bodybuilders also commonly make critical errors in their workouts, even though many of these errors have nothing to do with so-called good form. Read on and see if youre guilty of any one of these nine common gym mistakes responsible for slowing your progress.

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BEING OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC
A strong commitment to building muscle is benecial, but as the saying goes, you can get too much of a good thing. If your goals to gain muscle size are so compelling that you spend more than about 6090 minutes training in the gym each day, especially if youre a beginner, your efforts will most likely be counterproductive. Enthusiasm is good if youve never worked out before or if youre starting a new exercise program, but doing too much too fast isnt going to do your body any favors. The reason is that your body starts producing the catabolic hormone cortiYou need a certain level of determination and grit to lift the heavy poundage, but keep your workouts to 6090 minutes, especially if youre just starting out.

Training splits correspond to time available, recuperative abilities, nutritional support and bodybuilding experience, and those factors vary based on your individual circumstances.
sol as the length of your workout increases and catabolism is the exact opposite process of muscle building. Levels increase with the more work you do, so even the best intentions may be quickly negated. Beginners typically cant handle the same volume and intensity as more advanced bodybuilders, so its important to stay within your limits. As a beginner, expect to work hard for 4560 minutes total, about 30 minutes for a given bodypart. You cant maintain the intensity of a hard training session for very long when your fatigue levels are rising. Most importantly, remember that training is the stimulus for muscle breakdown, but growth actually occurs during your recovery period when supported by good nutrition.

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FOCUSING ON ISOLATION EXERCISES
While big arms and an impressive chest probably top your list, your rst year of training should be devoted to building your foundation with basic moves such as squats, deadlifts, presses and rows. Basic compound exercises will help you add muscle all over your body because these movements require so many muscle groups to be working in coordination. For example, besides the pecs, the bench press also calls the front delts and triceps into play; standing moves like the squat require the core (abs, low back) to stabilize
As a beginner, basic compound moves like the bench press will help you add overall mass because a number of muscle groups are involved.

the torso. In addition, you can lift far heavier weights when doing compound (also called multi-joint) exercises as opposed to singlejoint moves (such as leg extensions, yes for chest or front or lateral raises for delts). Also of importance, your body will experience a greater natural hormonal response (testosterone, growth hormone) when confronted with heavy, compound moves rather than lighterweight isolation exercises. And lets not forget one other signicant benet: When you include more compound moves, youll develop better symmetry and prevent muscular imbalances that can increase your risk of injury.

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BLINDLY FOLLOWING SOMEONE ELSES ROUTINE


Pro bodybuilders like the athletes featured in MuscleMag dont come up with their routines accidentally; years of trial and error have enabled them to discover what moves work best for them. Their routines reect a preference for certain kinds of equipment over others (say, dumbbells over barbells if they have a pre-existing shoulder problem) and are often designed specically to target weak or lagging areas. In addition, the large volume (number of exercises, sets and reps) speaks to their highly advanced state, something a novice shouldnt try to duplicate. Moreover, training splits (the schedule of workouts you do

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on particular days, as well as rest days) correspond to time available, recuperative abilities, nutritional support and bodybuilding experience, and those factors vary based on your individual circumstances as well. That being said, you can still gain insight thats useful to your own training from the pros because they have years of in-the-trenches experience and can provide insight into subtle techniques and ways of doing particular moves that are incredibly useful, even for beginners. Theres much to be learned from dissecting a pro bodybuilders routine, but chances are that the program isnt one you want to be repeating exactly and the same goes for blindly copying the routines of other gym members.

Figuring out what moves will work best for you takes a great amount of trial and error.

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FAILING TO LEARN ALL THE VARIATIONS OF A GIVEN EXERCISE
Knowing how to do a given move with perfect form is critical, and thatll help you construct a solid base of muscularity, but each and every exercise has a number of varia-

Your workout program is a living and breathing instrument that can be tweaked and poked and massaged so that it works for you, not against you.
tions that are different in subtle ways. Learning and practicing all the versions will help you build thicker, denser muscle because youre training the target muscle from slightly different angles. Over time, incorporating all the variations into your workout will generate a full, dense muscle. The most obvious way incorporate alternatives is to substitute barbell, dumbbell, cable and machine moves. In fact, you can do some exercises, like the front raise for anterior delts, with each of these pieces of equipment, and each variation is a little bit different from the others. There are, however, more ways to introduce small degrees of change into a given move. Take the standing dumbbell lateral raise for your middle delts, for example. It can also be done from a seated position (less momentum), one arm at a time while standing (greater focus on each side), on the cable (constant tension and the angle of pull comes from across the body rather than the direct result of gravity), on a machine (easier to train to failure as you dont have to balance your body or the weight), or even leaning away from a vertical post (longer range of motion). Besides working the muscle from slightly altered angles, knowing how to do a particular move a number of ways can be benecial on days when the gym is crowded and lines are forming at the piece of equipment you need. Rather than waste time waiting in line, simply try an alternate move and your workout is back on track.

You can incorporate variation into many moves, like the standing lateral raise, to target the muscles in different ways.

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FALLING INTO A COMFORT ZONE
If your workout isnt challenging and isnt forcing you to push yourself, chances are its also stopped working. There are dozens of real-life examples you probably see at your own gym individuals whove been training for years but have made no appreciable progress with their physiques. If you just do your same old workout, youre bound to get the same old results. Everyone has their favorite exercises, but you also need to understand that you have to make some kind of change to your routine to keep the muscle stimulated. If youre not getting results, modication is necessary, and its not limited to just exercise selection but order, sets and reps, weights, rest periods, intensity techniques and the composition of your training split as well. Making such adjustments to your workout also has the added benet of helping to keep you mentally fresh.
Your workout should never be so set in stone that you dont make adjustments as necessary. The length of your rest periods should be exible, depending on the circumstances.

Dont be afraid to try new exercises progress comes when you continually challenge and push yourself.

ADJUST REST INTERVALS TO YOUR WORKOUT


Your program is a living and breathing instrument that can be tweaked and poked and massaged so that it works for you, not against you. Heres an example: Most bodybuilders typically take roughly a two-minute break between sets. But there are a number of reasons that you should adjust your rest period, depending on the circumstances: 1) toward the beginning of your workout when youre doing your heaviest sets, take a longer rest interval for more complete recovery; 2) on larger bodyparts

such as legs or back, take a longer rest period so that your breathing patterns can return to normal; 3) toward the end of your workout when youre no longer training for strength but rather for muscle pump, shorten the rest period so that youre not completely recovered between sets; 4) on smaller bodyparts like arms and/or especially abs and calves, signicantly shorten the rest period because the muscle recovers more quickly; and, 5) regularly implement advanced training techniques like supersets or rest-pause, which are predicated on manipulating the normal rest period for superior muscle gains.

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IGNORING THE POWER OF YOUR MIND
For beginners, improvement in strength and size typically comes rather quickly. But the longer youve been at the iron game, however, the more difficult it is to continue making progress. Your size gains will eventually plateau and adding even 5 pounds to the bar will become a monumental effort. Sure, switching up exercises and rearranging your training split can help, but for many it becomes necessary to rethink your approach and try using some extraordinary methods to jump-start new muscle growth. Listening to your body gets to be more important the more advanced you become. Rather than simply lifting weights, focus on feeling the muscle work and generating a pump, worrying less about reps and sets. You can also discover new ways to challenge yourself: Do exercises you generally avoid, try high-intensity methods youve never used like rest-pause, negatives or cycle heavy and light workouts any strategy you havent tried before. If youre still searching for new ideas, keep reading MuscleMag for techniques and tips from top-level bodybuilders who are facing the same challenges as you.

SKIPPING THE WARM-UP AND COOL-DOWN


Along with being able to lift heavier weights, advanced bodybuilders are very familiar with sore joints, aches and pains. The repetitive nature of bodybuilding makes such nuisances a matter of everyday life. The longer and heavier you train, the more common these occurrences become. If you think about it, all the things you possibly skipped as a beginner, including warming up, doing rotator-cuff exercises and even stretching, become even more critical if you want to continue lifting pain-free for years to come. In addition, the advanced bodybuilder must know the difference between good and bad pain, when to pull back and when its okay to push yourself. Tendinitis and other joint aches related to repetitive motion are common and can get much worse if not treated properly, and youll really set your training back if you have to miss a month or two to rest an injury. While the use of NSAIDs can help relieve symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause and shouldnt be taken for long-term periods. Its important to listen carefully to your body and see a sports-medicine physician or chiropractor when you feel pain. Joint supplements can also help, as they provide the raw materials needed to repair damaged tissue and restore normal function.

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EXPECTING TO MAKE BIG GAINS TRAINING ON YOUR OWN


While its true that you dont need a workout partner to make tremendous bodybuilding gains, and a lazy, late or inattentive partner can even hold your progress back, the fact remains that a good, responsive and motivating spotter can push you well past your physical limits and help you make gains you otherwise wouldnt accrue. Research conrms what you may have already discovered to be true: In the presence of another

person, you have the ability to push more weight or do more reps than youd do on your own. This is valuable not just on your heaviest sets when you need a watchful eye say, with free-bar squats, incline and decline barbell presses or overhead shoulder presses but also when attempting advanced-training techniques such as forced reps, rest-pause, drop sets and negatives. Your toolbox of exercises and advanced training techniques increases exponentially with a solid training partner, and if you return the favor and assist him, everybody indeed wins.

Theres no denying that an attentive and responsive partner will help you surpass your physical limits.

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Some exercises are best done last in your workout, and some techniques pull out every last ounce of strength. Combine them and you get these nine great nishing moves that can take your physique to new levels if you can stand the pain.

In

the quest for crazy size, you push your body to the brink, pouring every ounce of stored animalistic intensity into each heavy set. And then you really turn up the heat. You do it because you know that weighty, plate-clanking sets take your muscles only to a certain limit. Its in the great beyond the hallowed realm of reps done beyond failure that eye-popping proportions are to be had. Finishing moves, those done at the end of your normal bodypart workout, serve a dual purpose. These exercises, which are usually of the isolation variety, help to ush blood and nutrients into muscles after heavier work; they also conduct a nal salvo on your bers and thus lay fertile groundwork for new growth and detail. But MuscleMag has strayed from the prefabricated playbook here. Finishing moves shouldnt simply be lighter work performed at the end of a routine for max reps they should be the sets that your body never saw coming. By combining these slightly off-color moves with techniques that are guaranteed to induce volcano-grade burns, we guarantee that youll take your physique to places its never been before. Use this exclusive guide of nishing moves and techniques each of which should be performed after your heavy compound work to add a MuscleMag sheen to your bodywork.

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By Eric V

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CHEST

es Phase Fly ck + Foure -D c e P : FINISHER

use this technique every 23 workouts, but like anything else, your body grows accustomed to something it sees all the time, so limit it to 68 weeks, tops, if youre doing it at the end of each chest workout. Expect to get the most intense chest pump youve ever had.

THE FINISH: 4 sets x 12, 12, 10 PEC-DECK. By now, you know that FOUR-PHASE FLYES. This sinisa heavy bench is the main prerequisite for meaty pectorals. Performed at various angles, bench presses allow you to use the most weight; consequently, they provide the overload needed for growth. But, unless youre a freak like eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, you cant expect to reach your full potential without some form of a flye in your routine. The reason for this is simple: Flyes eliminate the assistance of the triceps and lessen the load on the front delts, forcing your pecs to take on the lions share of the work.
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ter version of the ye takes things to a new level of work by incorporating partial reps and longer, more deliberate holds at peak contraction. All those extra quarter-reps really burn the inner-chest bers, as does holding the peak-contracted position, so expect to feel a deep burn in your inner pecs, says Bill Geiger, MA, group editorial director for MuscleMag, who supplied this particular move. I dont know many guys who dont want to make those bers pop out a bit more, so heres your chance to make it happen. I like to

and 10 reps (plus quarter-reps to failure). On a standard pec-deck, select a weight that you can handle for 12 reps with good form. On the rst set, youll perform reps as normal. Its on the second set that things will start to get hairy: Youll hold the peak contraction for a full second before returning the handles to the start. On set three, youll employ the rep-and-a-quarter technique: Perform a full rep and then, instead of going all the way back, let your hands separate just 1618 inches before squeezing the handles back together. Thats one rep. Youll perform 10 for the set. On your nal, unforgiving set, youll perform 10 standard reps and then knock out as many quarter-reps as you can to absolute, muscle-quivering failure.

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BACK

er + Tabata bell Pullov b m u D e n : Decli FINISHER

DECLINE DUMBBELL PULLOVER. The decline pullover is to your lats what the ye is to your pecs. Its a fantastic free-weight nish to your back workout that, when performed regularly, can add extra are to your lats. The decline pullover is a great nisher for a couple of reasons, says Jimmy Pea, MS, CSCS, MuscleMags contributing director of strength and conditioning, and founder of PrayFit (www.prayt.com). First, it mimics the popular straight-arm pulldown, which is well known for its ability to isolate the lats. However, during the standard straight-arm pulldown, youre somewhat hampered by balance. On the lying decline version, you can eliminate that burden. Because youre anchored tightly, all the focus can be placed upon the lats. And because youve set the bench at a decline, the pullover motion better engages the lats throughout the range of motion.

TABATA. Where most lifters would

be content to robotically plod through a few sets of the aforementioned pulldowns, were asking you to add a twist to the decline dumbbell version by doing Tabata sets. Tabata, a rst cousin to restpause training, works on the same principle of training through intervals to take advantage of your bodys power systems but it involves more rigid time constraints. For Tabata, youll simply do eight segments of 20 seconds of work, each followed by 10 seconds of rest. This adds a heavy dose of nishing volume to this already targeted movement.

THE FINISH: 1 set of Tabata. Se-

lect a weight that you can handle for 12 15 clean reps and position yourself on the bench with the dumbbell placed behind your head for easy access. Using a visible clock, or a Gymboss timer (www. gymboss.com), begin your rst set, moving the weight over your face in wide, smooth arcs. Note how many reps you get on your rst segment of work it

may not be quite 1215 and strive for that number or better on each successive segment. As the set wears on, youll likely notice a decline in the number of reps youre able to get. The goal each workout should be to complete more total reps with the same weight. Once you

can do as many reps on your last segment as you did on your rst, add weight. On a good day, if youre averaging 12 reps per set, youll be looking at a lat-scorching, pump-inducing 96 reps, all done with just 10 seconds rest between segments.
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S G N I R T S M A H + S E T U L G + S D A QU
rop Sets Squat + D t li p S n a ll Bulgari : Dumbbe FINISHER

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DUMBBELL BULGARIAN SPLIT

SQUAT. Squats, leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. Your vanilla training routine may have yielded some size and strength, but if youre ready to take your legs to the next level, its time to break out of your comfort zone. We give you the dumbbell Bulgarian split squat. Akin to a single-leg squat, this can reduce even the toughest tough guy to a quivering mass of man jelly and thats if its done when youre fresh. By building this in as a nisher, were requiring you to man up on what were assuming is already your toughest gym day of the week. We promise, though, that you wont be disappointed with the results. The Bulgarian split squat is a tough exercise requiring balance and strength, says David Sandler, MS, CSCS*D, owner of StrengthPro Inc. (www.strengthpro.com) and founder of the International Physique Professionals Association (www.theippa. org). If you take the exercise deep, youll not only target your glutes and quads but youll also get a hamstring burn. Keep your weight on your front leg, using the rear leg for balance only, and youll understand which muscles are at play.

DROP SETS. Drop sets are one of

the most popular advanced-training techniques for a reason: They work. Repping to failure and then continuing with lighter weight allows you to extend a set, placing greater demand on the targeted muscles. It wont take much weight for you to get the most out of the dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, but with a couple of calculated drop sets, youll certainly incite new growth in your quads, glutes and hams.

THE FINISH: 1 set x 10 reps (followed by at least three drops). Although the big squat usually gets the nod, dont let this exercise fool you, Sandler says. If youre not convinced, try nishing your leg routine by perFEBRUARY 2014 |

forming a drop-set burner, and make this relatively low-weight exercise one that youll remember. Most strength coaches like this exercise for athletics; I like this exercise for total leg annihilation. Start with a weight that allows you to get 10 reps (if youre new to this exercise, 2030 pounds per hand is plenty at the end of a workout). Keeping two lighter sets of dumbbells close to your

front foot they should be in a place where you can simply grab and go upon reaching failure complete 10 reps; then immediately pick up the lighter set of dumbbells and rep out to failure again; then pick up your lightest pair and rep to failure again. If youre feeling frisky, you can do reps using only your bodyweight, again going to failure. Rest 12 minutes, then switch legs and do it all over again.

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ES WorldMags.net CALV + S G N I R T HAMS GLUTES


g : Single-Le FINISHER s+ s re P e Calf 45-Degre ps Speed Re
SINGLE-LEG 45-DEGREE CALF PRESS. If theres one bodypart that every guy seems to complain about, its calves. The reasons for their lack of growth are many from lack of training diversity to plain old genetics but it should be your aim to throw the kitchen sink at them. Performed in a 45-degree leg press, this unilateral move is a great way to provide a heavy load, while also snuffing out muscular imbalances that may exist between legs, by forcing each gastroc to carry its own weight, so to speak. The 45-degree angle also allows for a good pre-stretch of the calves, similar to the donkey press. SPEED REPS: Part of the challenge with calves is their capacity for endurance. This is why so many people fail to see new growth from typical high-rep schemes. A better approach is to work to involve the various types of muscle bers, taking time to target the more growth-prone fast-twitch bers by training with heavy weights and lower reps. For calves, whatever you can do to harness both the fast- and slow-twitch bers is needed for achieving a full look, says Los Angeles-based tness expert Eric Fleishman (www. ericthetrainer.com). THE FINISH: 34 sets x 5 reps (fast, slow and normal). Load the sled with the heaviest weight you can handle for 1012 reps. At the start of each single-leg set, youll begin with ve reps done as explosively as possible. These reps primarily use the fast-twitch muscle bers. The next ve reps should be done as slowly as possible, with the positive and negative portions of each rep taking as long as 710 seconds. These reps call your slow-twitch bers to action and start a serious burn. The nal ve reps should be done at a normal cadence, with each portion of each rep taking a customary 12 seconds. After 15 of these reps at various speeds with one leg, switch immediately to the other leg. The only rest allowed is the time it takes for you to safely switch legs.

ts + Drop Se am Raise -H te lu G d : Weighte FINISHER

After reaching the top of the rst half of the move, contract your hamstrings so your thighs come off the pads.

GLUTE-HAM RAISE. A relative of

the back extension, this exercise allows you to engage your hamstrings to a greater degree, hitting these posteriorchain all-stars from top to bottom, with a focus on the tough-to-reach gluteham tie-in.

The glute-ham raise is as brutal as it is rare, but if done as a nishing move periodically in your training cycle, your upper hamstrings will be stronger and tighter than ever, says Pea.

DROP SETS. The fact that youre

starting out with a weighted version allows you to incorporate drop sets, taking each set to failure and beyond, Pea says. Seldom do we ush that much blood into that specic area, so as a nisher its perfect. You wont have much left in the tank on leg day after a few sets of these.

THE FINISH: 12 sets x 10 reps (followed by at least two drops). Typically, you do the weighted gluteham raise as you would do the weighted back extension with weight plates held across your chest. To get the most out of the drop-set process, you may want to skip the 45s, instead opting for a pair of 25s or 35s, depending on how much hamstring work you did before this move. Aim for 10 reps on your rst go, dropping weight each time you hit positive failure. Finish with as many reps as you can do, using just your bodyweight for a nal coup de grce.

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BICEPS

ngle Sets Multiple-A + rl u C ll be nch Dumb stable-Be ju d A : R E FINISH

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ADJUSTABLE-BENCH DUMBBELL CURL. Barbell curls may be the mass builder par excellence when it comes to constructing biceps worthy of envy, but the dumbbell version is every bit as valuable to your training regimen. What is dumbbells biggest advantage at the end of a heavy session? Angles. Grab an adjustable bench and youll have all the equipment you need to make your biceps scream for mercy.

MULTIPLE-ANGLE SETS. If you

nd your biceps still arent getting the shape you want, its time to try angle training, Sandler says. With this protocol, youll curl your brains out at each of four angles. Hit your biceps at every angle possible for full individual sets, and watch them grow in a few short weeks. Put the work of the various angles backto-back and you have the makings of a killer nishing move.

THE FINISH: 4 sets x 1012 reps (done at each of four angles). Select a weight you can handle for 1520 reps on the standing dumbbell curl. On your rst set, youll set the incline to roughly 30 degrees, targeting the often-neglected outer (long) head of the biceps the one responsible for that killer peak in a back-double biceps pose. Perform 1012 reps, and then adjust the bench to roughly 45 degrees. With your biceps still at a pre-stretch, your outer heads will still get work on this second 1012-rep set, and the inner (short) heads will come into play as well. Next, youll set the bench to roughly 60 degrees and again knock out 1012 reps. Finally, youll stand and nish with 10 12 reps in your strongest biomechanical position, which will be important because your bis will be fried by this point. That uncomfortable feeling that youll get from the long stretch on those inclines is just the thing your biceps need to get a complete thrashing, Sandler adds.
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TRICEPS

p Set -Phase Dro e re h T + ip d-Bench D : Weighte R E H IS IN F

C
WEIGHTED-BENCH DIP. This move is the hallmark of a man set on a crusade for bigger triceps. Because of its difficulty, its rare to see someone doing this move in the gym, but theres little arguing its effectiveness in developing thick, striated triceps. Doing dips at the end of a triceps assault is like wringing out the sponge, Fleishman says. The dipping motion will bring attention not only to the back of the arm but also to the lower chest.

THREE-PHASE DROP SET. In-

full of plates. Obviously, having a training partner is a must for this arm burner; youll need someone to remove plates from your lap as you fail at each phase. The idea is to go from the most difficult version of this type of movement (weighted, feet up) to the easiest (bodyweight only, feet on oor), with one transition phase (bodyweight only, feet on bench) built in just for kicks. This method of continuous dropping brings on a level of exhaustion that leads to muscular change the ultimate goal, Fleishman says.

voking your inner turn-of-the-century strongman, youll begin a set with your hands behind you on one bench, your feet on a bench in front of you and a lap

THE FINISH: 12 sets x 10 (followed by two phase drops) Start the set with enough plates on your lap to

allow for 10 clean, if challenging, reps. After 10 reps, ideally completed to just short of failure, have a training partner remove the weight from your lap and immediately continue the set. Do as many reps as you possibly can dropping your feet to the oor with your legs slightly bent and continuing on to absolute muscle failure. If you think you can handle more, you can perform this entire process once more if you have anything left in the tank. Need motivation to get through those last few reps? Fleishman asks. Remember that this group accounts for two-thirds of the overall upper-arm mass. You cant have big arms without big triceps.
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RS E D L U O H S +TRAPS
Barbell ne Incline ro P : R E H FINIS e + 100s Front Rais

PRONE INCLINE BARBELL FRONT RAISE. This extremely challenging move, which places you face down on an incline bench with a barbell held beneath you at arms length, seems to have been created with this kind of magazine article in mind you cant go too heavy and it attacks the targeted muscle groups with impunity. This is a brutal isolation move, Pea says. And youll soon realize that you dont need much weight at all, even if youre doing this as a stand-alone move early in your routine.

100s. If you had to assign a degree of


difficulty for 100s training, itd fall somewhere between Are you kidding? and
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No freakin way! Understandably performed with light weight, youll soon grasp what makes 100-rep sets so difficult. Early in the set, your slow-twitch muscle bers are doing most of the work, as is to be expected with lightweight/high-rep work. But in the later phase of the set, as those endurance bers start to fade, your fast-twitch bers awaken to help you get through the rest of the set. Going for 100s allows you to fail twice, so to speak, Pea says. Because youre working with such light weight, youll fatigue the slow-twitch bers rst, before the fast-twitch variety gets a chance to fully engage. But you can rest assured that the pump and the ber fa-

tigue will be felt for days.

THE FINISH: 1 set x 100. Grab a

light barbell, preferably a preloaded one. This isnt about ego; this is about getting the sickest front delts and upper/middle traps in the gym so dont be embarrassed that youre starting with such light weight. Keeping your form as strict as possible, take to the business of reps. At around 5060 reps, youll feel the urge to set the bar down. Dont. Continue on until you hit 70 or more reps, and then rest for as many seconds as you have reps remaining. For example, rest 29 seconds if you have hit 71 reps (100 71 = 29). Continue on to failure again. If you have to stop before 100, rest again

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GREAT FINISHES WorldMags.net

S M R A E R O F

Superset rs Walk + e rm a F d n rl a : Wrist Cu FINISHER

WRIST CURL & FARMERS WALK. Wanna look better in a Tshirt? Train your forearms like you mean it. Sure, big biceps and triceps are great, but your forearms are almost always on display. Thats why its important to train your wrist exors on the meaty side of your forearm and not just with dainty, high-rep sets. Heavier work is required to elicit the kinds of gains youre looking for, so dont be afraid to get ambitious with your weight loads. Your endurance work will be performed after your wrist curls, in unconventional fashion. The farmers walk is a signature strongman exercise. Simply pick up a very heavy set of dumbbells and, well, walk. In this case, however, with your farmers walk following your wrist curls, its unlikely that youll be able to go as heavy; the walks will be used primarily to set your forearms aame.

SUPERSET. Wrist curls are one of the few exercises that isolate the forearms, but performed alone, theyre pretty boring, says Sandler, a former powerlifter. If Popeye-like arms are your thing, then try this ridiculous post-exercise blaster. By ridiculous, I mean the way youll feel after, as you

ask, Do I really want to work this hard? Adding a strongman move after an isolated small-muscle-group exercise seems off-the-wall wrong. I think so too, which is why I recommend hitting this combo at the very end of your workout. But be careful, when your grip nally fails your hands will likely be stuck, but more importantly, youll need to watch your toes. If youre really up for the challenge and ready to ght the burn, your forearms wont tell you theyre done; the weights will.

THE FINISH: 23 sets x 10-12 reps + 50 feet. Nothing too complicated here. Perform a set of heavy wrist curls to failure. If you can do more than 12 reps, youve gone too light (again). Then, immediately pick up a set of heavy dumbbells (somewhere in the realm of what you normally row for reps) and walk. The goal would be to walk around 50 feet, but, as Sandler says, the weight may tell you otherwise. Repeat the process once or twice more for good measure.
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SHUT UP

SQUAT
BUILDING STRONG AND MUSCULAR LEGS REQUIRES YOU TO SQUAT. HERES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SINGLE BEST MUSCLE-BUILDING EXERCISE.
BY BILL GEIGER, MA
HI PHOTOS OF HIDETADA YAMAGIS BY ROBERT REIFF

AND

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If the WorldMags.net primary goal


of everyone in the gym is to build maximal muscle mass, why do so many lifters avoid the squat? Besides its muscle-building effects on the entire lower-body musculature, this mother of all size-builders also encourages hormone release that benets your entire body. You simply cant duplicate its effects no matter how many leg presses you do.

feeling of keeping your chest big. Thats the position you want to practice. From that starting position, have someone look at you from the side and watch your knees are they staying behind your toes or going forward? If your knees are going forward of your toes, then your hips arent going back far enough. Reach back with your butt to the bench. Get to the point where you can touch and go with the bench. Thatll give you an idea of the right movement pattern. Once you can do that without any problems, work your way from there. Id really focus on staying exible getting into the correct start position and maintaining it is difcult if youre somewhat inexible. Spend some time developing the requisite exibility of your ankles, knees and hips.

GETTING STARTED
Warming up is crucial to performing any exercise at a high level, but especially so with the squat. Besides ve to 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill at a lightto-moderate pace, Waxman recommends an active warm-up, a series of bodyweight calisthenics performed at a brisk pace. This includes: Walking or alternating lunges. Lunge with elbow touches (sameside elbow touches inside of front leg; other hand can touch oor for balance). Monster Walk (stand up straight and raise your arm straight out in front of you, kicking out the opposite leg, and alternating). Inchworm (keep your legs straight and touch your toes, and walk your arms as far as you can, then walk your legs in without bending your knees. Repeat ve to 10 times). Skip the static stretching before you warm up, which will adversely affect your power output. Before attempting anything heavy, do some light-weight sets as you work your way up to your working weight. Perform these with focused attention and impeccable form to ensure that youre completely warmed up.

The traditional back squat is simply a deep knee bend with weight on top of your shoulders. In reality, the squat and its many variations are anything but simple. Few exercises work as many major muscle groups as thoroughly or with greater intensity. Because of the amount of muscle bers they activate, squats burn more calories than any other resistance exercise, stimulating your cardiovascular system like no other. In fact, research presented at a National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Meeting showed that the squat burned almost 50 percent more calories as compared to the leg press. While the value of the squat is undisputed, it is a complex and technical lift. You must work hard to perfect your technique, which requires: Stabilization in the spine, torso and hips to support and move the weight. Flexibility in the hip and ankle joints to allow for the appropriate range of motion. Correct inclination of both the trunk

and the shins. Strength in the hip- and knee-joint muscles and isometric strength of your lower back. The basic squat isnt too difcult to master, says Sean Waxman, CSCS, a former Team USA super-heavyweight Olympic lifter and strength coach to professional and college sports teams. Whats difcult are peoples barriers to doing it correctly. I hear all the time that squatting is hard, but these individuals cant touch their toes. One potential barrier is exibility of the ankle, hip and leg in general. Being misinformed by people who says its a dangerous exercise, thats another barrier.

LEARNING TO SQUAT
For beginners, Waxman suggests nding someone who knows what hes doing to help you learn the move. Get a chair or bench and set it behind you. Put your hands behind your head and force your elbows back, kind of opening up and spreading your chest. Thatll give you the

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SQUAT VARIATION # 01 POWERLIFTING WorldMags.net SQUA


(LOW-BAR SQUAT)

HOW IT COMPARES TO SQUAT: The bar is positioned lower on your back, across your rear delts not your traps. This causes your trunk to incline forward and generally keeps it further inclined than any other squat variant. By changing the center of mass of your torso, it allows you to immediately go heavier. While the increase in strength is due to biomechanics, youll feel more glute/hip action and less lowerquad activation. DO IT RIGHT: Use a wider stance and turn your feet and knees out slightly more. This wider stance shortens the range of motion and also brings in the powerful adductor muscles.

20 TIPS FOR A PERFECT SQUAT


The common back squat, also called the high-bar squat, demands precise biomechanics for optimal load-bearing and to ensure you remain injury-free. In most squat variations, the basic position and execution sequence remain very similar to the high-bar squat.

Before You Start


Make sure that youre properly warmed up. Perform ve to 10 minutes of cardio as well as an active warm-up for both the upper body and lower body. Position the bar on the squat rack at a height approximately 3 to 5 inches below your shoulders. Place your hands evenly on the bar, equidistant from the center. Start at the marks of the bar, and work your way in or out depending on comfort, says Waxman. I personally feel I have better control with my hands in close and better activation of the upper body. If youve got tight shoulders, you wont be able to grip

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If you have knee tendinitis and still want to squat, this version is a better choice, says Olympic lifter Sean Waxman, CSCS. Its easier to keep your weight on your heels so you get reduced stress on your knees.

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close on the bar. Wrap your thumbs around the bar for added control. Position yourself squarely under the bar so that it rests on top of the traps but not on the cervical spine. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they set themselves up unevenly under the bar. Position the bar so that your shoulders, hips and ankles are directly under it. If you dont have well-developed traps and the bars rubbing against your spine, bring your hands closer together, which gives you more area for the bar to rest upon, or use a pad or towel. At this point, your elbows should be pointing down, not back.

Stand straight up and take a step back. Get focused. Think of your body as a thick steel spring about to compress and rebound. Concentrate on everything youre doing.

5 6 7

In the Ready Position


How you hold your torso is critical, says Waxman. Take a big chest breath which means to raise your chest up and keep it there. Once youve taken that big chest breath, clamp down on your belly button, which keeps the hips stable. Thats the posture youre

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SQUAT VARIATION # 02 FRONT WorldMags.net SQUA

HOW IT COMPARES TO SQUAT: Great exercise, says Waxman. Will give you a little more torso work than the back squat because you really have to work to stay upright, and its going to stress a little more of the quads because youre so upright, with less hip involvement. This is a great torso strengthener. DO IT RIGHT: The bar should rest at the base of your ngers high on the chest with your elbows pointed to the front. If this is uncomfortable, you can cross your arms to hold the bar high on your deltoids so that it doesnt roll off. It can be tough, however, to keep your elbows high as you fatigue.

Although you may try a Smith machine to help you get a feel for the move, quickly switch over to free weights to avoid the problems associated with the Smith machine.

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WorldMags.net EP IF YOU CANT KE ON YOUR TORSO POSITI U CORRECT, THEN YO 12 NEED TO ADDRESS , THE REASONS WHY NOT TRY AND FIGHT ANY THROUGH IT. M TIMES FLEXIBILITY IS THE PROBLEM.
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going to maintain throughout the entire range of motion. Foot position and stance are going to be somewhat different for different people as anthropometrics comes into play. In general, you want to place your feet a little bit wider than shoulderwidth apart and your feet pointed slightly outward, says Waxman, as this provides a stable and powerful base. This is going to allow the knee to track over the toe as you descend. For tall people with perhaps unusual limb lengths, theyre going to have to play around a bit with the split spacing. Keep your head facing forward not up or down throughout the move. Your head should always be in a neutral position because you dont want to put your spine in any unusual position when its loaded with weight. Looking down is never good, as it increases rounding of the back and it will force your shoulders forward. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that gazing down increased the forward bend at the hips by over eight percent and forward exion of the spine by about two percent. Keep your lower back exed and locked in its natural arch. Your back has a natural S-curve that you must maintain while squatting, both to protect the spine and because maintaining it is more efcient for transferring power. You never want to atten or round your back, which puts stress along the vertebral column. If you cant keep your torso position correct, then you need to address the reasons why, not try and ght through it, says Waxman. Many times exibility is the problem. If you cant keep your upper back from rounding, maybe you need to do bent-over rows or Romanian deadlifts, things that are going to help strengthen the upper back. If you cant keep your lower back from rounding, you need to address your ab strength and hamstring exibility, which will help stabilize the hip.

The Descent

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The rst thing you want to do is break your hips, says Waxman, who describes it as like sitting in a chair. As you go down, two things should happen: The hips should go backward, which keeps the weight back on the heels, pushing the center of gravity backward just a bit. This also keeps the knees back and in line with the toes. The second thing is that you need to keep the torso as upright as possible. Your chest should be facing the wall, not the oor. When performing the free-weight squat, a slight forward lean will occur naturally

as you descend, which will help you maintain proper balance. The ankle, knee and hip should line up at all times to ensure an ideal line of force and reduce unwanted stress on the knee and hip. Many times weak glutes or tight adductors will cause wobbling in which the knees buckle inward. Waxman offers this simple x: Get a Theraband, cut a piece and tie it into a circle. Slip that around your knees and when you squat, push out against that band. This provides better activation of the glutes and keeps the knees where they should be. Your weight should remain centered over the back half of your feet, not your toes. If your weight is shifting backward as it should, its very difcult to go up onto your toes, says Waxman. As you sink back slowly, your knees should remain behind an imaginary line that extends up from your toes to minimize stress on the joint and surrounding connective tissue. The farther the knees extend over the toes, the more the degree of stress. You dont want to have your knees far out over your toes. Though everybodys going to have some anthropometric differences, ideally thats something you want to minimize, says Waxman. For a long time, people believed deep squats were bad for the knees. Waxman says that over the past decade, research shows no difference between the parallel squat and the full squat. For most people, however, the problem with doing full squats is that they dont have the exibility to perform them correctly in the ankles, hips and hamstrings as well, he adds. At the very least, you should descend to a thighs-parallel-to-the-oor position. In terms of muscular activation, squatting deeper works the glutes and hamstrings more intensely, as well as your core. To be able to hold that upright posture in such a low position really forces your back and abs to re, says Waxman.

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SQUAT VARIATION # 03 SISSY WorldMags.net SQUA

HOW IT COMPARES TO SQUAT: Difficult to really overload the muscles, so may be done toward the end of the workout. Emphasizes the quads very effectively, but can overly stress the knees. DO IT RIGHT: Hold on to a rigid support for balance and let your knees bend and extend out in front of you, and lean back as your torso descends. As your knees come forward, your heels will come off the ground as you rise up on your toes. At the bottom, simultaneously push down through your feet and drive your hips forward and up.

Try this move holding a weight plate across your chest, and ditch the plate when you hit failure to get a few more reps.

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BENEFITS OF SQUATTING WorldMags.net


exercises for increasing the strength The squats unparalleled among just the legs, says Sean Waxman, not , and stability of the entire body r-heavyweight Olympic lifter, CSCS. The former Team USA supe college sports teams and university and al ssion profe to h coac gth stren leg exercises, benets the other e unlik t, squa the that lecturer says . ways of body in a number Increases bone density. This occurs when the bone is loaded along the long axis, which doesnt apply in an exercise like the leg extension, says Waxman. You see an increase in bone density in the vertebral column, hips and leg bones. This is important because you shouldnt be concerned with just building big muscles, but the entire [musculoskeletal] system so that it never breaks down.

Strengthens connective tissue. By training in full range of motion, you increase two components of connective tissue: collagen, which is the structural support of ligaments and tendons; and elastin, which aids in exibility.

Increases power output. Waxman notes that the squat offers an incredible power output, meaning its activating the most muscle in the body. Comparing power output tells me theres a lot of work going on to produce this kind of power. If you want your car to go faster, you have to put a bigger engine in it. In this case, your engine is your muscles, and it takes all these muscles working together to produce this kind of power. Thats why you cant beat the squat as an overall strength exercise.

explains Waxman. You want to maintain that intra-abdominal pressure to aid stability in your most vulnerable positions. In the top position, your legs should be straight with your knees unlocked. Take one to three deep breaths and go into your next rep.

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VARIATIONS TO THE SQUAT


Despite the fact that there are a number of machine-based exercises with squat in their name, Waxman is convinced that none come close to the original. He argues that machine moves as in the Smith machine, hack-squat machine, horizontal sled squat and machine squat activate fewer muscle bers and put additional forces on connective tissues and joints. I consider those to be isolation moves in that they allow you to stress an individual part of the leg, not the entire muscle, he says. Any time you use a machine to lift youre really missing out on the benets of balance and torso development and overall leg development. Youre kind of specializing in development of one area of the leg, and Im not a big fan of that. Make the squat your primary move and use some of the other moves to bring up a weak point.

Supports knee health. Research has found that with ACL rehabs, squatting activates all the muscles of the ankles, knees and hips, causing a sort of brace to form around the knee. This co-contraction isnt found in partial moves, and it actually provides a barrier for the knee and keeps it stable something youre not going to get with other leg exercises.

Builds muscle. Waxman, who has squatted 660 pounds at a bodyweight of 245 pounds without the aid of a suit or wraps, argues that ditching the squat in favor of other leg moves would be a very inefficient way to build muscle mass. When done properly, the squat will hit every muscle in the lower body as well as the torso and will develop them evenly and equally. You wont develop the imbalances that inevitably happen when you try to isolate the muscles of the leg. For someone who is looking to build mass and r density, there isnt anything bette than the squat.

Once you reach the bottom position, reverse direction smoothly, dont bounce out of it. Think about pushing through the oor with your whole foot, and drive through your heels until you reach the top, Waxman states. On the ascent, you want to be explosive, accelerating vigorously out of the bottom but still keeping it under control so it doesnt come off your shoulders. As a general rule of thumb, Waxman suggests three seconds down, two seconds up. A slow and controlling descent is a smart approach to any move.

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As you stand up and ex your glutes to drive your hips forward, your hips and shoulders must rise up at the same speed, meaning your hips shouldnt come up rst with your shoulders following. I like to push up against the bar with my arms, helping me to keep the shoulders and hips working as a unit, Waxman says. Hold your breath from the start position until youre about two-thirds of the way up but not before, especially when using heavy poundages. Your lungs are essentially balloons, airlled sacs that act as a pneumatic brace for the spine, a God-given belt of sorts,

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THE MENTAL ASPECT OF SQUATTING


Given the overwhelming evidence of the benets of squatting, why doesnt everyone squat? Its difcult its work, says Waxman. You cant hide. With a lot of exercises, especially machines, you can hide in them. Theres no hiding in the squat you can either do it or you cant. Theres an ego thing that goes into it as well; if youve got a big upper body but havent squatted, you wont want to be seen doing light weights. But the best and fastest way to build thick legs is to go out there and squat. People have to get over their excuses. If they want the best development, they have to squat.

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SQUAT VARIATION # 04 OVERHEAD WorldMags.net SQUA

HOW IT COMPARES TO SQUAT: Not really so much a leg exercise as it is a torso exercise, because youre not going to be able to use as much weight as you would with a back or front squat, so its not going to stimulate the leg musculature as those other moves would, says Waxman. However, its one of the best torso and upper-body exercises that you can do, improving overall athleticism. You have to really work to keep your torso upright, but youre also increasing the lever arm, which makes it difficult. DO IT RIGHT: Press a loaded bar overhead as you would in a military press, and with arms extended, go into a deep squat and stand back up.

A challenging exercise that most bodybuilders could use for developing thick traps and shoulders. Waxman recommends it with a back or shoulder workout rather than with legs.

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E H T F O TOOLS

N O IR E D A R
e By Jimmy Pg Director of Contributin d Conditioning Strength an Chris White
BB Pro Photos of IFJames ry by Grego

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ed guide to the il ta e d is th h it w t u o f your next work ble attachments at your gym Get the most out o umbbells and ca various barbells,ad , MS, CSCS,

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TOOLS OF THE IRON TRADE WorldMags.net

If you happen to follow a favorite team in sports, theres no doubt it kills you to see them miss an opportunity in a game like when you see a wide-open receiver on the eld
or a center completely alone under the basket. The easy score is right there, but the person with the ball either doesnt see the key player or chooses to ignore him.
As bodybuilders, we might not like to admit it, but we take part in the same scenario every day. We go through our workouts without recognizing the tools around us that can help us achieve our goals. Small pieces of equipment like handles and ropes are so easy to incorporate, and can make a substantial difference in each and every bodypart you train. The key is knowing what they are, what theyre for and the best exercises in which to use them. In this guide, MuscleMag gives you just that an inventory of gym apparatuses that can help you build your best body possible. much as dumbbells do, which is sometimes a very good factor, as you can concentrate on simply pulling or pushing serious weight. And varying your grip from wide to narrow can help you target different muscle groups or areas of muscles because it changes the angle of your arms in reference to the body. The term bar touches on more than just your standard barbell. Lets examine a few types, some of which are probably gathering dust in the corner of your gym as we speak, just waiting for action. sections. The main difference between the two is that the ends of a standard barbell are 1 inch to t standard weight plates. Most Popular Uses: Squat, Romanian deadlift, bench press, military press, deadlift, bent-over row and standing curl. Also Try: Turning a barbell into an ab wheel. Put a plate on each end, get on your knees in front of the bar, grasp it with both hands, and then hold your upper body rigid as you lower yourself as far as you can before reversing.

BARBELL BLUEPRINTS

OLYMPIC BARBELL AND STANDARD BARBELL

Perhaps the most important tool in the gym, a barbell is valuable as a means to tax your body to the extreme. The barbell doesnt call on stabilizer muscles as

Specs: Each weighing 45 pounds, the Olympic barbell and standard barbell are 7 feet in length, although you may also nd a 5-foot variation in some gyms. The grip is 1 inch in diameter and has knurled

Expert Take: Often, the simplest inventions prove to be the best, and thats arguably the case with barbells. Extremely versatile you can work every bodypart from multiple angles with a barbell they should be a prominent part of any serious bodybuilding regimen.

Barbell

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EZ-BAR (aka, Cambered Bar)

EZ-Bar

Specs: Shorter than an Olympic bar, this barbell is bent in an elongated W shape. The angles allow the lifter to keep his hands between a supinated (underhand) and neutral (palms in) grip. Most Popular Uses: Biceps curl (standing or preacher curl), reverse curl and skullcrusher. Also Try: The upright row helps alleviate the angle your wrists are forced into at the top of the motion when using a straight bar. Expert Take: The EZ-bar removes some of the stress on your wrists, and it also helps shift the emphasis because of the slightly different hand position in various muscles. For example, when doing biceps curls with the EZ-bar, the focus moves toward the long (outer) biceps head, otherwise known as the peak.

Trap Bar

FAT BAR

Specs: These specialized bars come in 23-inch diameters and are primarily used to help develop grip strength. Most Popular Uses: Deadlift, barbell curl, reverse curl and upright row. Also Try: While the fat bar shouldnt permanently take the place of a standard bar in your regular routine, if youre looking to amp up the intensity during a workout, try using it for one of the exercises for that days bodypart. Expert Take: If youre new to using the fat bar, slot it last in your routine. Because it fatigues the forearms so well, you could compromise the balance of the session if you use it early in your workout.

TRAP BAR

Specs: This is a diamond-shaped bar; the lifter stands inside the center and grasps the handles with a neutral grip. Most Popular Uses: Deadlift and shrug. Also Try: The farmers walk, while generally performed with dumbbells,

can also be executed with this bar if your gym has the walking space. This bar serves as an excellent alternate for that exercise.

Expert Take: The trap bar isnt for everyone if you nd it awkward, standard shrugs with barbells or dumbbells will do just ne.

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Dumbbell

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DUMBBELL DEVICES
Training with dumbbells has many advantages, the rst being that they allow you to train each side of your body in unilateral (one side at a time) fashion. Research conrms you can produce more force on one side of your body, such as when training unilaterally with dumbbells, as compared to that same limb when its working in conjunction with the opposite-side limb of the body in other words, if you train with a barbell. Another ideal feature of dumbbells is that you can employ all kinds of grips, like supinated, pronated and neutral. Dumbbells allow for a wide range of motion and call for increased stabilizer activity. STANDARD DUMBBELL Specs: You know this one a dumbbell is a short bar with weight on each end, sometimes forged as one piece. The handle is usually about 812 inches long with a knurled grip. Most Popular Uses: Bench press, row, standing or seated press, numerous curl variations, kickback and lateral raise. Also Try: Perform an exercise you usually do with two dumbbells with just one (i.e., make the move unilateral). Examples include a one-arm dumbbell bench press or skullcrusher. Expert Take: Dumbbells inherently allow for a wider range of motion in all directions, simply because they arent attached to any machine, nor are your limbs connected via a bar. Dumbbells can be advantageous for those who have wrist or shoulder problems, because you can nd a range of motion or angle to work within thats pain free, as opposed to, say, a Smith machine, which has a xed path.

Kettlebell
KETTLEBELL Specs: Think of a cannonball with a rounded handle forged onto it and you have a kettlebell. A very old-school piece of equipment, its enjoying a deserved renaissance in gyms around the world. As with dumbbells, they come in various weights. Most Popular Uses: Swing and snatch. Also Try: A functional move like the very difficult Turkish Get Up, in which you extend your working arm toward the ceiling and keep it there as you get up from a lying position. Begin with a light kettlebell for any new and unfamiliar exercise. Expert Take: While kettlebells are benecial for certain exercises, they shouldnt replace standard dumbbells in all cases. Many trainers these days focus too much of their clients workouts on kettlebells, ignoring the practical uses of the traditional dumbbell.
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Lat Bar CABLE CONSTRUCTIONS
Cables allow for resistance to be applied to bodyparts from multiple directions with constant tension on the target muscle. Thats important especially at the point of peak contraction, where tension is usually lost in freeweight moves. Take the cable ye, for example. During the dumbbell version, the tension is lost in the top portion of the range of motion, but with cables the tension is as present at the top as it is in the middle or bottom. When you add various handles with altered grips to cables, the result is a myriad of ways to shock your system. Here are the most common pieces to look for and incorporate into your routine. SHORT STRAIGHT BAR Specs: Take an Olympic bar and shorten it to about 20 inches or so, and you have the short straight bar. This bar is equipped with a rotating sleeve that allows you to twist and move the bar in every direction. It can be attached to the lower or upper pulley. Most Popular Uses: Biceps curl, overhead triceps extension, upright row, plus numerous seated and lying exercises including the lying cable triceps extension and cable preacher curl. Also Try: By attaching the bar to the seated row machine, you can perform a lying cable curl. Bend your knees such that your head is fully supported by the bench and perform biceps curls. Your quads can act as a spot. Expert Take: The short straight bar can be used in so many ways, with your imagination being the biggest limiting factor.

Neutral-Grip Lat Bar

LAT BAR Specs: Just like the name suggests, the lat bar is primarily attached to a high cable and helps target the latissimus dorsi muscles of your back. Most Popular Uses: Lat pulldown, reverse-grip pulldown and wide-grip seated row. Also Try: This bar can also be attached to the seated cable row station to do wide-grip seated rows, with an overhand or underhand grip. Expert Take: Many people shy away from performing behind-

the-neck movements with the lat bar, but unless you have preexisting shoulder or neck issues, going behind the neck is safe as long as youre using proper form. NEUTRAL-GRIP LAT BAR Specs: The handles at the end, which are perpendicular to the bar, put your hands in a neutral (palms-in) position. Most Popular Uses: Neutral-grip pulldown and wide-grip seated row. Also Try: Timed holds, in which you simply hold the bar with your arms extended directly above you while in the

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lat station, holding the handles for as long as possible until fatigue. Great for the end of a biceps workout to fatigue and train your grip. Expert Take: This bar calls the forearms into action during pulldowns, more so than the other grips. D-HANDLE Specs: Just like the name suggests, this handle looks like the letter D. It also has a swiveling attachment which allows you to twist your hand in every direction. Most Popular Uses: One-arm cable row, concentration curl, front raise and lateral raise. Also Try: The D-handle works well on moves such as the standing one-arm rows and overhead presses. Expert Take: This handle is an ideal choice for unilateral cable exercises.

CLOSE-GRIP BAR (aka, Low-Row Bar) Specs: This equipment positions your hands close together in a neutral position. Most Popular Uses: Seated row, standing cable row, old-fashioned T-bar row (placing hands under the barbell). Also Try: Attaching the close-grip handle to a high cable and doing close-grip pulldowns. Expert Take: This bar allows the involvement of the lower lats to a greater extent, and not the middle back. The close-grip bar helps keep your elbows tight to your body.

LONG V-BAR Specs: Aptly named, the bar looks like a V and has handles at the end that allow you to use either a pronated or supinated grip. Most Popular Uses: Seated row and close-grip pulldown. Also Try: Reverse curls, either standing or lying, as the shape of the bar is very comfortable on the wrists and allows you to stress the exors and extensors with great accuracy. Expert Take: Even though your hands are pronated during seated rows, this bar is relatively short, so your elbows remain pretty close to the body at the peak contraction, making the long V-bar optimal for lower-lat recruitment.

Long V-Bar

Photo by Paul Buceta Model IFBB Pro Eduardo Corra da Silva

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Pressdown Bar

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PRESSDOWN BAR Specs: This short bar is shaped like a V with knobs or stoppers at the ends so your hands dont slide off. Most Popular Uses: Triceps pressdown, lying cable triceps extension and seated overhead cable extension. Also Try: Standing curls by turning the bar upside down. The angle is comfortable on your wrists and helps recruit the long, outer head of the biceps. Expert Take: The pressdown bar is ideal for triceps moves, as it provides a bit of relief on your wrists compared to the straight bar. ROPE Specs: The rope has rubber stops at the ends to prevent your hands from slipping off. It also has a metal sleeve at the point where it attaches to the cable. Most Popular Uses: Rope pressdown, hammer curl and cable crunch. Also Try: Standing or seated overhead extensions to target the long head of the triceps. Expert Take: While you can really only use one grip with the rope neutral it does allow you to vary the peak contraction by turning your hands outward at the bottom of an exercise.

GETTING A GRIP
The idea of handles and bars is all about offering variety for you to switch up your grip. How you turn your hands and how that sometimes changes the angle of your arms to the body determines which muscle bers are recruited and to what extent. Heres a review of the basic grip styles and how each affects recruitment. PRONATED: This grip is marked by a palms down or palms forward position where your thumbs are pointed inward. Examples: Wide-grip pulldown, standard bench press and dumbbell front raise.

SUPINATED: With this grip, your thumbs are facing outward. Its also referred to as underhand. Examples: Pull-up and barbell curl.

MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
If youre lucky, your gym may be equipped with some or all of these goodies, too. Hanging Straps: Great for removing the need to hold onto the overhead bar, hanging straps support your upper arms as you perform abdominal moves such as hanging leg and knee raises. Ankle Strap: A bracelet-type attachment that allows you to perform lower-body cable moves. Its used for leg curls, lunges, step-ups and leg lifts. Chains: Offering progressive resistance through the range of motion, you hook the chains to the end of a bar, and as more links are lifted off the oor, the bar becomes heavier. Its often seen on the squat, bench press and bent-over row.

Bands: As you press or pull a band, the resistance becomes more difficult; this is called linear variable resistance. In other words, as you work through a range of motion toward the peak contraction, the exercise becomes increasingly challenging (with the top position being the most difficult). Bands can replicate all sorts of common exercises, from rows to presses to curls.

NEUTRAL: With this grip, your palms face each other and your thumbs are pointed up, or at you. Examples: Close-grip pulldown and hammer curl.

Photos by (left) Rich Baker / Paul Buceta Models IFBB Pro Steve Namat / Kip Brown

STAGGERED: Also known as a mixed grip, going staggered entails having one hand supinated and the other pronated. Examples: Deadlift and sumo deadlift.

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By Steven Stiefel

A number of nutrition recommendations may not apply to you because of your body type. Heres how to customize your mass-gain plan.

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ou cant follow a one-size-ts-all prescription when it comes to bodybuilding nutrition because every individual is different. When it comes to nutrition advice, the bullet points of most diet plans may be only partially relevant to your needs and goals. Start by acknowledging that hard-training people have different body types. You may be lean and trying to add bodyweight and muscle mass, athletic and muscular but striving to boost performance and add lean mass, or hefty and working to reduce body fat while maintaining or building muscle mass.

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This shouldnt come as a shock, but a guy who falls into one of these categories has different nutritional needs than a guy who falls into another category. There isnt a diet program that works for everyone who goes to the gym. Regardless of whether youre a hardgainer, an athlete or a hefty guy by genetic assignment, you can make extraordinary strides toward your physique and athletic goals when you better understand your bodys nutritional needs. These are MuscleMags rules for your body type.

THE HARDGAINER
The Technical Term Nickname

ECTOMORPH
AKA

SLIM
Primary Objective

THE SKINNY GUY

INCREASE MUSCLE MASS AND BODYWEIGHT

These are not two separate goals theyre one and the same. As a hardgainer, you should strive to increase your bodyweight by building more lean muscle mass. When you follow our suggestions, youll do so without increasing body fat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Increase your calorie intake. The biggest reason hard-training guys fail to gain muscle mass is not just their fast metabolism, but the simple fact that they dont take in enough calories to fuel workouts and properly repair muscle tissue after intense training. Often these hardgainers just dont eat enough to surpass their metabolic requirements for daily activity, especially

when they spend long hours in the gym. 2) Increase your carb intake. Complex carbs are often challenging to get in, and a lot of hardgainers overemphasize protein consumption at the expense of other quality calories. Because of your metabolic rate, you should consume at least 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight each day. For a 150-pounder, that works out to 375 grams of carbs daily. This includes slow-

digesting carbs (brown rice, yams, oatmeal), starchy carbs (pasta, whole-grain breads), as well as fast-digesting carbs (sugar), though try to keep the latter down in comparison to the others. 3) Increase meal frequency. Eating more meals a day provides two benets it maintains a steady ow of nutrients so your body is less likely to break down muscle tissue to harvest amino acids, and it helps you get in more calories. One of the biggest dietary sins hardgainers commit is skipping meals and then trying to compensate by overeating later. 4) Increase dietary fat intake. Dietary fats, from both healthy and saturated sources, help provide a slowburning source of energy. No hardgainer should ever opt for egg whites over whole eggs you need the calories and nutrients contained in the yolk. Healthy fats are benecial for supporting many physiological processes. Good sources include fatty sh and sh oils, nuts and seeds, krill, ax, olive and safower oils, and avocados. Saturated fats help hardgainers add muscle mass by supporting hormone production, including testosterone. Good sources include meat, dairy products and eggs.

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Cut workout volume. Note that we didnt say reduce your workout intensity. You should weight train with moderate-to-heavy weights four days a week. Keep workouts to no longer than 75 minutes more than this is overkill, and youll likely tear down muscle tissue as fast as youre building it, which is why youre not making progress in the rst place. Your body needs to recover from its training.

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2) Follow the other nutrition rules and worry less about protein intake. Maybe you noticed that increase protein intake is not one of the tips on our list for guys who have trouble adding muscle mass. Youre probably getting all the protein you need about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. But you may be doing so at the expense of other quality calories. (Note: If you weigh 150 pounds and you arent consuming 150 grams of protein every day, then youre not only a hardgainer, youre a guy with a crappy diet.) Many hardgainers bump up their protein intake to as much as 2 grams per pound of bodyweight, far more than they need at this stage, and they often do so at the expense of quality carbs, dietary fats and weight-gain shakes.

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arent taking in too many. You should count calories to make sure youre getting in enough for growth. Target at least 20 calories for every pound of bodyweight every day. A 150-poundershould consume at least 3,000 calories a day while following an intense workout program. 2) Down a protein and carb shake before and after workouts. Take in a shake with about 30 grams of protein and 50 grams of simple carbs (dextrose or table sugar) both before and after your workouts. Each of these shakes contains about 350 calories, helping you increase total intake of calories. 3) Eat a big breakfast. When you wake up, your body is in a catabolic (muscle-breakdown) state. You need to provide fuel to help switch to an anabolic (growth) state that will last for several hours. Strive for at least 4

ACTION PLAN:
1) Count your calories. Most people count calories to make sure they

calories per pound of bodyweight at this meal (600 calories or more for a 150-pounder). Add whole-grain breads or pancakes to your standard baconand-eggs fare, or include a weight-gaining shake. 4) Eat a bedtime snack. Youve probably been told not to consume a bunch of carbs before you go to bed because theyre likely to be converted to body fat. Thats true, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt take in plenty of calories before bedtime. Try to consume at least 3 calories per pound of bodyweight during the hour or two before you sleep. Opt for foods high in protein and dietary fats, but low in carbs. You can consume meat, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, and nuts and seeds. You can also add vegetables and whole fruits theyre high in ber and low in carbs, albeit low in calories.

THE ATHLETE
The Technical Term

MESOMORPH
AKA

Nickname

STUD
Primary Objective

THE NATURALLY MUSCULAR GUY

BUILD MORE MUSCLE MASS WHILE STAYING RELATIVELY LEAN

Blessed with good genetics, you should strive to make the most of your gifts. You can easily build muscle mass while staying relatively lean.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Make sure that total calorie intake is relatively high. Because youre training with intensity, you need plenty of calories to fuel activity, help you recover, and build muscle tissue. You should consume about 20 calories per pound of bodyweight daily, especially during intense training cycles. (Go higher as needed.) 2) Get plenty of protein. Mesomorphic athletes can benet from

a high intake of protein. You need at least a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and during intense training cycles you can readily use 1.5 grams per pound or more. This means an athlete or bodybuilder following an intense training protocol weighing 180 pounds can readily use 270 grams (or more) of protein per day. 3) Keep carbs moderate. Because you grow relatively easily, you need only a baseline of carbs every day. A good rule

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of thumb is to consume about 2 grams of carbs for every pound of bodyweight almost every day. These include slow-digesting carbs consumed at breakfast and lunch (vegetables and fruits), and fast-digesting ones (dextrose and table sugar) before, during and after workouts. In total, a 180-pounder should consume at least 360 grams of carbs per day. 4) Bump up fats. When you want to support recovery, muscle growth and performance, dont shy away from dietary fats, healthy or saturated. Athletes should take in at least a half-gram of fat for every pound of bodyweight (90 grams or more for a 180-pounder), split evenly between healthy and saturated fats.

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lift heavier weights, allowing for greater muscle growth. You can go through strength and muscle-building cycles, or you can include both strategies in individual workouts. 2) Rest. Even athletic, genetically blessed mesomorphs grow better when they allow their bodies to recover. When your goal is muscle building, allow two days of rest per week. When athletic performance is your goal, always allow at least one rest day per week.

ACTION PLAN:
1) Eat at least six meals a day, every day. Consuming more meals compared to fewer meals with the same total amount of calories every day provides a huge advantage for building muscle mass and keeping body fat in check. First, you provide a more continuous ow of muscle-building nutrients. Second, you boost metabolic rate, which helps keep body fat stores in check. 2) Get most of your carbs before dinner. Emphasize carbs at

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Split your regimen between muscle building and strength training. Athletes can benet from emphasizing strength training (low reps and heavy weights) and bodybuilding strategies (moderate reps and moderate weights). Increased strength helps you

breakfast and lunch, and fast-digesting carbs before and after workouts (in a 1:1 ratio of protein to dextrose or table sugar). For dinner, you can include salad or vegetables, but back off on the pasta and slow-digesting carbs. If youre trying to fuel performance ahead of lean mass, then go a bit higher (and later in the day) with these carbs. 3) Include a cheat day once a week. Yep, you read right. Include a day or at least a half-day every week in which you consume what you want while otherwise following a moderate carbohydrate plan. This provides a reward and a benet: Cheat days help boost your overall metabolic rate so you burn more body fat during the rest of the week. 4) Eat to your metabolic needs. Guys who fall into this category often vary widely in terms of caloric needs from one to another. Many hard-training athletes and bodybuilders say they consume extraordinary amounts of calories per day.

THE HEFTY GUY


The Technical Term Nickname

ENDOMORPH
AKA

BIG GUY
Primary Objective

THE LINEBACKER

REDUCE BODY FAT WITHOUT LOSING MUSCLE MASS

Some guys who fall into this category often just give in to their propensity to add body fat and give up on building muscle mass. But the tendency to add body fat often pairs with the ability to add muscle mass so long as you exercise your genetics. Our program not only helps you reduce body fat, it also encourages muscle growth.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Take in an adequate amount of calories. You shouldnt go wild with calories, nor cut them down too low. You need calories to fuel workouts, and you also need protein, carbs and fats to drive metabolic

processes. Keep in mind that youre on a rigorous training program that will reduce your body fat more than drastic calorie cuts will do in the absence of exercise. A 200-pounder on a rigorous training program can still consume 15 calories per pound per day (3,000 calo-

ries) and lose weight and maintain or build muscle mass. 2) Boost protein consumption. Guys who hold a lot of body fat still need an adequate number of calories, and the best place to turn is metabolically active protein. Active people in this category can consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of their target bodyweight. In other words, if you weigh 250 pounds and you want to get down to 200, then you should still consume 300 grams of protein per day while working out with intensity. 3) Cut carbs throughout the day. You still need fast-digesting carbs before and after workouts, but reduce these to no more than 30 grams of dextrose or table sugar for each shake. Get in slow-digesting carbs at breakfast and lunch (oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes), but keep total carb intake to about 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Thats 300 grams of carbs per day for a 200-pounder.

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4) Keep fat intake moderate. One of the mistakes big guys make is cutting dietary fats too low. These nutrients help boost hormone production, including testosterone, and they help keep insulin release at desirable levels. When youre training with intensity, you should still try to get in up to 0.4 grams of dietary fats for every pound of your target weight. In other words, if you weigh 250 pounds and youre trying to get back to your college-best of 200 pounds, then you should consume 80 grams of dietary fats every day, split evenly between healthy and saturated fats.

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over these meals. Get in at least 300 calories at each of these six meals without exceeding your total daily limit. 3) Consume at least 30 grams of protein six times per day. If you weigh more than 200 pounds and youre working out with intensity at least four days a week, then you should be consuming as much as 300 grams of protein per day. Thats only 40 percent of your daily caloric intake if youre consuming 3,000 calories (and only 1,200 calories from protein). At each of your six meals you should consume at least 30 grams, going

well beyond at a few meals to help you approach 1.5 grams of protein per pound of your target bodyweight every day. 4. Cheat, within reason, on one big meal a week. Good news you dont have to deprive yourself forever. In fact, a cheat meal on a Friday or Saturday night will over time help you lose body fat and maintain muscle tissue. During this meal, eat whatever foods you want pizza, hamburgers because theyll help increase your metabolic rate while you shed body fat and build or maintain muscle mass.

WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD DO:


1) Include high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The best way to use stored body fat during training is to include brief cycles of high-intensity cardio activity. Choose your preferred form of cardio, but instead of performing 30 to 45 minutes of steady-state work, all you need to do is perform four sets of 90 seconds, going as hard as you can. Go easy between HIIT sets until youre ready to perform the next set. Use this technique three days a week. 2) Work out at least ve days a week. Guys in this category hold on to body fat and muscle tissue more readily. Working out more frequently and following the other suggestions on this list will help you keep (or build) muscle tissue while shedding body fat. In addition to including HIIT training three days a week, add two days of steady-state cardio for 30 to 45 minutes two days a week.

ACTION PLAN:
1) Base your calorie intake on your target bodyweight. If you weigh more than your ideal weight, then shoot for about 15 calories for every pound of your target bodyweight. In other words, if you weigh 250 and you want to get down to 200, consume 3,000 calories a day (200-pound target x 15 calories per pound = 3,000 calories). 2) Eat at least six meals a day. You not only want to provide a frequent stream of nutrients, you want to send a few different messages to your bodys internal rhythms: Youre not in a state of deprivation, but youre in a musclegrowth phase. Split calories fairly evenly

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By Carlo Filippone, IFBB Pro


Photos by Gregory James / Model Carl Cheung

You dont have to be a gourmet chef to make delicious, high-protein bodybuilding meals with our simple three-step preparation guide
understand that planning, preparing and cooking bodybuilding meals can become a challenge when you have to come up with anywhere from 610 meals every single day. Because you have to take in substantially more daily calories (quality ones, of course) than the Average Joe, oftentimes its just easier to stick with the same recipes in your nutrition plan. The

We

trouble is, however, that eating the same foods over and over can throw you and your metabolism into a dietary rut. But heres the good news: Adding more variety to your nutrition regimen doesnt have to be time consuming, and you dont need the culinary skills of a gourmet chef. Check out these three recipes and see how you can whip together tasty, musclefriendly fare in just three simple steps. musclemag.com
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WorldMags.net Beef Stew


Serves two; per serving: Calories: 491 Protein: 66 grams Carbs: 32 grams Fat: 11 grams

STEP 1 Cut 1 pound (16 ounces) of lean stewing beef into cubes. Coat a large pot with olive oil spray and heat over medium. Add beef and brown on all sides (35 minutes), stirring constantly.

STEP 2 Add 1/2 cup of low-sodium beef stock; cover and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat.

STEP 3 Add 1 package (10 ounces) of frozen peas and carrots and 1 cup of drained (canned) baby white potatoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes, mix and serve.

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WorldMags.net Potato Frittata


Serves one; per serving: Calories: 325 Protein: 23 grams Carbs: 37 grams Fat: 9 grams

STEP 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut one 6-ounce potato into 1/2-inch cubes. In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup egg substitute, salt, pepper and potatoes.

STEP 2 Lightly coat a cast-iron (or oven-safe) skillet with olive oil cooking spray; then add the mixture and bake uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes.

STEP 3 Carefully remove skillet from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.

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WorldMags.net Ginger Chicken Stir Fry


Serves one; per serving (without rice): Calories: 257 Protein: 39 grams Carbs: 5 grams Fat: 9 grams

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STEP 1 Slice one 6-ounce chicken breast into strips. Heat skillet over medium and add 1 teaspoon of peanut oil.

STEP 2 Add chicken strips to skillet, stirring until brown on all sides (approximately 35 minutes); add 3/4 cup of mixed frozen veggies (stir-fry type, or your choice) and stir again.

STEP 3 Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of ginger powder and a pinch of black pepper. Stir well and frequently for 45 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.

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WorldMags.net SPORTS MED

SPRAIN VS. STRAIN


Sprains and strains are common weight-room injuries. Heres how they differ, how to treat them and how to help prevent them.
Guillermo Escalante, PhD, MBA, CSCS
You feel something pull in your back

as you do a set of barbell curls. You strained something. Or did you sprain something? Interchanging the terms sprains and strains is much like interchanging the terms superset and giant set; its simply inaccurate to do so. While sprains and strains share some similarities, theres a distinct difference between the two terms. A sprain is dened as a stretch or a tear [partial or full] to a ligament, which attaches a bone to a bone, says Dee Tipton, PT, MPH, DD, director of physical therapy at SportsPros, a physical-therapy and personal-training center in Claremont, CA. On the other hand, a strain is dened as a stretch or a tear [partial or full] either to a tendon, which attaches a muscle to the bone, or to a muscle itself. Since weight training involves repetitive stresses as well as dynamic and explosive demands on the muscles and tendons, common sense will tell you that most injuries in the weight room are strains. Sprains occur in weight training too, however, with exercises that tax ligaments at vulnerable joints such as the knee

and the shoulder. Both sprains and strains can be kept to a minimum if suggested precautions are closely followed (see Precautions to Prevent Sprains + Strains on page 131). Sprains and strains are usually graded as rst-degree, second-degree or third-degree injuries. A third-degree injury is a full tear, either of a muscle/tendon (strain) or of a ligament (sprain); the full tear is usually accom-

panied by signicant swelling, loss of movement, loss of function, loss of strength and signicant pain. A seconddegree injury is a tear that, though large, leaves a signicant portion of the bers still intact; the swelling, loss of movement, loss of function, loss of strength and pain are usually all moderate. With a rst-degree injury, a large portion of the tissue is still intact, save for perhaps a few bers; the pain is usu-

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Photo by Paul Buceta Model Adam Headland

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To prevent sprains and strains, begin your workout with 510 minutes of cardio. This will raise your core body temperature and help improve tissue extensibility.

ally mild, and the swelling, loss of movement, function and strength are usually all minimal. Multi-joint exercises such as the bench press, bent-over row, deadlift, leg press, squat and lat pulldown are examples of moves that subject the body to potential strains, but following the listed precautions signicantly reduces the risk. In general, avoiding quick or jerky movements when performing these exercises will minimize strains. Its important to note that these exercises are critical to a successful bodybuilding program, so avoiding them altogether isnt really a long-term option. Some of the exercises that can lead to strains can also lead to sprains, but because of the type of stress required to cause a sprain in the weight room, the list is much shorter. The bench press, for one, can cause a sprain to the shoulder joint because of how much stress it places on the ligament between the acromion process (the bony prominence at the tip of the shoulder) and the clavicle in the shoulder. When this ligament is sprained, you can experience signi-

cant discomfort while benching, reaching across the body or even touching the affected area of the shoulder. Squats can cause sprains to the knee. When you do deep squats (i.e., lower than parallel) and you bounce up from the bottom of the range of motion, you put stress on the two bands of cartilage in each knee joint (known as the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus). When dealing with a sprain or a strain, the initial stage of the rehabilitation program involves resting the injured bodypart for 25 days and icing it for 15 20 minutes, 23 times per day. Once the pain has signicantly decreased, the in-

troduction of range-of-motion exercises (exibility), manual-therapy techniques (such as joint mobilizations and soft-tissue mobilizations) and therapeutic exercise should be progressively introduced and gradually increased over time. After the acute stages of the injury have passed and symptoms begin to subside, the therapeutic-exercise part of the rehabilitation should be progressed more aggressively, to the point at which the rehabilitation program mimics some of your regular workouts.
Guillermo Escalante, MBA, ATC, CSCS, is owner of SportsPros Personal Training, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center in Claremont, CA. He is also 2005 NPC Orange County middleweight champion.

PRECAUTIONS TO PREVENT SPRAINS + STRAINS


1) Begin your workout with a general cardiovascular warm-up for 510 minutes to raise your core body temperature and assist in improving tissue extensibility. 2) Perform 12 exercise-specic warm-up sets with submaximal loads to get the areas you are about to train ready for the heavier loads. 3) Frequently alter exercises, exercise order, exercise volume (i.e., reps multiplied by sets) and loads. 4) Pay close attention to your body and ensure that no sharp, isolated pain is present when youre performing an exercise. 5) Allow plenty of rest (at least 48 hours) between workouts for the same bodypart. 6) Avoid taking every set of every workout to complete muscle failure.

Photo by Paul Buceta Model Adam Headland

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TIGHT, TONED JACQUELINE SUZANNE SHOULD BE ALL THE MOTIVATION YOU NEED TO GET INTO THE GYM. BUT IF YOU STILL ARENT CONVINCED, CHECK OUT THIS SMOKIN BRUNETTE AS SHE SCULPTS HER BODY INTO PURE SEX APPEAL.
PHOTOS BY JUSTIN PRICE

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BALLET AND MUSCLE?

JOURNEY THROUGH ADVERSITY

ROMAN FRITZS
LONG ROAD TO SUCCESS

SPLIT DECISION
BREAK UP YOUR LEG WORKOUT LIKE A PRO

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140 The Rise of Romans Empire


How bodybuilding changed the life of Roman Fritz, and forged an indomitable spirit in one of the sports most promising young athletes.
BY FRANK HOFFMANN

162 Bronx Leg Bombing

After learning the ropes as a professional boxer, 212-pound standout Marco The Beast Rivera now brings his characteristic aggression to a brutal leg workout.
BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT

150 Back Day With HP


BY BILL GEIGER, MA

174 Jacked of All Trades

Newly minted IFBB Pro Henri-Pierre Ano (better known as HP) shows off the eye-pleasing aesthetics that are going to rock the stage in 2014.

How Conan Stevens, a former ballet star turned actor, keeps his massive seven-foot frame in shape for epic roles in Game of Thrones and The Hobbit.
BY ALEX ZAKRZEWSKI

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He battled an eating disorder that consisted of eating nothing more than apples each day, but bodybuilding turned Roman Fritzs life around. Heres the chest workout from Germanys newest pro and the sports biggest rising star.
By Frank Hoffmann
Photos by Gregory James

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Incline Dumbbell Press

Markus Rhl. Dennis James. Ronny Rockel. Gnter Schlierkamp. Roman Fritz?
If you think one of these names doesnt belong, youre dead wrong. Roman Fritz rightfully joins this short list of Germanborn bodybuilding legends who have made a lasting impact on the sport. Born, raised and still living in the city of Munich, Germany, this 25-year-old phenom is being hailed as the savior of German bodybuilding. With his predecessors nearing the ends of their careers or having already retired, its time for the new breed to step up and represent Europes industrial powerhouse.
Known for his aesthetics and well-balanced physique, Roman has no glaring weaknesses, and walks around in virtually stage-ready condition year-round a rarity amongst todays IFBB pros. But in order to truly appreciate how far Roman has come to get where he is today, we must rst understand his past and his childhood struggles. after years of arguing and bouts with alcoholism and alleged indelity, Roman was sent off to boarding school at the age of 12. Thats when an eating disorder began.

START: Adjust an incline bench anywhere from 30 to 45 degrees the higher the incline the more upper chest you are working. Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit down on the bench with the dumbbells on your thighs and your palms facing each other. EXECUTION: As you lie back, clean the dumbbells up to your shoulders one arm at a time with the help of your legs this should be a smooth motion. Once you have the dumbbells at shoulder level, rotate the dumbbells so your palms are now facing forward and press the dumbbells up, squeezing your chest at the top of the movement. Lower the weights back down to your shoulders under control and repeat. When youve completed your last rep, bring the dumbbells back to the original starting position on your thighs. ROMANS TIP: Since this is my rst exercise of the day, I do several warm-up sets before starting my ve heavy working sets to ush the muscles with nutrient-rich blood.

ROMAN FRITZ: THE RUNNER


During his early years at boarding school, Roman took up running and developed an obsession with it. Running every day around the lake on cam-

GROWING UP IN THE FRITZ HOUSE


To say that Roman had a troubled childhood would be an understatement. Living with both parents and grandparents, Roman was a little on the chubby side as a youth, but not overweight by any means. Regardless, his father would constantly berate him about his weight and command the household to stop feeding his son so much food this abuse resonated with Roman. When his parents marriage eventually fell apart

ROMANS TRAINING SPLIT


DAY 1 2 3 4

BODYPARTS TRAINED Chest, abs (a.m.) Traps, shoulders (p.m.) Back, abs (a.m.) Arms, forearms (p.m.) Calves, hamstrings (a.m.) Hamstrings, quads (p.m.) Rest or repeat cycle

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Strive to keep your forearms perpendicular to the oor and press the dumbbells up in a slight circular path rather than straight up. This small arc will put more emphasis on the upper chest and less on the triceps.

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Cable Crossover WorldMags.net ROMANS CHEST WORKOUT


EXERCISE
Incline Dumbbell Press Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press Cable Crossover Parallel-Bar Dip Incline Dumbbell Flye Pec-Deck Machine Flye Dumbbell Pullover

SETS
5 5 5 5 5 5

REPS
610 610 12 To failure 1 1215

START: Attach a D-handle to each of the high-pulley cables, making sure they are just above your head. Adjust the weight and grasp a pulley in each hand. Pull your arms together in front of you, taking a step forward with a slight forward bend.

EXECUTION: With your arms directly in front of you, extend your arms out to the side in a slow, controlled movement in a wide arcing motion. Once you feel a good stretch in the chest, bring your arms back in front of you in the same arcing motion, squeezing the chest and pausing as both hands meet. Repeat until your set is complete. ROMANS TIP: Having done all that pressing, I like to switch into the cable crossover. I pick a medium-heavy weight, concentrating on getting a great stretch and squeezing every rep. If done correctly, the pump should be incredible.

START: Sit at the end of a at bench with a dumbbell in each hand, resting the weight on your thighs. Palms should be facing each other and you should be sitting up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. EXECUTION: Slowly rock back into a lying position while simultaneously kicking both knees up to your chest. The momentum should allow for the dumbbells to easily fall into position onto your shoulders as you lie with a at back, both feet planted rmly on the oor. Once you feel balanced, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing forward and press the dumbbells up, squeezing your chest at the top. Control the weight as you bring it back down to your chest and repeat. When youve completed your last rep, bring the dumbbells back to the original starting position on your thighs as you sit up. ROMANS TIP: Im already warm, so I just keep using the same pair of dumbbells as I did on the incline for another ve sets to keep the pump going.

Keep a slight bend in your elbows to alleviate unnecessary stress on the biceps tendon and vary the squeeze point in front of you to target different parts of your chest.

By squeezing your shoulder blades together, having a slight arch in your lower back and pushing through your feet on each rep, youll generate more power.

pus, he often exceeded distances of 20 kilometers (about 12 miles). Haunted by the criticism of his fathers words, Roman felt that he needed to be skinny, as if compelled to prove to his father that he wasnt fat. Romans diet consisted of apples and nothing more; hed consume up to 40 a day. I was the skinniest runner you could imagine. At 5 feet 11 inches, I was 128 pounds, Roman recalls. My mom was like, If you dont gain weight, we

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are going to get you into a mental hospital because you are crazy! You have to eat something! Roman would continue to starve himself and would frequently pass out while running. The longest I went without food was six days. Then, by some divine miracle, at the age of 15, Roman found himself in the schools weight room, face-to-face with a bodybuilding magazine featuring the legendary Kevin Levrone on the cover.

I thought to myself, You can actually look like that! I gotta be that big and lean! I gotta look like that! From that day forward, Roman Fritz, the appleeating runner, was now training to be Roman Fritz, the bodybuilder.

THE MAKING OF A BODYBUILDER


It was a rough start for this aspiring bodybuilder who knew absolutely nothing about training or nutrition. Working

only his upper body for 4 hours a day, 6 days a week, and continuing to gnaw only on his apples, Roman deed human biology by gaining 25 pounds of lean muscle in just 6 months while never really gaining any strength. Realizing that he needed some advice, Roman summoned the help of his cousin, Christian, who said to him, You cant continue working out like that and not eating. Youll die. You gotta eat protein. Under the watchful eye of his cousmusclemag.com
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in, Roman adopted Joe Weiders Bodybuilding Training System and slowly weaned himself onto real food like oatmeal, milk and chicken breasts while using Lee Priests video, The Blond Myth, as inspiration. The once sickly, 128-pound runner was now 80 pounds heavier and ready to enter his rst bodybuilding competition. Just two and a half years after picking up a weight for the rst time, Roman entered and won the Bavarian Bodybuilding Championships. Roman says, Its the greatest feeling stepping onstage and hearing your name That is Roman Fritz from Munich, hes only 17 years old and the crowd goes, Whoa!

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IN SEARCH OF A PRO CARD


Breezing through the amateur ranks, Roman had the opportunity to turn pro when he was 20, after winning the German Junior Nationals in 2008. He made the decision to pass on the pro card because he knew he still had some growing to do. Instead, he chose to keep a promise he made to his mom to nish school and get his bachelors degree. Roman won a few amateur shows over the next few years and decided that the 2013 Arnold Classic Amateur was the show he would enter to nally stake a claim to a pro card. Unfortunately for Roman, he caught a stomach bug that was going around just days before the show and his weight plummeted from 249 to 231 pounds. He ended up placing third, behind Darren Ball and Paul Poloczek. Im 100 percent certain that I would have won had I been at my best. I would have been 248 to 250 [pounds] and competed for the title, says Roman. He was going to be patient and wait for the 2014 Arnold Amateur for another shot at the card, but only two months after his disappointing third-place nish, Roman decided to jump into the German Nationals on a weeks notice. Working with famed contest prep coach Dave Palumbo for the four weeks leading up to the show, Roman was condent that he could just cut water a week out and take the overall. He was right. Roman stood toe-to-toe with the much bigger Paul Poloczek and simply dominated him with his symmetry and conditioning. It

Parallel Bar Dips


START: Stand between a pair of parallel bars or in front of the dipping station and place a hand on each bar. Jump into the starting position, ensuring your elbows are by your sides and locked out. Your feet should be crossed and elevated slightly behind you. EXECUTION: With your arms locked out, slowly lower your body while leaning forward

until your arms break 90 degrees and you feel a good stretch through your chest. Reverse the motion, raising yourself back to the starting position by extending your elbows. Repeat. ROMANS TIP: Depending on how much gas I have left in the tank, I might strap extra weight around my waist. I push all sets to failure, but I like that to happen before I get to 15 reps.

By changing your body position, you can dictate which muscles do the work. Leaning forward will activate the chest more, while being vertical will target more of the triceps.

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Pec-Dec Machine Flye

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START: Set the weight, then sit on the machine with your back at against the pad and feet planted rmly on the oor shoulder-width apart. Grasp the handles, one arm at a time, and position them in front of you. Your forearms should be parallel to the oor when extended; if not, adjust the seat accordingly. EXECUTION: With the handles pushed together in front of you, slowly lower the weight by opening up your arms until you feel a stretch in your chest. Return to the starting position by pushing the handles together and squeezing the middle of your chest. Repeat until nished, slowly returning the weight so as not to overstretch the chest. ROMANS TIP: I like to use a spotter just at the end for the last few reps to ensure that I get a good squeeze while keeping my back at against the pad and sticking out my chest.

The pec-deck can put strain on your shoulders if not performed correctly, so keep a slight bend in your elbows at all times and dont overload the weight.

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Dumbbell Pullover
START: Place a dumbbell vertically at the end of a at bench or have a spotter hand it to you when youre ready. Next, lie perpendicular to the bench with your upper back only on the bench, feet at on the oor, legs bent and hips lined up just below the bench. Once in position, grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest with a slight bend in your elbows. EXECUTION: Keeping your core tight and arms locked in a slightly bent position, slowly lower the weight in an arcing motion behind your head until you feel a stretch through your chest, lats and rib cage. Reverse the motion in the same arc until the dumbbell is back over your chest, squeezing at the top. When complete, carefully place the dumbbell back on to the bench or hand to a spotter. ROMANS TIP: As I bring my arms back, I take in a deep breath to focus on the greatest stretch possible. You should be able to feel the pull from your triceps down your lats, pecs, serratus and through your abs and hips.

Ensure that the motion is slow and controlled with a four count on the way down and a two count on the way up. Also, since the dumbbell will be going over your face, make sure its solid with no loose plates.

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JUST THE FACTS WorldMags.net

BIRTHDATE: April 13, 1988 BIRTHPLACE & CURRENT RESIDENCE: Munich, Germany HEIGHT: 511 WEIGHT: 250 pounds off-season; 245 pounds contest CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2013 German Nationals, rst place, superheavyweight and overall champion (earned IFBB pro card); 2013 Arnold Classic Amateur, third place superheavyweight. HOME GYM: Supert2000 (Munich) FAMILY: Single with girlfriend

4 THINGS YOU

DONT KNOW ABOUT

ROMAN
meal scares Roman; he once went 18 months straight without consuming a cheat meal. But when it comes to Ben & Jerrys Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, he just cant help himself.

1The mere thought of a cheat


Ben. Jerry. Its been a while!

2Who says a bodybuilder needs


Big guy in a little car to drive a truck or an SUV? Not Roman. Hes very comfortable driving around in his red Mini Cooper just dont ask to carpool with him to the gym.

3 While most bodybuilders use


Rice? No thanks! Hes an SOA addict.

rice as their major carb source, Roman opts for oatmeal and sweet potatoes. I hate that stuff [rice], youll never see me eat it. Period!

been Sons of Anarchy. Probably because these guys are living the exact opposite lifestyle to mine.

4 My favorite TV show lately has

wasnt enough that Roman won his pro card with a perfect score he ended up inking a sponsorship deal with Universal Nutrition, becoming their latest Animal athlete immediately after his victory, realizing two dreams at once.

So whats next for the German sensation? Admittedly, Roman still sees himself as a fat kid when he looks in the mirror and, to this day, cannot shake his fear of eating to bulk up. But he knows that to compete at the IFBB level, he

needs to get over that fear and add size to have a solid off-season. Hell take that much-anticipated swing at the big boys next October at the EVLS Prague Pro in what will make the pro debut of the next German sensation. musclemag.com
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Henri-Pierre Ano BIRTHDATE: October 15, 1981 BIRTHPLACE: Montreal, Quebec CURRENT RESIDENCE: Montreal, Quebec HEIGHT: 6'0" WEIGHT: 252 lbs contest; 285 lbs off-season CONTEST RESULTS: 2013: Overall and super heavyweight winner, CBBF Nationals CURRENT OCCUPATION: Personal trainer, Atlantis Gym, Laval MARITAL STATUS: Engaged to Josee Leduc FOLLOW HIM ON: Facebook (/henri. pierre.5), Instagram (#henripierre) and henripierreano.com (coming soon)

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Just six years after he started training seriously, Montreals Henri-Pierre Ano won his pro card at the 2013 Canadian Nationals. Heres how the man known for his outstanding shape and symmetry trains back.
By Bill Geiger, MA | Photos by Gregory James

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The

long shadows of the northern winter are already darkening the skies above Montreal and its only 3:30 p.m., but Henri-Pierre Ano still has a long workday ahead of him. A chilly minus 6 degrees Celsius outside before wind chill for you Yanks, thats about 10 degrees Fahrenheit below freezing Henri is gearing up for an off-season back workout coming off his best competitive season yet. Sure, last August at 31 he won his pro card at the Canadian Nationals in the super heavyweight class on his second try, but HP the nickname hes called by friends has been hitting the weights seriously for only about six years. In fact, he played hockey what sport did you expect from a Canadian? almost twice as long as hes been bodybuilding.
CHANGE OF COURSE

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HPs nascent interest in bodybuilding obscures the fact that he was pursuing an altogether different path until his encounter with weights at 26. From an academic perspective, he received a business administration degree from the University of Quebec at Montreal, intent on building his fortune through his education. Both my parents were teachers, so I guess there was an expectation I would pursue a professional career, he says. I was pretty good at mathematics, so thats why I ended up with a degree in business administration. But I was pretty unclear

HP TRAINING SPLIT
DAY
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BODYPART(S) TRAINED
Legs* (quads and calves) Chest (front and middle delts) Off Rear legs* (hamstrings and calves) Back, rear delts, upper traps Biceps, triceps Off

As a bodyweight exercise, it may be difcult for some people to reach failure at a fairly low rep target, so its best done with a weighted belt or toward the end of your workout when your lats are already highly fatigued.

* HP attacks his legs, which he considers his weakest bodypart, in two workouts over the course of his split, and always after a rest day.

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Wide-Grip Pull-Up
Start: Take a wide, overhand grip on a xed overhead bar, wrapping your thumbs around the bar. Hang freely, arms fully extended and feet crossed beneath you. Use a weight belt with added plates if necessary. Execution: Contract your lats to raise your chin up to the bar, concentrating on pulling your elbows down and out to your sides to raise yourself. Lower yourself slowly to the dead-hang position. Henris Tip: This is a good rst exercise because it not only wakes up your nervous system but is also what I call a good amplitude movement, meaning that it uses a large degree of your back musculature as a multi-joint exercise. It also prepares you for the exercises that follow.

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where exactly I wanted to go with it. Active as a young man, he played center in Montreals junior hockey leagues for 10 years. Though be no means tall at an even 6 feet, HP traded in the skates for basketball, where the aggressive style he brought to hockey made him an even tougher post-up assignment on the hardwood. After college, HP trained to become a reghter, a challenging three-year course load that included academic studies, demanding tests of physical strength and endurance, and specialized classes. Though Im qualied to be a reghter, I havent taken the next step and applied for a position. My plan is to put myself out there as a bodybuilder and see what happens and continue with my personal training. Im giving myself another ve years to see what I can do. If that doesnt show promise, I plan to return to reghting.

WorldMags.net Reverseplace pretty quickly. People around me, including my cousin and Larry, suggested I step onstage in Quebec. I did a show with eight weeks preparation and won it all the same year I started training seriously. In fact, I competed in only natural shows those rst four years with a great deal of success. Perhaps HPs reality check came after he won a Canadian show in 2011 and qualied for the World Amateur Championships, which were being held in India. These massive guys show up from other countries with doctors, coaches teams of like 20 to 25 people. At that point I realized that I would have to grow more in order to succeed. For HP, though, moderation isnt just a buzzword. I saw my father die four years ago from kidney disease, so Im cautious about what goes into my body. Moderation is important, even though this is a sport thats all about extremes. During the past two years, HP steadily added mass to his already symmetrical physique, which carried him to the 2013 super heavyweight and overall titles at the Canadian Nationals last August in Nova Scotia.

Grip Pull-Up (Chin-Up)

Start: Take a shoulderwidth, underhand grip on the bar, wrapping your thumbs around it. Hang at full arm extension (with only a very slight bend in your elbows in the bottom position). Execution: Contract your lats to pull your torso up, trying to reach your chin to the bar (without swinging). Lower under control, fully extending your arms. Bouncing at the bottom not only uses muscle-robbing momentum, but also puts stress on the shoulder and elbow joints, so use a smooth motion. Henris Tip: Its very important to go all the way down. If you dont, you wont stretch the muscle as much, and a fully stretched muscle is capable of a stronger contraction because more muscle bers are involved and it increases the muscles amplitude/capacity for growth.

A LATE BLOOMER
I actually did a little weight training in high school but my schedule precluded any serious lifting during my college years, as I was also working my way through school, HP says. I started training in earnest in 2007. My cousin had done the Nationals several times in the 90s, and he suggested I compete. That same year I met Larry Vinette, a local trainer who had a lot of experience and has been helping me since day one. [Editors Note: IFBB pro Larry Vinette was on the cover and also featured in MuscleMag in December.] Once I started training seriously I saw changes taking

THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN


HPs days begin early and run long, sometimes 12 hours, training clients at Atlantis Gym in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, and getting his own workout in. In six short years, hes now a celebrity of sorts, not just here but across Canada. I dont think there have been a lot of symmetrical, aesthetic bodybuilders
HP typically chooses ve exercises from the list below in his back workout.

HPS BACK WORKOUT


EXERCISE
Wide-Grip Pull-Up or Reverse-Grip Pull-Up Close-Grip Pull-Up Standing T-Bar Row Neutral-Grip (or Reverse-Grip) Seated Cable Row Wide-Grip Front Pulldown One-Arm Dumbbell Row** Deadlift

SETS
4 3-4 3-4 3 4 3 3

REPS
8-10 or 6-8 10-12 10-12 12-15 10-12 4-6 8-12 or 15-20

TEMPO*
4-0-1-0 3-0-1-0 3-0-1-1 2-0-1-0 3-0-1-0 4/5-0-1-0 2/3-0-1-1

* Tempo refers to the time of the negative contraction in seconds rst, then the time of holding the fully stretched position, followed by the time for the positive (concentric) contraction, followed by the time holding the peak-contracted position. A slash (/) indicates that he does one or the other on the negative rep. ** This is HPs off-season program; precontest he switches to three sets of 12 to 15 reps at a 2-0-1-0 tempo for better conditioning.

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Back Training, WorldMags.net HP Style


Choose big movements on back day, ones with the greatest amplitude. These multi-joint exercises are typically the most challenging and should be done with fairly heavy weights (best for building strength) early in your workout, when youre fresh and your energy level is high.

1)

2)

Tempo is an overlooked growth factor, as most bodybuilders simply raise and lower weight at a given rep speed. I might use three or four seconds on the negative (eccentric) contraction but only a second to lift it, because youre signicantly stronger lowering a weight than raising it. By going slower on negatives, you increase the negative force and time under tension. On some movements, Ill also hold the peakcontracted position for a full count, but this type of training requires you to sacrice the working weight a bit. Pull-ups and chin-ups are among the best back exercises you can do. Theyre good to warm-up the shoulders and engage a large degree of the back musculature. If you cant do them, use an assisted pull-up machine, and if you can do more than about 12 reps, attach a weighted belt around your waist so you can train in a lower rep range. In my opinion, cable pulldowns are an insufcient substitute for pull-ups, as theyre not as demanding and dont target your nervous system as well, so subsequent growth hormone release isnt as signicant. For me, pull-ups are a superior movement over pulldowns. The back is a difcult muscle group to develop that critical mind-muscle connection. Because of that, Im a big fan of unilateral movements in which you train one side at a time, so I always include at least one in my back workout to allow for a greater stretch, stronger contraction and greater growth-hormone response. My favorite unilateral movements are the onearm dumbbell row and doing the T-bar row on a chest-supported machine one arm at a time, as well as one-arm cable rows. Stretching your lats is crucial, but Im referring here namely to the eccentric motion. Stopping a motion short of the fully stretched position means the muscle wont be able to contract as strongly and wont recruit as many muscle bers, hindering the growth-hormone release.

3)

4)

5)

6)

While the wide overhand grip targets the upper lats, using a reverse grip keeps the elbows much tighter to your sides as you pull, thus targeting the lower lats more thoroughly. The biceps are also called into greater play with an underhand grip.

Its easy to start pulling with your biceps when training back. When youre doing your back movements, imagine youre pulling with your elbows and not your hands. When you focus on the hands, you nd the biceps come into greater play. Focusing on your elbows, your forearms are just attached to your hands, which means youll really be using your lats to pull the weight. Im not a fan of using straps when I train back. In fact, I hate them. You want that grip training. The more difcult you make the movement, the greater the response. The same goes for a weight belt. For me, straps equal no growth. If you have a poor grip, I recommend you start training your grip to bring it up. You certainly wont build a stronger grip if youre training with straps.

7)

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coming out of Canada. And thats the image I want to put out there. I dont want to have people see me as a musclehead, bulky and just a body. Theres a person behind that. Theres a thinking man behind that. Thats pretty much in line with the roots of bodybuilding if you look at the sport back in the 70s. I think I can be an inspirational role model for people wanting to get into bodybuilding. He duly gives credit where its due: to his trainer, Vinette, and his ance, Josee Leduc. I dont think I could be where Im at now without her. She helps me in

Close-Grip Pull-Up

Start: Using the close-grip handles (these are neutrally aligned, meaning your palms face each other), hang at arms length with your feet crossed. Execution: Contract your lats to pull yourself up to the bar, pulling your elbows strongly down and keeping them tight to your sides. Hold the peak contraction for a count, then allow your bodyweight to pull you back to the start position, arms fully extended. Henris Tip: The close grip does a better job of hitting the upper middleback muscles, which helps build thickness, but its not a great choice for width [V-taper].

"Im cautious about what goes into my body. Moderation is important, even though this is a sport thats all about extremes."
so many ways, and I dont just mean preparing my food after a long day at work. HP is currently eyeing Mays New York Pro, and then the Toronto Pro SuperShow. I plan to ultimately add another 20 pounds, showing up onstage at 270 for my height. Im going to be competing against big guys, but judges today are looking more at shape guys like Shawn Rhoden than just sheer size. I need to be able to match that, maintaining my aesthetic package, and for sure Im focusing on bringing up my legs. People may not notice me at rst because Im the biggest, but Im training to get noticed for symmetry and proportion. This is my objective. It may be dark and cold outside, but you can bet HP is hard at work in the gym, oblivious to the elements while focused on the task at hand.

You can choose from a variety of hand positions doing pull-ups, so your best bet is not to concentrate on just one exclusively. A variety of hand positions will also more thoroughly target the different areas of your lats.

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Standing T-Bar Row

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Start: Stand squarely on the platform and bend over, grasping the handles with a wide, overhand grip. Bend your knees being absolutely certain to keep your back at. Look forward but dont look up, as that will excessively curve your cervical spine (neck). Execution: Without rising up (or keeping the movement to a minimum), pull your elbows as far back behind the plane of your torso as possible, pulling the weight into your chest. With this movement, Henri adds a full-second hold in the peak-contracted position, squeezing his shoulder blades together before allowing the weight to pull his arms to full extension, stretching his lats. Henris Tip: I like this movement because I really feel my back opening up. And because youre standing in the bent-over position, it also effectively recruits the hamstrings and glutes without taking away from the back two muscle groups Im working on bringing up.

You can use a lot more weight with the standing (bentover) position than you can when doing the chest-supported version, because youre able to generate additional power through your knees and hips.

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HPs Supplement Stack
Henri-Pierres favorite supplements are made by MusclePharm. Here are the ones he likes and when he uses them: Z-Core PM: A zinc-magnesium testosterone-boosting blend with melatonin he takes before bed. Assault: A preworkout energy booster that includes beta-alanine, citrulline, caffeine, BCAAs and several blends of proprietary ingredients. Amino 1 and BCAA 3:1:2: Recovery formulas that he takes intraworkout. Combat: A whey, casein and egg blend (along with BCAAs and glutamine) that fuels postworkout recovery.

The neutral grip ensures that your elbows stay away from your sides, thus focusing on the upper lats and rear delts. Conversely, you can move the target to the lower lats by using a close grip.

Neutral-Grip Seated Cable Row


Start: Attach a neutral-grip bar to the seated-row machine. Sit erect on the bench with your feet evenly spaced on the front platform, knees unlocked. Grasp the handle and sit upright, locking a slight arch in your lower back for spinal safety, arms extended. Execution: Keeping backward lean to a minimum, pull the handle into your midsection, pulling your elbows out away from your sides and pulling them as far back behind the plane of your body as possible. Squeeze your shoulder blades together for a count before slowly returning to the arms-extended position. Henris Tip: While you have to keep your core [abs/lower back] tight to maintain the slight arch in your back to prevent it from rounding, you dont want to lean forward more than about 15 to 20 degrees from the perpendicular, which not only helps stretch the lats but improves the muscular contraction deep within the muscle. As you pull, maintain the upright position without leaning signicantly backward.

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Wide-Grip Front Pulldown


Start: Sit erect with your thighs snugly under the kneepad and grasp the lat bar near the bends with a wide, overhand grip. Keep your body vertical, locking a slight arch in your lower back and maintaining a big chest throughout.

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Execution: Keeping your abs tight and back slightly arched with your feet at on the oor, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar down smoothly into your upper chest, pulling your elbows back and keeping them pointed out to your sides in the same plane as your body. Hold the peak contraction for a count, then allow the pull of the bar to stretch your lats to full arm extension.

Henris Tip: Ill skip this if I do pullups, as theyre somewhat similar movements. Keep your body upright; dont overarch your back and lean back as you pull, which reduces the tension on the upper lats and engages the lower back to a greater degree. Make sure you get a full stretch, all the way up, up, up.

Pop your chest up as you try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. As with pull-ups, the width of your grip affects the area of your lats that are worked. Here, the wide grip better targets the upper lats.

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Many back exercises are done bilaterally (using both hands at the same time). Adding an exercise in which your arms work independently allows you to address strength imbalances and enables you to use greater intensity with each side.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row


Start: Bend over at the waist and place one knee and the same-side hand on a at bench. Keep your other foot on the oor beside the bench and hold a dumbbell with the same-side hand, hanging straight down with your arm fully extended. Execution: Pull the dumbbell up and back toward your hip, keeping your elbow in close to your body and pulling your elbow as high back as you can. Lower along the same path, pushing the weight slightly forward on the negative so that its directly below your shoulder, almost allowing the weight to hit the oor to fully stretch your lats. Henris Tip: I prefer doing these from the bench, not a rack, because its easier to begin recruiting the legs with that variation. I include a unilateral movement in my back workout because I think it allows for a better stretch and stronger contraction.

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WorldMags.net Deadlift
Start: Stand with your feet at on the oor and your shins touching a loaded barbell. Squat down and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip (outside your thighs). Execution: With your chest up and back at, lift the bar by extending your hips and knees to full extension. Be sure to keep your arms straight throughout, as you drag the bar up your legs until youre in a standing position. Squeeze your back, legs and glutes, then lower the bar downward along the same path until the bar touches the oor. Allow the bar to settle completely before beginning the next rep. Henris Tip: To nish my workout on back day, Ill do it for high reps because I want to maintain strict form, and its a great move to get everything really red up at the end of your workout.

Five Things You Didnt Know About HenriPierre Ano


1) The riding season may be short, but HP loves to ride motorcycles. 2) The superhero he most admires is Batman. 3) His favorite cheat food is anything sweet.
This is an exercise thats done wrong more often than not, so dont bend over when deadlifting that version is called Romanian deadlifts. Instead, squat your butt down so that your torso is still fairly upright.

4) How does HP handle the long Canadian winters? Im Canadian born, so I enjoy every season to its own taste. 5) His favorite sports team is the Montreal Canadiens hockey club.
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Top IFBB 212-class contender Marco Rivera doesnt waste a moment in this hardcore, ber-splitting leg routine
By Michael Berg, SCA-CPT
arco Rivera shakes off the urry. Like he has a thousand times in the past, he keeps his guard up as his opponents gloves deect off his forearms. He absorbs a shot to his biceps, followed by a jab slipping over the top of his right hand, glancing off his ear. A bolt of lightning crosses his pupils, but for only a moment, and clarity quickly returns. He continues to shufe his 146-pound frame around the ring, his feet carving the same circle as countless others have before him. The canvas beneath the warriors feet is cracked and worn, stained with sweat and blood of battles past. The crowd is a hazy blur, faded into the distance. Shouts of encouragement spill from opposite corners of the ring, but none penetrate the zone Marco nds himself in. Just one problem before he knows it, four rounds are in the books as the nal bell clangs. While the referee raises his opponents hand in triumph, Marco silently shakes his head, drop-

ping his eyes to the oor. What just happened? I couldve won that ght, he thinks to himself. I let it slip away. I just didnt throw enough punches. It was a mistake he vowed to never make again.

STRONG INTENTIONS
Marcos professional boxing career would span just two ghts, a decision loss followed by a decision win. He would walk away from the sport after seven long years of faithful training, content to fade into the endless, empty bustle of the New York City he had known since childhood. I worked a lot of random jobs back then, Marco says, shaking his head at the memory. This is how confused I was in my 20s I temped and I was content with that. I actually loved the fact that when I woke up I had no idea what Id be doing that day. Marco grew up in the hardscrabble Bronx. He is one of six children; his father was an X-ray technician and his

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Marco The Beast Rivera


Birthdate: October 24, 1972 Birthplace: New York City (Manhattan) Current Residence: New York City (Bronx) Height: 57 Weight: 212 pounds contest, 250 pounds offseason Marital Status: Engaged to IFBB bikini competitor Yeshaira Robles Career Highlights: 2011: NPC Nationals, rst light-heavyweight (earned pro card). 2012: European Pro 212, second; Orlando Show of Champions 212, second; New York Pro 212, fourth. 2013: Orlando Show of Champions 212, third; New York Pro 212, fth; Phoenix Pro 212, 10th. Web: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @marcorivera12

ATHLETE PROFILE:

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very beginning like I had been playing for years, and man, I could hit. As Marco says this, hes taking leave of an upright bike, which he has ridden for 15 minutes, dialing up the resistance and focusing on the muscle contractions in his thighs and glutes with every revolution. Were in Star Fitness on Commerce Avenue in the Bronx. Dont let the bland moniker fool you: Look around, and you quickly realize this aint your typical weekend-warrior health club. It smells faintly of Pro Tan, chalk and perspiration, with a whos who of local NPC and IFBB talent meticulously at work.

mother a nurse at the same hospital when they met, married and started a family. When Marco reached high school age, the family bounced around, rst to Chicago, then to Puerto Rico, and nally back to New York. It was in the Windy City that he rst discovered weight training. Theres a street that divided the east and west side of my neighborhood, he says. Each side had different gangs. The problem for me was I lived on the east side, but went to high school on the west side. Now, keep in mind, I had just moved from New York, so I was clueless about colors and all the other stuff. I had friends on both sides. I always feared that something would happen that one side would confuse it when they saw me with friends from the other side, and Id get jumped. To be ready, he craved strength. And its what led him to a small, hardcore club that he passed on his way to and from school. The place was full of rusted-out equipment, and it had the dog-eared magazines and the posters of bodybuilders on the walls, he recalls. I peeked my head in there so much that eventually the owner let me come in. He told me I could train if I would help clean up. From there? Forget about it, it just took off. At that point, baseball was Marcos rst love. He never played for his schools team, but he was a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop on every club and local team he played on, from New York to Chicago to Puerto Rico and back to New York. I was a natural from the time I was a little kid, he says. I could catch the ball from the

DROP SHOP
Marco plans to carve hamstrings and glutes on this chilly December morning he prefers to split them from his quads. Hell soon prove why, as his unbridled intensity leaves no muscle ber untouched in a workout that spans an exhausting hour and 20 minutes.

His rst stop is the leg-curl apparatus. After three initial sets of 20 reps, its down to business. He pyramids up each of four sets, increasing 20 to 30 pounds each time, as the weight falls from 20 to 15 to 12 and nally to 10 for the full stack. That last set, however, doesnt end there. Breathing heavy, water already beading on his clean-shaven scalp, he quickly drops 20 pounds and does 10 more reps with a powerful thrust to full contraction followed by a controlled negative. Barely letting the stack touch down, he deftly slips the pin up two spots and forges out 10 more reps, then repeats the sequence one more time, the metal clanking to rest after eight slow, grueling reps at his original 50-pound resistance. As he recaptures his breath, he explains his approach. A lot of guys will use curls as a warm-up, but I go all-out, Marco says, pointing out the obvious. I want to pre-exhaust my hamstrings. Its something I do throughout my work-

MARCOS LEG ROUTINES


While Rivera often splits his legs into two workouts, as listed here, hell also do them together every once in a while if hes training alone and in offseason mode

EXERCISE
THURSDAY: QUADRICEPS Leg Extension* Barbell Squat** Leg Press Hack Squat Walking Lunge Leg Extension

SETS

REPS

4 4-5 5 4 410 4

20, 15, 12, 8-10 20, 15, 12, 10, 10 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 20, 15, 12, 8-10 15 steps per leg 20

SATURDAY: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS AND CALVES Lying Leg Curl or Single Leg Curl* ** Smith-Machine Romanian Deadlift Smith-Machine Glute-Ham Lunge** Walking Dumbbell Lunge (Optional) Box Step-Up Leg-Press Calf Raise Leg-Press Single Leg Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise 4 4 4 4-10 4 4 4 4 20, 15, 12, 8-10 20, 15, 12, 10 20, 15, 12, 8-10 15 steps per leg 15 reps per leg 15-20 15-20 15-20

*Plus two or three warm-up sets of 20 reps. **He often nishes these exercises with a drop set, lowering the weight three or four times and pumping out 10 reps each time. Note: Marco begins each leg workout with 15 minutes on an upright stationary bike, concentrating on engaging the muscle group hes targeting that day on each revolution of the wheel. Hell dial in some resistance to the bike during the warm-up.

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Morning

Marcos Daily Supplement Regimen

ISOFAST protein T-BOMB II Activite Sport multivitamin Releve joint formula Omega Strong sh oil Power Pak Pudding

Breakfast

Afternoon

Pre-Workout
Dark Rage Glutamine-SR

Post-Workout

Dark Matter (immediately after) ISOFAST protein (30 minutes after)

Activite Sport multivitamin Releve joint formula

Dinner

Bedtime

Probolic-SR protein T-BOMB II Cyclin-GF

Because of bodybuilding, Ive managed to clear a lot of negative things out of my life.
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outs. If your hams are tired, theyll be forced to work harder on the compound exercises. Ill do a glute-specic exercise sometimes before squatting or leg pressing and just exhaust them, and then the glutes will be working right from the start of the compound move. Thats actually how Ive gotten my conditioning and detail in that area. At 41, Marco is no stranger to the athletic grind. But in bodybuilding, unlike baseball and boxing, hes struck upon his true calling, and in many ways, a savior in some of his darkest hours. He was tight with his older brother, Antonio Rivera. They worked together, hung out, partied. But he could only watch helplessly as Antonio or Tank, as friends knew him slid deeper and deeper into drug addiction. He was lost, very irresponsible with himself, Marco says. He started getting sick, but kept getting high, not going to the doctor, and eventually gave up on himself. In 2005, Antonio suffered an asthma attack at home, lost consciousness, and died before the ambulance eventually weaved its way through the clogged Bronx streets. Marco wasnt there at the time and still wonders if the situation would have turned out differently had he been home. I think about it sometimes, if I would have been there, he laments. I knew CPR, I was a lifeguard. I feel like things could have turned out differently. Throwing himself into weightlifting, Marco was focused like never before, and found that exercise quieted the demons. When Tank passed away, training allowed me to isolate myself, he says. I felt I had some place to dump my energy. When I lift, I think more about bad things than good things, believe it or not, only because that motivates me. Things that have happened to me, or that I dont want to happen. I exaggerate some of it in my mind, but it has always worked. Two years later, Marco entered his rst bodybuilding contest, the 2007 Eastern USA Championships in New York City. Hed nish fourth among novice light-heavies, but his interest was piqued and his career path set. Four years later, after a number of regional-level victories, he won the light-heavyweight class at the

Leg Extension WorldMags.net


To nish off a quadriceps workout, Marco will couple extensions with peak contraction. Ill hold the top position of each rep for two seconds on every single rep, he says.

MARCOS WEEKLY TRAINING SPLIT


DAY
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

BODYPART(S) TRAINED
Chest, triceps Back, biceps Shoulders, triceps Quadriceps Arms Glutes, hamstrings, calves Rest

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Lying Leg Curl

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One trick Marco will use often for leg extensions and leg curls is rest/ pause. Ill pyramid up the weight each set, but no matter what I have to get to 20 reps each time, he explains. So if I fail at eight, Ill rest a couple seconds without letting the weight stack touch down, then do two or three more, then rest again a few seconds and do a couple more, going like that until I get all the reps.

2011 NPC Nationals in Miami, snagging the coveted pro card that would propel him into the IFBB 212-class fray.

WHEN IN ROME
Toweling off the leg-curl pad, Marco turns to the Smith machine for the next two exercises in his gauntlet. He drops the bar to hip level and locks the safeties, then, oddly, starts loading 25-pound plates onto each side. There is a method to his madness, however. I use quarters when doing this exercise, because the smaller diameter allows me to bring it closer to the oor, he says. Beginning with two 25-pounders per side, he steps up to the bar with his feet splayed out slightly and just outside shoulder width and grasps the bar overhand, twisting it to free it from the safety latches. From this standing position, body tensed from toes to his neck, he

slowly bends at the waist to lower the bar. As the weight descends, Marcos hips shift rearward, and once he reaches a point where his upper body is parallel to the oor, he reverses sharply but deliberately. A barbell is ne, but I prefer the Smith because it helps your balance, he explains between sets. You can place your feet a little further in front of you or behind you and change the emphasis in your hamstrings. Before he begins anew, he mentions what he calls the most integral part of Romanian deads. You get the most hamstring action on the way down, he says. When youre lowering the weight, you want to push those glutes back as far as possible until you feel it pulling at the top of your calf, and then picture the hamstrings contracting as you come back up. Think about the hamstrings stretching and contracting on every rep. For this ex-

ercise to work, you need to be mentally engaged 100 percent. Marco completes four sets, adding 50 pounds each time and, on the nal set, doing a multi-drop similar to the curl machine, sliding a quarter off of each side and knocking out 10 reps at each stop. If my partner was here, hed slide those off without me ever having to put the weight down, he explains after the bar is nally perched.

SUPERMAN STYLE
Next on the Smith comes an exercise you wouldnt expect from a 250-pound bodybuilder, especially in a macho neighborhood establishment like this one. Undeterred, he sets up for what we will call a glute-ham lunge, for lack of a better moniker. Bringing the bar up to shoulder level, Marco sets up so that it appears hes pre-

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Barbell Squat

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While Marco sticks with the same stance every time he squats just outside shoulder width, his feet angled slightly out its helpful, especially for intermediates, to experiment with various foot-placement options, from a narrow to normal to sumo-style stance. Each variation will engage the glutes and thighs differently, providing new stimuli for muscle growth.

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Hack Squat WorldMags.net


At the top of every hack squat rep, Marco will ex his quads hard like I would if I was standing onstage for comparisons at a bodybuilding show, he says.

paring to squat, ducking under so the bar lies across his upper back just above his shoulder blades. He then shifts his feet so that his front is just behind the plane of the bar supporting him, while the other is extended out behind him, heel up in a lunge stance. His upper body is in what he calls the Superman position, with core tight and shoulders angled forward, in which itll remain throughout. Because that front foot is a little behind the bar, youll be taking the quads out of the move, he explains. From this stance, I bend at the front knee to lower myself as much as I can, then drive back up, going up and down for 20 reps with one leg before switching. The range of motion isnt that large, but youll feel the contraction through your glutes and

hamstrings if youre doing it right. Although weight isnt paramount, hell go up from 135 to 315 over the course of three to four sets, working down to the eight to 10 rep range on the nal set, where he sometimes incorporates a drop set if hes feeling particularly diabolical. I highly recommend you do a drop set at the end of these, he says emphatically. Youre gonna feel it youll end up with such tightness in your hams and glutes that youll nd it hard to walk. But walk Marco does (with just a little bit of a weary hitch in his step), because up next is his favorite leg exercise, one that serves double-duty on both quad and hamstring day. For walking lunges, he starts with a 30-pound dumbbell in each hand and makes use

of the ample walkways between the rows of red-and-white machines. For these, he takes an exaggerated step forward, dropping his hips deep and making sure the weights end up alongside his lead leg I want the dumbbells there so I can put maximum resistance at that leg for the knee extension, he explains after a set and then drives off the front heel while bringing the back leg forward. Thirty steps in all, 15 for each leg, 10 (yes, 10) sets in total, working up to the 100-pounders by the concluding jaunt.

BEFORE THE BELL


After wrapping up the session with 12 sets for his calves calf raises on the leg press, rst both legs and then each at a

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time, followed by seated calf raises Marco is ready to head out. A building engineer at the posh Trump SoHo hotel in Manhattan, hes part of the team that keeps the lights on, the hot water running and the behind-the-scenes activity humming without a hitch, and his shift starts in about 90 minutes. But on his way out, he takes a moment to outline his ambitious plans for the coming year. Back in 2011, when Marco rst turned pro, he approached it a lot like his workouts: he didnt squander a moment. You see people interviewed post-Nationals or post-USAs, they all want to take a year off, he says. I dont get it. You just turned professional, that means something. My attitude was I want to get right into the lions den ASAP. I want to see what its all about, see what I look like standing next to the other competitors. And in what proved to be fortuitous timing, the nascent 202 class in the IFBB was switching to a 212-weight limit at the tail end of 2011, meaning Marco could compete at a comfortable competitive bodyweight. He jumped into three 212 shows last year, nishing second in the Orlando Show of Champions and the European Pro, while earning fourth at his hometown New York Pro. He also has some extra motivation to excel: his ance, Yeshaira Robles, who once frowned on his extended stays at the gym over the couples 14-year history, decided to join him a few years ago. Now a top IFBB competitor in her own right, Robles came in second in the 2013 Bikini Olympia. We dont complicate things, he says of the balance they strike between their career and relationship. We dont waste excess energy, so that way we have so much more to give to each other in our personal lives. Im not going to say its not hard sometimes, because it is, but even when it gets a little shaky, we know tomorrows another day. Now, as Marco takes aim at 2014, he says hes learned one important thing from his rst six pro events. What I realized is that I belong up there with these other guys, he says. I can beat them. I intend to win a lot of shows in the next year. In a way, it traces back to that moment right after his rst professional

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Seated Calf Raise

Drive your calves upward as high as you can from a deep stretch. The longer your range of motion, the more you engage the soleus muscle thats the main target of the seated raise. (Standing, straight-legged raises engage the larger, dominant gastrocnemius that forms the bulk of the back of the lower leg.)

bout, when he made that promise to himself to never stop punching. In my life, Ive missed out on opportunities, he says. I probably couldve been a Major League Baseball player had I followed through. Boxing, who knows? So when it came to bodybuilding, I told myself, If Im going to do this, Im going to go for it all-out.

Now, because of bodybuilding, Ive managed to clear a lot of negative things out of my life. When you live this lifestyle, you dont have time for the nonsense. You dont spend time on the streets, hanging out, drinking. It just simplied so many things to where I could manage my life to perfection. Im so grateful for it. musclemag.com
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Available exclusively at
stores nationwide vitaminshoppe.com

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ATHLETE PROFILE WorldMags.net

ALL TRADES
From acting to wrestling to ballet, towering Australian action star Conan Stevens has done it all in his storied career and is showing no signs of slowing down.
By Alex Zakrzewski

VITAL STATS
AGE: Top secret HEIGHT: 71 WEIGHT: Varies from role to role, but well over 300 pounds at his heaviest HOMETOWN: Newcastle, Australia CURRENT LOCATION: Bangkok, Thailand TWITTER: @conanstevens WEBSITE: conanstevens.com

ven with his larger-than-life physique, breaking into the action-movie business has been a long, hard and denitely unconventional journey for Conan Stevens. The big Aussie rst wanted to be an action star at age 16 after watching Arnold Schwarzenegger kick ass in Conan the Destroyer. But despite hitting the weights hard and winning a few minor roles, breaking into the movies proved difcult, and at age 23 he shifted focus by joining the Sydney Dance Company. Just as his ballet career was taking off, Stevens was approached by Australian pro wrestling ofcials to show off his fearsome physique and physical skills in the squared circle. He was soon holding both the tag-team and Australian heavyweight titles. In 2000, as Stevens was preparing to join the U.S. promotion for World Championship Wrestling, a devastating nerve injury left him unable to use most of the muscles on his right side, derailing his career indenitely. The one bright side to his injury was that it refocused his attention back on acting. After a ve-year recovery, Stevens went to Thailand in the hopes of landing stunt work in a childrens lm. Although not fully recovered, his freakish size soon landed him important roles in bigbudget productions in Thailand, China and India. I typically play the big, bad foreigner in Asian lms and ll that stereotype niche very well, he says. In 2009, he exed his lmmaking muscles by writing, co-producing and co-starring in the kung fu Thai hit Bangkok Adrenaline. Stevens growing fandom in Asia nally opened doors to roles in major Western productions. When he

JACK ED O F

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heard that a Game of Thrones series was in the works, he posted an article online about why he was a perfect choice for the role of massive medieval killing machine Gregor Clegane. Fans responded enthusiastically and brought him to the attention of the shows producers. Playing Clegane was the kick-start his career needed and was a crucial factor in his involvement in Peter Jacksons The Hobbit and the hit television series Spartacus: Vengeance. Acting is a slow career, and like bodybuilding, it costs time and money to build the skills necessary to get noticedeven then you only make enough money to live off of once youre on top. Im looking at over 20 years of living like a self-supporting college student trying to achieve this goal Ive had since I was a skinny 155-pound kid.

SELECT WorldMags.net FILMOGRAPHY


VIKINGDOM (2013) Thor THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012) Bolg SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE (2012) Sedullus GAME OF THRONES (2011) Gregor Clegane TRUE LEGEND (2010) Malotoff BANGKOK ADRENALINE (2009) Conan

WORKING IN ASIAN FILMS


The Asian lm industry doesnt compare to Hollywood when it comes to budgets and big names, but Stevens says its an action lmmakers dream scene: Pretty much everyone in the industry knows some martial arts, so you dont have to bring in particular specialists. Its also easier to get lming locations [and] theres less red tape when getting things done.

VIKINGDOM
One of Stevens latest roles was as a villainous incarnation of the Thunder God Thor in the Norse-themed action flick Vikingdom. Despite the films Scandinavian subject matter, production took place in Malaysia, where the entire cast filmed their action scenes wearing furry costumes in temperatures over 104 degrees. That was a challenge in itself, as was filming up to 26 hours in a row, he says.

SOME FACTS ABOUT CONAN


Only professional wrestler in history to hold a championship belt while working in ballet

STAYING IN SHAPE
Stevens hits the weights three to six days a week depending on his schedule and tries to work in at least three cardio sessions as well. I always try to keep my tness levels at least reasonable so that I dont tire too quickly while ghting in heavy costume, he says. Nutrition is always a priority because Stevens suffers from enterohepatic recirculation, a condition in which undigested food and waste leak through damaged stomach walls and into the bloodstream. To keep his digestion on track, Stevens makes a point of eating a lot of fermented foods like sauerkraut, raw milk ker and fermented coconut juice, all of which are heavy in stomach-friendly probiotics and digestive enzymes.
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musclemag.com|FEBRUARY 2014175

1.

2. Member of Mensa 3. Former University of


Newcastle beer-drinking record holder High school chess champion

4.

5. Qualified infantry soldier in the University of New South Wales regiment

WorldMags.net Making Gains


Have you smashed past your training goals and achieved successes you once thought impossible? Let us know. Drop us a line on
Facebook and share the story of your muscle gains. Like these lucky readers, you just might find yourself featured in the pages of MuscleMag.

By Alex Zakrzewski, Online Editor

Chris Wright
AGE: 27 HOMETOWN: Willards, Maryland

THE RIGHT STUFF


Thanks to his sisters encouragement, Chris has gone from a hard-smoking party animal to a heavy-lifting iron addict in just one year. Is it just us or are his abs starting to look remarkably Jay Cutler-esque?

Jesse James Huerta


AGE: 31 HOMETOWN: Bryan, Texas

MASS MONSTER
Looking at this beastly pic of Jesse, its hard to imagine that he used to be a 135-pound beanpole. Since embracing a bodybuilding lifestyle, the once self-described skinny kid has added more than 80 pounds to his 61 frame and is currently looking into widening the doorways in his house.

Jeremy Chemij
AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario

THE HULK
Four years as a defensive tackle in college built Jeremy into a 280-pound bulldozer. Although his training is now centered on health and aesthetics rather than monster mass, when in the gym he still tosses around plates like its a Greek wedding. Working weights include 315 pounds on the bench press, 405 pounds for back squats and 585 pounds on deadlift day.

Michael Kalel Wittig


AGE: 37 HOMETOWN: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

MIND-BLOWING METAMORPHOSIS

Xenia Busigin
AGE: 28 HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario

A few years ago Michael decided that too busy was no longer an acceptable excuse for lazy living and sloppy eating. Through superhuman discipline and work ethic, hes built a superhero-like physique that would make Captain America turn green with envy.
176FEBRUARY 2014|musclemag.com

FITNESS FANATIC
From heavy lifting to Tabata to spinning to yoga, Xenia does it all on a weekly basis, and the results speak for themselves. Although she insists that she trains for the mental benets, with denition this impressive, we could see her rise to battle Nicole Wilkins for the Ms. Figure Olympia title.

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