By Jesse James, Nationally Qualified NPC Men’s Physique Competitor
So, you’ve been going to the gym for a few years now. You no longer consider yourself a total noob in the gym, but you begin to notice that “beast mode” workout just isn’t cutting it anymore. How do you reignite that fire you once had when you first stepped in the gym? Many will resort to looking up a new workout by their favorite bodybuilder or physique guy, but usually it will only focus a certain body part rather than a full body workout. Browse any fitness magazine or website and I’m sure you can count on an arm or chest workout being one of the top hits.
While going from a total gym newbie myself to a nationally qualified NPC Men’s Physique competitor, I cannot tell you how many times I revised my own bodybuilding competition program to get arms like Phil Heath or shoulders like Dennis Wolf. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those articles and they are 2 of my favorite modern bodybuilders still, but I fell into the same trap that I see others continue to fall in. We often do “spot workouts” as I like to call them. Spot workouts are where you work certain body parts to get that shredded 6 pack, sleeve busting biceps, or thick oak-like chest. I never fully understood that I needed a full body workout to tie my entire physique together. I would work on a certain body part like my biceps or triceps until they were big enough then moved to another body part thinking this was the way to the better overall physique. It wasn’t until I dug deeper into the inner workings of my favorite competitors that I soon realized I had been going about this all wrong.
My workouts were more or less full body workouts mixed in with a body part, and their workouts were split up by body parts. My mind was blown, and it finally started to make sense as to why I never could achieve that ‘complete package’ look, but rather a pieced together physique. With this new knowledge of the NPC and IFBB, I had fully invested myself in learning as much about the sport as I could so one day I too could step on stage.
I now can offer you a fast forward with what took me 18 years to fully understand. The workout below is a typical workout split I personally use, and would recommend if you are at a stagnant point in your workouts.
Bodybuilding Competition Program
Warmup – 1 set of wide grips lat pulldowns, 15 reps with light weight.
1) Weighted Wide Grip Pull-Ups
a. Neutral grip pull-ups
b. Reverse grip pull-ups (Super Set: Do all 3 grips to total 1 set, 4 sets x 10 reps)
Recommended: 10lb. weighted vest by HumanX Gear®
2) Meadows Row (each hand): 4 sets x 10 reps Recommended: Big Grip Lifting straps by Harbinger Fitness®
3) High Hammer Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps
4) Cable Pullovers: 2 sets x 15 reps
5) Deadlifts: 4 sets x 10 reps Recommended: 6” Padded Leather belt by Harbinger Fitness®
1) Cambered Barbell Curls (close grip): 4 sets x 10 reps
2) Straight Bar barbell curls (wide grip): 4 sets x 10 reps
3) Concentration dumbbell curls: 4 sets x 10 reps
4) Reverse straight bar cable curls: 4 sets x 10 reps Recommended: Bio Form weight gloves by Harbinger Fitness®
Warmup – 1 set of lateral dumbbells 15 reps with light weight.
1) Lateral Dumbbell Raises: “Run the Rack”: 10 sets X 12 reps, on the first set and last set before working your way back down to 2 sets. *Running the rack entails: An example would be starting with 15 lbs. at 12 reps twice to start out with, move up to 20lbs do 12 reps, and once you are at 30lbs you will do this 2 times. After this, you will start to work your way back to 15 lbs. by dropping 5lbs each set. Do not forget you will end on doing your starting weight twice again to get a total of 10 sets.
2) Rear Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps *Superset with 45lb plate raises after each set. 3) Wide Smith Machine Upright Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps
4) Military Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
5) Reverse Peck Deck Flyes: 4 sets x 10 reps Recommended: Bio Flex weight gloves by Harbinger Fitness®
1) Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets x 12 reps
2) Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets x 12 reps
3) Donkey Raises: 4 sets x 12 reps
Warmup – 1 set of leg extension, 15 reps with light weight.
1) Leg Extension: 4 sets x 12 reps
2) Squat Rack: 4 sets x 10 reps
3) Front Squats: 4 sets x 10 reps
4) Hack Squat (narrow): 4 sets x 10 reps
5) Leg Press: 4 sets of 10 reps Recommended: 6” Padded Leather belt by Harbinger Fitness®
1) Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 4 sets x 10 reps
2) Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets x 10 reps
3) Lunges: 3 sets across the gym *For added difficulty wear your weighted vest by HumanX Gear.
Warmup – 1 set of barbell press, 15 reps with lightweight
1) Incline Landmine Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
2) Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 5 reps *A set is considered: Start with a wide grip, medium grip, then close grip
3) Decline Barbell Press: 4 sets x 10 reps Recommended for barbell workouts: Big Grips by Harbinger Fitness®
4) Weighted Dips: 4 sets x 10 reps *Superset with pushups to failure. Recommended: 40lb. weighted vest by HumanX Gear®
1) French Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
2) Dumbbell Kickbacks: 4 sets x 10 reps
3) Rope Cable Extension: 4 sets x 10 reps
4) Supinated Grip Single Cable extension: 4 sets x 10 reps
Pick 1 body part per muscle group and do 1 set of 25 reps. You will do these 3 more times for a total of 4 reps, try to keep time between sets to a minimum while only resting after you’ve completed a full cycle through all body parts.
CARDIO- If you are trying to lean out, then add 45 minutes of fasted HIIT intervals 3-4 days each morning. Fasted means it is done before your first meal of the day and is best done right after you wake up in the morning.
Official website: http://www.JesseHuerta.com
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