Saturday, May 29, 2010

Arms, Notes, & MoRe

The gym is a place to work hard -- the friendly chitter-chatter aside, people need to bring back that Dorian Yates'esque Blood & Guts feel back into hardcore training. If you can transcend your surrounding - the whack music the gym attendant on duty finds hip, the guy that walks around singing a rap song outloud w/o any consideration for others, or the snickering couples that you'd think have better things to talk about than you, but truthfully probably don't - then you're off to a good start.
Hardcore training requires the athlete to be in a zone. A place where he/she can push himself to the limit - this entails growning, grunting, self-talk, and total mental concentration.

Friday was arms day for John and me and we pursued our objectives dutifully. We started our routine with Seated Isolated, Single-Arm Curls:
Warm Up Set -- 20lbs -- 8reps
Set #1 -- 30lbs -- 8 Reps
Set #2 -- 40lbs -- 8 Reps
Set #3 -- 55lbs -- 6 Reps
Set #4 -- 60lbs -- 6 Reps
Set #5 -- 70lbs -- 5-6 Reps
Set #6 -- 80lbs -- 3 Reps
Set #7 -- 90lbs -- 2 Reps
When working biceps, many people tend to focus on the heavy lifts designed for building overall mass in the arms; however, the seasoned gymrat will also incorporate movements that will both isolate and tone. The seated single-and-bar isolated curls are also key for creating a desirable peak to the biceps, most noticeable during Double Bicep poses.

Castillo, Selby: Formula for Success?
My classmate and friend Josh Castillo is wanting to do a show, but from just one look at him, you'd think he was a seaoned pro. Whenever you have a weight-trainer that is able to walk around in near-competition shape during what's loosely called the Off Season, you know you have the genetic potential to do damage on the bodybuilding circuit.

The problem, however, is where do you go if you have the physique but you lack the inside-information (e.g. what show to enter, what Federation, what class [Open or Novice?], what shows permit novice cross-over, etc)? But even worse of all -- when you reach that near-perfect level but you want to add mass somewhere, how do you go about doing that without comprising your overall package? Also... what are your options for drying out -- do you carb-deplete, do you sodium-deplete, how many grams of fat should you have, should you suck on that lemon-wedge when you get thirsty? So many little factors that magazines and workout buddies are just oblivious to - and even if they had an inkling - would you put your whole contest prep on the line??? Hell no! *Ahem* I mean -- "HELL NAH!"

I know Blake Selby through my partner-in-crime Brian G. Raymond (co-administrator of the Facebook group), and I can honestly say that I was equally impressed with his training and nutritional philosophies as I was with his physique. I also recently was able to check out some photos from a competitor he trained, that placed 2nd (not bad) :)

our STRENGTH half may seem entirely focused on natural bodybuilding, with nutrition and supplementation to that end; however, it's a 50:50 split, with Strength (emcompassing Powerlifting, Armwrestling, and organized competitions) receiving equal interest - be confident in that!
In the coming weeks I'll be touching base with Mike and scouring the gym for the hardest lifters I can find. In addition, calls will go out to local gyms and throughout our Myspace, Friendster, Badoo, and YouTube accounts to bring as many guys and gals as possible into the fold.

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Effective Leg-Training
Legs rank as one of the least popular bodyparts to train in the gym - anywhere! Some people have bonafide excuses (kinda like that skim 1% of forged doctor notes to get out of phys-ed back in the day), but others are quite frankly nothing more than lazy bums that want to hit chest & bi's, back and tri's, shoulders, and mayyyybe abs and cardio (that's a big maybe). But you'll hardly ever be in a situation where you'll find two, three, or more people fighting over rights to the squat rack or leg press station, and that's VERY unfortunate - because the gym is littered top-heavy athletes balancing their way around the floor like gorillas on toothpick stilts they call "wheels" -- more like training wheels!
In fact, for those of us that normally train wheels - and look forward to the day, it's true test of wills for us not to smirk - or bust out laughing when we see people performing "Partial" Squats -- what's that? "Oh, I've got 315 on the bar - LIGHTWEIGHT BABY!"
Yeah, lightweigh is right you Ronnie Coleman-wannabe-pansy, what are you doing - and how is that in any way stimulating your quads?" But naturally, you can't go around saying that. On the other hand, sometimes tough love is what's needed. My friend Carson (before actually being my friend, really took me to task when he saw me doing Leg Presses w/ 20 plates. For starters - I don't fit in the station, and secondly I wasn't getting anywhere near full range of motion.
Ever since that day when Carson demostrated a strict squat, I've not gone back to the Leg Press station and I've grown stronger in my squats and more developed in my legs. If, however, you want to train Leg Press (a great movement bar none), then bring your knees all the way to your chest, because until you've done that, you really haven't performed so much as one solid rep.
Legs are our LARGEST, MOST POWERFUL muscle group, yet they are continue to be the most neglected!

Look forward to training legs -- it's the kind of grueling mind/body pump you can't get anywhere else (except for a tough Back workout). The legs are comprised of glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves --- make it habit to address the other HALF of your body once in a while too. presents VIDEO!