Friday, March 14, 2014

What's Being Worked On!

I realize that besides just adding overall size, I have body parts that need plenty of work-they simply have to come up!  This grow-season has been all about dissecting my body from head to toe and pinpointing what areas need the most work!  So below, I have outlined the body parts that I need the most work and what I am trying to do to bring them as my contest season approaches.

SHOULDERS: More overall roundness!
Solution: Heavy presses (especially the dumbbell press).  Many sets of strict lateral raises for all three heads of the delts.  Trap density will be courtesy of barbell shrugs!

BACK: More width and more mid-back thickness!
Solution: Training upper back on one day and training mid-lower back on another day.  Better concentration of squeezing lats on wide-grip exercises as well as seated cable rows.  Heavy barbell rows, dumbbell rows, rack pulls to build up the lower and mid-back.

CHEST: More upper-chest thickness!
Solution: Dumbbell work, including heavy flyes on an incline of 30 or 15 degrees-this appears to be working thus far.  I will also probably starting implementing the flat bench press, bringing the bar down closer to my neck to stress the fibers of the upper chest.  And as much as I hate Hammer Strength equipment for chest, I have to admit that I have found a great groove with the Iso-Bench Press machine.  Very few competitors have lost a show due to having a seriously weak chest but I don't want to take any chances and will do all that I can to make improvements over the coming months.

CALVES: More size!
Solution: I've been training my calves as much as four times per week in an effort to bring them up.  Because there's only like three or four good calf-building exercises, I do two exercises each time and will use a number of volume training principles including the FST-7 protocol.  I believe that I have found the formula to stimulating growth and that's to just bomb the hell out of my calves until I can barely walk.  Sure, I may never have calves like Erik Fankhouser or Ben Pakulski but I am determined to make them grow so that they become less of a liability come show time!

QUADS: Overall size, sweep, and detail!
Solution: Again, the theme is just training heavier.  I use the heaviest weights on squats, super squats, and leg presses while still using a full range of motion.  I've been keeping my reps in the 8-12 range for my big mass builders and of course for isolation exercises, I stay in the 15-30 range-I am going for the deep detail and striations!  To target the sweep, I am sure to keep my feet closer to together-well, I am more mindful to do so now :)

HAMSTRINGS: Detail and "hang"!
Solution: Maximum peak contractions and constant tension has been working wonders thus far at getting my hamstrings to "hang" in those side shots.  Of late, one of my favorite exercises to perform for hamstrings has been the Seated Leg Curl.  Pulling the backrest further up so that my legs are positioned further off of the seat, has allowed me a greater range of motion and the ability to hold the contraction longer; I can definitely see improvements in the overall size of my hamstrings from the side.  That's just one "secret" that I have in my arsenal in my quest for superior hamstring development.

GLUTES: Detail and tie-ins!
Solution: The contraction is everything for glute detail, so of course the focus has been using exercises that allow me to keep tension on the entire area in the negative portion of the rep followed by a firm contraction in the positive portion of the rep.  Good ol' Big Ramy-style stiff-leg deadlifts have been doing the trick!  I usually throw in the glute machine as well-again, I get maximum contractions on this exercise.  I want my glutes and hamstrings to look like they are fused together when I am on stage.  I want deep striations from the rear as well as feathering from the side.....with some concentrated work, we'll get them!

ARMS: More Triceps density!
Solution: My arms are actually one of my strongest body part groups in terms of size and proportion but I still want more triceps "hang" in my front double-biceps shot.  I've been doing torqued triceps extensions with dumbbells which has really been helping to fill out my triceps a great deal.  In a perfect world, I'd have triceps like Kevin Levrone or Roelly Winklaar but without that being the case, I am working to make the best of what I have!  As far as my biceps, I am just focused on the overall density, so Hammer Curls stay on the menu for each biceps training session.  I pay close attention to my forearm size and try to keep them in proportion to my upper arms by training them at least once a week with six to nine sets of seated and behind-the-back wrist curls and reverse-grip E-Z bar curls.

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