Hi again everyone,
Welcome to Blog #9 and if you have gained something of use for your health and fitness lifestyle in my previous blogs then I am stoked that I have been able to be of assistance…remember “knowledge is power!”
I have mentioned before how great it has been to have met so many wonderful, like-minded people in my contest journey over the last 18 years and 49 competitions. These friends I have made are all over Australia from the many national competitions I have entered.
These people have inspired and motivated me for a variety of reasons. Their physical condition has obviously been something for me to aspire to which in turn drove me to train even harder. The new ideas I have picked up from them has also been very exciting to implement, trial and benefit from. The level of respect that you earn and have for your fellow competitors brings you very close and definitely enhances the friendship with a kindred-like spirit. The resulting camaraderie created is just so inspiring that you end up feeding off each other in a positive way and also encouraging each other to do well and to keep on competing in the sport.
The ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ in Australia has been a real problem for many years now where people would rather drag you down than acknowledge your achievements. We all need to be much more positive and encourage one another to excel and not accept mediocrity. These friendships of mine that I have formed from competing go against this national Aussie trend and that is also so inspirational to know that we are becoming part of the solution to this problem.
So let’s all continue to promote this respect & comaraderie in our sport and hopefully it will eventually filter into society in general. If we could do this then we would all be more focused, productive, motivated and most importantly…happier!
The HIT workout I would like to touch on this time is my fourth workout for the week…Shoulders and Triceps. I always start off with either barbell military press or dumbbell press with the bench set back from vertical by about 15 degrees. I will do a very light set with just the bar for about 20 reps as a warm up. The next sets are the usual HIT style 15 reps followed by 12 reps with a moderately heavy weight and then the all out set of 6-8 reps to as close to failure as possible.
The next exercise is my Larry Scott style side lat raises I mentioned in an earlier blog. Here we are targeting the side head of the deltoids. Three sets of 15, 12 and 8-10 reps. I then choose a much lighter dumbbell and do 2 sets of 15 and 12 reps while sitting on the end of a bench so as to flush the medial deltoid full of blood.
I do my rear delts on Back day so next it is straight on to Triceps.
The first exercise I like to do is heavy tricep cable push downs with a straight bar. I let my elbows splay out to the sides as I bend over to perform the movement. Think of doing a close grip bench press while standing up! This is a great exercise as it takes the delts out of the equation but allows you to go quite heavy. Three sets of 15, 12 and 8 reps each.
The next exercise is usually the tricep kickbacks with a dumbbell, one side at a time, while kneeling on a bench. Only 2 sets here of 12 and 8 reps each.
The last tricep movement is the king of all tricep exercises, the standing overhead dumbbell extensions. Your elbows need to be fully warmed up before attempting this movement that is why I do this last.
Stand facing a mirror with the your hands overlapped clasping one end of the dumbbell. Raise the dumbbell over your head and then let the dumbbell drop behind your head so that the range of motion is nearly 180 degrees. This exercise really works the large inner head of the triceps that looks very impressive when fully developed and gives you that extra dimension to your front double biceps pose with the biceps and triceps looking rounded simultaneously! I know that if I don’t do this exercise I just don’t seem to get that soreness in my triceps with the DOMS in the days to follow. Again only 2 sets are needed here with 12 and 8 repetitions each.
This workout should only take around 40-45 minutes but remember that is the premise of low volume HIT workouts…”stimulate don’t annihilate!!” Now is a great opportunity, with low blood sugar, to jump on to your favourite piece of cardio equipment and get some fat burning going with some low intensity or interval cardiovascular exercise.
Big Les and I had an awesome cheat meal for what we coin “Supa Food Friday” last week.
Course 1: Les’ you-beaut soup made with roast pumpkin, crushed brazil nuts, carrot, broccoli, ginger, chilli, duck fat, salt and pepper.
Course 2: My mixed grill comprising ribeye pork with crackling, Spanish pork pie, duck terrine, Danish blue vein cheese and garlic & herb mini toasts.
Course 3: Azzura buttered peanut icecream with hazelnut praline.
Course 4: Mini Crunchies, Flakes, expresso coffee and St Remy VSOP Brandy.
It was a grand feast fit for Kings and certainly gave me that great mini rebound I was needing after going hard all week with twice a day cardio and lowish carbs. My back workout on Saturday morning went well after that as I was still able to crank out 8 reps on 160kg bent over barbell rows! I usually feel quite vibrant till around Tuesday but the other great aspect of the cheat meal is that you always have that to look forward to which certainly keeps you sane too!!
So now under 5 weeks to go till my 50th contest, but who’s counting anyway!!? My carbs now are at their lowest at around 80g per day, protein is very high at around 350-400g (after all I am still trying to build muscle!) with canine cardio every morning as well as higher intensity Life-cycle each evening still in vogue for the next few weeks or thereabouts. I am hoping to reduce this as the show gets close so as to fill out muscularly and dry my legs out. I always find that a more rested physique is a vibrant and drier physique. Super-compensation can be a wonderful thing after going hard for a long period of time. Think of the swimmers at the Olympics, they will literally annihilate themselves with 6 hours of training every day for months and then just before the meet they will taper off dramatically so as to come in strong and peaking for race day. In some cases their training in the final week could be almost nothing at all! We bodybuilders need to learn from that and try to get on stage looking more energetic and confident instead of tired, bedraggled, lethargic and as though you don’t really want to be there! Try to get your condition spot on well before so that you can allow yourself time to “grow into the show”.
Until Blog #10, I hope you can take something from my latest instalment on the  ANB website. Keep up the great work both in the gym and with your nutrition so as to reap the multiple benefits of the health & fitness lifestyle.
Kind regards and best wishes, Craig W.