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INSIDE THIS H MONTH

JANUARY 2017

COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY PER BERNAL

DEPARTMENTS

30

GET WIRED

Kuwait Pro champ Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay has built his 24-inch guns with the help of a surprising weapon—the cable machine.

102

128

138

146

ALL I DO IS WIN

Phil Heath’s strategy for winning in bodybuilding—and life.

GET TO KNOW SQUAT

A step-by-step guide to proper squatting technique.

GAINS ON THE GRILL

TURN BACK TIME

Still going strong—extremely strong—at 45, Johnnie Jackson proves it with a back workout that has helped him rack up a steady stream of high placings on the pro circuit.

SLEEPING GIANT

172

HARD-EARNED ABS

Juan Morel’s high-rep arm workout for 2017.

Men’s physique competitor George Brown has been tirelessly chipping away at his midsection for years in a quest for “perfect abs.” Mission accomplished.

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

MUSCLE MATURITY

Mark Dugdale’s training has evolved in recent years, allowing him to maintain a stellar physique while staying injury-free. His chest workout is a shining example of this evolution.

188

YODA’S DISCIPLES

200

GIANTS IN GERMANY

210

SIZE MATTERS

Try these George Foreman Grill recipes to experience the tasty side of muscle building.

158

14

178

CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

20

JUST THE FACTS

59

1ST SET

81

LIFT

93

FOOD & SUPPS

A message from our chairman, president, and CEO, David J. Pecker.

Groundbreaking research and must-have tips in the training and nutrition universe.

All the happenings with the entire Team Weider roster. Plus, Dave Draper and more.

Techniques that work, routines that produce results, and other things to help you make the most of your gym time.

All the things you need to eat, drink, or mix first and then drink to help you reach your bodybuilding and fitness goals.

218

LAST SET

224

THE SHOT

Contest results, athlete profiles, and more from the world of competitive bodybuilding and fitness.

Stare down with Mr. Olympia.

Neil “Yoda” Hill reveals the secrets that led to “Padawans” Flex Lewis’ and William Bonac’s Olympia Weekend success.

The 2016 IFBB Olympia Europe contest report.

Twenty-five of the hugest bodybuilders of all time share advice for sizing up.

120

CONTEST PREP 101: PART I

A logical, manageable, easy, and effective protocol for getting your body ready for competition!

PER BERNAL; CHRIS LUND

FEATURES

16


FROM THE CHAIRMAN

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW TO PLAN TO BE YOUR BEST

It’s the start of a new year, which is the ideal time for you to stop, take a deep breath, evaluate your current fitness plan, and figure out your path for the next 365 days. It may sound like a simple thing to do, but it’s surprising how few of us take the time to do a deep dive and assess our present and future goals. January is the month most gym memberships are sold, the result of countless New Year’s resolutions. On the surface, this is a good thing, but in reality, it’s mostly a reflexive response to the pressure we all feel to make a list of resolutions. Rarely does the decision to join a gym or start a new diet come by way of calculation. Yet for as big a commitment as changing one’s lifestyle is, few of us put much more thought into it than we do jotting down that resolutions list. Committing to bodybuilding is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. And I think it’s safe to say that you, the FLEX reader, aren’t a fly-by-nighter who commits to a yearlong gym membership, goes for a month, then finds an excuse every time you’re scheduled to train. You’re dedicated to the bodybuilding lifestyle, and I commend you on your allegiance. Stop making resolutions and instead make a list of goals. Evaluate whether or not the effort you’ve made in the past year has been time well spent or if you could improve upon your gains by tweaking your routine, your diet, or both. With the turn of a new year, you have the perfect opportunity to look at all aspects of your training protocol. You just may find that a fresh start is what you need to make a bigger and stronger you in 2017.

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WEIDER PUBLICATIONS, LLC A SUBSIDIARY OF AMERICAN MEDIA, INC. CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER DAVID PECKER Executive Vice President/ Chief Marketing Officer KEVIN HYSON Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/ Chief Operating Officer CHRIS POLIMENI Executive Vice President, Digital Media Operations/CIO DAVID THOMPSON Senior Vice President/Chief Digital Officer BRIAN KROSKI Senior Vice President, Operations ROB M. O’NEILL Vice President, Consumer Marketing EPHRAIM R. BRENNAN

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President of the IFBB Professional League JIM MANION Founder and Chairman Emeritus JOE WEIDER (1920–2013)

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16

FLEX | JANUARY ’17


ONLINE NOW BEFORE THEY WERE MR. OLYMPIAS

Jay Cutler and Phil Heath have 10 Mr. Olympia titles between them. These two champs are longtime friends, spanning back to before either of them had ever taken home the coveted Sandow. This month, we draw some New Year’s inspiration by looking back at these two legends training together before they were Mr. Olympias and appreciating just how far they’ve come. FLEXonline.com/cutlerandheath

SOCIAL ALL-STARS

JOE WEIDER’S OLYMPIA EUROPE

In October 2016, the Olympia made its way overseas to Germany for the introduction of Joe Weider’s Olympia Europe! It was an impressive lineup in Dortmund, Germany, with the 2008 Mr. Olympia, Dexter Jackson, taking the title. You can relive the excitement on FLEXonline.com with video coverage of the posing routines, the posedown, and the crowning of the champ. FLEXonline.com/2016olympiaeurope LIKE US AT FACEBOOK.COM/FLEXMAGAZINE AND INTERACT WITH OUR 2 MILLION OTHER FANS.

18

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

FLEX LEWIS No excuses. We breathe, thus we are alive. Focus on today, not on yesterday–a message we all need to remind ourselves of, no matter in times of struggle or in times of good. BIG RAMY Always surround

yourself with real friends. They will push your spirit up, and they will watch over you all the time! STEVE KUCLO It’s important to be a representative of your brand… you are your brand. Live the lifestyle you love! WILLIAM BONAC When you start doubting yourself remember how

far you’ve come. Remember everything you’ve faced, the battles you’ve won, and all the fears you’ve overcome. JUAN MOREL Yes, I train twice a day. Train hard to get big!! SHAWN RHODEN Surround yourself with people who understand your journey and the destination.

CHECK OUT OUR DAILY UPDATES BY FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER AT @FLEX_MAGAZINE.

MAT THIUS BUSSE; KEVIN HORTON

PHIL HEATH Time to get back to the grind!


JUST THE FACTS

TRAINING

DO CARDIO AFTER A study performed by the Department of Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey demonstrated that aerobic exercise performed before resistance exercise significantly reduced resistance exercise performance even when unrelated muscle groups were involved.

DON’T POUR COLD WATER ON IT

The ability of cold-water immersion to reduce inflammation and speed recovery was tested by Australian researchers at Queensland University of Technology. Cold-water immersion did not differ from light cycling for reducing inflammation and cellular stress.

EASE INTO IT

Researchers from Italy examining the changes in tendon structure following an abrupt stop in training warn that getting back in the gym should be done with caution. In short, after a layoff, even if you feel like jumping right back in where you left off, it is better to ease into your previous level of intensity to avoid risk of injury to tendons.

50 Times per second the brain must send a message g to the quads to contract during i a single rep of leg presses.

20

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

PAVEL Y THJALL; KEVIN HORTON

GO HEAVY AND LIGHT According to a paper published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the classification of training routines by their sets, reps, and weight loads as either for bodybuilders or for strength athletes, is an oversimplification. The paper shows that both heavy-weight/lower-rep and moderate-weight/ higher-rep routines appear to elicit similar gains in muscle growth.


JUST THE FACTS

HEALTH & NUTRITION

CURCUMIN CAN BEAT DOWN INFLAMMATION Lots of spices are known to be full of antioxidants, often delivering more punch per gram than other all-stars like dark chocolate and red wine. One of the most potent compounds is curcumin, the active ingredient in curry spice turmeric. New research has shown that a daily dose of 200mg of the anti-inflammatory can help reduce the markers of muscle damage that result from intense training.

A Penn State study y found that the monounsaturated fats in canola oil may specifically burn the visceral fat that accumulates around the stomach. Researchers tested how canola, high–oleic acid canola, high-oleic acid canola with omega-3 DHA, corn/safflower, and flax/safflower oils affected the amount of abdominal fat in 101 people over four weeks. Those who got the oils with canola in it lost about a quarter pound of belly fat.

MULBERRIES MAY ACTIVATE BROWN FAT

Brown fat—adipose tissue that generates heat in the body— has been in the news a lot lately because of its ability to rev up our metabolism, but the only sure way to activate it is to hang out in chilly temps. But new research out of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that there’s no need to freeze your balls off to get the fat working for you—all you may need is mulberry extract. A natural compound in the berry, called rutin, can trigger brown fat thermogenesis, helping increase metabolism and drop unwanted pounds.

22

FLEX | JANUAR JANUARY ’17

FAST FOODIES CAN’T STOP THEMSELVES If you’re lucky enough to have kept clear of the fast-food trap that so many people fall into, it may be because you’re the type of person who is able to delay immediate gratification, says a new study in the journal Preventative Medicine. Scientists took a look at survey results from almost 6,000 people and found that those who were willing to wait to be given a larger amount of money at a later date were 26% less likely to chow down at a fast-food joint.

30%

The amount that three low-carb meals within 24 hours lowers insulin resistance, says a U. of Michigan study. High-carb meals support insulin resistance, which leads to high blood pressure and diabetes.

EGGS BOOST VITAMIN E IN SALADS

MUNCH BUGS FOR MORE MINERALS King’s College London examined the mineral content of edible insects and created a nutritional rundown. Bugs contained twice as much available iron as red meat and also had more absorbable minerals like copper, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Artisanal bug bars: coming soon to a hipster neighborhood near you!

A study from Purdue U. found that tossing three cooked eggs in your daily salad can increase absorption of vitamin E by nearly sevenfold. Vitamin E—found mostly in leafy greens, oils, seeds, and nuts—has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, supports the immune system, and may help prevent heart disease. This could help those who don’t get their daily dose of veggies up their vitamin E without taking supplements.

GET T Y IMAGES (3)

CANOLA OIL BEATS BELLY FAT


PHOTO BY PER BERNAL

ELSSBIAY

“BIG RAMY”

MAMDOUH

FLEX MAGAZINE PRESENTS


FLEX MAGAZINE PRESENTS

ARNOLD

SCHWARZENEGGER PHOTO BY ART ZELLER


GET WIRED I D

KU KUWAIT UWAIT AIT PRO CHAMP H MP PM MAMDOUH AMDOUH H “BI “BIG IG R RAMY” AMY” E ELSSBIAY L HAS BUILT B U UILT HIS 2 24-INCH GUNS UNS WITH WITH THE EH HELP ELP O OF F A SURPRISING WEAPON—THE W EAPON—THE A N CABLE A MACHINE. A IN . HERE ARE SEVEN EXERCISES R SE HE’S USED TO TRIGGER R G IMPRESSIVE IMP P GAINS NS IN SIZE A AND D DETAIL..

BY MICHAEL HA A EL B BERG,, N.S.C.A.-C.P.T. .PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL ERNAL FLEX


AT 32

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

5'10" and 286 immense, well-polished pounds, Mamdouh Elssbiay’s “Big Ramy” moniker almost seems...well, inadequate. Over the years, there may have been a few slightly bigger bodybuilders along the way, but certainly no one of this size has ever combined that mass with elite-level muscularity and conditioning that has earned Ramy four IFBB titles and two top-five Mr. Olympia finishes, including fourth at the latest rendition this past September. As you’d expect, building huge arms requires a solid foundation of free-weight exercises over the course of years, including moves like close-grip bench presses, dips, and French presses, as well as barbell, dumbbell, and preacher curls. Yet Elssbiay—guided by his trainer, Ahmad Alaqi, in the $17 million workout oasis in the desert, Kuwait City’s palatial Oxygen Gym—dramatically changed his arm approach, striving for maximum pump instead of traditional heavy, strength-oriented lifts. A key component? Cable exercises, which offer a trifecta of benefits for optimum stimulus.


7

COLOSSAL CABLE MOVES

Heavy, compound pressing and pulling exercises Elssbiay does throughout the week—incline and flat presses for chest, seated presses for shoulders, rowing for back—also secondarily stimulate the arms, meaning his arm day can focus on forcing as much blood as possible into the biceps and triceps. His arm day usually involves rotating between biceps and triceps exercises, all in the name of the pump, expanding the sheath surrounding the muscle, potentially prompting a hormonal recovery response, and flooding the

area with vital recovery nutrients. Also, by striving toward momentary muscular failure through rep ranges as high as 15, he also stimulates physiological adaptation, i.e., growth. Mixed in with exercises like preacher machine curls, EZ-bar curls, and lying triceps extensions, Elssbiay will mix and match a variety of cable moves, including the following seven that have proven to be especially beneficial. He tends to do about eight to 10 exercises in a workout, for three sets of 10 to 15 reps apiece, striving for complete failure on the last of the three exercises.

BENEFITS OF CABLE EXERCISES BENEFIT NO. 1:

CONTINUOUS TENSION

When doing free weights, the pull of gravity is altered depending on the position of the weight throughout the rep. At certain points, the tension can even go slack. Not so with cables, which are constantly pulling against the working muscle at every point of the range of motion. BENEFIT NO. 2:

We can’t guarantee Ramy-size guns, but mixing up your usual free-weight workouts with an all-cable assault will provide a different stimulus for new growth.

UNILATERAL FOCUS

When holding a barbell, a stronger arm can compensate somewhat for a weaker one. But, as with dumbbells, you can easily switch out a bilateral exercise—like barbell curls or extensions—for a unilateral variation, like one-handed cable curls or one-arm pushdowns. BENEFIT NO. 3:

ANGLE VARIETY

GROOMING BY TIFFANY DANIELS

Cables offer a number of angles, and adjustments can be as significant or as minute as you’d like. For instance, when doing a pushdown for triceps, you can use a straight bar with a close, medium, or wider grip on the bar, a rope that allows for a palms-facing grip, an angled attachment that puts the palms at 45-degree angles from the floor, or an underhand grip. Each of these variations slightly changes which part of the triceps is emphasized—an overhand h d grip hits the long and a d lateral a (outer) heads, a as s does o the hammer-style yl grip, while underhand d grips target the medial a (inner) head. e d SHOT ON LOCATION AT CIT Y ATHLETIC CLUB, L AS VEGAS, NV

FLEXONLINE.COM LEXONL E.COM

33


1

ONEARM CABLE CURL

TARGETS

BICEPS BRACHII Stand holding a D-handle attached to a low pulley cable with an underhand grip, arm extended— you can brace yourself by putting your free hand on the machine. Keep your abs tight, chest up, and head straight. Contract your biceps to curl the handle toward your shoulder, hold and squeeze at the top, then slowly retrace the same path downward. Repeat for reps, then switch arms.

RAMY’S TIP

We all have a more dominant arm, and when doing two-arm exercises, that stronger arm tends to take on more of the load. That makes unilateral exercises key for development, because it allows for direct focus on your weaker side.

34

FLEX | JANUARY ’1 ’17


RAMY’S RA AMY’S TIP P

You can twist your wrists into a supinated (palms up) position at the top, which i activates i more biceps fibers than if you keep your hands facing throughout.

2

ROPE HAMMER CURL TARGETS BICEPS BRACHII, BRACHIALIS, BRACHIORADIALIS

Stand holding a rope attachment attached to a low pulley u cable with each hand at the knot at the end of either side, palms facing each other. With your core held firm, chest elevated, and eyes straight ahead, initiate the movement with your biceps to bend your elbows, keeping your elbows at your sides. Hold and squeeze when you reach full elbow flexion, then slowly extend your arms. Don’t let the weight stack touch down between reps.

FLEXONLINE.COM

35


FLEX


SNAPSHOT

MAMDOUH “BIG RAMY” ELSSBIAY A B Birth date: Sept. 16, 6 1984 Birthplace: Cairo, o Egypt Current residence: s Kuwait City, Kuwait Height: 5'10" Weight: 318 pounds off-season, 286 contest Contest highlights: 2016 Kuwait Pro, 1st; 2015 Arnold o Classic Brazil, 1st; 2013–14 New N York Pro, 1st; 2012 IFBB Amateur a Olympia, super-heavyweight and overall champ Online: Instagram @big_ramy; Snapchat @big_ramy1

SAMPLE ARM WORKOUT

CABLE CONNECTION Exercise

Sets

Reps

V-handle Pushdown

4

10-15

Rope Pushdown

4

10-15

Reverse-grip Pushdown

4

10-15 5

Rope Hammer Curl

3

10-15

High-pulley Cable Curl

3

110-15

One-arm High-pulley Cable Curl

3

10-15

One-arm Cable Curl

3

110-15 0-15

Although Big Ramy will mix in regular free-weight and machine exercises with h cable b moves, you can create a whole arm workout at the cable station. This sample routine starts with triceps followed by biceps, but you can also aalternate back and forth between bi’s and tri’s if you prefer.

FLEXONLINE.COM E N N C M

37


RAMY’S RA AMY’S TIP P

This is basically the front double biceps pose against resistance. It’s a perfect opportunity to practice that mandatory pose and focus on building a burn in your biceps peaks.

3

HIGHPULLEY CABLE CURL

TARGETS

BICEPS BRACHII (SHORT HEAD/PEAK) Stand in the m middle of a cable crossover holding two w D-handles attached ed to the high pulley cables. Keeping ee n your elbows s high, curl the D-handles toward o your ears. Squeeze hard at the apex of the rep, then slowly w extend d your elbows b as you release the contraction in your biceps. Keep a slight bend in your arms at the start of each rep.

38

FLEX | JANUARY ’17


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FLEX | JANUARY Õ17


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RESEARCHED KEY INGREDIENT


RAMY’S R AMY’S TIP P

4 42 42

FLEX | JANUARY ’17 FLEX

This move can feel awkward at first because you have to hold your body in position as you rep—there’s nothing to grab on to with your free arm to brace yourself. But it’s a good exercise for a full biceps stretch and contraction, and tensing your whole body is great practice for the stage.

ONE-ARM HIGH-PULLEY CABLE CURL

TARGETS BICEPS BRACHII H (SHORT S HEAD/PEAK) H E D PE K) This is similar to the two-handed high-pulley curl, except e you’ll perform e it unilaterally. Grasp a D-handle attached a hed to a high g pulley u le and s stand so tthat same side is facing the weight stack, elbow lb extended. x Place e your free hand on your hip. Now, keeping an upright g stance throughout, g o bend y your elbow to bring the D-handle toward your h head—when e e your elbow is fully b bent, e flex e the biceps for a one count, then slowly extend x back to the t start. Don’t o let the stack touch down between reps.


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FLEX | JANUARY Õ17


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5 V-HANDLE A LE PUSHDOWN DOWN TARGETS

LATERAL (OUTER) TRICEPS HEAD Stand in front of a high pulley cable and grasp an angled close-grip c e attachment with an overhand e grip. With your o knees loose, lean forward slightly att the h waist and d position n your elbows lb close l s to your ur sides id while h br n i your bringing ur fforearms orearms m p parallel l to the h floor flo r to begin. Flex l yourr triceps and press the bar downward until your elbows are fully full extended. Fl your Flex u triceps and nd hold h d for a one countt before returning e to the start position, stopping p just before e the weight stack touches down. w RAMY’S TIP Don’t rock your body into the rep as you’re pushing d down to gain additional it nal leverage— keep your ttorso still to put the most tension possible on the triceps.

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17


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48

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

Reverse-grip pushdowns wns hit hii the medial ed triceps head d (the one you u see on the inside id de of your a arm when h iit’s at your side), which h tends to be eh harder d to activate. For balanced ced d development, l you should uld include n a reverse-grip e move ove iin every y triceps workout. t.

REVERSE-GRIP PUSHDOWN

TARGETS MEDIAL (INNER) TRICEPS HEAD H Stand in front of a high pulley cable and grasp the straight-bar gh attachment m with an underhand, supinated grip. With your legs slightly bent, en lean forward slightly at the waist and position your elbows close to your sides s while bringing your lower arms parallel to the floor. Flex your triceps and press the e barr down toward the floor until your arms are fully extended. Squeeze your y ttri’s r a and hold for a brief count before returning to the start position.


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7

RO ROPE OPE PUSHDOWN S TARGETS

LONG AND LATERAL TRICEPS HEADS Stand in front of a high pulley y cable c and grasp s the rope p attachment w with a neutral grip. With your legs slightly y bent, lean forward slightly at the waist and position your elbows close to your sides while bringing your lower arms parallel to the floor. Flex your triceps and press the rope down toward the floor until your arms are fully extended, pronating your hands at the bottom. Squeeze your tri’s and hold for a brief count before returning to the start position.

50

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

RAMY’S R AMY’S TIP P Don’t ’ let your elbows drift forward, which tends to bring in more delts and takes some pressure off your triceps. e . Imagine ma ag a rod d running r through thro oug gh yo your ou body holding ho oldiing your elbows iin place.


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BIG PLANS Big Ramy finished the 2016 competitive o season with a flourish—after taking fourth a at the h O on Sept. 17, he finished runnerr up att the Arnold C Classic Europe E r in Barcelona, el Spain, a and d the he Prague a Pro, r , while winning g the inaugural n u u Kuwait Pro on Sept. 29, held Kuwait e right

52

FLEX | JANUARY U ’17

in h his proverbial p backyard. r It was arguably g the e best e run of his IFBB pro career, of a which began g in 2013 after an impressive p e s super-heavyweight up g (a (and and overall) victory at the h Amateur O Olympia p a in 2012. However, as the mighty native of

Egypt continues to hone his skills in a sport he began training for seriously only in 2010, when he ambled into Oxygen Gym for the first time, all signs point to even “bigger” things to co come. ome. m Next stop: the 2017 c m competitive season.


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700

In their pro debuts, Porter Cottrell beat Kevin Levrone at the 1992 Chicago Pro. Check out how this ’90s bodybuilding fireman built delts that relegated a future legend to runner-up status.

1 SET st

ALL THE HOT TOPICS IN BODYBUILDING & FITNESS

CHRIS LUND

Exclusive: Mr. Olympia goes wild in Cancún, shops for deals on Google, and reveals his big plans for 2017.

The 212 Olympia champ plays “mirror, mirror, on the wall” and reboots a classic moment from the 1984 Mr. Olympia.

Rather than let injuries derail your efforts, use these tricks to keep your tally of unmissed workouts perfect.

How Shawn Rhoden turned around 2016, Juan Morel predicts where he’ll finish at the 2017 O, and more.

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FLEXONLINE.COM

59


1ST SET

ASK THE CHAMP

TIME-OUT!

BY PHIL HEATH, SIX-TIME REIGNING MR. OLYMPIA

MR. O TAKES A BREAK AND CONSIDERS THE YEAR AHEAD you take a break after the Olympia? Q Did

Sure did. Went to Playa del Carmen, which is near Cancún. It was an outstanding and much needed chance to take a break from everything—no autographs, no posing for pictures, just me and my girl, laying out and enjoying ourselves.

Q Do you have resolutions for the new year? Okay, the first is to eat clean in the off-season. I’m thinking I will probably go up to 285 or so in this off-season, and I want to do it by eating cleaner than I ever have before. The second is important, and that is to spend more quality time with my family and my inner circle of friends. And the third would be to take time out to reflect on my career and my life, not just let it sweep past me.

Q What was your last Google search?

I look at competition this way: At the beginning of class, everyone has an A. Everyone can hold onto that A by doing the work that’s required. Some people drift—maybe their grade drops to a B or a C—before they get on it, and start working to bring it back up. For me, I’m going to stay at that A level from the start and not let myself drift. I’m going to get the work done to hold on to that A. 60

FLEX | JANUARY J U Õ17

PAVEL Y THJALL

I googled “Why are incline treadmills so popular?” I was looking into the big ones, not the 10%, but the ones with 30% or 40% maximum incline. I was curious how much more beneficial the increase in the incline was, and I was wondering how much they cost.


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BLOND BOMBER

BY DAVE DRAPER

SUPERSET FOR SUPER SIZE KICK OFF 2017 WITH THIS DEMANDING AND EFFECTIVE TRAINING TOOL

Sure, single-set training has its place in our workouts and should always be retained. But a routine blended with superset combinations—two exercises performed back-to-back—floods the muscle with blood-ladened oxygen and tissue-building nutrients, causing greater growth. I instinctively gravitated toward a nonstop training style to maintain enthusiasm and momentum during my training. Without the downtime between sets, you become more involved in your training. There’s no time for daydreaming, wishing you were somewhere else, or becoming bored. In fact, a most desirable attitude of training develops, one that we wrongly think is reserved for athletes on the fringe of competition. This training attitude is a valuable tool of confidence and provides a very real psychological benefit. With a little time and a little practice your training becomes more athletic as you move through the gym from one exercise to another. Your heart rate remains higher, you stay warmer, and you near the edge of aerobic training. Concentration becomes automatic, and the harmony of movements will lure you onward. Listed below are some of my favorite combinations to splice into your regular exercise program. Two or three sets of 10 to 12 reps of a superset performed at a moderate pace with a moderate weight will bring this all into focus.

DAVE’S FAVORITE SUPERSETS Dumbbell Incline Press/Dumbbell Pullover/Seated Lat Row Bench Press/Wide-grip Pulldown Bent Bar Curl/Lying Triceps Extension Steep Dumbbell Shoulder Press/ Sidearm Lateral Raise Incline Dumbbell Curl/Overhead Triceps Extension Chinup/Dip/Rope Tuck Leg Extension/Leg Curl/Calf Raise

62

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

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1ST SET

ASK THE CHAMP

BY FLEX LEWIS, FIVE-TIME OLYMPIA 212 SHOWDOWN WINNER

MAN IN THE MIRROR R THOUGHTS ON POSING, REFLECTIONS ON LAST YEAR’S OLYMPIA

After a contest, do you watch videos to see Q how you looked onstage? Did you watch your Olympia performance? Honestly, if I can find a contest online somewhere afterward, I’ll watch it. To see how I did with my own eyes. With some contests and, of course, with the Olympia and all that happens over the O weekend, there are legalities involved, and so videos of those contests get pulled really quickly because they’re unauthorized. It’s usually something someone shot from the audience. That night after the O, I did watch a video, but the link was taken down before it was morning.

Posing in front of a mirror can be either a mind mess or a help in many regards. I personally have two mirrors in my life—the one I look into when I brush my teeth and one at the gym to judge my physique. I always use the same mirror set in the same position when judging my physique because changing mirrors, changing mirror positions, can make self-assessment more challenging. As far as muscle development, that happens in the gym. Posing is all that happens in a mirror.

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FLEX | JANUARY Õ17

Q Other than winning, what was the highlight of the 2016 Olympia? Without a doubt, it was bringing my daughter up onstage with my wife. Some background here: Long ago, I’d seen a photo in FLEX of Sergio Oliva onstage with his son, Sergio Oliva Jr., when he was only a few weeks old. That was in my head when I promised

in 2015 that if I was blessed to return to the O and win again, I would bring Adiena up onstage. I fulfilled that promise for myself and for my fans, who, seriously, throughout the months of the year have been saying, “Hope you get the chance to bring your daughter onstage.” It was a dream come true.

PAVEL Y THJALL

Q Does posing and flexing in front of a mirror help with muscle development?


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ASK MERLIN

BY ERIC “MERLIN” BROSER

ASK MERLIN

How can one continue to train with Q tendinitis? How does one lessen inflammation between workouts?

—MATTHEW F., HAWAII In situations in which tendinitis is severe, I would recommend completely resting the area for up to a week so as not to make a bad situation even worse. However, in cases when the pain is tolerable, it’s certainly possible to still train while continuing to heal. Just follow these rules: 1. Begin the workout by increasing your core temperature with 10 minutes of moderate cardio activity. 2. Flush the injured joint with plenty of blood by engaging in several light warmup sets before your first “work set.” 3. Avoid any exercises that cause pain to the extent that you cannot focus on the target muscle. 4. Keep sets at about 15 to 20 reps so you don’t force the inflamed joint to withstand too much resistance.

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17

A NEW MONTHLY COLUMN ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON TRAINING, DIET, SUPPLEMENTATION, MINDSET, AND MORE

5. Use perfect form and a slow tempo on every rep. After the workout is complete, the injured area should be iced for 20 minutes every hour or so till bedtime. In addition, NSAIDs can be utilized to reduce inflammation as well, but not for more than a few days since these medications can interfere with the anabolic process.

Q Which are the top three ingredients (aside from macronutrients) you believe should be in a pre- and post-workout supplement for it to effectively aid in building muscle? —MAXIMILIAN A., PENNSYLVANIA This is a difficult question—mostly because you wish to narrow it down to only three specific ingredients for each supplement. However, after giving it some thought, I have decided on the following response. For ASK MERLIN

pre-workout, my choices are: 1) caffeine, for its ability to enhance energy, focus, and fat burning while blunting our perception of pain; 2) beta-alanine, for its ability to help clear lactic acid, increasing a muscle’s ability to contract over a longer period; and 3) beetroot extract, for its ability to maximize blood flow (vasodilation), allowing for a greater and more sustained pump in the working muscles. As for a postworkout product, my choices are: 1) creatine, to replace what is lost during an intense workout, as this nutrient is necessary for igniting strength, power, and several mechanisms directly related to hypertrophy; 2) L-leucine—a branched-chain amino acid that heightens muscle growth via the mTOR pathway; and 3) phosphatidic acid, a compound that also stimulates mTOR (through a different pathway than leucine) and has been shown in recent studies to markedly enhance both hypertrophy and strength.

If you have something you would like to ask Merlin, send him an e-mail at bodyfx2@aol.com.

PAVEL Y THJALL

1ST SET


1ST SET

WEIDER ATHLETES WEIGH IN

WILLIAM BONAC

STEVE KUCLO

DANY GARCIA In terms of expanding interest in bodybuilding, what role do the competitors play? A: It’s important for our athletes to keep in mind that this sport has a vital audience component. We need to develop programming that supports and highlights the athletes and their lifestyles. Connecting with the audience through showmanship, social media, and character will become even more important if the sport is going to cross over to a broader audience.

68

FLEX | JANUARY Õ17

Least favorite part of Olympia weekend? A: The days leading up to the show and all that goes into the last-minute prep stuff… tanning and the stress of waiting to hit the stage. I do enjoy the events leading to the show, like the Olympia Press Conference and Meet the Olympians, but the waiting game can be stressful and making sure I can shut down at night and sleep is very important. Best part of Olympia weekend? A: I get to spend time with my family. They fly in from all over the country to support me. I usually have 10 to 15 family members come out during my competitions, so I love to take them to dinner after the show. Spending time as a family, the Kuclo Mafia, makes that weekend the best!

CHARLES LOW THIAN (3); PER BERNAL (2); JAMES PATRICK

What is the most challenging part about prepping for the Olympia? A: It’s the same for every contest. I want to be able to beat my looks onstage from the previous year’s shows. When you get to Las Vegas, what is the first thing that you do? A: Body check! Depending on how that turns out, I will know what to eat. So, first thing is body check, and after that I go for groceries.


SHAWN RHODEN

TRAIN BETTER

In 2012, at the Arnold Classic, you did not place. Since then, you’ve finished in the top five in every contest. What changed? A: Mind frame. My mental approach really changed when I started working with [trainer and nutritionist] Chris Aceto. The nutrition and the training came together in a way they didn’t before. Chris understands the flow of a physique and how it develops. It has been a great, productive partnership.

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CODY MONTGOMERY How did competing overseas compare with competing in the U.S.? A: The international fans really love bodybuilding, and there is nothing that compares to bringing your body, your art—all your hard work and dedication—to another country where they are so appreciative of your physique accomplishments. What has surprised you most about competing at the pro level/being a pro? A: The camaraderie among the pros I was competing i against i and d the h all-around positive experience that the Arnold Classic team and Tony Doherty s Australian crew put on at Doherty’s the contest. The interaction in the days prior to competing, such as at the meet and greet and the expo for booth appearances—all of this was totally new to me, but I really enjoyed the entire experience!

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JUAN MOREL Any resolutions for 2017? A: I’m going to make the top five at the Olympia this year. Before the Olympia, who did you pick at the Mr. O top three? A: Ranking them before they stepped on the stage, I had Phil in first, Dex in second, Ramy in third… you know, I had my buddy Shawn [Rhoden] in there too, so I had a top 4. I wasn’t sure about who would land in third, Ramy or Shawn. But I had all four of them there at the top. Shawn had a great contest. [Rhoden finished second, ahead of Jackson and Elssbiay.]

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1ST SET

RETRO ATHLETE

BY GREG MERRITT

PORTER COTTRELL TR

THE REMARKABLE BODYBUILDING SUCCESS OF AN UNDERSIZED FIREFIGHTER ■ If he had quit after his rookie year, Kevin Levrone would be celebrated as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time on the basis of two pro wins and a second in the Mr. Olympia. However, what’s largely forgotten about 1992 is Levrone’s loss in his pro debut to another rookie, Porter Cottrell, who won his first two pro shows. The two were going back and forth then. Levrone won the 1991 NPC Nationals as a heavyweight, while Cottrell won the light-heavy class. And a week after Cottrell beat Levrone in Chicago, the results were reversed in a New York pro show. Cottrell’s success came despite his relatively diminutive size. He weighed only 200 to 210 at 5’7”, but he nevertheless impressed via classical lines and proportionate development. He won all three contests he entered in 1993, and in 1994 he was third in the Arnold Classic and fifth in the Olympia. All the while, he toiled on daylong shifts as a firefighter in Louisville, KY. Cottrell retired from bodybuilding in 1999 and fire-fighting in 2009 and today works as a personal trainer. Long before there was a 212 division, he proved that a symmetrical “David” can slay bodybuilding’s Goliaths.

COTTRELL ON SHOULDER TRAINING

■ “I do one or two lighter sets before my working sets, to warm up but also to get in the groove.” ■ “Dumbbells are the perfect tool for working shoulders. I never have to leave the dumbbell rack.” ■ “I hit shoulders after chest in the same workout.” ■ “I like higher reps on shrugs to really feel my traps working over a longer set.”

EXERCISE

F L E X FAC T

CINEMATIC HERCULES STEVE REEVES INSPIRED COTTRELL TO TAKE UP BODYBUILDING AT 12. 70

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

SETS

REPS

Dumbbell Press

4–5

8–12

Dumbbell Side Lateral

3–4

8–12

Dumbbell Rear Lateral

4–5

8–12

Dumbbell Shrug

3–4

15–20

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COTTRELL’S SHOULDER ROUTINE


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1ST SET

ASK LEE

BY LEE HANEY

BODYBUILDING LANDMARKS

“INTENTIONAL” NUTRITION AND TRAINING ARE THE KEYS TO A BALANCED, PLEASING PHYSIQUE

Q

What do you think is lacking in the sport of bodybuilding today?

There’s a passage of scripture in the Bible (Proverbs 22:28) that says: “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” We can relate this proverb to bodybuilding: The “landmarks” are the criteria the bodybuilders and founders of our sport said our physiques should look like— specifically that, first and foremost, the physique had to be pleasing, with a foundation of balance and symmetry that includes having a nice waist and shoulder taper. The problem is, we’ve come to a place where that’s no longer the criteria, and in many ways this has gotten the beauty and art of bodybuilding off course. As a result, fans and other members of the bodybuilding community have cried out—people want to see the classic physiques again. So how do we get back there to a place of rediscovery? I think there are two ways:

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17

NO. 1: SMALL MEALS

Nutrition has to be intentional. In my opinion, the classic physique is achieved by eating small quantities of food on a frequent basis during the day. And eating the right types of food—foods that digest fast and get to the muscles and provide growth without lying around in the gut for long periods of time, which causes the gut to protrude. During my era, bodybuilders ate mostly chicken, fish, eggs, and beans. Today you have a lot of athletes eating steak. There’s a lot of beef in the diet. And my personal opinion on beef is this: If you eat a cow, you’re going to look like one! Red meat takes a long time to digest, up to 48 hours; it hangs out for a long time and stretches the abdominal area, which I believe causes that protruding gut. So again, smaller meals have to be looked at. You have to be intentional with your nutrition to keep your waist nice and tapered.

The other thing that has to be intentional is your training. Everyone knows that in order to put on more muscle size, for the most part you have to use a heavier weight. But there has to be a happy medium there. You can’t just train for mass and not take care of quality at the same time. There has to be the right balance between exercises to develop mass and size and ones that create more shape and detail in the muscles. Let’s use biceps as an example. Heavy barbell curls should still be done for size. Preacher curls should also be done to promote growth but also quality. Then do concentration curls to finish up and work on the peak of the biceps. You can’t just go in and do heavy barbell or dumbbell curls and that’s all. If you’re trying to develop a quality physique, you have to be mindful of using several different types of exercises that all have a different effect on the physique. A lot of bodybuilders in today’s era focus only on mass movements, and you can tell. When the training combines different exercises, you see more cross striations, particularly in the pecs, delts, triceps, and quads. You see a more finished type of physique. Mass and quality have to be combined together. I’m happy to say, however, that the classic physique is making its way back. I think guys like Phil Health, Shawn Rhoden, Dexter Jackson, and Cedric McMillan are keeping it in check. There are a lot of great quality physiques right now that possess the classic characteristics, and the judges have taken notice. We’re getting back to those “ancient landmarks” again!

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1ST SET

ON THE RISE

BY ROGER LOCKRIDGE

BODYBUILDING’S JORDAN! KEVIN JORDAN USED TO FOLLOW ANOTHER JORDAN AND DREAM OF THE NBA. NOW THE IFBB PRO LOOKS TO DOMINATE ONSTAGE AS MJ DOMINATED THE COURT.

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17

JORDAN’S ARM WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Rope Pressdown

4

12–8

Cable Curl

4

12–8

Skull Crusher

4

12–8

Dumbbell Curl

4

12–8

Single-arm Extension

4

12–8

Hammer Curl

4

12–8

NOTES: Jordan alternates triceps and biceps exercises.

KEVIN JORDAN AGE 35 HEIGHT 5'8" WEIGHT 245 pounds (contest), 280 pounds (off-season) RESIDENCE Naperville, IL FACEBOOK kevin.jordan INSTAGRAM kj_theproteinpapi

GARY PHILLIPS

One look at Kevin Jordan’s home and you can see he was destined to get into weight training. “My dad did bench competitions, and we had a home gym with a bench, incline, crossovers, etc. I also was a three-sport athlete in high school—football, basketball, and baseball—so that was a part of it as well.” That love of training grew into a passion for bodybuilding after working for a gym in St. Louis. “My boss was a competitor, and I decided I could do this. Then I began reading FLEX, and I knew I wanted to be in those magazines and compete in the Olympia.” After scratching that initial competitive itch, Jordan was hooked, and it showed in his placings—including a win at the 2011 Junior Nationals, followed two years later by a victory at the 2013 NPC Nationals that earned Jordan his pro card. Although he’s been a pro for only a couple of seasons, Jordan is knocking on the door for that first pro win. Jordan’s training philosophy is simple to understand: “High volume. I would get knocked for not training intense, but I still lift moderately heavy.” Jordan isn’t sure about which shows he’ll enter in 2017, but he knows he will compete more than in the past. “I plan on doing more shows to qualify for the Olympia. I plan on talking with [nutritionist and trainer] Chad Nicholls and coming up with a plan.”


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Eve Even en P Popeye opeye e never ne eve er d dreamed rea off fforearms like o e this.. OK, K, so o iit’s ts safe to sa say you will wi ill not build yours to o the these ese proportions, p ro oportiions, but b ut yo you ou ca can an make ma ake e the them em bigger b ig ger tha than an they the ey a are re e now. no ow.

PAVEL Y THJALL

LIFT LIF

TRAINING TIPS TO POWER UP YOUR WORKOUTS

Stretching? Yeah, it doesn’t rate as hardcore, but this oft-neglected tool can do wonders for long-term muscle growth. PAGE 82

Are you training against your genetics? PAGE 86

Should you base your training on type of muscle fiber? The answer might surprise you. PAGE 88

FLEXONLINE.COM

81


LIFT

TRAINING STYLES

EXTREME STRETCHING 82

FLEX | JANUARY â&#x20AC;&#x2122;17

KEVIN HORTON

HOW STATIC HOLDS CAN BOOST MUSCLE GROWTH


BY GREG MERRITT

EXTREME STRETCHING BASICS Attain the maximally stretched position and hold it for 60 to 90 seconds. Stretch a body part only after training it. Such stretches will increase mobility and may also boost growth. Do one or two stretches per body part per workout.

what is known as extreme stretching is an essential component of the Doggcrapp training system. Let’s break down exactly what it is and how you can “make space” for every body part to expand.

STRETCHING THE TRUTH The biggest change Phil Heath made in 2016, other than prioritizing leg training, was a greater focus on stretching. “I realized I had to stretch more in order to make space for new muscle,” he said the night he won his sixth straight Mr. Olympia. Others have successfully employed this strategy. In fact,

There are two stretching categories: dynamic and static. Dynamic stretches utilize movement. Examples include high kicks and trunk twists. These can increase your mobility in exercises, and they should be done as a warmup or between sets. In contrast, static stretches are motionless. Once you’ve positioned yourself properly, you remain locked in place. These

stretches should be performed when your tendons and muscles are most pliable. Do them after weight training, not before. Intense static holds may have advantages beyond simply increasing flexibility. Studies with birds indicate that such stretches can cause hyperplasia in muscle cells—the splitting and thus multiplication of those cells. Another theory proposes that expanding the fascia (the layer of connective tissue tightly surrounding muscles) will foster growth by literally making room for easier expansion. Some bodybuilders, including Heath, regularly get deep-tissue massage in part to loosen their fascia, but another way of doing this is via static holds. In fact, FLEXONLINE.COM

83


LIFT

TRAINING STYLES

when this technique was first popularized in the ’90s by trainer John Parillo, it was called fascia stretching. The originator of Doggcrapp, Dante Trudel, credits Parillo for originating what he calls extreme stretching. David Henry, a DC adherent for years, did extreme stretching as part f every workout. An extreme stretch puts your muscle into the maximally elongated position and keeps it there, sometimes with slight changes, for 60 to 90 seconds. Of course, you never want to wrench your joints, but you do want to fully stretch. There will be pain. If there’s not, you’re not doing it right. Extreme stretches can be done with weights, equipment like chinning or dipping bars, or with only your body and your will to self-torment.

CHEST

Grab two dumbbells that are slightly heavier than those you would use for a set of flyes. Then lie on an incline bench and lower the dumbbells as if doing flyes. Go as low as you can go and hold that position, keeping your hands wider than your elbows. When you start to give out, bring your hands in, so you’re mimicking the lowest position in a press. This can also be done on a flat or decline bench. Another chest stretch is done by pressing one forearm against a vertical bar and revolving your body to maximally tauten the pec. Repeat with the opposite forearm to work the other pec.

BACK

You can intensely stretch your lats simply by holding onto a chinning bar. Use additional weight if necessary to make it painful to keep hanging. You can also accomplish something similar by gripping a vertical bar with both hands, standing close to that bar, and then leaning backward so you’re supporting your body weight with your lats maximally stretched. Experiment with a low or high grip on the bar because each will stretch different areas of the lats.

SHOULDERS

Grab the ankle supports on a decline bench with your feet in

84

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

front of you and your knees bent as if you’re sitting on air. Bend your arms. Then roll your shoulders forward and down until you feel the maximum stretch. Hold this position. This can also be done unilaterally by “sitting” parallel to the bench.

for the other side. You can do another quad stretch in a power rack by grabbing a bar set about hip-high and squatting all the way down. Then lean back while you bring your knees forward to find the maximum squat position. Hold and embrace the pain.

QUADRICEPS

HAMSTRINGS

Again at the decline bench, rest the top of an ankle on the ankle supports, tucked behind you with your knee bent and your other foot on the floor. Bring your hips back and your forward knee down to maximally stretch the quads of the tucked leg. Repeat

Nothing beats the hurdler’s stretch for hams, but you need to up the intensity. Set a bar in a squat rack or Smith machine at least hip-high. Set one ankle on the horizontal bar, and keeping that leg straight, press down until you reach the point of maximum


tension and then hold. Repeat with the other leg.

CALVES

Stand with your toes on a riser, whether at a standing calf machine or a stair, and lower yourself as far down as you can go. Hold this position. This can also be done with one leg at a time.

BICEPS

You can stretch each biceps in a way similar to the way you did each pec. Hold a vertical bar with one hand, and while keeping that arm straight rotate your shoulder away until you feel the maximum pressure on your biceps. Repeat for the other arm. Another great biceps stretch is done by holding a stationary horizontal bar, such as a Smith machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, behind your lower back and keeping your arms straight. Then lower yourself, as if squatting to feel your biceps tauten.

TRICEPS

Grab a dumbbell with one hand and lower it behind your head, as if to do a one-arm triceps extension. Go as low as you can go, and hold that position. Another excellent triceps stretch can be done by with dipping bars. Drop into the lowest dip position while keeping your torso perpendicular to the floor. Hold that stretch and embrace the pain.

EXTREME STRETCHING TIP SHEET

KEVIN HORTON

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t place your joints in an unnatural position, but do maximally stretch the targeted muscle(s). To be effective, this must be painful. Build up your tolerance by gradually increasing the duration of the stretch until you can do 60 to 90 seconds. Try following each stretch with a self-massage of the area.

FLEXONLINE.COM

85


LIFT

LAB TO GYM

BY BRYAN HAYCOCK, PH.D.

are 15 performance-associated genes that could predict an individual’s response to power or endurance training. These 15 genes are involved in the regulation of muscle-fiber-type composition as well as muscle size, cytoskeletal function, muscle-damage protection, metabolism, circulatory homeostasis, mitochondrial biogenesis, thermogenesis, and angiogenesis. They then created two different training regimens, one for strength/power and the other for strength/endurance. After mapping their subjects’ DNA for the 15 genes of interest, they had them train using one of the two programs. The hypothesis was that those whose genes favored power would respond better to the power workouts and those who had endurance genes would respond better to the endurance workouts. FINDINGS The main finding was that matching individual genotypes with the appropriate mode of training led to more substantial resistance-training benefits for both power and endurance genotypes.

HOW GENOTYPING CAN BENEFIT YOUR TRAINING HYPOTHESIS Studies have clearly shown that not all individuals respond equally to training, even when training variables are tightly controlled. This indicates that there is a genetic component to how well someone responds to

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17

resistance training. What are some of the genetic differences that play a meaningful role in one’s response to resistance training? RESEARCH Researchers from the United Kingdom hypothesized that there

APPLICATION

I personally have had my genome mapped and know that my muscles are built for power and not endurance, but this is something that I had come to realize many years ago by experience. With a little effort, individuals today can get their genomes mapped for less than $200, identify whether or not their genes favor strength/ endurance or strength/power using the 15 genes from this study, and follow a training routine that matches their genetic profile.

PAVEL Y THJALL

IS IT THE GENES?

CONCLUSION The results of this study suggest that using genetic profiling to better match individual genotypes with specific training modalities may be a powerful tool to aid more personalized, and precise, resistance-training prescriptions in the future.


LIFT

ON TRIAL TR RIA

BY BRYAN HAYCOCK, PH.D.

FIBER TYPING SHOULD YOU TARGET INDIVIDUAL FIBERS? Muscle fibers can be classified as either slow twitch (type I) or fast twitch (type II). Slow-twitch fibers are dependent on slowoxidative energy pathways and fatigue slowly. Fast-twitch fibers are dependent on fastoxidative energy pathways and fatigue quickly. Defense Because all muscle groups have a mix of fast- and slow-twitch fibers, in order to make sure the slow-twitch fibers get a good growth stimulus, you must fatigue them with high reps. Without high-rep sets, slow-twitch fibers will never get fatigued enough to grow. Prosecution Hypertrophy isn’t necessarily triggered by fiber fatigue. Mechanical loading is the primary stimulus for muscle growth. If mechanical load is the

88

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

stimulus for growth, then all fibers should hypertrophy as load goes up. EVIDENCE ■ Muscle fibers are “mechanocytes” and respond to mechanical strain biochemically through a process called mechanotransduction. ■ Researchers from Ohio University compared three different rep schemes (high = 20–28 reps, intermediate = 9–11 reps, low = 3–5 reps) for their effects on muscle-fiber hypertrophy. They demonstrated that the degree of hypertrophy of all fiber types was dependent on the weight loads used, with heavier weight producing greater hypertrophy in all fiber types. ■ In the Ohio University study cited above, using reps from

20–28 taken to failure increased slow-twitch fiber growth by 10.3%, whereas reps from 3–5 taken to failure increased slowtwitch fiber growth by 12.4%. VERDICT All fiber types will hypertrophy when using weight loads that are sufficient to stimulate growth.

SENTENCING

■ An effective training plan designed to elicit maximum gains in size should include both high and low reps, but fiber type should not be the guiding principle.

PAVEL Y THJALL

OPENING ARGUMENTS


LIFT

CROSSHAIRS

BY BRYAN HAYCOCK M.SC.

FLEXOR R FEVER FIRE UP YOUR FOREARMS WITH THE GOOD OLD WRIST CURL

90

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

on top of your thighs so that your hands extend past the knees. Lower the bar slowly, extending your grip so your hands begin to open and you’re holding the bar with your fingers. Then curl the bar back into the palm of your hands and curl the wrists up until your knuckles are pointing up. ALTERNATIVES Dumbbell wrist curls, behindthe-back barbell wrist curls. FORM AND FUNCTION The origin of the muscles making up the forearm flexors is generally the medial epicondyle of the humerus. The insertion is at the palm of the hand including the fingers. The function of the forearm flexors is to flex the wrist as well as the fingers.

FOREARM BLASTER WORKOUT SETS

REPS

Barbell Wrist Curl

EXERCISE

3

12–15

Behind-the-back Barbell Wrist Curl

3

12-15

Reverse-grip Barbell Wrist Curl

3

12-15

PAVEL Y THJALL

When people think front double biceps pose, they obviously visualize big biceps. However, the biceps are only one of several muscle groups that play an important part in presenting a winning front double biceps pose. One muscle group of particular importance is the forearm flexors. The forearm flexors are the part of the forearm that fills in the gap between the biceps and the forearm. One of the most effective exercises for the forearm flexors is the wrist curl. This exercise can be done with either a straight bar or a pair of dumbbells. If using a bar, select a short straight bar. Then hold the bar palms facing away, a little narrower than shoulder width. Sit on a bench with your forearms resting flat


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Keep those physiquekilling cravings at bay with these simple yet effective strategies.

FOOD & SUPPS NUTRITION TIPS TO FUEL TRAINING AND GROWTH

K AT Y ENK A /GET T Y IMAGES

The case of the curious kiwi. The hairy exterior may give you the willies, but trust us, this funny fruit has a bucket full of benefits for your health.

Steak. A bodybuilder’s five favorite letters of the alphabet. Check out this easy, breezy recipe for a beefy dish.

Ahh, the sandwich. Tasty goodness crammed between two slices of bread at Jersey Mike’s. It doesn’t get any better.

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FOOD & SUPPS

FOOD FOCUS

BY ADAM BIBLE

Buy kiwifruit that are firm with just the slightest yield to pressure. If the store only has hard kiwis, you can leave them out at room temp for a few days to a week to ripen.

TROPICAL-FRUIT AND ALMOND CRUNCH SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

2 scoops vanilla protein powder 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt 2 kiwis, peeled and diced 1 mango, peeled and diced 6 fresh strawberries, sliced ½ cup dry-roasted, unsalted, sliced almonds 4 tsp pure maple syrup DIRECTIONS

ADD TART AND DELICIOUS KIWIFRUIT TO YOUR DIET FOR A NUTRIENT-DENSE AND ANTIOXIDANT-RICH TREAT Winter is a great time for fruit in the U.S., but one of the most overlooked and underappreciated cold-season fruit is the kiwifruit, or more commonly just called the kiwi. The hairy and big berries— named Chinese gooseberries when they were introduced to New Zealand and then changed to kiwifruit by some genius marketing executive—hit the market in late fall and are available until May. These fuzzy fruits with the bright green flesh are packed full of vitamin C, providing 117% of the recommended daily amount, more than practically any other commonly eaten fruit, including oranges. “Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is required to make collagen, the main component of the body’s connective tissue,

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which also keeps skin, hair, and nails vibrant,” says Toby Amidor, R.D., nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. “Vitamin C helps increase your body’s absorption of iron, which helps transport oxygen throughout your body—vital when strength training. It also has antioxidants, which help decrease inflammation in fatigued muscles.” One kiwi contains 46 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 2g of fiber, 7g of sugar, and 1g of protein. They are free of fat and cholesterol and a rich source of vitamin K, and they bring a bounty of vitamin E, potassium, fiber, and folate. “Kiwifruit is also a fabulous source of lutein and zeaxanthin, potent plant antioxidants naturally found in the macula (or center of the eye’s retina) that need to be

Calories

Carbs

308

32g

Protein

Fat

31g

8g

replenished regularly for strong vision,” she says. Studies have shown that when kiwi is added to a normal diet, it can help platelets (the clotting part of red blood cells) become “less sticky” and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, says Amidor. The fruit can also help lower triglyceride, or blood fat, levels. A study that was published in Nutrition Research showed that eating kiwifruit daily may protect DNA against damage that can lead to developing cancer. Grab a few of these funny little fruits and taste the bright, sweet-tart flavor. Kiwi’s superb nutrition profile will keep your smoothies packed with antioxidants and fiber and give your muscles the boost they need to recover and grow.

GET T Y IMAGES

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Mix protein powder with yogurt until well combined. To assemble, place ½ cup yogurt in each of four bowls. Top each with a heaping ½ cup fruit, 2 tbsp almonds, and 1 tsp maple syrup.


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ASK THE R.D.

COMMAND CRAVINGS TRY THESE TIPS TO HELP TAMP DOWN AN APPETITE GONE AMOK

Q

What are some ways I can help keep my appetite in check? Thankfully there are several ways to curb your appetite petite (that don’t involve dangerous gerous drugs), and they all work ork together hand in hand.. The first thing you can do when getting up is eat a healthy and filling breakfast—for or instance, a few eggs with avocado ado on a piece of sprouted grain n toast or steel-cut oatmeal with a tablespoon of nut butter ter topped with berries or bananas. as. Healthy snacking throughout hroughout the day between meals s can also help keep you feeling full and less likely to overeat. Try noshing oshing on snacks like string cheese, ese, fruit, vegetables, lean protein, ein, or nuts. Studies from 2011 and 2014 that were published in Nutrition rition Journal found that protein-rich otein-rich snacking may control appetite, help you feel full, and assist weight loss. Getting adequate dequate fiber is another good way to make sure you will feel el fuller for longer—go for foods s like bran, oatmeal, and beans. Keeping on top of your our water consumption is a simple ple way to rein in an out-of-control ol appetite. Drinking water will help p you feel full and diminish the desire esire to overeat. Try to drink att least 16 ounces of water with th each meal and continue to sip water throughout the day. You can also use psychology sychology to trick your brain into suppressing uppressing your appetite. Try using ng a smaller plate when eating yourr meals— the smaller portions will give you fewer calories, but by filling the plate, you’ll feel as if you ou are eating more. Another way to swindle your brain into o turning off the hunger signals is by chewing your food longer because use it takes around 20 minutes forr your brain to signal that you’re full. ll. ABOUT THE R.D.

Jim White, R.D., A.C.S.M.,, is a spokesperson for the Academy cademy of Nutrition and Dietetics and nd owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition utrition Studios in Virginia.

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FLEX | JANUARY ’17

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SIRLOIN STEAK WITH CAULIFLOWER MASH SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS ½ tsp olive oil 1 6 oz trimmed trimm sirloin steak Salt and pepper pepp 1 cauliflower head, head chopped 2-4 garlic cloves 2 tbsp low-fat cream c cheese

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DIRECTIONS Rub oil on steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper. pper. Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil, ideally with a steamer teamer rack, than add cauliflower and 2 garlic cloves. Cover ver until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Cook steak on a preheated grill or cast-iron pan, turning once (5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare). Add half the cauliflower to a food processor essor with cream cheese, rest of garlic, and a pinch of salt and nd pepper; pulse. Add other half of cauliflower and pulse until til it reaches your desired texture.

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FOOD & SUPPS

FAST-FOOD SHAKEDOWN

BY ADAM BIBLE

JERSEY MIKE’S THIS RAPIDLY GROWING SUB SHOP HAS BEEN SLICING FRESH MEATS AND CHEESE SINCE 1956

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PRE-WORKOUT Look for foods with protein for sustained energy and some carbohydrates to fuel muscle. Stay away from fatty and calorieheavy foods. Turkey Breast and Provolone (mini): 99% fat-free turkey breast, provolone cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, and spices on a wheat roll Calories 405 | Protein 59g | Carbs 25g | Fat 8g

POST-WORKOUT After an intense workout, you need to build your glycogen stores back up with carbs and lean protein to jump-start muscle-tissue repair and the building of new proteins. Famous Roast Beef and Provolone (regular): Certified Angus USDA choice top-round roast beef, provolone cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, and spices on a white roll Calories 710 | Protein 58g Carbs 66g | Fat 24g

FAST-FOOD FATTENERS Sometimes items that appear harmless can be stealthy fat and calorie bombs, like this: Grilled Veggie Wrap: Grilled green bell peppers and onions, Swiss and provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing in a flour tortilla Calories 945 | Protein 36g | Carbs 69g | Fat 59g

COURTESY OF JERSEY MIKE’S

Jersey Mike’s, a sub shop that opened up in Point Pleasant, NJ, in 1956, branched out in 1987 and now has more than 1,500 locations open across the U.S. Its menu is, of course, heavy on the subs, but it recently added some wraps (watch out, though, as they aren’t really “diet” subs and can get pretty high in calories and fat depending on which you choose), and some locations offer breakfast and salads, which turn out to boast some of the best macros on the menu. The Feta Salad with Chicken is a nutritional powerhouse with only 335 calories, 47 grams of protein, 17g of carbs, and 5g of fat. And the Egg and Cheese Sandwich is also a great pick but isn’t available in most locations yet; it has 405 calories, 23g of protein, 41g of carbs, and 17g of fat. The subs in general are great tasting and are a welcome break from the horror show that Subway has become. Make sure you focus on the subs with fewer components for better macros; try to stay away from the hot subs, which are packed with lots of cheese and meats and can get up there in the fat department. Go for the mini or regular size depending on your appetite and need for calories, and it’s a toss-up as to whether a white or wheat roll is better, as the macros mostly even out in the end. An easy way to get a good assortment of toppings without the hassle of deciding is to simply order it “Mike’s Way,” which is just onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, and spices. It’s how a true Jersey hore beach bum would order it every time.


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BY GREG MERRITT PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

PHIL HEATH’S STRATEGY FOR WINNING IN BODYBUILDING—AND LIFE

ALL I DO IS WIN


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SHOT ON LOCATION AT CIT Y ATHLETIC CLUB, L AS VEGAS NEVADA, NV


PHIL HEATH WINS A LOT.

Starting with his first show in 2003, he’s 16-6, and he’s finished atop the bodybuilding world at the last six Mr. Olympias. He’s won so much this decade it’s hard to remember him ever losing. But no one is a born winner. Success is a mindset that needs to be learned, practiced, and perfected. Phil Heath tells you how he did that and does that. These are not just lessons for bodybuilding success. Together, they’re a winning strategy for everything.

LEARN FROM YOUR LOSSES

Things came easily for Heath at first. In his only loss in the NPC, he still won his class. He turned pro on his singular try at the 2005 USA and then won his initial two pro

shows in 2006. But he was still just a puppy—if a really good one. At 5'9", he could’ve competed in the 212 division—if there had been one. He was winning with shape and conditioning, but he was undersized, and that was exposed d in 2007 at the Arnold Classic. “On this bigger stage, the 27-year-old simply didn’t have enough,” I wrote e about Heath then, after praising his conditioning as the best in the lineup and before singling out his legs as especially weak. He finished fifth. Afterward, many wondered if he was already maxing out and if he’d ever have enough for the Arnold title, let alone the Olympia. A little less than a year later, Heath shut up every critic when he stepped onstage at the Ironman Pro at a peeled 230. Bodybuilding, meet your future. For a year,

Afte After er a humbling fifth in the 2007 Arnold d Classic (above, flanked by Victor Martinez, left, ft, and Dexter Jackson), Heath supersized to o win the 2008 Ironman (right).

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HE NEVER WOULD WOULD’VE D’VE DONE DO ONE IT HADD HE STUBBORNLY STUBB BORNLY STUCK TO WHA WHATAT HAHADAD AALREADY LREADDY BRBROUGHT ROUGHT HIM GRGREAT REAT AND RRAPID APID SUCCESS.

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FLEX Editor in Chief Shawn Perine (right) and FLEX Senior Editor Zack Zeigler with Heath after the 2016 Mr. O.

Heath had replayed that humbling Arnold loss and the resulting criticism and used it to fuel his workouts. There was no way he was ever again going to flex weighing less than 225. Every day was focused on his workouts and his meals. He was determined to become a unicorn, that thing they said didn’t exist—the advanced bodybuilder who thoroughly transforms his physique in a single year. He never would’ve done it had he stubbornly stuck to what had already brought him great and rapid success. No, he had to admit defeat and accept why he was defeated in order to devise a plan to overcome.

PREVENT PROBLEMS

GROOMING M N BY TIFFANY P PH PHOTO FH AN OT YODA DANIELS D C CREDIT AR NE I ED IS T

Before preparing Heath’s meals in their Las Vegas hotel suite in the final days before the most recent Olympia, Heath’s girlfriend, Shurie Cremona, scrubbed down the kitchen counters and sink with bleach. This might seem like bacterial overkill, but a bodybuilder’s immune system is stressed precontest, and Heath got sick before the ’09 Olympia, likely from food poisoning, and slipped to fifth place. At an earlier show, his food didn’t arrive, and he had to scramble

to get his meals prepared. Ever since, he’s anticipated anything that could derail him, even if it only appears under a microscope. Be proactive. Strategize to stave off every potential problem, and have a contingency plan just in case something slips through.

DREAM BIG

Not long after Heath hoisted his first Sandow in 2011, he started talking about collecting nine more. The record, held jointly by Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman, is eight. And only 13 men in 52 contests have earned one. But having become No. 13 at the relatively young age of 31, Heath needed a new and grand motivation. Why shoot for three or five or even eight— as tremendous as any of those tallies would be? No, the ultimate bodybuilding number is nine, and for good measure, he tacked on one more—10. As the poet Robert Browning wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” It seemed ludicrous at first—10!— but year after year, Heath could quote another poet, DJ Khaled: “All I do is win.” Now it appears as if the Gift’s celestial goal might just be within his grasp in


NO ONE ELSE CAN MAKE YOU HIT A PERSONAL EARLY-MORNING CARDIO. YOU HAVE TO DO IT

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BEST OR GRIND THROUGH FOR YOURSELF.


“ AH, BUT A MAN’S REACH SHOULD EXCEED HIS GRASP, OR WHAT’S A HEAVEN FOR?” 2020. Aim high. Set a goal that challenges you to be great.

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IAN SPANIER

ALWAYS BE A STUDENT

In the summer of 2006, coming off victories in his first two pro shows, a year after his one-and-done win at the USA, Heath was flying high. Then, in a happening destined not to stay in Vegas, he trained back with his friend, Jay Cutler. A photographer and I chronicled the event for FLEX readers. There was no sugarcoating it. Heath got buried by the pace and the poundages of Cutler’s back barrage. It only magnified the fact that he was a rookie and still a puppy, while Cutler was an alpha dog who just two months later would win his first of four Olympia titles. The Gift came back down to earth, but, more importantly, he discovered firsthand what it would take to build Olympiaworthy muscle. And he’s never stopped discovering. No matter how high you rise, chances are there is someone who has risen higher, perhaps someone who took a completely different route up the mountain. Life is a never-ending seminar. Even when you’re a teacher, you need to remain a student, too, because there’s always something more to be learned.


Live and learn: After getting buried in a 2006 workout with Jay Cutler, Heath used it as fuel to stoke his training intensity.

KEVIN HORTON (2); PER BERNAL

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ASSESS YOUR FLAWS

Let’s jump ahead to the fall of 2015. Heath had collected his fifth consecutive Sandow. But, as always, he and trainer Hany Rambod assessed the contest photos and discussed what to improve. The answer was legs. Considering the monster truck wheels of Big Ramy and Shawn Rhoden, top contenders could potentially exploit an advantage over the reigning king. So he and Rambod developed a routine to prioritize legs, hitting them twice weekly with greater volume and intensity. As a result, his wheels were markedly inflated at the most recent Olympia. And now he’s doubtless focusing on another area for 2017. There’s always something to improve. You need to be honest with yourself and/or listen to the assessment of someone knowledgeable to determine your greatest weaknesses. If not, you’ll likely improve your strengths and neglect your flaws, only exacerbating the problem.

KEEP YOUR COOL

Winning is the art of not losing. That might sound tautological, but there are ways to not be a loser, even when the scoreboard says otherwise. Most important, you need to avoid letting your emotions get the best of you. When, in the 2014 Olympia, Kai Greene threw is hair at Heath and nearly threw a fist, the frustrated heir apparent had as much as admitted he couldn’t beat the king in side-byside posing comparisons. He literally lost it. On the other hand, Heath has had to swallow some

Heath kept his cool versus his nemesis Kai Greene. Last year, after assessing his weakness, he dramatically improved his legs.


EVEN A TEACHER NEEDS TO REMAIN A STUDENT, TOO. THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE LEARNED. so to speak, on the Orleans Arena stage each September. Everyone has a past to learn from. Maybe it was things a coach, teacher, or parent said. Maybe it’s things you experienced, negative as well as positive. Maybe it’s simply remembering how skinny or fat or poor you used to be that motivates you toward a better physique and a better life.

SELF-MOTIVATE

close and controversial losses, especially the one to Greene at the 2010 Arnold Classic. Graciously accept defeat, learn from it, and plot a path to victory. Save your emotions for winning.

REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM

Talk to Heath for long and he will inevitably mention basketball. It was on hardwood courts that he learned how to win. The Gift, who topped out at 5'9", wasn’t genetically gifted for B-ball.

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Nevertheless, he led his high school team to a Washington state title, and he played for a Division I college. Basketball is a sport wherein steady nerves are at a premium. You may need to make crucial free throws while the opposing crowd mockingly chants your name. The current Mr. O goes back to lessons gleaned from basketball coaches and game experience and applies them to his preparation for the Olympia. It all helps him sink the big shot,

The 13th Mr. O works out alone. That means it’s up to him to get up for every workout, whether it’s precontest in Armbrust Pro Gym or in the depths of the off-season in some ill-equipped dump far from home. When Heath played basketball, he could count on his teammates and coaches to help motivate him for practices and games. But bodybuilding is the most individualistic of all sports. When you train by yourself, it’s just you and the iron. Heath uses music, short-term goals, and the will to win another Sandow to drive him through each metal session and keep him on his meal plan. Whatever it takes to motivate yourself, use it. No one else can make you hit a personal best or grind through earlymorning cardio. You have to do it for yourself.


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STAY HUNGRY

When you’ve won six Olympias, it’s easy to get complacent, to assume what you’ve done before is good enough, that it’ll always be good enough, to start to think maybe you’re just destined to win. It’s a trap. The previous three Mr. O’s—Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, and Dexter Jackson— all lost their crowns (Cutler twice). The Sandow is never promised. Heath knows this. He was competing in the O the last three times the champ lost, and his first win knocked Cutler off the throne. Fear of losing is one motivation. But what most drives him ever onward is the pantheon of

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legends in which he now resides.. Last year, as he toiled to tie Dorian Yates’ mark of six O’s, a giant photo of Yates in Armbrust reminded him of the standard he was trying to match. This year, he’s attempting to reach Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Olympia tally of seven, so Arnold is on his mind. Heath is chasing immortality. The lesson is to never grow complacent. Always have a goal, and when you reach that goal, make a new and greater goal. It was Arnold who said: “For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”

The 2009 EMT report shows little things can make a big difference as Heath focuses on o Arnold’s seven.


PART I

CONTEST PREP 101 A LOGICAL, MANAGEABLE, EASY, AND EFFECTIVE PROTOCOL FOR GETTING YOUR BODY READY FOR COMPETITION! BY ERIC “MERLIN” BROSER

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12-WEEK PREP PERIOD efore I get into the nuts and bolts, I want to mention something regarding the off-season. It is my firm belief that those who are serious about competing and moving to the highest levels of the sport should keep their body fat in a range that will allow for a prep period of no longer than 12 to 16 weeks. I actually prefer the first four weeks (16 down to 12) to be a “break in” phase, starting by simply eliminating all junk foods (alcohol, too, if needed) from the diet while also getting used to consuming six meals per day on a regimented schedule. By keeping body fat at a respectable level yearround you will not only make contest prep easier and less mentally/physically exhausting but also allow for maximum retention of muscle mass.

PER BERNAL

■ There is no doubt that preparing for a bodybuilding/physique contest can be quite intimidating, especially if it is your first time. There are so many vital components necessary for bringing to the stage a ripped, dense, full, and muscular body that it’s very easy to become both confused and overwhelmed. That is precisely why FLEX asked me to write a series of “how-to” articles on this very subject. I myself have competed in more than 20 bodybuilding competitions and have worked with clients all over the globe (novice to pro level), assisting in their contest prep for 25-plus years. And while each of us is unique in the way we respond to specific diets, training programs, and supplement regimens, I have been able to create a sensible, efficient, and healthy foundation protocol that will help just about anyone hit the stage with the kind of physique that will definitely grab the judges’ attention!


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DIET Below you will find a list of high-quality foods that can be included in your diet for the first four weeks of prep, as well as a sample meal plan so you can see how to put things together. As we move along, more and more foods will be removed, and the macronutrient profile will be adjusted. This is to allow for continuous progress to take place every week right up till the show. Proteins: 93% lean beef, 93% lean turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, steak, egg whites, game meats, white fish, salmon, nonfat cottage cheese, protein powders (can be used for up to three meals per day) Carbohydrates: Brown rice, white rice, sweet potato, white potato, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, cream of wheat, quinoa, rice cakes, pasta, carb powder, all fruits Vegetables: All green and colored types Fats: Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, avocado, cheddar cheese, olive oil, fish oil, flax oil, coconut oil, nut butters Now that we have a solid list of foods in place, let me give you an example of what a typical day of dieting might look like at this point for someone weighing about 200 pounds and carrying between 10% and 12% body fat.

MEAL 1 P Whey/casein protein powder mix (approximately 2 scoops) C Oatmeal (3.1 oz uncooked) F No added fats MEAL 2 P Chicken breast (7.1 oz cooked) C Brown rice (6.7 oz cooked) F No added fats MEAL 3 (PRE-WORKOUT) P Tilapia (8.3 oz cooked) C Large mixed salad F Olive oil (1 tbsp) MEAL 4 (POST-WORKOUT) P Whey protein powder (approximately 2 scoops) C White potato (10 oz cooked) F No added fats MEAL 5 P Top-round steak (7.1 oz cooked) C Sweet potato (5.5 oz cooked) F No added fats MEAL 6 P Casein protein powder (approximately 2 scoops) C None F Natural peanut butter (2 tbsp) Totals: 300g protein, 200g carbs, 28g essential fats

SUPPLEMENTS When it comes to supplements, always remember that no matter how much you take, they can never make up for a faulty diet or training program! However, if everything else is on point, then certainly there are a plethora of excellent products on the market that will assist you in reaching your best condition. Here is what I recommend for this stage of your prep.

Creatine Beta-alanine BCAAs Multivitamin/ mineral Fish oil L-leucine


Y

es, there are a few genetic freaks out there who have such naturally high metabolisms that they do not need to utilize cardio as a fat-burning tool leading up to a competition. However, for the rest of us mere mortals, cardio is a necessary evil. That said, there should never be a need for excessive amounts, which will only serve to burn off lean muscleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a definite no-no! As I mentioned earlier, the key to a truly successful, easy, and efficient contest prep is making sure you never let yourself get too out of shape during your off-season. I like to start competitors off with a base amount of cardio at the beginning of prep and then progressively increase the amount each week. I should also note that while there are tons of conflicting studies (and expert opinions) out there, my experience has shown me that morning/fasted cardio (except for five to 10 grams of BCAAs) is the best when melting body fat is the primary goal.

CONTEST PREP 101

CARDIO

12 Weeks Out 30 minutes on non-workout days 11 Weeks Out 30 minutes on non-workout days and 15 minutes on workout days

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10 Weeks Out 35 minutes on non-workout days and 15 minutes on workout days â&#x20AC;˘ 9 Weeks Out 35 minutes on non-workout days and 20 minutes on workout days

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CONTEST PREP 101

TRAINING The goal when preparing for a contest is to keep every ounce of muscle you worked so hard to accrue during the off-season. In order to accomplish this, you must continue to train intensely but also vary your methods so that you are stimulating every pathway responsible for hypertrophy. At 12 weeks from a competition, I normally begin utilizing a workout protocol I developed around the year 2000, known around the globe as Power/Rep Range/Shock, or P/RR/S for short. While I cannot go into detail in this article about the specifics of this program and why it is so effective, I can provide you actual sample workouts that can be used for the first four weeks of prep. I should mention that you can change the exercises from the ones I list below when necessary, but make sure to stick to the rep range, rep tempos, rest periods, and basic structure. Weeks 12 to 9 will have you training in the first phase of P/RR/S: power.

Train smart to keep your body proportionate from every angle onstage. Remember, judges see everything.

CONTEST PREP WEEKLY WORKOUT

MONDAY EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

TEMPO

REST

Flat Dumbbell Press

4

4–6

4/0/X

3–4 min.

Smith Machine Incline Press

3

4–6

4/0/X

3–4 min.

Incline Dumbbell Flye

3

4–6

3/0/X

3 min.

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

4

4–6

3/1/X

3 min.

Preacher Curl

3

4–6

4/0/X

3 min.

Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

2

4–6

2/0/X

2–3 min.

Hammer Curl

2

4–6

3/0/X

2–3 min.

Seated Crunch Machine or Cable Crunch

3

10–12

2/0/1

2–3 min.

Lying Straight-leg Raise

2

Max

3/0/1

2–3 min.

Chest

Biceps

Forearms

Abs

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CONTEST PREP WEEKLY WORKOUT

TUESDAY EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

TEMPO

REST

Leg Extension

3

4–6

3/0/X

3 min.

Hack Squat

4

4–6

4/0/X

4 min.

Single-leg Leg Press

3

4–6

3/0/X

4 min.

Seated Leg Curl

4

4–6

3/0/X

3 min.

Single-leg Lying Leg Curl

4

4–6

4/0/X

3 min.

Calf Press

3

4–6

2/1/X

2–3 min.

Seated Calf Raise

2

4–6

2/1/X

2–3 min.

Quads

JOHANSEN KR AUSE; PER BERNAL

Hamstrings

Calves


CONTEST PREP 101 CONTEST PREP WEEKLY WORKOUT

THURSDAY SETS

REPS

TEMPO

REST

Back

SETS

REPS

TEMPO

REST

Seated Bent Rear Dumbbell Lateral

3

4–6

2/1/X

3 min.

Seated Dumbbell Press

3

4–6

4/0/X

3–4 min.

Barbell Upright Row

3

4–6

2/1/X

3 min.

4

4–6

2/1/X

3 min.

Incline Overhead Dumbbell Extension

4

4–6

4/0/X

3 min.

Weighted Triceps Dip

3

4–6

3/0/X

3 min.

Seated Calf Raise

3

4–6

2/0/X

2–3 min.

Standing Calf Raise

2

4–6

2/0/X

2–3 min.

Shoulders

Cable Row (underhand grip)

4

4–6

2/0/X

3-4 min.

Wide-grip Pullup

3

4–6

3/0/X

3-4 min.

T-bar Row

3

4–6

2/0/X

4 min.

Deadlift

4

4–6

2/1/X

4 min.

Trapezii Barbell Shrug Triceps

Abs

126

EXERCISE

Weighted Hanging Bent-leg Hip Raise

3

Weighted Incline Situp

2

10–12

2/0/1

2–3 min.

Calves

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

10–12

3/0/1

2–3 min.

CHRIS LUND

EXERCISE

FRIDAY


PER BERNAL

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GET TO KNOW SQUAT A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PROPER SQUATTING TECHNIQUE BY GREG MERRITT

Somewhere along the way, the squat—always the kind with a heavy barbell against your traps—became the demarcation line between hardcore and softcore. Make them the foundation of your leg days and you were serious. Avoid them and you were just taking up gym space. That line has grown fuzzy at best since the squat-free reign of Dorian Yates. Recently, the other six-time Mr. O, Phil Heath, has treated squats like just another leg exercise. Clearly, there are many ways to inflate your wheels to monster-truck size. And yet a loaded bar at eye level in a power rack can still separate a gym’s true participants from its spectators. 128

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ROBERT REIFF


If your gym has a barbell that has a strip of knurling in the center, that’s a squat bar, even if it’s stranded far from the squat rack. Use it. The center knurling will subtly bite into your shirt and traps to help you keep the bar steady.

2 RACK IT

The bar should rest in the supports of a power rack at just a little lower than shoulder height so you can comfortably lift it off by standing straight. Position the

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“Shut Up and Squat” reads the graffiti. Cody Montgomery understands the importance of tightening his belt, positioning the bar, and taking a stance.

safety bars so they’re just below the depth the bar is going to go. Many people leave the safeties too low, as if they’re only an obstruction to avoid. Even if you have a spotter hugging your waist and especially if you don’t, the safety bars can be your best friend if you fail and need to bail. However, that’s only true if they’re high enough that you can set the bar on them without folding yourself up like a lawn chair.

3 TIGHTEN YOUR BELT

PER BERNAL (4); COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH AND FITNESS

1 SET THE BAR


(Below) Tom Platz built two of the biggest wheels of all time at the squat rack.

Whether or not you wear knee wraps or sleeves is a personal choice, dependent mostly on your knee health. However, we do recommend you wear a lifting belt for at least your heaviest sets of squats. In addition to supporting your spinal erectors, a cinched belt will pull your waist in and remind you to keep your upper body tense.

4 GET A GRIP

Generally, your grip should be approximately the same width you take when you bench-press. If your shoulders are so tight that this grip is uncomfortable, you can go wider. Just understand that then the bar will be less stable. You may have seen people squatting

with their hands against the collars or even over the edge of the plates, but this is not recommended for your heaviest sets, and your lighter sets should prepare you for your heaviest sets. Once you’ve set your grip, squeeze the bar, and keep doing so throughout the set. This helps you contract your shoulders and back.

5 POSITION THE BAR It’s a given that the bar needs to be properly centered. Whether to place it high or low isn’t so obvious. If you go high, it’ll be against your traps at the top of your shoulders. If it’s low, it’ll be about two inches lower, resting on the top of your back. Traditionally, bodybuilders squat

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high-bar because this keeps you more upright and involves quads more. Powerlifters squat low-bar, which requires a greater forward lean. However, you need to find which style works best for your body type. Taller bodybuilders may need to hold the bar lower to get low. Also note that a low-bar position will allow you to squat 10 to 20% more by incorporating more force from the glutes and hamstrings.

6 TIGHTEN UP

Squeeze your shoulder blades to tighten your upper back. Raise your chest up. Consciously doing this will keep your torso upright and stiff, which will in turn help you maintain proper form and keep the bar locked in place.

7 UNRACK IT

Raise the bar off the supports by standing straight, and then take a step backward with first one foot and then the other.

8 TAKE A STANCE

Try a shoulder-width stance. If you can’t stay reasonably upright and get to parallel, widen your stance slightly until you find the right

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position for you and your body type. Generally, if you have longer legs, you’ll need a wider stance. Your feet should be angled out at 30 degrees. This means if straight ahead is 12 o’clock, your right foot should be at 2 o’clock and the left one at 10 o’clock. And they should stay flat on the floor and unmoving throughout the set.

9 FACE FORWARD

Some squatters look up to help them keep their torsos upright. Doing so is certainly superior to looking down. (Never do that with a bar on your back.) However, it’s best to look straight ahead. This is the safest position for your neck and the best way to keep your back tensed. The middle of a


FROM TOP LEFT: PAVEL Y THJALL (3)

Squats, squats, and more squats were the building blocks for Jason Huh (above left), Ed Nunn (above), and Jay Cutler (right).

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heavy set is no time to alter your form, so ignore mirrors after your warmup sets. Don’t close your eyes, but don’t let your reflection affect your form. To analyze your technique, have someone record your entire set from the side.

10 BREATHE

There are two schools of thought on breathing while squatting. We’ll call the first the just-do-it school and the second the hold-it school. Just-do-it prescribes that you forget about it and breathe as necessary throughout each set. Therefore, you’ll have one less

Juan Morel takes a wide, fingerless grip with what for him is a warmup weight, but he tightens his hold for working sets.

thing to focus on. The hold-it school prescribes that you inhale just before descending, hold it, and exhale either when the rep is done or as it’s being completed (or if you hit a sticking point). Hold-it maintains that it’s easier to keep your torso tight if you’re not breathing. Each school has its advantages. Experiment to see which way works best for you and your squat.

11 GET DOWN

The shortest distance for the bar to travel is a straight line. This means it needs to follow a path as close to vertical as possible. However, this doesn’t mean that your back should stay vertical. Your back will lean forward as your hips go backward. In this way, you’ll be folding slightly, and that’ll keep the bar descending straight down. Ideally, it should stay over your midfoot throughout each rep. How much you lean forward is somewhat determined by your height. Taller squatters with longer legs will need to bring their hips farther back and their chest farther forward. Your knees should come out over your feet, which are themselves angled outward, while your hips simultaneously

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JOHANSEN KR AUSE; PER BERNAL

Not-so-tall Johnnie Jackson (left) and taller-than-average Juan Morel (above) demonstrate how to go low when squatting, regardless of your height.

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travel backward. Your knees will stop moving forward when the bar is approximately halfway down, but they’ll keep bending as you continue lowering your hips. Meanwhile, your lower back should maintain its natural arch but not accentuate it.

12 BOTTOM OUT

13 GET UP

Getting out of “the hole” is the hard part. Never dawdle there. As soon as you hit it, get out of it. Bring your hips up and unfold your knees simultaneously. Remember to stay tight. Keep your chest up, your spine only

CHRIS LUND

Branch Warren has sported two of the best wheels in bodybuilding over the last decade. He grew them primarily with heavy, full squats for moderate or high reps.

How far down to go is a topic of some debate. Bodybuilders like Tom Platz, who had the roundest wheels of all time, used to go glutes to ankles, as low as they could go without digging a hole in the floor. Others have built world-class legs while never hitting parallel. Generally, however, the zone where your femurs are just below parallel to the floor (knee side slightly higher than hip side) is the target. This marks an official squat in powerlifting and can be considered a full rep in bodybuilding. Below parallel is also the hardest part of a squat to get to and get out of. That’s the reason it’s called “the hole” and why so many squatters avoid it. But its difficulty is precisely why you should go there. By breaking parallel you can be assured you’re getting the maximum muscle stimulation out of every set. But how exactly can you be sure you’ve gone deep enough without an X-ray machine to see the angle of your femurs? A squat is considered below parallel if your hip crease (the line formed where your thighs connect to your hips) is below the top of your knees. You can have someone watch and/or film your squats from the side to monitor this. You can also practice by setting a box just below parallel and squatting down to it. After a while, you’ll come to feel when you’ve gone low enough.


COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH AND FITNESS

slightly arched, and your upper back constricted. As you rise and unfold, your knees will travel backward and your hips will go forward, but the bar should stay over your midfoot the entire time. After about the halfway point, the remainder should be smooth sailing. But don’t get sloppy. Stay tight and let your knees, hips, and upper body

straighten simultaneously. Some bodybuilders avoid straightening their legs fully between reps in order to keep constant tension on their legs, but the benefits of this are minimal. Lock out very briefly to complete a full squat.

14 REPEAT

Each rep should be precisely like

Tight and upright: Tom Platz demonstrates impeccable squatting form. the one before. With practice you’ll get into a groove so that correct form will come naturally and you’ll hit your target depth on rep after rep, rhythmically, like a piston rising up and down.

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GAINS ON O THE

G R I L L THANKS TO THE GEORGE FOREMAN GRILL, BODYBUILDERS CAN ADD SOME VARIETY TO THEIR NUTRITION PROGRAMS. ADD THESE RECIPES TO YOUR PLAN AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. BY ROGER LOCK LOCKRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRIA BRIAN KLUTCH

What do bodybuilders bodybuild love more than training? Eating. Eatin Some guys love to go to the grocery store as much as going to the gym. However, Howe some plans call for plain foods even in the off-season, so there isn’t much to look forward to when it comes to your next meal meal. How many jokes have we heard about plain chicken or fish and broccoli? It’d be nice tto have something that appeals to our palate a and our muscles. Thanks to the George Foreman Fore Grill, that’s a possibility. Launched in 1994, 1 the George Foreman Grill might be the best invention to come along for bodybuilders bodybui since the leg press. The clamshell clamshe surface allows the food to be cooked cook both on top and bottom, which saves sav cooking time, and the slant of the grill he helps eliminate the fat and other fluids from w whatever you’re cooking. Break yours out and a prepare these recipes so you can add fla flavor to your normally bland nutrition plan. pla

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CARBS

2g

CALORIES

45

PROTEIN

8g

FAT

CAJUN SHRIMP RIMP Prep time: 12 minutes Cooking time: 4 minutes Total time: 16 minutes Servings: 6 skewers

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INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

41–50 ½ 1 1

1. Preheat P ehe the George For Foreman an Grill. 2 . In a small bowl, 2. bow com combine e all ingredients ingred excep shrimp. except hrimp.

1 1 1 1 1 ½

shrimp, peeled tsp salt tsp pepper tbsp garlic powder tsp onion powder tbsp paprika ts tsp cayenne tsp thyme th tsp oregano ore tsp red-pepper red flakes

3.. Place shrimp rimp in a ziplock bag a and nd sprinkle rinkle in i 1 tbsp tb seasoning soning mix. ix. Reserve ve the th rest of seasoning oning for or another time. me.

4. Skewer 5 pieces of shrimp onto one skewer, repeating until shrimp is gone. 5. Place shrimp skewers on preheated grill. Place the lid on grill. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes. 6. Serve on top of carbohydrate source of your choice, such as rice or pasta.

FOOD ST YLING BY SUSAN OT TAVIANO

0g


GREEK BURGER

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 12 minutes Total time: 27 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Burger 1 lb 90/10 ground beef ½ tsp oregano powder ¼ tsp dried basil ½ tsp dried thyme ¼ tsp onion powder ¼ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 1 small red onion olive oil ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

1. In a small bowl, mix together tzatziki ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, oregano powder, basil, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture into four 4-oz patties. 3. Preheat your Foreman Grill. If you have an indoor/outdoor grill, preheat on setting 4. 4. Slice red onion into four ½-inch thick slices and brush with oil. 5. Place burgers on one side of preheated grill and onions on the other side. Place the lid on grill. 6. Grill burgers for 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare, 5 to 6 minutes for medium, and 8 to 10 for well. Top each burger with 1 tbsp feta cheese and grill until melted. 7. Grill red onion for 3 to 4 minutes per side. 8. Serve burgers with grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, and 2 tbsp tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce 1 cup Greek yogurt ½ cup English cucumber, diced 1 tsp dried dill 2 tsp fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste

CALORIES*

265

CARBS*

10g PROTEIN* FAT*

11g

25g

*per burger with additions and sauce


CALORIES

230 CARBS

2g

FAT

9g PROTEIN

MARINATED FLANK STEAK

31g

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes for marinating Cooking time: 8 minutes Total time: 43 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ½ tbsp honey Dijon mustard ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce ½ tbsp minced garlic ¼ tsp dried oregano ¼ tsp dried basil ¼ tsp dried thyme ½ tsp paprika 2 tbsp olive oil 1 lb flank steak salt and pepper

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DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients. Pour into a ziplock bag. 2. Season steak with salt and pepper and place into ziplock bag. Zip bag shut and massage marinade to cover steak. Place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour. 3. Preheat the George Foreman Grill. 4. Place marinated steak on preheated grill. Place the lid on grill. 5. Grill steak for 6 to 9 minutes. 6. Place steak on a large cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. 7. Cut steak into strips and serve on its own or with a carbohydrate source of your choice.

MAPLE SRIRACHA CEDAR-PLANK SALMON Prep time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes marinating time Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 55 minutes Servings: 15


INGREDIENTS

2 2 1 1 1 ½ 3 2

DIRECTIONS

tbsp sriracha sauce tbsp lime juice tbsp maple syrup tbsp brown sugar tsp finely grated lime zest tsp salt lb salmon fillet green onions, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the George Foreman Grill. If you have an indoor/outdoor grill, preheat on setting 4. Whisk together sriracha, lime juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, lime zest, and salt. Brush over top of salmon and let stand for 20 minutes. 2. Grill, covered and without turning, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until grillmarked and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

CALORIES

185

CARBS

3g

PROTEIN

17g

FAT

11g


CALORIES

ASIAN CHICKEN BURGER

310

CARBS

24g

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS

1 lb lean ground chicken 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced 2 green onions, finely chopped 2 tbsp lowsodium soy sauce ½ tsp ground ginger 1 egg white 4 multigrain buns

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, lemon juice, garlic, onions, soy sauce, ginger, and egg white. Shape into 4 patties. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 2. Preheat the George Foreman Grill to 160°F. Put burgers on grill for 5 minutes, or until done. 3. Serve on buns with your choice of condiments.

PROTEIN

36g FAT

5.5g

CALORIES

220 CARBS

6g

INGREDIENTS

FAT

5.5g PROTEIN

33g

ART ARTICHOKE-STUFFED CHICKEN CH KEN Prep time: 6 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Servings: 4

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1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 2 tbsp grated romano cheese 1 large garlic clove, chopped 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the George Foreman Grill. 2. Place artichoke hearts, lemon juice, lemon zest, cheese, garlic, and oil in a food processor; process until blended. 3. Place chicken on a clean cutting surface. With the tip of a sharp knife, slit each breast horizontally without cutting all the way through to create a pocket. 4. Stuff ¼ of stuffing into each breast and press the edges to close. Fasten opening with toothpicks. 5. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 6. Place chicken on preheated grill. Cook for 6 minutes or until it registers 180°F on meat thermometer. 6. Remove toothpicks before serving.


G R I L L TAKE YOUR STEAK OFF THE GRILL AND LET T I P IT REST FOR AT LEAST 5 MINUTES TO LET THE JUICES REDISTRIBUTE THROUGH THE MEAT.

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STILL GOING STRONG— EXTREMELY STRONG—AT 45, JOHNNIE JO OHNNIE JA JACKSON ACKSON PROVES IT WITH A BACK WORKOUT THAT HAS HELPED HIM RACK UP A STEADY STREAM OF HIGH PLACINGS ON THE PRO CIRCUIT BY MICHAEL B BERG, ERG, N.S.C.A N.S.C.A.-C.P.T. A .-C.P P.T. PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL B ERN NAL

TURN TIME M

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JUST OFF HIGHWAY 157 IN ARLINGTON, TX,

in a nondescript, worn-down industrial building, you’ll find Metroflex Gym—a rusting, disheveled collection of iron plates and welded iron relics, a cluttered maze that initially appears more abandoned Mad Max movie set than renowned training mecca. None other than eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman originally made the place famous, but it’s two-time Arnold Classic champ Branch Warren and a man who has finished in the top five in an astonishing 36 IFBB shows since 2002, Johnnie Jackson, who carry the torch now. Though this blistering back workout was not shot at the aforementioned pit, it bears relevance, as the training style and exercises mastered there have traveled with Jackson no matter where he goes in the world. Some things may change, but the basic blueprint that built one of the world’s thickest and densest backs remains virtually unchanged.

POWER PLAY

Warren and Jackson have been on-and-off training partners for more than a decade. Even as the IFBB hardware has piled up for each of them, they still dutifully return to Metroflex owner Brian Dobson’s house of hardcore bodybuilding, blissfully disinterested in the more modern—read: air-conditioned—facilities that dot the Dallas-area landscape. On this late October day Jackson goes it alone as he attacks his back

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Want a back like this? Then you need to pay your dues at the dumbbell rack like Johnnie Jackson. The product of years of effort, Jackson’s rearview is a sight to behold.

with the same ferocity that has always personified his workouts. Considered the strongest-ever IFBB pro, Jackson heaves poundage more suited for a powerlifter than a bodybuilder—indeed, he has competed in that sport as well, most recently at the Raw Unity Deadlift Competition in early 2012, where he deadlifted 832 pounds for an all-time personal best. “I’m considering doing another powerlifting contest next year,” he admits as he sets up for his first exercise, the wide-grip lat pulldown. “I had to cut my year short in 2016 for a medical issue that’s now cleared up, but next year I want to do at least six shows. If I feel really good, I’ll do powerlifting. It would need to be before my first show, or between my first and second, when I still have the strength to be able to do it.”

FORCE-FEEDING

With that, he dutifully knocks out two warmup sets of 15 reps, resting only about 30 seconds between each. “When I do this with Branch, we’ll only rest as long as it takes the other person to finish his set,” Jackson explains, a revelation that becomes ever more surprising as the brutish, exceedingly heavy sets pile up over the course of the next 45 minutes. Three of the four working sets are done with the full stack, but all sets are to 15—each pull is explosive, and while the negative is controlled, there’s nothing “slow” or “measured” about each rep. As Jackson is quick to admit, he ain’t looking to pose for a training textbook, he’s aiming to build muscle. “It’s controlled madness, ’cause you definitely have to explode,” he says, “but we are in control of our bodies to make sure we’re not risking injury. With the weight we handle, you can’t help but to FLEXONLINE.COM

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Wide-grip Lat Pulldown Wide lats are critical for an impressive taper onstage or on the street in a T-shirt.

overcompensate a little and use other muscle groups, too, but that’s the whole idea. It’s about not giving your body a choice but to grow. We force-feed it weights.”

200 IN THE HOUSE

Moving on to the next exercise

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means a short hike to the dumbbell rack, today a haphazard mess of ’bells scattered in the general vicinity. Jackson selects a 100 for the first of four sets, again to 15, placing his free hand on the rack as he rows the weight to his flank with the other. Breaths come deeper once he graduates to the heaviest dumbbell in the building—a cartoonish 200-pounder that most gyms don’t even bother carrying. With the 200 in hand,

hissing noises emanating through his nostrils and lips on each ascent, Jackson is like a machine cranking up to its maximum load, straining but far from breaking. At 12, there’s a short pause at the bottom, then 13 and 14 come with a burst of effort, and finally 15 ratchets up to a point level with his heaving chest. The weight settles to the floor with a satisfying thud as Jackson unwraps his strap to free himself from the load.


JOHNNIE JACKSONÕS

BACK WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

2 (warmup) 4

15 15

One-arm Dumbbell Row

4

10

Seated Cable Row

3

15

Plate-loaded Machine Row

3

15

T-bar Row

4

10

Close-grip Pulldown*

3

15

Wide-grip Lat Pulldown

*Sometimes this is done in the standard way to the front, and sometimes seated with the back to the weight stack, leaning backward and pulling the handle down to the upper chest.

TAKE A SEAT

After dumbbell rows, the next stop almost seems like a sanctuary—and to others, it may be. But Jackson isn’t backing down once he reaches the seated cable row station, doing one set of 140 before selecting the entirety of the weight stack for two more sets of 15 arduous reps. The narrow hammer-grip handle is already in place, so the 45-year-old needs only to settle himself onto the well-worn, FLEXONLINE.COM

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One-arm Dumbbell Row

You don’t need to go as heavy as Jackson, but put in the work here to beef up your outer and lower lats.

unforgiving padding of the bench, lean forward, and grasp, once again flapping his straps around each handle with a flick of the wrist and curling his fingers around them. He leans back to lift the stack from the bottom bumper, leaning back so his upper body is just past a point perpendicular to the floor. The muscles visible outside his tank top—from his thick voluminous arms to the three heads of his shoulders to his traps—all stand out in sharp relief as he begins, pulling the handle into his abdomen. As the reps get harder, his chin tends to drop toward his upper chest, but otherwise his form holds, with no rocking, no excessive shifts in his body position. It’s all back and biceps pulling the load, with the constant tension of the cable giving no quarter from the first rep to the last.

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HEAVY METTLE

The constant quest for 15 reps—which he aims for again at the next stop, the plate-loaded machine row—may seem counterintuitive, since so many tend to drop their repetition count as the poundage increases. Yet Jackson has never trusted that common edict, and indeed, he has made the higher number an absolute must-attain goal of his workouts. When asked, Jackson says, “You set your mind to 15, and you’ll get 15.” Do they use techniques like rest-pause, stopping for a moment when the load becomes too much to bear for a short-term recovery, or forced reps, where they’ll help each other to the finish line? “Nope, just straight sets,” he answers. That said, he comes to the one exception in today’s back workout, the unsupported T-bar row, where over the course of four


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Plate-loaded Machine Row Even the hardest of the hardcore use machines, so don’t feel like you’re cheating if you do, too.

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Sea Seated ated Cab Cable ble R Row ow

Jackson avoids leaning back to keep the stress on his mid- and upper back.

SNAPSHOT

JOHNNIE O. JACKSON Birth Date Jan. 30, 1971 Birthplace Hammonton, NJ Current Residence Hurst, TX Height 5'8" Weight 255 pounds (contest), 275 pounds (off-season) Career Highlights 2015 Texas Pro, 1st; 2012 FIBO Germany, 1st; 2007 Atlantic City Pro, 1st; 2006 Montreal Pro, 1st; Online jojfitness.com

sets he works up to five plates, churning out a “mere” 10 reps per set. On these, he stands nearly upright and extends his arms to a full stretch at the bottom—a major benefit of this particular move, as he feels the muscles of his back open up in the lowermost position, while holding the top flexed position for a solid one count. It’s a beast of an exercise for the mid- and upper back, including the lats, rhomboids, teres major, infraspinatus, and trapezius. FLEXONLINE.COM

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T-bar Row

TURN AROUND AND GROW

The final move is at the pulldown station, this time switching out the long bar for a close, hammer-grip style. The duo tends to decide on the fly which variation to do on any particular day: The standard style where you sit facing the stack, knees nudged under the support pads, or seated backward, leaning way back so as to still be able to pull the handle toward the upper pecs. “That way totally opens up your lats,” Jackson says simply of the latter option. Today, it’s face forward, three sets of 15 reps, pulling the entire stack, struggling through the last few reps—as is perfectly understandable after the onslaught he just unleashed on his rear guard. As has been the case every year, Jackson is going into next season with the goal of increasing his lat spread even more.

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Jackson takes a more upright stance than recommended, but he feels it works better. Can’t argue with his results.

“You know what they say, the show is won from the back,” he reminds. “So you always want to improve its width and detail.” Once finished, he sits on an open flat bench for a few moments, allowing his body to return to equilibrium. His back, pumped full of oxygenated and nutrientrich blood, feeds the tissue he worked so hard to demolish. In a week, he’ll be reconnecting with his longtime nutritionist, Chris Aceto, to forge the game plan for the upcoming season. “The Toronto Pro will be my first show [in 2017],” he says of the May event, in which he’s finished second four times over the years. “I’ll be ready.”


Close-grip Pulldown This version emphasizes the lower lats.

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Giant nt SLEEPING

IFBB B BEHEMOTH BEHEMO OTH JUAN MOREL SHO SHOWS OWS YOU THE HIGH-REP ARM ARM WORKOUT WO ORKOUT HE’S USING TO O HELP PACK PACK O ON N EVEN MO MORE ORE SIZE HEAD HEADING DING INTO O 2017

BY JOE WUEBBEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

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Juan “D “Diesel” Diesel” Morel is ab beast east iin n the g gym, ym, but even e ven he eg goes oes to op pieces ieces when hi his is wi wife, ife, Ka Karen, aren, and a nd b baby aby gi girl, irl, Isab Isabella, bella a, stop pb by y to o see e him. Isabella Isa abella ad doesn’t oesn’t loo look ok too to oo iimpressed. mpresse e d.

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Juan Morel needed a break.

place), then in the 250s for all three of his 2016 shows—Arnold Classic (sixth), Arnold Brasil (second), and New York Pro (sixth). Still respectable placings, but not necessarily where Morel wanted to be, so he shut it down for the year and skipped the Olympia. “I needed to let my body recover to put some size back on,” says Morel. “I was really burned out. I was always in shape during those two years [2014 and 2015], and my off-seasons weren’t very long. The stress of competing and

GROOMING BY SHALINI R AMNATH

Thirteen contests in a two-year span (2014 and 2015) took a toll on the now 34-year-old IFBB pro, and he was losing size because of it. At his peak—an impressive win at the 2015 New York Pro—he weighed 265 pounds onstage and all was good. A couple of weeks later, he was about the same size at the Arnold Classic Brasil, where he finished third. After that, the numbers on the scale started plummeting. He was around 260 pounds at the 2015 Olympia (11th

doing guest appearances caught up with me. It took me a good eight to 10 weeks before my body started to get some strength and I wanted to train again. I was dragging in the gym before that. Now I’m back, and I’m happy and want to go to the gym and train. I got that fire back.” Expect to see a bigger, refreshed Juan Morel onstage in 2017. His goal is to compete at about 270 pounds in the coming year, and he’s eager to get back on the Olympia stage. “It was extremely hard watching the Olympia last year,” he says. “I thought everyone looked amazing, and it made me appreciate it that much more. I’ve been training hard, and I’m really motivated right now because I want to come back better than ever. I needed that one good off-season, and I got it this year. I’m going to listen to my body a little more now. If I need to pull back, I will. But I plan to compete this year as much as it takes. I miss being onstage, and I can’t wait to get back.”

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Cable Pressdown (V-handle) Start Attach a V-handle to a high pulley cable. Stand facing the weight stack and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Begin with your forearms just above parallel with the floor and your elbows in close to your sides. Execution Keeping your elbows in, contract your triceps to extend your elbows until your arms are straight. At the bottom, squeeze your triceps, then slowly raise your hands back to the start position. Morel Says “I like keeping the elbows pointed toward the floor the whole time on these. Some people let the weight pull their elbows up at the top of the rep so it ends up being somewhat of a swinging motion. When you do that, the shoulders get involved. I don’t like my elbows to move at all during the set; I want my upper arms to be stationary to keep constant tension on the triceps.”

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Slow and controlled contro olle ed iis s the name o off the e game. g ame. Mo Morel orel focuses fo ocuses on the squeeze squee eze to make sure his tricep triceps ps are doing doing a all ll the e work to g get et the most o out ut of of this standby standb by mo move. ove.

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Seated EZ-bar Overhead Extension Start Sit on a low-back seat holding an EZ-bar with an overhand grip. Begin with the bar overhead and your arms extended. Execution Bend your elbows to lower 164

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the bar behind your head, then contract your triceps to extend your elbows and return to the start position. Morel Says “I bring the weight all the way down to where the bar is behind my head at the

bottom of each rep. Sometimes I see people go all the way up, but then they won’t go down very far. I think the stretch at the bottom is very important on this exercise for maximal triceps stimulation.”


Though not no ot shown here, Mo Morel orel do does oes indeed inde eed lower the bar b ar all the e way down do own to his ne neck eck for a complete stretch before be efore extending e xte endiing b back ack up to the e top p for a full contraction. contracti ion.

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CABLE EZ-BAR REVERSE-GRIP PRESSDOWN Start Secure an EZ-bar attachment to a high pulley cable. Stand facing the weight stack and grasp the bar with an underhand grip. Begin with your forearms just above parallel with the floor and your elbows in close to your sides. Execution Keeping your elbows in, contract your triceps to

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extend your elbows until your arms are straight. Squeeze your triceps, then return to the start position. Morel Says “It’s important to get that nice squeeze at the bottom to make sure you’re fully contracting the triceps medial head, which is the targeted area when using the reverse grip.”


Using the e mirro mirror or to o see e your biceps b icep ps wo working orkiing during d uriing cab cable ble curls is a g good ood way to o make the e mind-to-muscle mind-to o -muscle e connection. conne ectiion. O Off course, co ourse, le learn earn to d do o iitt wi without itho out the e mirro mirror. or.

EZ-bar Cable Curl Start Attach an EZ-bar to a low pulley cable. Stand a foot or two in front of the weight stack and grasp the bar. Begin with your arms extended toward the floor and your knees slightly bent. Execution Keeping your elbows in at your sides, curl the weight up as far as possible. Squeeze the contraction for a count at the top, then return to the start position. Morel Says “Cables provide a slightly different feel for me than barbell or dumbbell curls. When you’re using free weights, there’s a tendency to go too heavy. With cables, I feel a better isolation in the muscles and a better squeeze at the top. You don’t have to go as heavy to stimulate the muscles in my opinion.”

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SNAPSHOT

JUAN MOREL Height 5'11"

Weight 260 pounds Birth Date April 2, 1982 Residence Deer Park, NY Nickname Diesel Career Highlights 2015 New York Pro, 1st; 2014 Toronto Pro Supershow, 1st; 2012 Europa Battle of Champions, 1st; Arnold Classic Brasil, 2nd; 2011 North American Championships, superheavyweight and overall winner (earned pro card)

MOREL’S TRAINING SPLIT Sunday Quads, hamstrings, calves Monday Chest, triceps, biceps Tuesday Back, shoulders Wednesday Quads, hamstrings, calves Thursday Chest, triceps, biceps Friday Back, shoulders Saturday Rest* *Depending on his schedule, Morel sometimes trains legs on Saturday; if he does, Sunday becomes a rest day.

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Fully developed arms add to every pose, whether it’s a side chest or even a “nonpose” like this preacher curl.

EZ-bar Preacher Curl Start Sit on the seat of a preacher curl bench and grasp an EZ-bar. Begin with the backs of your upper arms flat against the pad and your elbows just short of fully extended.

Execution Keeping your upper arms against the pad, curl the bar up as far as possible. Squeeze your biceps at the top, then slowly lower the bar to the start position. Morel Says “Always keep your wrists

straight on preacher curls; don’t let hands come forward or drop down. Keeping them straight gives you a nice squeeze on the biceps when you come all the way up. At the bottom, I stop a little short of full extension at the elbows to reduce the risk of tearing a biceps.” FLEXONLINE.COM

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Alternating Dumbbell Curl Start Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides with your arms extended toward the floor. Begin with your palms facing in and your knees slightly bent. Execution Keeping your elbow in at your side, curl one dumbbell up while simultaneously turning your palm up and out so that at the top of the rep it faces slightly outward. Squeeze your biceps for a count in this position, then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the start position. Repeat with the other arm, alternating back and forth. Morel Says “A lot of people go too heavy on this exercise and end up using the rest of the body to lift the weight up instead of just the biceps. I think a moderate weight that you can handle is better than trying to use 80-pound dumbbells.”

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Mo Morel orel ha has as worked wo orke ed hard to build b uild up his lo long ong arms. a rms. Look Loo ok for fo or Diesel Diiesel to o resurface resurfa ace o on na contest conte est sta stage age later this year. ye ear.

MOREL’S ARM WORKOUT Morel’s typical triceps/biceps routine consists exclusively of supersets and high volume. But every month or so, he switches up his arm workout and sticks to straight sets on every exercise with lower volume (roughly half the number of sets as usual), short rest periods, and high reps. The routine at right is an example of this. “I like doing this workout every once in a while,” says Morel. “It’s very effective. Pushing every set for 20 reps or so and taking less rest sometimes feels just as hard as doing the supersets with more volume. The muscles get extremely fatigued and burned out. “I think for arms, because they’re such small muscles and they get utilized when doing back, chest and shoulders, you need to go a little lighter, control the weight, and keep rest periods short. I had lagging arms at one point, and the way I made them grow was by taking shorter breaks and just getting as much blood into the muscles as possible. Make your arms look double the size while you’re training—that’s how sick of a pump you want to have.”

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Cable Pressdown

4

20– 30

Seated EZ-bar Overhead Extension

4

15–20

Cable EZ-bar Reverse-grip Pressdown

4

20

EZ-bar Cable Curl

4

20

EZ-bar Preacher Curl

4

20

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

4

20

Triceps

Biceps

NOTE: Rest periods are 30 to 45 seconds between all sets. Morel increases the weight on every set for all exercises. On his last set or two of each exercise, he’s reaching complete muscle failure.

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HARDEARNED ABS BY JOE WUEBBEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY IAN SPANIER

MEN’S PHYSIQUE COMPETITOR GEORGE BROWN HAS BEEN TIRELESSLY CHIPPING AWAY AT HIS MIDSECTION FOR YEARS IN A QUEST FOR “PERFECT ABS.” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

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Wrong. Brown, winner of the 2016 New York Pro in the IFBB’s ever-competitive men’s physique division, has been hammering his abs every other day for more than four years now. And the virtually flawless six-pack you see here is the fruit of that labor. “Some people might think I don’t have to work hard for my abs and that they just come easy, but that’s not the case,” says the 36-yearold from Columbus, OH. “You still have to work for them. You have to have a good diet, and you still have to hit them in the gym. I may have some genes working with me, but I put in the same amount of work, if not more, as the next person. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put it to use, the person who wants it more will outwork you every single time.” Brown’s hard-earned, crazy-chiseled six-pack went a long way in helping him enjoy a stellar 2016 competition season. The highlight of his year was the aforementioned New York win, but he also notched impressive showings at the Arnold

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PHOTO CREDIT

Look at this guy, George Brown. Check out those abs. He’s just a genetic freak, a men’s physique version of Dexter Jackson. To get a midsection that great, he probably doesn’t even train abs—they just come naturally for him, right?


BENCH ENC SCISSOR SS KICK

Sit sideways on a flat bench, lean your torso back, and hold on to the edges of the bench with your hands for stability. Keeping your torso in a fixed position, perform alternating/scissor kicks with your legs, focusing on your lower abs throughout. Keep the motion relatively e slow and under control. Brown says: ““Lean Lea an ba back ack when whe en yo you ou do o thi this is exerci exercise ise to make sure you’re hitti hitting ing the e lower ab abs. bs. D Don’t on’t ha have ave your torso o strai straight ig ht up a and nd vertical verti ical wi with ith the e fl flo floor. oor. I wo would ould de even ven sa say ay ke keep eep your torso o lea leaned aned db back ack farther than 45 degrees de eg ree es with wi ith the e fl flo floor.” oor.””

SPREAD OPENER: PHOTO PER B BERNAL CREDIT

Classic (second) and Olympia Weekend (sixth place). To stay relevant (and hopefully ascend) in the men’s physique ranks, in which a razor-sharp midsection is a prerequisite to being competitive, Brown hits abs for 20 to 25 minutes three to four days a week with a workout like the one on page 177. Every ab routine is different in terms of exercise selection, but one constant in his training is high-rep sets, typically in the 30-plus-rep range. Another key variable is persistence. “I had to work up to high reps,” Brown says. “It’s taken me four years, and I’m still trying to perfect my reps. I just want quality reps. So if you have to start out at 10 reps, make sure it’s the perfect 10. You’ve got to leave your pride at the door, because eventually you’ll be doing numbers you never thought you would.”

SNAPSHOT

GEORGE BROWN

Height: 5'11" Weight: 200 pounds Birth date: Nov. 22, 1980 Residence: Columbus, OH Career highlights: 2016 Olympia men’s physique, 6th; 2016 Arnold Classic men’s physique, 2nd; 2016 New York Pro men’s physique, 1st; 2015 New York Pro men’s physique, 1st; 2013 North American Championships men’s physique, 1st

BROWN’S TRAINING SPLIT Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Chest Back Shoulders Arms Legs Back Active rest

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CABLE CRUNCH Kneel in front of a cable weight stack with a rope attached to a high-pulley cable. Grasp the ends of the rope and hold them at the sides of your head. Begin slightly bent over, then contract your abs to lower your torso toward the floor. When your head is around six to 12 inches from the floor, squeeze the abs hard for one or two counts, then slowly return back up to the start position.

HANGING KNEE RAISE

Hang from a pullup bar with your legs straight. Bend your knees and contract your abs to raise your legs up. Take your knees up as high as they can go, raising your pelvis at the top and squeezing your abs hard. Slowly lower back down under control. Brown says: “A lot of people like to stick their legs all the way out, but I recommend keeping the knees bent. For me, when I pull up to my stomach I get a great squeeze this way. Drop your knees all the way down and get a complete stretch in the abs, and then pull your knees to your chest and hold it for one to two seconds on each rep. Elevate your pelvis at the top, too—try to take it up to the ceiling a little bit. The main thing is just to go slow.”

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GROOMING BY NADIA SHALINI R AMNATH

Brown says: “It’s just about pushing to the limits here. How much can you take? The more you put in, the more you get out. Will Smith says, ‘I’ll die on a treadmill.’ I’m doing as many as I can, and then I’m doing 15 more. So I’m dying on the cable crunches, because I want perfect abs. You just have to build up a tolerance for the high reps.”


V-SIT CRUNCH R Start S tar in the e same p position o as with wi ith scissor isso o kicks—sitting s s sideways ide so on a bench, nc leaned back, hands holding ing g on for balance. With t yourr ffeet only a few inches off the floor, contract your abs to pull your knees up toward your face. Squeeze the contraction at the top, then very slowly return to the start position.

Brown says: “Whe “When en I sti stick ick my fee feet et out o on n the V-sits, I kind off do o o a neg negative. gative. I d don’t on’t just go o iin n and o out ut with the e leg legs. g s. I’m actually pulling my kne knees ees in, then the en ki kicking ickiing my fee feet et out hig high gh and making iitt a neg negative, gative, and then the en pulling my feet fee et ba back ack iin. n. When Whe en yo your our fee feet et are g going oing b back ack out, o ut, ma make ake sure you go o slo slow.” ow.””

TRAINING NOTES

ALTERNATING ABS Brown trains abs every other day throughout the off-season and pre-contest, working them after the larger body part in the routine. “I have no preference as to which days abs falls on,” says Brown. “It doesn’t matter at all. I just make sure to hit abs every two days, whether that falls on leg day, chest day, or even on my active rest day.”

PER BERNAL

STEADY-STATE RECOVERY Brown’s “active rest” day typically consists of at least one hour of steady-state cardio incorporating an activity that’s outside the gym. “I may walk a trail outdoors for an hour,” he says. “Something to keep me moving, but staying out of the gym.”

SHOT ON LOCATION AT CIT Y ATHLETIC CLUB, L AS VEGAS, NV

BROWN’S AB WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Bench Scissor Kick

4

30 (per side)

Cable Crunch

4

50–60 (to failure)*

Hanging Knee Raise

4

20–25

V-sit Crunch (on bench)

4

30

*Brown says: “As soon as it starts to burn, I’ll do 15 more reps.”

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MUSCLE MATURITY MARK DUGDALEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TRAINING HAS EVOLVED IN RECENT YEARS, ALLOWING HIM TO MAINTAIN A STELLAR PHYSIQUE WHILE STAYING INJURY-FREE. HIS CHEST WORKOUT IS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF THIS EVOLUTION.

BY JOE WUEBBEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

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THROUGH TALKING WITH HUNDREDS OF IFBB PROS OVER THE YEARS, WE’VE FOUND ONE INDELIBLE TRUTH: AS BODYBUILDERS GET OLDER, THEY TRAIN SMARTER. 180

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Mark Dugdale, 42 years old as of Christmas Day and still going strong in the IFBB’s aesthetically pleasing 212 division, is our latest exhibit. Following a memorable 2004 NPC USA light-heavyweight and overall title, Dugdale began carrying the torch as one of the few remaining well-known pro bodybuilders employing the high-intensity training style, à la Mike Mentzer in the 1980s and Dorian Yates in the 1990s. Not to be confused with HIIT (one “I,” not two), HIT involves relatively low training volume in terms of total working sets, yet each of those working sets is taken to absolute, pain-provoking, grunt-inducing failure. SHOT ON LOCATION AT CIT Y ATHLETIC CLUB, L AS VEGAS, NV


FLAT-BENCH DUMBBELL PRESS

Lie on a flat bench and hold a set of dumbbells just above chest level with your palms facing forward and your wrists directly over your elbows. Press the dumbbells up and inward toward each other over your middle chest until your elbows are just shy of locked out. Bring the weights back down until your elbows form 90-degree angles. DUGDALE SAYS “I prefer to press to only three-fourths lockout. It saves your elbow joints and ensures continuous tension on the pecs throughout the movement. Stabilizing dumbbells versus a barbell activates more muscle fibers, which is why I typically include at least one pressing variation with dumbbells in each chest workout.”

GROOMING BY TIFFANY DANIELS

The HIT style certainly worked for Dugdale (not to mention Yates before that), but it also exposed him to injury. Let’s be honest, injuries happen from time to time when you train intensely, whether you’re a professional athlete or just a passionate recreational gym rat. Yet Dugdale still decided he needed to tweak his workouts to stay healthy. “My training philosophy has changed significantly from the HIT days of my 20s,” he says. “A minor pec tear on my second rep with 500 pounds on bench press in my late 30s forced me to reevaluate things. I train with a bit more volume and a significantly

greater amount of frequency than I did earlier in my career. That’s not to say that I don’t still train with a high level of intensity, but the methods and timing in which I employ intensity techniques are much more intelligently implemented.” Dugdale is coming off three 212 wins in 2016 (Arctic Pro, Chicago Pro, and Vancouver Pro) and still sports one of the pro league’s most aesthetic physiques, proving his training wisdom is paying huge dividends into his 40s. His chest training routine featured here is a great example of his “muscle maturity”—both in appearance and practice. FLEXONLINE.COM

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SNAPSHOT

MARK DUGDALE Height 5'6" Weight 204 lbs Birth Date Dec. 25, 1974 Residence Bothell, WA Career Highlights 2016 Arctic Pro 212, 1st; 2016 Chicago Pro 212, 1st; 2016 Vancouver Pro 212, 1st; 2009 Olympia 202 Showdown, 4th; 2004 NPC USA, light-heavyweight and overall (earned pro card)

TRAINING NOTES Two Workout Types “ ‘Primary’ workouts most often include heavier weight and intensity techniques such as dropsets, extended sets, and eccentric overload,” says Dugdale. “I vary exercises, reps, and intensity techniques weekly on primary training days. ‘Secondary’ workouts are all about the pump without taxing

the central nervous system via sets to failure, which often means lighter weight and higher reps.” Yoga Year-Round Throughout the year (off-season and precontest), Dugdale incorporates one hour of hot yoga (hatha) three days per week in addition to the workouts listed above.

HIIT Cardio Dugdale doesn’t perform cardio in the off-season. “Pre-contest I’ll do 10 minutes of Tabata-style training on an Assault Air Bike a few days a week,” he says. Abs and Calves “I do abdominal and calf work between sets during my secondary workouts,” says Dugdale. FLEXONLINE.COM

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CABLE FLYE

Stand in the middle of a cable station with D-handles attached to the high-pulley cables. Begin with your arms extended out to your sides and elbows slightly bent. Step forward to make sure the weights aren’t resting on the stacks, then contract your pecs to pull your hands together, maintaining the slight bend in your elbows. At the end of the motion, squeeze your pecs hard for a count.

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DUGDALE SAYS

“I focus on the eccentric with cable flyes, which means I bring my hands together and hold the contraction for a split second before slowly performing the negative portion of the movement with a fivesecond count. Every rep of every set must have this focused five-second negative. I like doing it this way for the mind-muscle connection. Holding the contraction for a split second and doing slow eccentrics really puts the blood into the pecs.”


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Exercise

MARK DUGDALE’S CHEST WORKOUT Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press Of the six total sets, the first three are warmup/ buildup sets, and the last three are working sets. Weight is increased on each set; Dugdale typically starts with 60-pound dumbbells and finishes with 120s for his last set. The last set includes two dropsets, in which six reps are done

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with the initial weight, then around eight and 10 reps on subsequent drops are performed using 75- and 50-pound dumbbells, respectively. Incline Barbell Press Of the five total sets, the last four are working sets. Weight is increased on each set— typically starting at around 185 pounds and

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Sets

Reps

Flat-bench Dumbbell Press

6

6–8

Incline Barbell Press (not pictured)

5

6

Cable Flye

3

6

Dip

3

8–12

finishing at 275 pounds— until Dugdale can no longer get six reps (meaning the last set may end up being five reps). Cable Flye The weight remains the same on all sets (around 70 pounds per side), and Dugdale focuses on the eccentric (negative) portion of each rep. All three sets are working sets.

Dip All three sets are working sets and are taken to failure in the eight- to 12-rep range. “Use an assisted dip machine [if bodyweight dips are too difficult], or do weighted dips [if body-weight dips are too easy] to achieve the desired rep range based on your strength level,” says Dugdale.


DIP

Hold yourself between the bars of a dip apparatus with your arms extended. Lower under control until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and you feel a stretch in your chest, then push with your chest and triceps to lift yourself back to the start position. DUGDALE SAYS “I like finishing a chest workout with dips because I believe it’s beneficial to stretch the pecs once they’re fully pumped. Dips invariably work the triceps secondarily, which serves as a good warmup to the triceps exercises I’ll do later in the same workout.”

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YODA’S DISCIPLES PHOTOGRAPHS BY IAN SPANIER AND PER BERNAL

THE SECRETS THAT LED TO “PADAWANS” FLEX LEWIS’ AND WILLIAM BONAC’S OLYMPIA WEEKEND SUCCESS


Only now am I able to sit down and really reflect on the amazing year Team Y3T—Flex Lewis and William Bonac—have had on and off the stage. While there have been many memorable moments along the way, the one event that always stands out each year is the Mr. Olympia, along with the shows that come in its wake. Traveling to Vegas for this amazing show with my athletes never ceases to fill me with a sense of pride and excitement. Heading into last September, Flex was the reigning four-time 212 Olympia champion— and now a fivetime victor. William cracked the Mr. O top 10 for the first time last year and caused a huge wave as people stood up and took notice of his unbelievable physique, so it was no surprise this year when he took fifth place. Many people said that he could’ve placed anywhere between fifth and second, which was very pleasing for us as a team. Today I’m going to share with you some of the things I did with each of these athletes, discussing how we made the improvements we did just to give you more of a behindthe-scenes look at Team Y3T.

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T THE CONQUEROR’S ROAD

Last year I feel that William delivered a very dominating, crisp package, so I was very excited to see how that would look with his productive off-season behind him. This year William came onstage seven to eight pounds heavier and, if anything, his conditioning was even tighter, which meant that visually his physique had made some very significant leaps in quality, which were plain to see. The key areas we focused on improving were: Increasing the overall width and thickness of his shoulders Increasing the thickness and detail in his back Keeping his waistline very tight William’s legs are extremely well-developed from every angle: They have no weaknesses, so the goal was to make areas of his upper body just as commanding. What I didn’t want to do was pack weight onto his frame this off–season at the expense of his small waistline because you see it time and time again where athletes sacrifice shape and symmetry for size, and that’s just not bodybuilding. I’m very much a believer in quality over quantity and always come back to the classic, beautiful lines of a flowing physique rather than sheer mass alone.

DOUBLE TIME

To bring out the added width of William’s shoulders, we focused on hitting them twice a week, usually every fourth day. The key thing to remember with this is that due to the increased frequency of training on this muscle group, the secondary workout needs to

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SHOT ON LOCATION AT CIT Y ATHLETIC CLUB, L AS VEGAS, NV


be adapted accordingly. The goal was to stimulate the muscle fibers in the secondary workout without causing so much damage that William would be unable to recover properly between those workouts. Remember, the shoulders are brought into play in other workouts anyway, so this meant I really had to think hard about his Y3T training plan. William also trained his back every four to five days to increase the frequency of

stimulation within that area. However, unlike shoulders, the back is a much bigger muscle group. This creates its own issues because you have to balance food intake along with supplementation for recovery, as well as trying to stimulate growth without overtaxing the whole body and potentially forcing it into a negative environment. One workout focused more on width, while the second workout focused on thickness within the back area.

Neil Hill was there every step of the way on William Bonacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey, which culminated with placing fifth at the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;16 Olympia.

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PER BERNAL. GROOMING BY NADIA SHALINI R AMNATH

However, I want to emphasize that although the workouts were very different due to the specific goals I just mentioned, there’s no way to completely avoid crossover between certain areas/ muscle groups within the back. You might be focusing on the lats more in one workout and the rhomboids more in another. However, you’re still going to hit those areas in both workouts, ultimately. This is why it’s so important to allow your The master and body enough his disciple. Hill’s time to recover wisdom has within your helped Bonac programming take his training and physique to so you’re not the next level. overtraining certain areas. As I always say, to force as much detail into the muscle as possible you volume of food you’re having to must always focus on the process. Like I said, it was key quality of your contraction that we kept William’s waistline with each rep. On back, this is flat, which we managed to with particularly important—therefore, the extra solid muscle on top. I stipulated very specific rep To me, this is what really sets tempos for William to maximize the a world-class physique apart: engagement of specific fibers mass, thickness with the flowing within his back. lines in the right places, and a flat midsection. Overall, I felt that William excelled this year, and once again he was the talk of the show. He’s now beat athletes such as Adding that extra seven to eight Dexter Jackson, Shawn Rhoden, pounds of quality muscle took and Big Ramy in events after the effort in the off-season, when Olympia. This past year he has we even resorted to introducing firmly made a space for his name meals through the night to keep in the top-five bodybuilders the him as anabolic as possible. world has to offer and will However, what I really want to continue to improve upon that reiterate is that you can’t just keep over the coming years. I simply forcing growth with more and couldn’t be any more proud of more calories. At some point you William’s efforts this year. He will start seeing negative effects, has a very bright future! such as a distended gut due to the

MIDNIGHT FEEDING

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More muscle, better condition, and keeping his flowing lines and tight waist intact were part of the winning formula.

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FLEX’S GROWING PAINS

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The same problem that keeps arising for Flex every Olympia is that he’s right at the top of his weight class, which makes it very difficult to manage. The reality is that his body still wants to grow, and we have to be very

careful about how much mass we actually put on his frame in the off-season. Otherwise it’s only going to cause more stress for him when he starts prepping. Last year, he blew people away with yet another phenomenal package—he really is setting the standards in this 212 division and


will continue to do so. However, while his weight is a very real factor we have to consider, we did aim to make some improvements in key areas for this year. Flex is the champion for a reason: His commitment to making improvements year after year never wavers, and he always wants to do more to please his fans and build a bigger legacy for himself. The areas we focused on were his: Chest thickness Rhomboid area Outer-quad sweep

THE 212 KING’S PLAN

Flex has the most complete physique in this class. However, the goal is always to improve, so we focused on training his chest every fourth day to add more thickness. Like I mentioned before with William, allowing for recovery between these more frequent workouts is essential. Especially on chest, whereby the shoulder joints are undergoing more stress, for instance. The secondary workout was based more around blood volumization and isometric contractions/squeezes, and we preferred to use the incline angles on pressing to really emphasize growth within the upper pec region. To bring Flex’s outer quad sweep up, we included more close-stance leg pressing, hack squats, and leg-extension variations, whereby more of the load is transferred into the outer thigh region. When you consider how big the quads are, it makes sense that you need to utilize multiple angles of attack in order to maximize each area. Finally, we included more back exercises in Flex’s Y3T plan, which targeted the rhomboids and erectors down the middle, lower regions of his back. This wasn’t necessarily a weakness; however, we just wanted to exaggerate that 3-D illusion of his physique from the back, which I felt we managed to achieve.

The five-time reigning 212 Olympia champ with the man who has been there with him from the beginning.

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PER BERNAL

THE ULTIMATE PACKAGE

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Ultimately, the biggest factor with Flex is always bringing the package that people expect. I feel his showing in the Olympia last year was exceptional yet again. However, I think in Korea he looked even crisper. The only real difference between the two shows was that going into Korea we were slightly less aggressive with the carb loading—we backed off a bit more. However, I’d also like to emphasize that I feel the Olympia brings a certain level of stress and demand for any athlete due to the prestige of the event. Especially when you’re the four-time reigning champion, which can potentially lead to a negative response with your cortisol levels, which in turn can lead to some water retention. This is always very hard to manage in any athlete. It’s just a natural part of the process at this level of competition.

BRINGING IT CONSISTENTLY

Both Flex and William have never gone onstage out of shape, which has created a certain level of expectation from the fans. This is giving credit to their own hard work, their commitment as athletes, and their drive to be the very best at what they do. However, with that level of expectation comes more and more pressure to deliver each year, which both of these guys take in stride. To wrap this up, I’d just like to say that I’m incredibly proud of both of these athletes, and I’m even more proud to call them my friends. It’s such a pleasure watching both of them evolve as people and as athletes with each year that passes by. Everything they’ve achieved is more than deserved, and I know they’ll continue to do amazing things going forward.

You can sign up for Neil’s free daily e-mails at y3tdisciple.com.


Under Hillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scrutiny, Lewis has been able to improve every year. Will 2017 bring a sixth 212 Olympia title?

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From le left: eft:: Lio Lionel onel Be Beyeke, ey Shawn R Rhoden, ho reigning rei igning six six-time Mr. O Olympia lympiia Phil P hil He Heath, eath, Dexter De exte er Ja Jackson, ackson, Albert A lbe ert B Busek, use ek, Kevin Levrone, Le evro one William Bo Bonac, onac and Roelly Winklaar, Wink r with ith a representative e r se i of title i le spo sponsor, o Ultimate Nut Nutrition. ition.

2016 MR. OLY IN THE MORE THAN 50-YEAR HISTORY OF MR. OLYMPIA, Germany has had the honor of being its host country twice. Bodybuilding history was written in both 1972 in Essen (North Rhine-Westphalia) and in 1983 in Munich (Bavaria). One of the highlights in my 57 years in bodybuilding was the 1972 battle between Arnold and Sergio, which Arnold finally won. The Olympic Hall in Munich provided a worthy location for the 1983 Olympia debut of Lee Haney, the later record winner, and, for three-time winner Frank Zane, it was his farewell Olympia. In the following decades, Joe Weiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision of creating a contest between the best of the best reached a level that he fortunately was still able to witness. On Oct. 21 and 22, Germany experienced a special comeback with the first Mr. Olympia Europe, which has been accepted by the fans and enthusiastically celebrated throughout the competition. 200

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MPIA EUROPE BY ALBERT BUSEK PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATTHIAS BUSSE

GREAT ATMOSPHERE IN DORTMUND

The Westfalenhallen in Dortmund have been the site of many great sports events since they were opened in 1925. In 2016, both bodybuilding professionals and amateurs took over the stage in one of the large halls. Following several cancellations, eight pros competed for prize money totaling $100,000. Parallel to this, the German Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (DBFV e.V.) and Joe Weider’s German Cup held the first amateur competition in the bikini, men’s

physique, and bodybuilding at a very high level. The fans were very enthusiastic about this pro/ amateur combination, and, for the amateurs, it was an unusual experience to stand on the same stage as the pros.

THE COMPETITION

Dennis “the Menace” James was ideally cast as the moderator of the evening. During my opening remarks in my capacity as the IFBB vice president responsible for Europe, I especially remembered my friend and visionary, Joe Weider, who

always regarded Mr. Olympia as part of his great legacy. The audience reacted with thundering applause for Joe. Of the eight pros, it was immediately clear who the top five would be, not to diminish the accomplishments of the other three. This first Mr. Olympia Europe was especially exciting because William Bonac had claimed two victories in October, both in Prague (EVLS Pro) and in Finland (Nordic Pro), and the Dutchman had already provided a major surprise in Las Vegas by placing fifth. Prague then FLEXONLINE.COM

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turned out to be a real sensation, since he was immediately able to defeat three pros who had finished above him in Las Vegas— Mamdouh Elssbiay, Shawn Rhoden, and Dexter Jackson. This automatically made William one of the favorites. The big question was: After such a long season in 2016, would Dexter be able to improve enough again in this short time to be able to retaliate successfully? Certain colleagues again brought 202

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up his age—but Dexter is not only “the Blade,” he is also a “Genetic Miracle.” Before the competition, I asked him the big question as to what his secret is. His answer was a single word: Genetics. Shawn also has everything he needs to win every competition. For me, it was incredibly exciting. When they finally stepped into the spotlight for the pre-judging round, it was clear that Dortmund would change things significantly—especially

due to one athlete whom nobody had particularly expected to do so well: Lionel Beyeke. Lionel had begun working with coach George Farah six weeks before Mr. Olympia Europe, and the results were incredible. Very good form was now added to his unusually attractive lines— an overall package that made quite an impression, especially among the fans. For years, many fans have hoped that Lionel would finally fully realize his outstanding potential. In Dortmund, he was already very close to achieving this and, in any case, on the right track. From the pre-judging to the finale, although there were only brief breaks in the ensuing five hours, considerable deviations in form,


The top five hit their favorite most muscular pose and then turn their backs to the judges and audience.

upward and downward, were seen in some cases. Shabunia made a huge leap upward here, especially in the back view and with an outstanding midsection. Lionel also showed improvement, making him clearly one of the top three candidates for me. Dexter, on the other hand, seemed to have lost a little sharpness following his outstanding performance in the pre-judging, but he was still clearly ahead in his overall impression. Tomas Kaspar and Michael Kefalianos were not able to compete at this high level and had to make do with seventh and eighth place, whereby Michael could not gain control over his midsection at almost any time in the competition. Here is a breakdown of the top five competitors.

THE TOP 8 1. Dexter Jackson USA, $50,000 2. Shawn Rhoden USA, $25,000 3. William Bonac Netherlands, $12,000 4. Lionel Beyeke France, $8,000

5. Roelly Winklaar Curaรงao, $5,000 6. Aliaksei Shabunia Belarus 7. Tomas Kaspar Czech Republic 8. Michael Kefalianos Greece

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1 DEXTER JACKSON Five weeks before his 47th birthday, Dexter demonstrated once more that he cannot be judged or evaluated by conventional standards. A further attribute would be “Freak of Nature.” The Blade struck once more and showed his opponents their limits. He didn’t make even the slightest error in any phase of the competition and radiated the charisma of a champion. Some of his opponents were definitely close to him in certain comparisons, or even a little better in part, but all told Dexter was the superior athlete on the stage. By winning the first Mr. Olympia Europe, Dexter achieved still another major victory and said immediately afterward: “Now I need a break of at least one month.”

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2 SHAWN RHODEN Of all the current pros, Shawn is one of those with the best muscle lines and the best proportions. He has the potential to win every titleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; every single one. In second place, he was very close, but he was not able to maintain this form on the Europe tour. In Dortmund, he was in very good form and demonstrated his major strengths to the pleasure of the audience. All in all, he was Dexterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main rival.

3 WILLIAM BONAC The sensational winner of Prague did not have his best day in Dortmund. William needs maximum definition to win. If his definition is diminished by just 1%, it becomes very difficult for him to compete successfully against the top pros. In Dortmund, William was not able to present the steeliness he had in Las Vegas or Prague and was very well served with third place.

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4 LIONEL BEYEKE Lionel was the surprise of the day and was very clearly at least in third place after the pre-judging and finals. His round, full muscles are just as much a feast for the eyes as his magnificent lines and his very unusual symmetry. Lionel has everything he needs not only to become a threat to all of the current pros but also to beat them if he is able to realize 100% of his potential. When it was announced that Lionel was in fourth place, definite boos could be heard from the audience.

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7 TOMAS KASPAR

5 ROELLY WINKLAAR In the pre-judging, Roelly already had intense cramps in his abdominal muscles during the first comparisons, and they became very severe in the abs-legs comparison posing. This drawback immediately had a negative effect in such an intense field of competitors. Just the same, the fans loved him and couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get enough of him. Roelly always goes straight to the heart of his fans. It is almost tragic to mention that he again had to accept a disappointing fifth place.

8 MICHAEL KEFALIANOS


EURO O SNAPSHOTS EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES PICTURES FROM THE INAUGURAL JOE WEIDER’S MR. OLYMPIA EUROPE

1

2

3

1 Albert Busek with Phil Heath, fresh off his sixth Mr. Olympia triumph. 2 William Bonac gets in the zone before going onstage.

MARKUS MERTZENICH

3 That’s the Maryland Muscle Machine, Kevin Levrone, taking a cell phone pic of Shawn Rhoden.

4

4 Dexter Jackson gives the fans an up-close-and-personal doublebiceps pose.

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1 It’s easy to see why many thought Lionel Beyeke deserved a higher placing. He was on! 2 Levrone and Heath are all smiles on the sideline. One of the many benefits of not having to diet for a show!

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3 The Blade making sure everything is in place. 4 The biceps of the first Mr. Olympia Europe. 5 Competitors congregate around the weights…the bodybuilding equivalent of the office water cooler.


BY GREG MERRITT

SIZE MATTERS 25 HUGEST

OF THE

BODYBUILDERS

OF ALL TIME

SHARE ADVICE FOR

SIZING UP 01 MEAL PREP “I’d say the most important thing is getting all your meals in. You have to stick to a schedule to make sure you eat at least six high-protein meals every day. The easiest way to do this is to prepare your meals in advance so you just need to microwave them and eat.”

—Dallas McCarver

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This is big— really, really big. We’ve compiled mass-making advice from 25 of the largest bodybuilders who ever tested the limits of a posing dais. The amateur superheavyweight division consists of competitors who weigh more than 225. To make our honor roll, these pros each competed at 250-plus, and some topped 300. These are bodybuilding’s super-duperheavyweights, and they’ve got a lot to say about sizing up.

02

DIVERSE ATTACK

“I do a lot of exercises. The bigger the body part, the more exercises I do. So for back and legs, I might do eight exercises each per workout. Sometimes I’ll only do two sets of an exercise, but by getting in so many different exercises I’m able to hit big body parts from a lot of different angles and make sure I’m growing all the different muscles and areas of muscles. Most of the time I get more out of doing two sets of two exercises than four sets of one.” —Art Atwood


03 CHRIS LUND; KEVIN HORTON; CHRIS LUND

LESS IS MORE

“One major mistake that most bodybuilders make is to increase training volume over time, feeling that this is how ‘advanced’ people should train. The problem is that even as you grow bigger and stronger, your ability to recover never improves much. And because you’re able to work your muscles heavier and harder, they need less exercise and more recovery time. Most people get this exactly wrong.” —Dorian Yates FLEXONLINE.COM

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04

LOWER REPS, GREATER PUMP

“I don’t commit to a workout plan. Instead, I wait to see how my pump tells me to train on that day. Sometimes I get my best pump with four or six maximumweight reps. At other times, the best pump might take 10 or more reps. Always, I try to get my best pump with the heaviest weight and lowest reps. That’s hard to do, but it stimulates the fastest growth.” —Markus Rühl

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05

06

GAS UP THE CAR

GROW DAYS “I do my best growing only training four days a week. I’ll do chest and triceps on Monday, quads and hams on Tuesday, delts and traps on Thursday, and back and biceps on Friday. It means my workouts last longer than when I train six days per week and hit most body parts alone. But it also means I have three days every week that I don’t go to the gym. I think of those as my ‘grow days’— those days that I’m eating and resting but not training.” —Roelly Winklaar

07

“You’ve got to eat real food to gain muscular weight, and you’ve got to eat often. Don’t count your shakes as meals. Take the shakes out of the equation. How many food meals are you eating? You need to get in six real food meals. I always say if you’re not getting your meals in, don’t go to the gym. What’s the point? You’re not going to grow without food. It’s like trying to run a car on no gas.” —Jay Cutler

FOCUS MORE ON BIG PARTS

“When it comes down to adding a lot of muscular weight, you need to be aware of where you’re carrying most of it. The two biggest areas are your legs—quads, hams, and butt—and your back—lats and traps, especially. Think about how much bigger your hamstrings are than your triceps, and yet most people do more work for tri’s than hams. They might train bi’s and tri’s separately but quads and hams together. They’ve got it all reversed. They’re undertraining their biggest body parts and overtraining their smallest body parts. Focus more on your biggest body parts and less on your smaller body parts and you’ll see a real change in how much overall muscle you gain.” —Tom Prince

08

GROW STRONGER

CHRIS LUND

“There’s no secret to getting big. You just have to eat right and train hard and always be focused on growing stronger. Try to use a heavier weight or get more reps with the same weight every time you work a body part. As you get stronger for eight to 12 reps, you’ll grow bigger.” —Mamdouh Elssbiay

09

BASIC TRAINING

“For me, it’s always been mostly the basics: squats, leg presses, barbell bench presses, barbell incline presses, barbell shoulder presses. If the choice is between two exercises and you can use more weight in one than the other, that’s your best choice.” —Rasheed Oldacre

10

REST ASSURED

“You don’t grow during the workout. You only grow after the workout when you’ve had the time and nutrition to recover and then add muscle. So if you look at it that way, rest is the most important part of bodybuilding. I have a whole week between training body parts, so I know I’m always getting enough rest to grow.” —Robert Burneika FLEXONLINE.COM

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11 EAT BIG, LIFT BIG “The first time I got over 300 pounds was back when I was just 20 in 1972, and I went way over 300. Nobody was anywhere near that big back then. Remember, Arnold was winning the Olympia at 230. I just wanted to see how big I could get, so I would eat 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day in seven to eight meals and train heavier. Always I was trying to get stronger and bigger. I put on too much fat then because I rushed on the weight. I wasn’t ready yet to weigh 330. But if you want to get bigger, you’ll have to eat more and train heavier.” —Lou Ferrigno

HIGH AND LOW

“For legs, I like to do both higher and lower reps of every exercise. I’ll start with 20 reps and work my way down to six over four sets, going heavier each time. Then I’ll often do a fifth set of 20 reps to really blow out my quads or hams. The key is to push each set—whether it’s six or 20 or something in between—to failure.” —Paco Bautista

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HIT THE TARGET

“Training with Charles Glass made me realize I was missing the target a lot before. He has a specific purpose for every exercise and every exercise modification to hit different areas of the muscles. This can make all the difference in unlocking new growth.” —Günter Schlierkamp

CHRIS LUND

12

13


HEAVY FIRST

14

“Do the heavy, barbell basics first in your routine when you’re strongest. So do bench presses before flyes, and do EZ-bar curls before concentration curls. The more weight you can use on an exercise, the more effective it’ll be for gaining size.” —Jean-Pierre Fux

15

FORM FOCUS

16

“Proper technique and a full range of motion are the two most important components of training success. Most people focus on how heavy the weight is. I don’t. If the weight feels heavy, it’s heavy enough. Focus on form.” —Justin Compton

RAW SQUATS

“More than any other exercise, squats grew my legs. I love to squat. I go up to 600 pretty much every workout. And I don’t use [knee] wraps or a belt. I feel like they restrict my movement and prevent my tendons and joints from getting strong along with my muscles.” —Akim Williams

17 HIGHER IS HARDER “I’ve never been into powerlifting. I don’t even do deadlifts. I do like squats for legs, but I don’t go really heavy. To me, a lighter set of 15 reps is a lot harder than a heavier set of five reps. It’s the same with leg presses. It’s a lot easier to do 10 than 30, even though the weight is lighter for the 30. So it might look like I’m training lighter, but I’m really training harder.” —Dennis Wolf

18

INJURY AVOIDANCE

KEVIN HORTON

“The most important lesson I learned from my injury was to take all the proper precautions. Always warm up, always pyramid up to your heaviest set, and don’t always go all out with maximum weights for maximum reps. In the long run, the best thing you can do to keep growing is avoid injuries.” —Zack Khan FLEXONLINE.COM

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19

BE FREE

I mostly use machines for legs and back, and those are the most basic machines, like the pulldown and the leg extension. I prefer free weights because of the freer range of motion. Barbells and especially dumbbells make me work harder to balance the weights, and the best workout is the harder workout.” —Alexander Fedorov

22

20

MASS VIA MODERATION

“When I was young I got into going really heavy and training DC-style [Doggcrapp], and I definitely think that had advantages for building a foundation of strength and size. But it’s also easy to get burned out with that mindset. I think most people can get big just using moderate reps and moderate volume and making sure they get all their meals in.” —Steve Kuclo

21

HEAVY FOR 10

“People saw those videos of me squatting 800 or deadlifting 800 and thought that was how I trained all the time. I didn’t normally do such low reps, though, not after I gave up powerlifting to just be a bodybuilder. I used heavy weights, but I always aimed for 10 reps.” —Ronnie Coleman

MARATHON MUSCLE

“Bodybuilding is an endurance sport. By that I mean it’s going to take years and years of training and eating to build the body you want if what you want is to get as big as you possibly can. It might take 10 or more years, and after the first couple of years, it’s going to be hard to see the changes from month to month or maybe from year to year. But you’ve got to stick with it, workout after workout, meal after meal, even when you’re frustrated. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.” —Nasser El Sonbaty

THE HARD REPS

“If you’re just going to do what you’ve done before, you’re not going to grow. There’s a place in a set when you get to 10 reps and you could easily quit. The key to growing is to keep going when everything’s telling you to quit. Get another rep or another three. Those are the ones that count. Those are the reps that generate growth—those hard reps you don’t want to do.” —Branch Warren

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KEVIN HORTON

23


24 SWEET 15 “People look at me and think I must do all these crazy heavy sets for low reps. The truth is I could never grow much on reps lower than 10. I found I grow best on sets of 15. If you look at my routine, I stick at 15 for every exercise, whether it’s for biceps or legs or abs. I do four sets of 15 for everything. It’s not so high that I can’t go heavy, but it’s high enough that I can feel the muscle working for a long time each set.” —Quincy Taylor

25

CALORIE SURPLUS

CHRIS LUND

“You train and eat for size. Let the cardio and diet bring in the cuts. Don’t confuse the two things. That’s one of the biggest problems guys have. They try to train lighter with machines to dial in cuts, or they don’t eat enough or train heavy enough when they’re trying to add mass because they’re afraid of getting fat. The easiest way to get big is to always eat at least a little more than the calories you’ll burn, especially when those calories come from protein. Yeah, you’ll gain some fat, but you’ll also always get all the nutrients you need to grow, and that extra fat weight will help you use more weight, getting stronger and bigger. Everything has to be in moderation. I never advocate clients eating a lot of junk in the off-season, but you also can’t stay really lean if you want to get really big.” —Dennis James

FLEXONLINE.COM

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CONTEST ROUNDUP

MOSCOW POWER PRO OCT. 29–30, 2016, MOSCOW, RUSSIA MEN’S PHYSIQUE 1. Nikolay Kuleshov* 2. Ondrej Kmostak 3. Fa’iq Ma’arij

BIKINI

1. Yana Kutnetsova* 2. Olga Korchaka 3. Olga Putrova

*Qualified for 2017 IFBB Olympia Weekend 218

FLEX | JANUARY Õ17

THE BLADE IN RUSSIA Dexter Jackson guest poses at the Moscow Power Pro Show.

IGOR KOPCEK

A


AMATEUR WORLD SHOWDOWN OCT. 29–30, MOSCOW, RUSSIA

B

C D

BODYBUILDING OVERALL WINNER Hadi Choopan* A

BODY FITNESS OVERALL WINNER Natalya Zabavina* B

MEN’S PHYSIQUE OVERALL WINNER Mohammad Kashanaki* C

BIKINI OVERALL WINNER Kristina Zdorikova* D

*Earned IFBB Pro League card and qualified for 2017 IFBB Olympia Weekend FLEXONLINE.COM

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LAST SET

TOP PICKS

2016 IFBB PHOENIX EUROPA OCT. 15, PHOENIX, AZ

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1

1. Physique pro La’Drissa Bonivel. 2. Europa Sports co-founder and IFBB judge Eric Hillman (left) and Sef Vigil give the Europa Games two thumbs up. 3. Overall fitness winner Sally Williams shares a hug with her mentor and IFBB pro, Whitney Jones.

4

4. Ten-time Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle and her man, Hidetada Yamagishi, enjoy the peace. 5. NPC competitors Cody Hummer, Joshua Wheeler, and Gabe Salas celebrate after a tough competition.

3

6. Holly Holdman Semanoff might fly away on her beautiful wings. 7. Kim Scoffins is the purrrfect Catwoman. 8. “World’s Strongest Man” Robert Oberst flanked by Cassandra Dick and Savannah Hodges. 9. Charles Dixon nabbed the win and has the trophy to prove it! 10. Marcus Haley and fiancée Andrea Pacatte Lichlyter share a moment backstage.

220

FLEX | JANUARY ’17

5


PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROB PICK

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Flex (ISSN 8750-8915), Vol. 34, No. 1, is published monthly except for a combined July/August issue, which counts as two of twelve in an annual subscription by Weider Publications, LLC, a division of American Media, Inc. 4 New York Plaza, 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10004. Periodical Rates Postage Paid at the New York, NY Post Office and at additional Mailing offices. Copyright © Weider Publications, LLC, 2017. All rights reserved. Canada Post International Publications Mail Sale Agreement No. 40028566. Canadian B.N. 88746 5102 RT0001. All accepted materials submitted without restrictions become the sole property of Weider Publications, LLC, and shall constitute a grant to Weider Publications, LLC, to use name, likeness, story, and all other information submitted of the person submitting the same for any and all purposes and cannot be used without permission in writing from Weider Publications, LLC. Flex is not responsible for returning unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, letters, or other materials. Weider Publications, LLC, and American Media, publisher of Flex, does not promote or endorse any of the products or services advertised by third-party advertisers in this publication. Nor does Weider Publications, LLC, or American Media, Inc., verify the accuracy of any claims made in conjunction with such advertisements. Copyrighted under the Universal Copyright Convention and International Copyright Convention. Copyright reserved under the Pan-American Copyright Convention. Todos derechos reservados segúin la convención Pan Americana de Propriedad Literaria Artística. Title trademark registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Subscription rate is $42.97 for (1 yr) 12 issues in U.S.A. In Canada (1 yr) 12 issues $59.97. Outside of U.S.A. and Canada (1 yr) $91.97 U.S. Orders outside of U.S.A. must be prepaid in U.S. funds. For Customer Service and Back issues call toll-free (800) 340-8959 or write to: Flex, P.O. Box 37207, Boone, IA, 50037-0207. SUBSCRIBERS: If the postal service alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year. U.S. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS (See DMM 507.1.5.2); NON-POSTAL and MILITARY FACILITIES send U.S. Address changes to: Flex, P.O. Box 37207, Boone, IA 50037-0207. CANADA POSTMASTER: Send address changes to American Media, Inc., PO Box 907 STN Main, Markham, ON L3P 0A7, Canada. From time to time we make our subscriber list available to companies that sell goods and services by mail that we believe would interest our readers. If you would rather not receive such mailings, please send your current mailing label to: Flex, P.O. Box 37207, Boone, IA 50037-0207. Reprinted by special agreement in Australia, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Holland, Italy, Greece, Romania, Russia, Spain, Germany, and Bulgaria. Printed in the U.S.A.

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PER BERNAL

THE SHOT

You see the ee expression xp pre essii n o on n Phil P Heath’s s face? IIf you u co could ould d take ta ak determination, de ete erm focus,, and d confidence co onfid denc and and d bundle bu it up p into one n ferocious i us visage, vi age, this thii is whatt you’d o get. ge e . Heath eath ha has as had ha ad thi this is stare e do down long o b before efo ore e he e wo won on his hiis sixth siixth straight Sandow ow la last ast Se September. eptemb ber. He had it before e he won on hi his is first one iin n 20 2011. 011 Indeed, it goes beyond g b ey his bodybuilding yb buiild days, back to o when w he e was as an undersize shooting otiing gg guard u at the e University Uni of Denver. ve er. Winning Wii ng didn’t ’ come me easy then.. It doesn’t ’ now. But the Gift works hard to make k it look o like it does. e . And that’s why he’s ’ c called the Gift. t At A this point, you’ve no doubt read Greg e Merritt’s insightful how-to o guide de on applying Mr. Olympia’s winning inni strategies to your u own endeavors, be be they t in the gym or outside it. Use them. L Live by them. Here’s ere e’s one last reminder to keep you on track. ra ack.

THE STARE AR RE


 
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