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INSIDE THIS MONTH

Cover photo by RALPH DEHAAN/ Courtesy Weider Health & Fitness

FEATURES 102 UPPER ECHELON

PAGE

36 HOW TO HULK OUT

Lou Ferrigno’s incredible 10-step guide to monstermaking sets.

Shawn Rhoden is one of the top threats to Phil Heath’s fiveyear Olympia reign. Here’s how he maximizes his upperbody size and cuts.

112 GROW YOUR GUNS Jose Raymond continues his onslaught for the 212 Olympia.

124 BIG PICTURES The greatest Mr. Olympia photos of all time.

136 CHEST MASTER Flex Lewis explains how to grow stubborn pecs.

146 IS IT WORTH IT? The winningest Mr. Olympias and long-term health.

156 HEART-STOPPER Former Hooters waitress, registered nurse, and IFBB bikini pro Janet Layug’s steamy photo shoot. We have a flatliner!

164 THRILL OF THE GRILL Get adventurous with these unique eats.

172 BEHIND THE LENS Per Bernal’s vision of bodybuilding as art.

180 BACK TO AESTHETICS Danny Hester and Stan McQuay usher in the IFBB’s new Classic Physique division with muscle-chiseling back and chest workouts.

190 A CUT ABOVE Jay Cutler’s 25 top-two finishes at the Mr. Olympia.

202 KING OF THE MOUNTAIN Build a dominating pair of legs with John Meadows’ Mountain Dog Training.

14

FLEX |


INSIDE THIS MONTH

JUNE 2016

216

72

64 PAGE

92

DEPARTMENTS 18 CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

Flex Lewis’ legacy, and more.

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

71 LIFT Expert training knowledge for your next workout.

20 ONLINE Stay current with all the hot topics trending now at FLEXonline.com.

91 FOOD & SUPPS Foods to help your mass-gaining and fat-torching needs.

22 HIT LIST What you need to know this month to make life worth living.

26 JUST THE FACTS The latest groundbreaking research and must-have tips in the training and nutrition universe.

57 1ST SET Phil Heath plans a museum day,

211 LAST SET Troy Alves shares two decades of gym lessons, Kai Greene sweeps the Arnolds, mass monsters go head-to-head, and much more.

224 THE SHOT Jason Huh and the wheels that rolled over the competition at the 2010 USA.


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FROM THE CHAIRMAN

BIG IMPACT LOU FERRIGNO’S GREATEST MUSCLE ISN’T HIS BICEPS OR PECS—IT’S HIS HEART Q Once again I’m proud to feature my good friend Lou Ferrigno on the cover of FLEX magazine, not just because of my personal relationship with him but also because I value what he represents: the ability to not just overcome setbacks but also to leave them in the dust. I’m sure you know how Lou suffered a devastating ear infection as an infant that left him mostly deaf; how he grew up a skinny, bespectacled kid with a hearing aid in a tough part of Brooklyn; how he lived under the stern eye of an imposing father. Yet, through the pages of this magazine, as well as in his cherished comic books, Lou found an escape, into a world where he was as big, strong, and heroic as the guys he read about. One comic character who particularly resonated with him was The Incredible Hulk. Young Lou would daydream about being as big and powerful as the Hulk. Little did he know… Never one to simply daydream, Lou put his desires to action and began lifting weights and consuming extra protein, and soon he began to grow, and grow, and grow. By the time he competed against his boyhood hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the 1974 and ’75 Mr. Olympias, he stood nearly 6'5" and weighed 275 pounds. Gone were the days of feeling weak and insecure. Never would Lou be bullied again. Today, Lou speaks around the globe on behalf of organizations dedicated to empowering the disadvantaged and disabled. He tells those who feel as he once did to dream big, to never back down, and always to exercise. Lou Ferrigno knows well the power of exercise, not only in how it develops the body but also one’s confidence and ability to live a richer life on the whole. It’s a doctrine we espouse in every issue of this magazine. Congratulations, Lou, on all of your success. This cover, like all your others, is well deserved.

CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

DAVID PECKER EDITORIAL Editor in Chief SHAWN PERINE Managing Editor, Enthusiast Group/Books BRIAN GOOD West Coast Editor DAVE IAN LEE Senior Editor ZACK ZEIGLER Senior Writer GREG MERRITT Senior Web Editor ANGELICA NEBBIA Editor ANDREW GUTMAN Copy Chief PEARL AMY SVERDLIN Copy Editors JEFF TOMKO, HEIDI JACOBS, MARC BAILES Research JAMES RILEY Editorial Production Director RUSSELL MENDOZA Editorial Associate Director VICTOR KIM Digital Director DECLAN O’KELLY Accounting Clerk JASON WILLIAMS ART Art Director SEAN OTTO Photo Director ANTHONY NOLAN Photo Assistant GABY CHIANG EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS BRYAN HAYCOCK, JOE WUEBBEN, MICHAEL BERG, STEVEN STIEFEL, ADAM BIBLE PHOTO & ART CONTRIBUTORS Photographers JASON BREEZE, CHARLES LOWTHIAN, PER BERNAL Contributors RON AVIDAN, ALBERT BUSEK, CARUSO, BILL COMSTOCK, ISAAC HINDS, KEVIN HORTON, CHRIS LUND, PAVEL YTHJALL, ART ZELLER PRODUCTION Production Manager ANN MCCAFFREY Distribution Manager MARC MELCHER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING, ENTHUSIAST GROUP Group Publisher SAMANTHA LUND TEL: +44 (1) 1423 550 848 e-mail: slund@weideruk.com

ADVERTISING EVP/Group Publishing Director CHRIS SCARDINO Associate Publisher-Integrated Marketing JAMES CRESS

Advertising Director DARA MARKUS Marketing Manager SAMANTHA DITATA EASTERN SALES OFFICE 4 New York Plaza, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10004; (212) 339-1900; fax (212) 510-1947 Digital Sales Manager MIKE MYERS Digital Account Manager DAS RIOS Business Manager IVELISE ESTREMERA Administrative Assistant TRACY GUNTHORPE DETROIT SALES OFFICE RPM Associates, 285 Coats Road, Suite 206, Lake Orion, MI 48362; (248) 690-7013 Detroit Sales Representative JAY GAGEN MIDWESTERN SALES OFFICE 1005 West Grove Street, Arlington Heights, IL 60005; (312) 545-8041; fax (847) 749-0469 Sales Director DARRIN KLAPPRODT WESTERN SALES OFFICE 6420 Wilshire Blvd., 15th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90048; (818) 595-0473 Account Manager TALIN BOUSTANI SOUTHEASTERN SALES OFFICE 1000 American Media Way, Boca Raton, FL 33464-1000; (800) 500-1012; fax (561) 266-0664 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/ Treasurer 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

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

FOREIGN EDITIONS Algeria

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DISCLAIMER Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program, or when making changes in an existing program. PRINTED IN USA WE ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR RETURNING UNSOLICITED MATERIAL, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO PHOTOS, ARTWORK, MANUSCRIPTS, AND LETTERS.

18

FLEX | JUNE ’16

Oman


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BETA-ALANINE naNOX9® Next Gen is the only nitric pill to feature a powerful dose of beta-alanine, which has been connected to muscle performance and strength-building.


BEHIND-THESCENES WITH JANET LAYUG

SOCIAL ALLSTARS CODY MONTGOMERY

Q You’ve got the poster of gorgeous IFBB bikini pro Janet Layug hanging on your wall. Now watch the steamy shoot with our exclusive, behind-thescenes video. Note: Blast the AC, ’cause it’s about to get hot in here! FLEXonline.com/janet behindthescenes

IT’S AN ENDLESS BATTLE… YOU VS. YOURSELF. BIG RAMY

I’M BACK HOME TRAINING CHEST. IT’S GOING TO GET SERIOUS FROM NOW ON TILL THE OLYMPIA.

RELIVE THE 2016 NEW YORK PRO Q Experience the excitement of the 2016 IFBB New York Pro all over again with our first-rate video coverage, including interviews, call-outs, posedowns, routines, and more, as well as complete photo galleries of your favorite pros from world-renowned photographer Per Bernal. FLEXonline .com/2016newyorkpro

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FLEX LEWIS

I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO JUNE, WHEN I START MY OFFSEASON ALONG WITH PREP FOR THE 2016 OLYMPIA. Like us at facebook.com /flexmagazine and interact with our 2 million other fans. Check out our daily updates by following us on Twitter at @flex_magazine.

PER BERNAL

Janet blasts her glutes in preparation for the Bikini Olympia. Yes, we all wish we could spot her.


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10 THINGS TO KNOW THIS MONTH

HIT LIST GO QOlympia qualifications are at stake as IFBB pros battle for top honors at the Toronto Pro Supershow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event also features guest poser Mamdouh Elssbiay, an expo, and the Absolute Touch IFBB Fit Model Championships, with winners qualifying for the FLEX Bikini Model and Male Model Searches at Olympia Weekend. torontopro supershow.com June 4-5

READ

QThe Temple of Perfection: A History of the Gym is a thoroughly reported and captivating read that explores the changing status dating as far back as 2,800 years ago. $23, amazon.com

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

ROLL Q

Trigger Point Therapy’s newest addition to its arsenal is the MB5 Massage Ball. Its fiveinch diameter makes it bigger than the MB1 but still small enough to fit in any bag. It’s perfect for targeting muscle groups like the hips and shoulders. $24.99, tptherapy.com.


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• All three products help to enhance muscle size and strength. • No proprietary blends. No hype. No exceptions. • Core ingredients backed by science, from a brand you know and trust.


DRINK

Q One sip and you’ll swear a watermelon exploded inside your mouth. Tasty and packed with electrolytes, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins A and C. $20 (6-pack), wtrmlnwtr.com

QMeal prep just got a whole lot easier with the T-fal Stainless Steel Optigrill COOK Plus. Embedded with a cooking sensor, this indoor grill guarantees perfect doneness as it adjusts accordingly to the thickness of the meat. Bonus: It doubles as a panino maker. $179.99, bedbathandbeyond.com

WATCH QNerds everywhere will proudly unite to see director Duncan Jones’ film adaptation of the famed World of Warcraft video game: Warcraft. Needless to say, a lot of badass action scenes will ensue.

PLAY QIf you’re the type who likes to explore every nook and cranny of a game world, No Man’s Sky will either be your Holy Grail or the game that sends you to the nuthouse. Whatever your experience, it promises to be uniquely your own. For PS4 and PC, June 21

Q The Omega Juice Cube is a spacesaver that can juice fruit and veggies, produce nut butters, baby food, and even turn almonds into milk. Enough said. $350, omegajuicers.com

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

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AMINO ACID DELIVERY

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JUST THE FACTS

TRAINING

250,000

TRUE & TRI’D Q

The average number of muscle fibers believed to comprise the biceps.

CLENCH TIME Q Clenching your jaw may increase strength output. This is called “concurrent activation potentiation.” Researchers from Spain showed that a customized bite-aligning mouthpiece provoked a significant ergogenic effect on measures of maximal upper body isometric strength and lower body muscular power.

Q A Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study showed that aerobic and strength workouts back-to-back and six hours apart interfered with gains. It’s best to not perform both types of training on the same day for performance gains.

STAND UP QNorway researchers examined the effects of body position (seated and standing) and loading modality (barbell and dumbbells) on 1RM strength and neuromuscular activity in shoulder presses. The standing dumbbell press, which required the greatest stability, produced the highest neuromuscular activity of the deltoid muscles.

IS IT THE SHOES? QA study from Australia’s Southern Cross University tested normal sport training shoes and powerlifting shoes while doing barbell squats. Researchers found no difference other than those wearing weightlifting shoes leaned slightly less forward due to the elevated heel.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

CHARLES LOWTHIAN

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CONCORD GRAPE

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JUST THE FACTS

HEALTH & NUTRITION

PICK PULSES TO DROP POUNDS Q Pulses (legumes harvested for the dry seed, like beans and lentils) may help cinch your waist, says a meta-analysis of clinical trials in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Subjects lost an average of three-fourths of a pound over six weeks by eating three-fourths of a cup of pulses per day, with no change to their diet or activity levels.

PROCESS THIS Q

BUG JUICE

High-carb shakes may damage your heart. In a study from the Vanderbilt U. Medical Center, a study of 33 people found that in the six hours after drinking a 264-calorie high-carb mixture, they produced less than normal levels of a hormone that protects the heart by reducing blood pressure and ridding the body of excess salt. Researchers say that an increase in glucose may be to blame.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

OIL UP? Q Fish oil (omega3s) helps with heart health, fights inflammation, and even lengthens life. But research in Physiological Reports showed that subjects who got 5 grams every day for eight weeks while continuing their normal weightlifting routines showed no increase in strength or muscle mass.

97

Percentage of Americans missing the tenets of excellent health—diet, exercise, lower body fat, and no smoking—says a new study from Oregon State U.

GETTY IMAGES

HIGHCARB HEART BARB

QResveratrol, a plant compound found in red wine, has been known to protect the heart. An American Society for Microbiology study reported that the antioxidant appears to inhibit gut bacteria from producing an ingredient that can lead to the formation of plaque buildup in arteries.


Lou Ferrigno’s 10-step guide to monster-making sets BY GREG MERRITT PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH & FITNESS & SHANNA FERRIGNO

STEP 1 SELECT THE EXERCISE When he was building a Hulk-worthy physique in the ’70s, Ferrigno didn’t have a plethora of machine-exercise options. In addition to free weights, he was limited to basic cable and lever lifts. To fill out his big frame, he focused on gaining strength in the barbell and dumbbell basics. Just look at his shoulder workouts. “When I first started training, I hated doing overhead presses,” he said. “My arms were so long that I was especially weak in that movement. But overhead pressing is so vital to good shoulder development that I just had to force myself to do it in every shoulder routine. I began to progress best when I emphasized dumbbell shoulder presses.” His chest workouts were similar. Like Ronnie Coleman 30 years later, when Ferrigno was training for the 1974 and 1975 Mr. Olympias, he did bench presses, incline presses, and decline presses in every chest workout. More likely than not, whatever exercise Ferrigno chose it was done with a barbell or dumbbells. “The free-weight compound exercises let you lift the most weight, and they hit multiple muscles at once and force you to balance the weight. All of that helps to build more muscle than an isolation exercise or a machine exercise.” There’s room for all styles of exercises in a routine, but for hulking mass the best choice is usually compound and free weight.

mrolympia.com

37


STEP 2 VISUALIZE SUCCESS “Without the mind, training and diet both approach 0% effectiveness,” Ferrigno averred when he was at his ’70s peak. “I spend a good 60 to 90 minutes psyching myself up before a workout. You don’t have to think about only training during that time, but you need to eliminate negativity and focus only on the positive. I think about what body part I have to train, what exercises I plan to do, the weights I’m going to use, how I’m going to feel, and what my muscles are going to look like. Once you’ve visualized all that, it’s much easier to make it a reality. Then I go to the gym and put 100% into my workout. All the while until my first set and throughout the workout, I’m reaffirming that I’m going to achieve my goals and create the workout I visualized.”

STEP 3 SET A TARGET The man immortalized in green body paint and frayed capri pants knew how many reps he wanted to get before he launched each set. That tally could vary from as few as six to as many as 20. He pyramided the sets of his most basic exercises, typically progressing from 12 reps to 10 to eight to an apex set of six over four sets with progressively heavier resistance. He might finish with a fifth set of 10 reps with a lighter weight. With other exercises, he typically did straight sets of 12 reps. “I believe in moderately heavy weights, very strict form, and moderate reps,” Ferrigno said. “Some people say you shouldn’t limit yourself by making a rep target before the set begins, but you should know about how many reps you’re going to get for any exercise you do regularly. Focus on that number, and if you can get an extra rep, that’s great. Those people who are always trying to use more weight or do more reps tend to use sloppy form. I want to keep my form strict to avoid injuries.”

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

STEP 4 GET HELP From his initial workouts in New York City in the late ’60s to his early ’90s Olympia comeback sessions in Southern California, Ferrigno almost always trained with a partner. That person would not only spot him and encourage him but also offer helping hands when a set faltered so he could eke out more reps (see Step 9). To illustrate the encouragement part, let’s journey back to the summer of 1975 when 23-year-old Ferrigno was toiling in R&J Health Studio in Brooklyn in preparation for the Mr. Olympia and a rematch with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Pumping Iron cameras captured Ferrigno psyching up before a set of 245-pound standing shoulder presses, but he wasn’t alone. “How many, Hank?” Ferrigno asks as he grips the bar. “Come on! I want to see 10!” Ferrigno’s partner, Hank Chavis, bellows back, punctuating the sentence with a finger in the behemoth’s face. “You’re going to do it, too! Come on, Lou, you’re going to wipe him out!” Then, with every rep, Chavis shouts encouragement.

LOU BY THE NUMBERS

59 Chest measurement in inches, unverified (’70s)

21 Age when he won 1973 Mr. Universe


FOR FERRIGNO,

THESE PHOTOS CAPTURE HIM IN HIS 40S WHEN HE MADE HIS 1992–94 COMEBACK.


LOU BY THE NUMBERS

4 IFBB victories

STEP 5 CUT (SOME) CORNERS With the exercise selected, success visualized, a rep target, and a partner goading him to reach that target, it’s time to go to work. The set begins. Ferrigno focused on strict form, but that didn’t necessarily mean a full range of motion. In part because of his long limbs, the ROM that worked best for him was sometimes shorter than full. If you look again at that Pumping Iron scene, you’ll notice he doesn’t lock out any of his overhead presses. The final push involves more triceps than delts and is the most difficult segment of the lift, so he’s able to use more weight and put more stress on his shoulders by not locking out.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

This may not have been significant to 5'5" Franco Columbu because the entire movement was relatively short for him. But to 6'5" Ferrigno it mattered. “My goal is to always keep the tension on the targeted muscles,” Ferrigno stated. “That can be difficult in a compound exercise because more than one muscle is working. So there are times when I’ll avoid locking out or going too deep in order to make sure I put the maximum stress where I want it to be. I also want to avoid resting points. There’s no point during a set when I want to rest. I want to keep working and keep the tension on my muscles from the start to the finish.”


42

FLEX | JUNE ’16


LOU BY THE NUMBERS

57

Actor credits on IMDB

117

Appearance (“self”) credits on IMDB

82

The Incredible Hulk episodes (1977–82)

STEP 6 MAINTAIN THE TEMPO Go too fast and you’re liable to get sloppy. Go too slow and you limit the number of reps you can tally. Big Lou always strived for that just-right middle ground. “I want to keep the weight under control and steadily moving,” he explained. “Some guys focus on lowering the weight slowly and then firing it up fast, but I lower and raise the weight at the same speed. The important thing is to maintain a tempo that lets you focus on your muscles. If you’re too focused on switching up the speed of the weight when going up or down, you’re already missing the point.”

STEP 7 FOCUS THE STRESS This two-time Mr. Universe preexhausted and supersetted to focus the stress of exercises. For example, he did dumbbell side laterals before shoulder presses to pre-exhaust his medial delts before the latter compound exercise. He also combined isolation and compound exercises. Uniquely, he finished his chest routine (after the barbell presses in Step 1) with three supersets of cable crossovers and dumbbell pullovers (15 reps each). Doing this better targeted the pullovers, which primarily work the lats and serratus, on his pecs. Whether he used pre-exhaust, supersets, pyramids, or straight sets, his focus was always on his muscles—and often on specific areas of those muscles. This takes us back to the “homework” he did in Step 2. During that time, he inventoried the areas he wanted to emphasize in the workout, such as his upper, inner pecs or his outerquad sweeps. Then, during an appropriate set, he stressed that area, keeping it tensed. “You can never let your mind wander during a set. You have to actually feel your targeted muscles working.”

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FLEX | JUNE ’16


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“I WANT TO KEEP WORKING AND FROM THE START TO THE FINISH.”

STEP 8 REACH THE END LOU BY THE NUMBERS

320 Heaviest competitive weight (1992)

46

FLEX | JUNE ’16


STEP 9 KEEP GOING There were exceptions. Sometimes, he kept going. Almost always this was on the final set or two of an exercise in which his partner could apply his hands and remove some stress (such as pulldowns, barbell curls, or incline presses), and even then forced reps were not some allout struggle to eke out just one more. “I do forced reps for all my body parts, but I think a lot of guys use forced reps incorrectly,” he said during his Hulk era. “They do one very hard forced rep and quit. I’d prefer to do my full set, have my partner support 20–25% of the weight and then do two to three forced reps with him pulling up the weight enough to help me.” Of course, this required an experienced and strong partner familiar with Ferrigno’s strength and range of motion. During his ’90s comeback, Ferrigno trained with fellow pro Frank Hillebrand. LOU BY THE NUMBERS

17 48

FLEX | JUNE ’16

Years between pre-Hulk Olympia and comeback

43

Age at last contest (1994)


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FLEX | JUNE ’16

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62

ST 1 SET PER BERNAL

ALL THE HOT TOPICS IN BODYBUILDING & FITNESS

Mr. O’s plans for a future trip to the Weider Museum, the 2016 presidential race, and guest posing at his namesake contest. PAGE 58

Flex Lewis’ advice for handling your business, building your brand, and keeping the dreaded post-contest rebound blues at bay. PAGE 60

Remembering the late, great Leroy Colbert and how he built a pair of arms in the ’50s that still rank as some of the best of all time. PAGE 64

mrolympia.com

57


1ST SET

ASK THE CHAMP

BY Phil Heath, five-time reigning Mr. Olympia

ASK PHIL Got a question? Go to FLEXonline.com/ askexperts

INSPIRED

58

FLEX | JUNE ’16

pioneers. Very few know that the modern era of bodybuilding originated with Joe and Ben Weider bringing it front and center in our society. Have you been asked to endorse a candidate for president? Not yet. I’m not following the primaries closely but I enjoy reading the analysis after the debates from those who are better informed regarding the details.

MR. O WOWS THE CROWD QAttendees at the 2016 Phil Heath Pro/Am on March 11–12 were treated to the first 2016 onstage guestposing appearance by Mr. O. The IFBB Pro League divisions included figure winner Candice Lewis, bikini winner Margret Gnarr, and men’s physique champ Freddy Naidu. For full results, including NPC winners, go to texasbodybuildingcontests.com.

PER BERNAL

With all your travel, have you visited the Stark Center (starkcenter.org) in Austin, TX? No, but I have a show every year in Dallas, and one of these days I’m going to make the trip. It would be great to do a two-day event with a group— like, say, students at the University of Texas and maybe some at-risk youths—and make a learning experience out of it. I would like to show them the


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ASK THE CHAMP

BY Flex Lewis, reigning four-time Olympia 212 Showdown winner

THE LEWIS LEGACY THE 212 OLYMPIA CHAMP TAKES CARE OF BUSINESS AND AVOIDS REBOUNDS

No rebound effect here. Not going crazy on postcontest calories keeps Lewis from blowing up in the off-season.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

What is the rebound effect that 212 guys talk about? A lot of competitors relax their diets after a show, and there’s a rebound effect when it’s very easy to put on 20 to 30 pounds in a month’s time. If they work hard, they can turn a lot of that into muscle. But then they go into the off-season and really relax their diets, and where they were 210 at the show, and 235 a month after because of the rebound, then they go and add more on top of that. It’s not easy to drop back down.

PER BERNAL

How many hours a week do you spend managing your many enterprises? Every hour, every day, with every three hours designated to family, store, brand, businesses inside and outside of bodybuilding, 24/7. I don’t have downtime. I don’t know what I would do with downtime. I’m trying to grow a legacy—you can’t rely on a contest showing to do that. To create a legacy and brand, you need to work at it tirelessly. That goes for competing, traveling, making contacts, a continuous pattern of hustle—and I become a stronger businessman every year because of it.


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1ST SET

WEIDER ATHLETES WEIGH IN ASK THE ATHLETES Have a question for our Weider Athletes? Ask it on the FLEX Facebook page for a chance to see it here.

DANY GARCIA When you’re prepping for a contest, do you have a cutoff time for eating? My last meal will come approximately one hour before bed. Usually 9–9:30 p.m. On most occasions it will be a protein and a vegetable, such as an eggwhite omelet or a whey/casein mix. Earlier in my prep I’ll add in 1–2 teaspoons of peanut butter or 1 oz of almonds. All of which will be pulled as I’m closer to stepping onstage.

WILLIAM BONAC Any memorable moments from working at the expo at the Arnold Classic? Many! It was a great chance to be with the fans and to meet some of my bodybuilding heroes, like the IFBB’s all-time best poser, Lee Labrada, and other IFBB pros like Big Ramy and Akim Williams. During the finals I met one of my favorite rappers, 50 Cent. It was hard to believe it was real.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

MAMDOUH ELSSBIAY Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. Yes, I believe I can beat them both. That’s what I’m working for every day. Phil’s symmetry and conditioning are great, and it’s hard to beat a guy with great symmetry, conditioning, and round muscles. Kai is great as well, and my friend. But I’m plan-

I have a lot of pro friends, like Evan Centopani, Victor, Kai, and Roelly Winklaar.


JUAN MOREL

Captain America: Civil War came out in May. Are you on Captain America’s side or Iron Man’s? I’m looking forward to that one! Because of the baby, I haven’t seen a movie in the theaters for months. I’d be on Captain America’s side.

STEVE KUCLO

JAMES PATRICK (GARCIA); CHARLES LOWTHIAN (BONAC); PER BERNAL (ALL OTHERS)

I heard you have a store now. What are the details? You heard right! It’s called VIP Supplement Warehouse, located inside our new gym, which is called Extreme Iron Pro Gym, in Dallas, TX: 17390 Preston Road, Suite 360, Dallas, TX 75252. We feature primarily AllMax Nutrition supps, which makes it easy to educate people because I personally use them. And it also helps promote the company that sponsors the Kuc’s. We wanted to create an all-in-one environment by having the gym and supplement store together. We also sell food out of the store—Icon Meals.

WHEY BLEND

If you weren’t a pro bodybuilder, what do you think you’d be doing for a career? I would definitely be in the fitness industry. I love being in the gym. A trainer, a nutritionist, a combination of the two, something like that—doing something to help people access their potential.

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CODY MONTGOMERY On a regular day, when you’re not preparing for a contest, how many calories do you try to consume? My typical diet is around 4,000– 5,000 calories each day and I will have “high days,” which can go as high as twice that. Are you still a football fan? Yes, absolutely. I follow quite a few teams, but I would have to say my favorite has become the Baltimore Ravens. My girlfriend, Lindsay, is a die-hard Ravens fan for life, so that naturally makes me bleed purple. All in fun, although I love watching and following quite a few teams!

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1ST SET

RETRO ATHLETE

“TRAIN WITH A MOVE QUICKLY AND UNDER CONTROL.” —LEROY COLBERT 64

FLEX | JUNE ’16


REST

Colbert was one of the people chosen to eulogize Joe Weider at his 2013 memorial service.

THIS IS

CASEIN

By Greg Merritt

LEROY COLBERT

COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH & FITNESS

REMEMBERING A TRAILBLAZER WHO BUILT TWO OF THE BEST ARMS OF HIS ERA Q Don’t measure Leroy Colbert’s success by his contest record. Though he won only two smaller titles, he did so at 19 and 20. He competed for the final time at 21, before a motorcycle accident in 1955 halted his leg training and competitive career. Colbert, who died on Nov. 20 at age 82, is celebrated today for three things. The first is his appearance on a 1953 cover of Muscle Power (a precursor to FLEX) when newsstands were, at best, reluctant to display African-Americans. The two other things were his arms. When he was a phenom, he had a stupendously balanced physique with a striking V-taper and full legs. If he could’ve continued competing, he may have dominated. Instead, his big guns were

COLBERT’S BICEPS ROUTINE

what made him famous in the late ’50s and the ’60s as he appeared in Weider magazines. Colbert, who decades later was a FLEX editorat-large, struck a biceps pose on a second Weider magazine cover in 1960, years after his last contest, but while he remained a dedicated bodybuilder.

COLBERT ON BICEPS TRAINING Q “Sometimes my partner and I would do burnouts at the end of the workout. We’d stand facing each other, and I’d curl a barbell for 10 reps, then hand it to him. Then he’d do 10 and hand it back to me, and I’d do maybe eight and hand it back to him. We’d do this until we couldn’t even lift our arms anymore, much less the barbell.”

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

5–6

10–15

Dumbbell Concentration Curl

5–6

10–15

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78

LIFT TRAINING TIPS TO POWER UP YOUR WORKOUTS

Is six the magic number? Is eight enough? The ideal set count for Samson-level strength. PAGE 72 Injuries suck! Here’s how to stay healthy so you can train and train and train… PAGE 74 Should you go wide or narrow to work that hard-to-hit inner chest? The answer might surprise you. PAGE 76 Drop-dead gains can be yours with this super high-intensity technique. PAGE 80 Having trouble with your back muscles? Yoda’s got the wisdom and the workouts to see you through it. PAGE 86 mrolympia.com

71


LIFT

LAB TO GYM

BY Bryan Haycock, M.SC.

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

HYPOTHESIS

THE IDEAL NUMBER OF SETS TO KEEP STRENGTH GAINS UP

Q It takes very little volume to elicit decent strength gains in novice lifters. However, experienced lifters require higher volume. How much volume is optimal for experienced lifters?

RESEARCH QU. of Sydney researchers compared three different volumes of squats using experienced lifters. Group A did one set, group B did four sets, and group C did eight sets. All groups used 80% 1RM for resistance.

FINDINGS QAll groups showed a significant increase compared with baseline by six weeks. The fourset and eight-set groups showed a significant increase by Week 3. In the end, the eight-set group increased the most.

CONCLUSION QIn experienced lifters, four sets or less may not be optimal. The study notes that although there is a difference between one and even four sets, eight may not be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Q Volumes as high as eight sets should be considered useful for advanced lifters. To protect against overtraining, begin by increasing volume for three weeks. If strength is still increasing, you are good to go for at least two more weeks. If strength begins to decline, reduce volume to allow for recovery.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

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LIFT

ONLY THE STRONG

BY Brian Shaw

Q One of the most common questions I get asked is about injuries and how to avoid them when training with heavy weights. Although it is impossible to eliminate the risk of injures with resistance training, here’s what I do to try to minimize the risk of nagging or debilitating injuries.

STAY HEALTHY 74

FLEX | JUNE ’16

USE GOOD FORM

QEveryone has heard the saying “No pain, no gain.” While this is true to some extent, there certainly is a line that you don’t want to cross. Depending on your training plan and how hard you’re pushing yourself, it can be very easy to get to a point of overtraining. Once I start warming up in the gym, my body will let me know how hard I can push it and I never go past that line. Make sure you’re giving your body enough time to rest and recover.

QIt is an absolute must to have great form when you’re lifting heavy and to use a full range of motion. Try to remember that building strength is a marathon and not a sprint. Learn to love the journey and the process of getting stronger. Use great form and push yourself until your form breaks down (which represents your safety limit), then stop. Using this method will keep you coming back to the gym healthy and will help you get stronger week after week.

ACTIVE RECOVERY

QUALITY FUEL

QRecovery is the easiest thing to overlook because most of us enjoy lifting heavy. Doing the right work in between those heavy lifting sessions can speed recovery. Stretching, massage, chiropractic care, foam rolling, and contrast baths are some of the things I do. Experiment with several different recovery modalities and find what works best for you.

QThe final and possibly the most important aspect of avoiding training injuries is to stay hydrated and to fuel your body with great food and the right supplements. Remember that whatever you put into your mouth is fuel for your body. Would you put low-grade fuel into a highperformance race car? Of course not! Put the best fuel into your body and you’ll get the best results.

JASON BREEZE/COURTESY OF MHP

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ON TRIAL

By Bryan Haycock, M.SC.

INNER GROWTH NARROW VS. WIDE: WHICH BENCH PRESS GRIP WIDTH IS BEST FOR INNER PECS?

OPENING ARGUMENTS The pectoralis can be divided into “heads” based on their origin. The pec major has two heads: One originates along the medial half (inside half) of the clavicle; the sternocostal head originates along the sternum. Gym wisdom says you can effectively target specific areas by changing your grip width.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

Defense At full extension, narrow-grip benches allow one to really squeeze the inner pecs. This indicates that the area of the pecs near the sternum is working. Prosecution There is no way to divide the pec major in terms of inner or outer. The pec major starts inner and ends outer. Changing grip width during bench presses cannot alter this.

EVIDENCE A study comparing varying grip widths on the bench press was performed by measuring pectoralis muscle activity with electromyography. The results indicated that the clavicular and sternocostal heads were activated most by a wide grip.

VERDICT The data show that a wide grip is most effective at activating both the inner and outer areas of the chest.

SENTENCING Q For overall thickness, a wide grip is preferred, since it stimulates the most growth. A narrow grip should be used to add variety to your chest workout.

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LIFT

CROSSHAIRS

BY Bryan Haycock, M.SC.

FORM & FUNCTION The brachioradialis’s origin is about two-thirds the way up the humerus. Its process of the radius.

LOWER THE HAMMER

ALTERNATIVES Rope cable curls, reverse-grip EZ-bar curls

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

WHEN TO HAMMER IT Q Do hammer curls at the end of a biceps workout. The dumbbells can be brought straight up in front or across the chest.

HAMMER YOUR BRACHS WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

3

8–12

Reverse-grip EZ-bar Curl

3

12–15

PAVEL YTHJALL

QThe brachioradialis is the muscle at the top of the forearm that “blends” into the brachialis at the elbow. It closes the gap between the forearm and biceps when you’re performing a front double biceps pose. The best exercise to bring up your brachioradiales is the dumbbell hammer curl. The dumbbells can be brought straight up in front or across the chest.


LIFT

TRAINING STYLES

DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT 80

FLEX | JUNE ’16


STRENGTHEN

By Greg Merritt

Q

RECOVERY* DROPSET BASICS Q This is the most efficient way to push a set beyond failure when training alone.

QWhen you reach failure with a weight, select a lighter weight and continue the set.

QTry to reach failure with as many reps in each lighter subset as you did in your original subset.

QQuit if the weight is so light, you can do several more reps than you did in the subset before.


LIFT

TRAINING STYLES LET IT DROP Whether you call them descending sets or dropsets, they’re lighter subsets of the original set. For example, let’s say you do a set of pulldowns followed by two dropsets. If you get 10 reps with 170 on the first set, immediately select 150 and knock out another 10. Then, having reached failure with 150, reduce the weight to 120 and eke out a final 10. So you’ve hit 30, pausing only long enough to lighten the load, but that 30 had three failure points (170, 150, and 120). Since it’s the last few reps before failure that most tax the muscles and thus stimulate growth, you’ve effectively tripled the growth factors within one extended set.

Phil Heath knows pushdowns are great for dropsets because he only needs to move the pin up the stack.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

Q Machine exercises with weight stacks allow you to reduce weights rapidly.

Q Plate-loaded exercises may also benefit from one or two spotters to strip weights faster.

Q Dumbbell and plate-loaded exercises may need preplanning to line up weights for easy access.

Q You may want to do a higher-rep pump-out set of an exercise just after your final lower-rep set.

In many cases, one or two drops is enough. At other times, you’ll want to keep going. To make certain you’ve fully exhausted your targeted muscles, you may want to end your workout with an extended descending set. Machine exercises with weight stacks, like pushdowns or pulldowns, are ideal for cranking out more than three drops because all you need to do is insert the pin in a higher (lighter) slot each time. Another method for this is going “down the rack”; this means you use a lighter set of dumbbells for each drop, moving along the dumbbell rack as the weights shrink. As long as the gym isn’t too crowded, going down the rack is a great way to end a routine for delts (side laterals), traps (shrugs), or biceps (curls). A big advantage of dropsets over other set-expanding techniques is the fact that they can be

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LIFT

TRAINING STYLES

done alone. However, it’s important that you reduce the weight as quickly as possible between subsets, so like a pit stop crew, a spotter or two can make this go faster, sometimes without you even moving. Also, you may need to plan ahead. For example, if you know you’re going to do bench presses with two drops after eight reps with 225, don’t just slide 45s onto each collar. Instead, slide on the exact lighter weights necessary. Plot out your drops ahead of time, so you can get, say, 185 and then 160, by merely stripping weights. And if you have a spotter on each side, this can be done in a few seconds while you lie on the bench.

way. After a final low-rep set of an exercise, you may want to immediately follow with a set that is both lighter and has higher reps. For example, if you pyramid up to a maximum four-rep set of shoulder presses with 225, you can

DROP A BOMBSHELL So far, we’ve focused on subsets consisting of the same reps with lighter weights. There is another

strip a plate from each side just afterward and pump out as many reps as possible with 135, getting, say, 17. This taxes your muscles

84

FLEX | JUNE ’16

DROPSET CALF ROUTINE EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Seated Calf Raise

4

15+15

Standing Calf Raise

4

10+10+10

in two distinct ways and ensures that you bring nourishing blood to the targeted area after your strength-focused set. In fact, dropsets are an excellent way to finish any routine, especially a bad one. Sometimes, for whatever reason, your strength and intensity are not up to snuff. You get near the end of a workout and realize you haven’t accomplished anything that day to stimulate new growth. That’s when an extended descending set can come to the rescue. Three or more drops of your final exercise, perhaps with a trip down the rack or up the weight stack, will guarantee that you finish with a vein-popping pump while you also eke out every last rep you can with several growth-inducing failure points. With descending sets, going lighter can be the key to growing bigger.

PAVEL YTHJALL

edly stripping


LIFT

NEIL “YODA” HILL

BY Neil Hill

PRIMARY CARE HAVING TROUBLE PUTTING YOUR BACK INTO IT? HERE’S THE CURE. Q The way to build muscle is to create as much tension as possible in the target area to elicit a hypertrophic response. It’s all about recruiting as many muscle fibers as possible. If you cannot stimulate and recruit them properly, you’ll struggle to see any real growth. Many people fail to reach the above goal when training back because they often find that their secondary muscles (biceps, deltoids) fatigue before their primary muscles do. Ultimately this leads to failure before the target muscle has been broken down properly, which obviously limits your progress. The good news is that there are things you can do to immediately improve the isolation and recruitment of muscle fibers within this very important muscle group, which is actually made up of several muscles, not just the lats. I’ve listed three key points to isolate the target muscles more efficiently. Use these techniques in the sample workouts provided. Follow my tips here and then put them to use in the three-week (Y3T) back program I’ve provided. Also see Flex Lewis’ chest-training feature in this issue to see how he targets his chest, which used to be a problem area for him.

ISOMETRIC SQUEEZES I’ve always been a huge advocate of isometric contractions because they place so much tension on the target muscle.

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

allow Flex Lewis to from the exercise and isolate his lats to a greater degree.

PER BERNAL

HOW TO DO IT As you pull the weight up and reach the point of peak contraction, drive your elbows back and your shoulder blades as closely together as possible and hold the weight for one to two seconds. Squeeze your back muscles as hard as you possibly can. Remaining static will keep your deltoids from becoming involved. (They tend to fatigue with the constant movement rather than static tension.)


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*Eccentric portion of reps is 3-4 seconds; rest 60-80 seconds. **Eccentric portion of reps is 2-3 seconds; rest 90-110 seconds. ***Eccentric portion of reps is 2-3 seconds; rest 120-130 seconds. +Four dropsets.

STRAIGHT ARMS There are exercises that enable you to isolate the muscles without any flexion and extension of the arms. HOW TO DO IT Exercises such as straight-arm dumbbell pullovers or straight-arm pulldowns isolate the back without requiring flexion of the arm. The key is finding that sweet spot where your back is most isolated and focusing on it with a slow-rep tempo. Make the back muscles work longer within each rep with slower

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negatives (three to five seconds) and isometric contractions as highlighted above.

RANGE OF MOTION One key point that I feel ties in very well with the two points above is altering your range of motion to further the degree of isolation you’re able to achieve within the target muscle. Rather than focusing on using a “full range of motion,” your intention should be to use the fullest range of motion possible while maintaining full tension on the target muscle. There’s

HOW TO DO IT If you take an exercise such as reverse-grip pulldowns and use the fullest range of motion, you’ll find that it hits your biceps and deltoids every bit as much as your back. In the right context (please don’t take this out of context), it can pay to shorten that extension slightly at the top of the rep, where all of the pull comes through your biceps and moves straight back into the concentric phase, and then the isometric squeeze at the bottom is around 10% short of completion. This helps keep more of the tension in the right area. It also means failing biceps should become less of an issue. One note on negative reps: The eccentric portion is just as important as the concentric. Be sure to fight gravity and really maintain total control to get all the benefits.

PAVEL YTHJALL

Neil Hill has Lewis use the correct range of motion for full tension on his lats with minimal involvement of other muscles.

a massive difference between the two, which I’ll explain below.


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FOOD FOCUS

GOOD! BERRIES ARE PHYTOCHEMICALFILLED SUPERFOODS THAT HAVE ANTIOXIDANT POWERS BEYOND ANY OTHER FRUIT OR VEGETABLE Q Summer brings fresh berries to market, and if you aren’t loading your cart with these superfruits, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful foods, per pound, that you can add to your training diet. “Berries can protect you from a variety of cancers,” says Jennifer Fitzgibbon, R.D., C.D.N., from Stony Brook Cancer Center in New York, “plus they’re rich in antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which are necessary for proper immune function. They’re also a good source of fiber along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium, all essential to being healthy and staying strong.” Fitzgibbon notes that eating more antioxidant-rich foods could reduce exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and help with muscle recovery. “Antioxidants can play a beneficial role in promoting recovery following EIMD by diminishing damage from stress, oxidation, and inflammation,” says Fitzgibbon. “Muscle degradation and the subsequent repair is what builds muscle, so berries may be just what you need to help you become stronger and fitter faster.” Recent studies have also shown that the phytochemicals in berries may improve memory, increase bone density, prevent bloodsugar spikes, and protect against heart disease. To get the maximum in risk reduction and anti-inflammatory action from berries, go for four to five servings per week. To get the best of all berries’ benefits, eat a wide variety.

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BLUEBERRIES Are the in a pow red pre stiff bloo

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FOOD & SUPPS

FAST-FOOD SHAKEDOWN

HARDEE’S/ CARL’S JR. THOUGH THE BEEFY BURGERS ARE PACKED WITH PROTEIN, STAY AWAY FROM THESE POTENT FAT BOMBS

BY Adam Bible

Q The two-headed fast-food chain branded as either Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. is well known for its risqué and sexy commercials starring the likes of Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and Charlotte McKinney stuffing their pretty faces with thick, juicy burgers piled high with mounds of bacon and fattening sauces. Clean meals are gonna be tough to find here. The two companies merged back in 1997 (Hardee’s coming from the East Coast, Carl’s Jr. from the West), with both brands bolstering each other’s menu—Hardee’s brought some tasty breakfast items and Carl’s Jr. boosted the lunchtime burger selection. The company also swallowed up another brand called Green Burrito/Red Burrito, which gave the conglomerate some cleaner, fresher food choices like burritos and tacos, but locations serving these items are limited for now. If you can find one, go for the grilled chicken burritos for a solid pre-workout fast-food fix—just be careful with the sneaky taco salads, since they can really add up in the calorie and fat department.

PRE-WORKOUT PICK Look for foods with protein for sustained energy and some complex carbs to fuel muscle. Stay away from fat- and calorie-heavy foods.

CHARBROILED BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH Charbroiled chicken breast, tomatoes, lettuce, seeded bun, and BBQ sauce

CALORIES

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CARBS

42G FAT

4G

POST-WORKOUT PICK After an intense workout you need to build your glycogen stores back up with carbs and lean protein to jumpstart muscle-tissue repair and the building of new proteins.

REDHOOK BEER-BATTERED COD FISH SANDWICH

Some items that appear harmless are actually fat and calorie bombs. Steer clear:

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FLEX | JUNE ’16

SINGLE ALL-NATURAL BURGER Grass-fed beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, mayo, ketchup, mustard, bread-and-butter pickles Calories 790 Protein 28g Carbs 56g Fat 51g

CALORIES

550

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21G

CARBS

74G FAT

19G

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FLEX | JUNE â&#x20AC;&#x2122;16

CarneBOLIC contains crucial aminos in large quantities. Whole-food beef has an amazing amino acid profile. In particular, beef is high in BCAAs, the group of three aminos (leucine, valine, and isoleucine) that bypass the liver to go straight to muscle tissue to support training, recovery, and growth. CarneBOLIC refines beef into a protein product that provides you with concentrated protein, delivering 3½ times as much protein as an equivalent amount of red meat. That means more of these highly beneficial amino acids with far fewer calories.

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SHAWN RHODEN IS ONE OF THE TOP THREATS TO PHIL HEATH, THANKS TO HIS NEARLY FLAWLESS AESTHETICS AND CONSTANT DRIVE FOR PERFECTION. HERE’S HOW THE MIGHTY JAMAICAN IMPORT MAXIMIZES HIS UPPER-BODY SIZE AND CUTS. BY MICHAEL BERG PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHARLES LOWTHIAN

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THE POWER OF INTENT “I’m never going to be the strongest guy in the gym,” Rhoden admits. “You always need to play to what your strength is, and for me it’s being able to connect the mind and the muscle. I want to keep as much tension on the working muscle as possible during each set.” That means exerting control over the positive and negative portions of a rep. “I don’t try to rush it,” he explains. “I see a lot of guys just bouncing the weight up. But for me, on certain exercises I’ll even pause for a second at the bottom to [accentuate] the stretch.” For example, take the machine chest press, which he’ll often do on Sundays during his chest routine. “On that machine, I try to get a good stretch at the bottom, where I’ll pause for a second before pushing it back up,” he says. “I’ll do a controlled movement and never lock out my elbows at the top because that takes tension off the muscle and puts a lot more unnecessary stress on the joint.” Rhoden typically aims for five to seven exercises per body part, four to five sets per exercise, and 10 to 12 reps per set, and he pyramids up the weight from set to set. Often, that fifth set is meant to “prep” his body for a step up to come. “When I do a fifth set, it’s usually more for strength, for the next time I train that particular muscle group,” he explains. “I’ll shoot for a six- to eight-rep range with a heavier weight. So instead of doing, say, 225 for 10 to 12 reps, I’ll see if I can do 250. If I can get that for eight reps, I keep that in mind next time, knowing I can try to get 250 for 10 to 12 reps.” Good as Gold’s During the past four years, Rhoden has been working with what he calls the “dream team” in bodybuilding prep, nutritionist Chris Aceto and trainer Charles Glass. “They are two of the greatest minds in the sport and have worked with top pro bodybuilders from the old school to the new age,” Rhoden says. “Getting an opportunity to be a part of

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that, learning from two guys who have no ego when it comes to getting you to your best, I appreciate that a lot.” Working in tandem, the two helped transform the 2009 North American Championships overall winner into a polished upper-echelon pro who has won six contests on the pro circuit and logged 17 top-three finishes overall. “I basically train every day with Charles,” Rhoden says. In fact, Rhoden has temporarily relocated from his home base in Maryland to Venice Beach, CA, where he plans to spend the entire lead-up to the Olympia in September at Gold’s Gym, training under Glass’ watchful eye. “Chris and Charles are both normally on the same page, with Chris directing my diet and Charles my training,” Rhoden explains. “At the end of every year, we pull the whole body into the garage and assess what we can improve on.” A large part of the approach remains steadfast—it has worked incredibly well, after all—but they will make tweaks to tune up certain areas or dial in already stellar conditioning ever tighter. “We’ll introduce different exercises to bring out different details,” Rhoden says. “For example, we added some more old-school exercises for my back last year, increasing the amount of weight I was lifting while still keeping my reps in the 10-to-12 range and my form strict. Bentover barbell rows with different grips, pullups and chinups, movement where I had to focus on using my lats more. A lot of guys make the mistake of pulling with their biceps instead of focusing on back and lats to drive the [movement].”

one-arm row “You gotta bring that lower-lat thickness out. This exercise goes back to Arnold [Schwarzenegger], Franco [Columbu], Frank Zane—they kept it basic, barbell rows and one-arm dumbbell rows. I feel those are the bread and butter when it comes to building a really thick back, so I try to incorporate those as much as I can off-season and pre-contest.”


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G

ETTING A GRIP

A couple of years ago, Rhoden had an epiphany during an overseas trip when he saw bodybuilders working with basics—without the highly engineered machines at their disposal like in the U.S., they were relying on barbells and dumbbells for the bulk of their training. While that lesson still resonates, Rhoden is not shy about using machines when it suits his mission of building muscle. “I realized that on certain days, you really need to introduce a different feel, a different tension in the muscle. You have to mix it up a bit, especially as you get older. For instance, constantly doing dumbbell shoulder presses and behind-theneck barbell presses can wear down joints over time. But with a machine, you can put more tension on the muscle you’re working instead.” He cites the Smith machine seated press to the front. Having sliced through 12 tendons in his right arm years ago, his wrist and forearm can still act up, making free weights more challenging to maintain his grip when going heavier. “On the Smith, though, I can roll the bar back and rest it right where my thumb is, allowing me to lift a bit heavier. I can go up to three and a half to four plates per side on the Smith.” Fresh at 40 After a dismal 14th-place finish in the 2002 NPC Nationals heavyweight class, Rhoden drifted away from the sport for seven years after losing his father to lung cancer, then spiraling into alcohol addiction.


He recovered and regained control of his life yet still vowed that he’d never compete again. He thought he was done with bodybuilding. That all changed thanks to a $1 bet with a cousin that he couldn’t whip himself back into condition to compete in a show. All of a sudden, Rhoden was reenergized. A few months in, he entered a local show in Delaware and won. Four weeks later, he stepped onstage at the 2012 North American Championships and surprised everyone by winning the overall. Suddenly, Rhoden had a pro card in hand and a whole new career ahead of him. “I just turned 41 in April,” he says. “People are surprised when I tell them that. That seven years off from the sport is benefiting me now. I see other guys who were training and competing all through their 30s, and their bodies have aged so much. But my body, it doesn’t look like it’s 41. I’m getting that look you normally get when you’re in your 30s, that muscle maturity, where everything flows very nicely.” By his estimate, Rhoden has five to six more years to compete at the highest levels of the IFBB and contend for the major titles. “I feel like my physique is just coming

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into its peak now,” he states. “Everything is starting to gel. I have a few more years during which I’ll be able to maintain that youthful look. I’m not beat up. My body is still responding and growing.”

F

ULL SPEED AHEAD

Rhoden’s plan of attack has been set for the coming year: He plans on doing the Mr. Olympia from Sept. 16 to 17 and a few overseas shows afterward, including the first-ever Mr. Olympia Europe in Germany on Oct. 21 and 22. While his close calls in the Olympia were disappointing, Rhoden has learned to forge frustration into inspiration. “I have a 7-month-old daughter, and I have a


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IFBB PRO JOSE RAYMOND CONTINUES HIS ONSLAUGHT FOR THE 212 OLYMPIA WITH THESE FIVE ARM EXERCISES AND A PAIR OF HARD-HITTING WORKOUTS

BY JOE WUEBBEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHARLES LOWTHIAN

Q In the March issue of FLEX, IFBB Pro League champion Jose Raymond walked you through his favorite chest exercises as well as his go-to routine for building great pecs. But that was merely a sneak peek into the showstopping upper-body moves that have helped make the Massachusetts native an elite competitor who hopes to improve on last year’s second-place finish at this September’s 212 Olympia. Chest down, arms to go. In the following pages, you’ll find Raymond’s five favorite arm exercises (two for triceps, three for biceps) plus a sample workout for bigger pipes, straight out of his physique-building playbook. Hit these moves along with those for chest and you’ll be on your way to having a knockout upper body of your own.

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START Stand holding a dumbbell in one hand at your side with your wrist in a neutral position (palms facing in). ACTION Flex your elbow to curl one dumbbell without turning your palm up—keep it in the neutral position. Squeeze your biceps and forearms at the top, then lower the weight to the start position. Perform 12 to 15 reps, then repeat with the opposite arm. RAYMOND SAYS “I use different angles on hammer curls. On the first five reps I may come across my body, then on the next five reps I’ll curl the dumbbell straight up, and then after that I’ll just pump out as many as I can to finish.”

JOSE RAYMOND HEIGHT 5'4" WEIGHT 210 pounds BIRTH DATE: Dec. 29, 1974

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RESIDENCE North Reading, MA CAREER HIGHLIGHTS 2015: Olympia 212 Showdown, 2nd; Arnold Classic 212, 1st; Prague Pro 212, 1st; 2014: New Zealand Grand Prix 212, 1st; Phoenix Pro 212, 1st; Prague Pro 212, 3rd; 2013: New York Pro 212, 1st; Toronto Pro Supershow 212, 1st; 2011 New York Pro 212, 1st; 2010: Europa Battle of Champions 212, 1st; Tampa Pro, 1st

RAYMOND’S TRAINING SPLIT MONDAY

Legs

TUESDAY

Shoulders

WEDNESDAY

Back

THURSDAY

Chest

FRIDAY

Arms

Cycle repeats with one day of rest during the weekend.


START

ACTION

START Stand holding a dumbbell in one hand at your side. Start with your palms facing in and keep a slight bend in the knees.

RAYMOND SAYS

ACTION Curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulder while turning your pinkie up (wrist supination) to contract the biceps fully. Squeeze the contraction at the top, then lower back to the start

DUMBBELL CURL

position. Perform 10 to 12 reps, then repeat with the opposite arm. RAYMOND SAYS “The first exercise is always going to act as a warmup, so that by the time I get to the second exercise I can really go all out. A lot of guys, especially young guys, go in the gym and jump right into their biggest exercise. I can’t do that anymore.”


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RAYMOND’S BICEPS WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Dumbbell Curl

4–5

10–12 (after warmup set)

EZ-bar Curl

4

10–12*

Hammer Curl

4

12–15

*Dropset on the last set of the exercise, dropping the weight two to three times after reaching initial failure.

RAYMOND’S TRICEPS WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

4–5

15–20

Seated Two-arm Machine Overhead Extension

4

15–20

Close-grip Bench Press

4

10–12

One-arm Overhead Cable Triceps Extension

4

12–15

Two-arm Cable Rope Extension


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CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS START

START Attach a rope to a low pulley cable. Face away from the stack and hold the rope in one hand behind your head with your elbow bent.

ACTION ACTION Keeping your elbow in toward your body, contract your triceps to extend your arm straight up overhead. Squeeze the contraction hard.

RAYMOND SAYS

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RAYMOND SAYS “With any cable exercise, I utilize pause reps. If I’m doing 15 reps, the first five will be rapid, the next five will be pauses, and the last five will be rapid. Also, I advocate a lot of stretching in between sets. I stretch not only the triceps between sets but also the lats. This will allow more range of motion in the shoulder.” FLEX


PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH & FITNESS

BIG PICTURES BEFORE YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THE 2016 MR. OLYMPIA, WE TAKE A LOOK BACK AT THE GREATEST PHOTOS OF PAST OLYMPIAS Q This year marks the 52nd rendition of a contest Joe Weider dreamed up one evening as he and Larry Scott were kicking back with a couple of brews, pondering bodybuilding’s future. From such humble beginnings an event would be born that is recognized today as the pinnacle of bodybuilding achievement. The Mr. Olympia has provided unforgettable memories, and thanks to numerous talented photographers, these indelible memories have stood the test of time. Whether they capture moments of onstage drama or backstage tension or they simply convey the inherent artistry of bodybuilding, these pictures deserve special recognition, as do the photographers who took them.

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT At the first Mr. Olympia, part of the grand prize was a crown that winner Larry Scott was understandably reluctant to wear. Could runner-up Harold Poole be smiling because he didn’t have to wear a crown? Ben and Joe Weider flank the bodybuilders. PHOTO: UNKNOWN, 1965

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NEXT YEAR…

After handily taking the 1967 and ’68 Olympia titles, Sergio Oliva was seen as all but unbeatable. Then, in 1969, along came 22-yearold Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of bodybuilding’s great rivalries was born. You can almost read Schwarzenegger’s thoughts in this photo as he glances wistfully up at show promoter Joe Weider: Sergio may have gotten me this time, but next year, I’ll be back! PHOTO : JIMMY CARUSO, 1969


THREE KINGS In the early ’70s, prejudgings were often held in back rooms, leaving the finals for the stage. Here, Serge Nubret, Columbu and Schwarzenegger (the contest’s only competitors) hit the mostmuscular shot. PHOTO: ART ZELLER, 1973

SHADOW MEN

PHOTO: NEVEUX, 1977

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THE KING AND US By the time of his sixth Mr. Olympia win in 1975, Schwarzenegger was established as all but unbeatable. Here, he’s flanked by Nubret, Ben Weider, and Lou Ferrigno as Pumping Iron director George Butler films the ceremony for his now-legendary documentary. PHOTO: CARUSO, 1975

SHOWDOWN Amid high tension, Mike Mentzer and Schwarzenegger nearly came to blows during the athletes’ meeting preceding the 1980 Olympia. The trigger? Schwarzenegger needled Mentzer about his midsection after Mentzer challenged Schwarzenegger’s assertion that the contest should have classes. PHOTO: NEVEUX, 1980

IF LOOKS COULD KILL Offstage, Lee Haney and Rich Gaspari were the best of friends, but in the heat of battle, they were warriors. Here, Haney is announced the winner of the Sandow for the fourth consecutive year, and it was the second of three years in a row that Gaspari would play bridesmaid to Haney. Photo: Greg Aiken, 1987

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UPSET A telling moment in Olympia history is captured here as Dickerson is announced runner-up at the 1981 Mr. Olympia, leaving Columbu the last man standing. Danny Padilla (fifth) and Roy Callender (fourth) are both leaving the stage in protest as gracious Tom Platz (third) congratulates Dickerson. Columbu’s friend Jusup Wilkosz (sixth) sticks around for the final announcement. The outcome of the ’81 O is arguably the most disputed in bodybuilding history. PHOTO: UNKNOWN, 1981

BEST FOR LAST For his final, record-breaking eighth Olympia win (beating Schwarzenegger’s seven), Haney came in at an impressive 252 pounds, and he needed every bit of that dense mass to overcome Dorian Yates—the first opponent to match Haney in both stature and sheer size. It was the end of one reign and the beginning of another—Yates returned the following year and put his own iron grip on the Sandow (taking six) until his retirement following the 1997 Olympia. PHOTO: CHRIS LUND, 1991

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SAY WHAT? Photographer Chris Lund was in perfect position to catch a telling moment, this time at the 1999 Olympia, where a shocked Ronnie Coleman defeated a dismayed and perplexed Flex Wheeler. In case you can’t tell, that’s Coleman on the floor and Wheeler with his back to the camera. PHOTO: LUND, 1999 FLEXonline.com

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In what would be his last Olympia win, Coleman took advantage of the short-lived trend of using props in posing routines. As he vied for his record-tying (with Haney) eighth Sandow, Coleman lit up the stage in a red velvet cape and suitably ornamental crown.

LEGENDS, ALL Former FLEX Editor-inChief Peter McGough had the idea to unite all nine Olympia winners onstage with Joe Weider and, as was hoped, it was a great moment waiting to be photographed. PHOTO: LUND, 1995

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NO UPSET Even Coleman himself believed he was about to be dethroned by Jay Cutler, as evidenced by his “second” finger sign. When Iron Jay was announced runner-up, pandemonium ensued. It would be Coleman’s most controversial win of his eight title runs and a bitter disappointment for Cutler. PHOTO: LUND, 2001

By 2006, bodybuilding had long grown accustomed to Coleman being named Mr. Olympia each fall. So when emcee Bob Cicherillo announced Cutler winner of the 2006 O, Orleans Arena erupted in a cacophony of shock and glee. Not the least gleeful was sixth-place finisher Gustavo Badell, who saw Coleman’s dethroning as a chance for all pro bodybuilders to fulfill their dream of one day ascending to the Olympia throne.


“I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE” Far from the dominant force he was during his unstoppable eight-year Olympia-winning run, Ronnie Coleman returned to the sport’s grandest stage for a final farewell in 2007. After placing fourth and announcing his retirement to a standing ovation, the man many consider the greatest bodybuilder in history was left alone with his thoughts. Sitting backstage long after competitors and fans had left Orleans Arena, Coleman lingered as the maintenance crew cleaned up around him. “I don’t want to leave,” a teary-eyed Coleman told FLEX Senior Writer Greg Merritt. “I just want to soak it up and sit backstage at the Olympia this one last time.” PHOTO: ALLAN DONNELLY, 2007

A TITLE RECLAIMED In the show’s 44-year history, no one had ever regained the Sandow after losing it the previous year— until now. Amid rumors that he was washed up, Cutler—with his all-time best combination of size and condition, particularly in his legs—crushed the competition in the deepest Mr. O lineup in recent years, claiming title No. 3 and putting himself in the history books. PHOTO: HORTON, 2009

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PER BERNAL

Supported by a new incarnation of the iconic Sandow, Phil Heath enjoys a quiet moment onstage after clinching his fifth straight win last year. Heath is the latest to join the exclusive club of 12 other men to claim the title of greatest bodybuilder in the world and fourth on the list for most Olympia wins—for now. FLEX

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BY GREG MERRITT PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

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Q

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FLEX: What were you doing wrong in your chest training in the early years, and how did you correct that? FLEX LEWIS: Early on, some of my body parts blew up, like my legs. Others didn’t, like my chest. Part of that was because I was pressing with my shoulders and triceps. Chest took a backseat, not because I wasn’t training it but because I was training it wrong. I never really had someone say, “Slow yourself down, concentrate on the squeeze.” It wasn’t until I’d won a couple of shows and was traveling back and forth to the States that I said to myself, “Something isn’t right. I need to learn the essence of the mind-muscle link.” I lightened the weights and started pressing the bar again just to get that mindmuscle connection. It’s something you really have to concentrate on. You need to feel the muscles working. And I’d lose that feeling when I was going too heavy. I’d bench-press 315 for reps, but I’d be getting a pump in my triceps and delts. It was more of a powerlifting movement. I wasn’t feeling it in my chest. But I understood what I was doing wrong, and I was willing and able to correct it, which meant dropping a plate on each side, slowing down the reps, and concentrating on the feel.

ing: You never stop getting better. You’re never finished. Even though I’m the 212 Mr. Olympia, there’s still things I want to improve, and chest is always going to be a stubborn area for me, so it’s always going to be a big focus for me. You wear wrist wraps when you train chest. How does that help you? I did rugby and gymnastics before bodybuilding, and that caused a lot of strains to my wrists before I even got serious about lifting weights. So the wraps protect my wrists from strains. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the weakest link in a lot of presses and laterals is your wrist. The wraps give my wrists a cushion of protection, and they help lock my wrists in the correct position. I remember doing 405 on the bench press and then going over to the dumbbells, and I struggled with the 60s because my wrists couldn’t stabilize the weight. With wraps, I never have to worry about that. Also, my hands and forearms tend to pump up too much if I don’t use wrist wraps for chest and shoulders and wrist straps for back. So when I wear wraps they allow me to focus all my attention on the muscles I want to work—in this case, pecs—and not worry about the ones I don’t want to work— hands and forearms. If everything grew as easily as my forearms, which I’ve never trained, bodybuilding would be a breeze. But that’s not how it is, and I embrace the challenge. Learn how to focus less on your strong points and more on your weak points.

I KNEW “SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT. I NEEDED TO LEARN THE ESSENCE OF THE MIND-TOMUSCLE LINK.”

Did you change chest exercises, too? I’m always changing exercises. Some things, like barbell bench presses, I don’t do anymore. But it’s not so much the exercises. It’s more about finding the right way of doing exercises, going at the right pace, feeling the pecs working, and working the angles. Once you get all those things down, it changes your mindset, too. Chest used to be my least favorite body part to train, but now I can’t wait for the next chest workout, so I can bring my everything to that workout and keep improving. That’s the thing about bodybuild-

Do you count reps or are you simply focused on getting as many reps as you can? I would say both. I remember meeting Tom Platz very early in my career, and I walked away with more enthusiasm for having done so than I could have ever imagined. He told me he’d go into a set with


the same approach every time. He never had a number of reps in his head. He was going for “total annihilation.” Total annihilation was when his hands wouldn’t be able to grasp the bar any longer if he was doing arms, or if he was doing legs, his legs would be so fatigued that he’d collapse. Not saying I agree with that crazy mentality, but it shows what’s possible. It shows that the mind is what limits you, not the muscles. I usually do have a number of reps I want to achieve,

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and I count in my head until I get there. But then if I can do more, I’ll do more. Sometimes I’ll do a restpause and go for a couple of more reps, or I’ll get a couple of forced reps if I’m training with a partner. You sometimes do both incline dumbbell presses and incline flyes. Why do both? I don’t think you can have too much upper chest. That’s the area that looks most impressive, so I’m always working to thicken it up.

If I do two incline exercises, what ’ll do is change the angle. One, like the presses, will be at a higher angle, like 45 degrees, and the other will be at a lower angle, like 20 degrees. The key to either dumbbell presses or flyes is to feel tension in the chest from the stretch through the contraction. If you go too heavy, you probably won’t be able to feel that tension. So use a weight you can control, and keep the upper pecs tensed.


Do you do many forced reps on presses and flyes? That depends on whether I’m training alone or with Neil [Hill] or someone else. I’m not a big believer in a lot of forced reps. I’d rather have my training partner come in on only the last couple of reps. Chest is one of those body parts that I do allow myself a bit of a cheat on, but that’s just so I can get through the sticking point and focus more on the squeeze. When I’m struggling, I want my

CHEST USED TO BE MY LEAST FAVORITE BODY PART TO TRAIN, BUT NOW I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHEST WORKOUT, SO I CAN BRING MY EVERYTHING TO THAT WORKOUT AND KEEP IMPROVING.


FLEX LEWIS’ CHEST ROUTINE EXERCISE

training partner to help me keep it going. I consider that a cheat. But as long as I’m doing the squeeze myself, I’m getting what I want out of it. I notice that sometimes you focus a lot on the negative. Yeah, I like to get a strong negative on the last rep of some exercises. I feel like I’ve done all my positive reps, I’ve held that final contraction, and that’s when

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I’m stimulating the most growth. That place nearest the end where most people just want the set to end because it’s painful, I like to extend that even further by getting a real slow negative. So you’ll see me sometimes on a press or a flye or a cable crossover fighting against the weight one last time as I lower it under strict control and very slowly, and I’m maintaining that tension on the muscles the whole time.

SETS

REPS

Dumbbell Incline Press

4

10–12

Dumbbell Incline Flye

4

12–15

Dumbbell Pullover

3

12–15

Cable Crossover

4

12–15

Machine Press

3

12–15

What’s your opinion on dumbbell pullovers as a chest exercise? Pullovers work several muscles together: the lats, pecs, serratus, and abs. I feel like they help me in a front double biceps, because they work a lot of the muscles that you see then. I think bodybuilders should work pullovers into their routines at least occasionally— whether with a dumbbell or with a machine. The question is whether


THAT PLACE NEAREST THE END WHERE MOST PEOPLE JUST WANT THE SET TO END BECAUSE IT’S PAINFUL, I LIKE TO EXTEND THAT EVEN FURTHER.

to do them with back or chest. I find they work well after chest presses to stretch out the whole upper body, but there’s no wrong answer. You can do them with either chest or back. Talk about your form on cable crossovers. You want to do cable crossovers slow and keep all the tension on the chest and control the negative. You never want there to be a point when you lose that contraction. Don’t let your arms go too far back at the top. You want to keep all the tension on the pecs. And then at the bottom, bring your hands to-

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gether and squeeze as if you have a quarter between your pecs and you want to make it burst. I’ll hold that for a second or two. I’ll also sometimes do cable crossovers in a way where I bend so my upper body is parallel to the floor and push the handles down and together so that my hands are almost touching the floor at the contraction. This is just a way to get an even greater contraction on the pecs. I’ll sometimes start with traditional cable crossovers and then do a dropset or two at the end, and with those dropsets I’ll do the cable crossovers in the facedown style.

Do you like to end your chest routine on a compound exercise like a machine press instead of an isolation exercise like the cable crossovers? I’ll switch it up. Sometimes I’ll finish with dips leaning forward to focus on my chest and not my triceps, and I’ll do two or three sets to failure, and failure comes at 30-50 reps. Other times I’ll finish with a machine press, and I’ll get some forced reps and be sure to get a really slow, strong negative on the last rep of each set. It’s a good way to make sure I’ve got everything I can out of the workout. FLEX


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RONNIE COLEMAN

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LEFT PAGE: CHRIS LUND. THIS PAGE: KEVIN HORTON (TOP)

if it was worth it, and would he do anything different? “It was worth it without a doubt, but, yes, I would have done it differently if I could go back,” he answers. “I would have trained harder! I know for a fact that I could have done four reps on that 800-pound squat instead of two, but I had two set in my mind before I even picked it up, so that’s what I did. So yes, I would go back and train even harder and be damn sure to get four reps on that 800-pound squat.” Why not, right? If you’re going to get seven surgeries and eight Sandows either way, why not knock out two more reps? But the bigeight squat and deadlift in 2000 were very-low-rep anomalies, strength showcases for a video camera. Coleman competed in a powerlifting meet in 1994, when he was still a mediocre pro bodybuilder. However, after that, he didn’t typically train with low reps.

Set after set, he hit 10 to 12. In many ways, Coleman’s workouts were a throwback to an earlier era. He stressed body parts twice weekly and often trained twice daily, and he emphasized free-weight basics. For example, his typical chest exercises were all presses: flat, incline, and decline with a barbell in one workout and with dumbbells in the next. What distinguished him were the numbers he put up for 10 to 12 reps in workout after work-

out for more than a decade. There were 2,300-pound leg presses, 540-pound T-bar rows, 200-pound incline dumbbell presses, and 700-pound behind-the-back shrugs. The eight-timer took precautions such as wearing a belt and wrapping his joints (he suffered no tears during his long career), but his muscles may have simply grown too strong for his skeleton. The longterm toil of heavy metal eventually wore down his spine.

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DORIAN YATES

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ZELLER/© FITNESS PUBLICATIONS, INC. (3)

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER


ever, his workouts were seemingly ceaseless and of moderate intensity. He trained body parts thrice weekly, and he worked out twice daily. So, for example, he’d hit chest and back in the morning and legs, forearms, and abs in the afternoon every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Such high frequency prevented him from going megaheavy or balls to the wall. The core of his workouts were the barbell and dumbbell basics, usually pyramided, and he favored reps in the 10 to 15 range but went as high as 20. Supersets were regularly employed, as when he alternated chest and back exercises. “Supersets let you work out faster and get better pumps,” he explained. The pump,

not the weight, was his principal focus. Arnold has undergone hipreplacement surgery (2002) and two shoulder surgeries (2003 and 2012), but it’s difficult to blame his Olympia training when the first such operation occurred 22 years after his final contest. The Terminator has done thousands of workouts since his 1980 retirement, as well as numerous movie

stunts and athletic endeavors, like skiing (broken leg, 2006). His high-frequency, high-volume ’70s training is one of the safest methodologies you can choose, but it’s not very practical. Arnold himself is way too busy now to spend four hours in a gym six days per week. That said, though he turns 69 on July 30, the most celebrated bodybuilder of all time is still healthy and still pumping iron. mrolympia.com

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LEE HANEY

Haney’s Workout Stats Sets per body part: 12–15 Reps per set: 6–10 Body-part frequency: Once in four days Barbell row: 245 x 10 154

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continued to train to maintain his slimmer physique, the 56-year-old legend remains injury-free. How has he managed to avoid the joint, tendon, and muscle trauma that afflicted Yates and Coleman, the two Mr. O’s who followed him? In three words: “Stimulate, don’t annihilate.” That was Haney’s celebrated maxim. “Stimulation is a guessing game,” he stated. “Surprise your muscles with varying workouts at varying levels of resistance. Then allow for the necessary recovery time.” Haney focused on feeling his muscles contracting, not on moving maximum metal. He consistently utilized lower reps than our other three winningest Mr. O’s. Many sets topped out at only six to

eight reps. Still, he never went as heavy as he could have. He called a rep with a controlled negative and smooth, full positive a “check mark,” and a perfect workout consisted of check marks for every rep of every set. Haney often constructed his routines to limit the metal he needed to hoist. For example, instead of starting with 500pound squats (annihilate), he squatted after leg extensions and leg presses when his legs were pre-exhausted. Then he only needed 315 (stimulate). This, and the fact that he never did deadlifts, may have saved his spine from all the compression problems Coleman has experienced. Overall, this eight-timer attributes his “good luck” to a belief that injury prevention was necessary for maintaining his status as world’s best and for living healthy and pain-free long after he unfurled his final lat spread. FLEX

5 MEN, 34 OLYMPIAS

6

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Heart Stopper A FORMER HOOTERS WAITRESS AND CURRENT REGISTERED NURSE, OPENS UP ABOUT OVERCOMING HER SHY TENDENCIES TO MAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE BIKINI OLYMPIA BY DAVE LEE PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

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FLEX How did you come to work at Hooters? JANET LAYUG I was working in retail at the time, and I’d never been to Hooters, but my friends suggested we go to watch the college championship game. I was approached by the manager, who handed me an application right there. The hours were flexible, which was great because I was starting college, and also, I was kind of shy growing up, so I knew that meeting new people all day would help me develop better social skills. And of course I loved the fast money!

“I’ve always been athletic and into itness but never on this level.”

How did you end up being in the calendar? They had tryouts every year. My first year I didn’t make it! I wasn’t devastated. I just knew I would try again. I did and made it every year I worked there, including the cover in 2015! I also won the 2014 Miss Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant. What motivated you to enter the FLEX Bikini Model Search? I love modeling! I had recently graduated from nursing school and mrolympia.com

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was working at the hospital. I really wanted a break from my big-girl job and to go back to my first passion. I had done many swimsuit/beauty pageants, but this was geared toward a different audience, fitness. I always had more of an athletic look, but I knew I needed to step it up, so I got a trainer. And then the next logical step was the NPC? I had heard about the NPC for years, but I was scared that I would fail. But after winning the FLEX contest, I wanted to see if I could transform my body to the next level. I entered my first show and became addicted! I did four shows that year, won each one, and earned my IFBB Pro League card. What were the major

weights before this! What is your favorite body part to train? Glutes all day. I love the burn! Least favorite? Calves. Who likes training calves? How do you juggle being a competitor and a mom? It’s not always easy. You have to know your priorities and plan your day around them. Luckily, my daughter Briley is very athletic. She will join in on my workouts I do at home. And sticking to the diet is crucial in prep, so I take my meals with me for any function. My daughter actually likes eating the same healthy foods. She doesn’t have to do it, but she certainly has learned a lot about healthy choices and being active. At such a young

“Modeling was always something I was intrigued by. I would even practice my model walk at home.” differences between being a Hooters model and an NPC/IFBB competitor? Training and dieting! It requires a lot of preparation weeks before the show. You have to be very dedicated. Oh, let’s not forget the superdark tans and posing. As far as other elements, like stepping onstage in front of a big audience, glamming up with big hair, makeup, and the bikinis, it’s similar to Hooters and other pageants I’ve done. Has training always been a part of your life, or was it something you discovered when you started competing? When I was younger I did tumbling, soccer, and competitive cheerleading. I would condition on my own with lots of running and cardio. But I never picked up

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age their minds are sponges, so it’s important to be a good influence and teach what you can. But I still enjoy cooking her typical kid meals like mac and cheese. Do you still work as a nurse? I’m going back to school because eventually I want to become an advanced registered nurse practitioner. I still work occasional jobs and do volunteer work. I’m sure you’ve heard the old “you’re making my pulse race” joke, but what was the most ridiculous line a patient tried on you? When I worked in the surgical intensive-care unit, we would get a lot of patients going through open-heart surgery. One patient woke up and said, “Wow, you’re my nurse? I think I’m going to have another heart attack.”


BIRTH DATE Dec. 31, 1988 HEIGHT 5'8" WEIGHT 130 pounds RESIDENCE Lakeland, FL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS 2015 EVLS Prague Pro, 1st; Korean Grand Prix, 1st; Bikini Olympia, 2nd; New Zealand Pro, 1st; Bikini International Australia, 1st; 2014: Battle on the Beach, 1st; Bikini Olympia, 2nd

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I made the decision to compete, I never felt so excited to do something for myself.â&#x20AC;?


What was it like being in your first Bikini Olympia? Crazy! Being on the same stage with idols before my time was an honor. And to just be a part of it, hanging backstage with inspirational athletes, the packed expo, and having tons of fun meeting fans from all over the world was an experience I won’t forget. What are you working to improve to go from runner-up to Bikini Olympia champion? I’m really looking forward to bringing my best physique. My biggest downfall is glutes. I’ll be focusing on tightening and lifting them with a variety of training techniques. And of course, I will come in conditioned. I’ll be ready! FLEX

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

4

10–25

Leg Press**

4

25

Bosu Ball Hip Thrust

3

25

Walking Lunge superset with Vertical Jump

6 6

20 yards 10

Stiff-leg Deadlift

4

10–25

Squat*

*Use a wide stance and go down low. Push through your heels to fully engage your glutes. **Place your feet high on the platform. This position puts more emphasis on your glutes and hamstrings.

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JANET LAYUG 5X IFBB PRO BIKINI CHAMP


GET ADVENTUROUS AND PUT THE BORING BURGERS AND BBQ CHICKEN ON THE BACK BURNER FOR THESE UNIQUE EATS. BY MATTHEW KADEY, R.D. PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRIAN KLUTCH As temperatures begin to soar, there are few happier places for most men to be than outside manning the grill, sunburns be damned. There’s simply no tastier, or manly, means to a proteinpacked meal than your trusty Weber. But if the only things you cook outdoors are steaks and burgers, you’re selling the grill short. Practically anything can sizzle over a flame, yet many unconventional foods remain hidden in the shadow of countless chicken breasts and humble hot dogs. It’s high time to challenge your grilling skills by thinking outside the grill marks—from shellfish and tofu to berries and cheese—and try these recipes the next time you play with fire.

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MUSSELS WITH FIRE-ROASTED TOMATOES

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS 2 lbs mussels 1 pint cherry tomatoes 4 whole shallots, peeled 2 tsp olive oil

/ cup chopped parsley Juice of ½ lemon 2 tbsp melted butter (optional) 1 3

INSTRUCTIONS 1 Build a medium-hot fire. Scrub mussels under cold water and discard any open ones that don’t close shut when tapped. Place on grill, close lid, and cook until the shells pop open (4–6 minutes). Remove from grill with tongs and place in a large bowl. Discard any that did not open. Cover to keep warm. 2 Toss tomatoes and shallots with oil, and

thread on skewers, or use a vegetable grill basket. Grill until tomatoes are tender and shriveled and shallots are darkened in a few places, turning both once. When cool enough to handle, chop shallots. 3 Add tomatoes, shallots, and parsley to bowl with mussels. Squirt in lemon juice, and drizzle in butter if desired.


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FO O D & P R O P S T Y L I N G B Y S U S A N O T TAV I A N O


GRILLED HALLOUMI PEACH LENTIL SALAD SERVES 2 INGREDIENTS 1 (8 oz) package halloumi cheese 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 peach, halved and pit removed 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 4 pieces 4 cups salad greens 1 cup cooked or canned lentils 1 3 / cup sliced mint or basil 2 tbsp chopped walnuts 1 tbsp capers, drained (optional) 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp honey 1 garlic clove, finely minced ¼ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS 1 Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. 2 Upend halloumi onto one of its long sides, and slice lengthwise into 2 big slabs. Cut each slab along its width so you have 4 square pieces of cheese. Brush both sides with oil. Brush cut sides of peach and both sides of pepper pieces with oil. 3 Place halloumi, peach halves (cut-side down), and pepper on a greased grill grate. Heat halloumi until grill marks appear on both sides, 1–2 minutes per side. Heat peach halves until grill marks appear on cut sides, about 2 minutes. Heat pepper until darkened in spots on both sides and tender, about 2 minutes per side. 4 Divide salad greens, lentils, mint or basil, walnuts, and capers (if using) among serving plates. Slice grilled peach halves and bell pepper, and place on serving plates along with halloumi pieces. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, and black pepper. Drizzle dressing on salad.

MACROS PER SERVING

Calories

702 Protein

37g Carbs

48g Fat

41g HOT STUFF Hailing from Cyprus, halloumi is a high-protein cheese that doesn’t melt on the grill— the outside becomes crispy while the interior turns velvety. Look for blocks in well-stocked cheese counters. mrolympia.com

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GRILLED HAWAIIAN PITA PIZZAS SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 1 lb pork tenderloin 2¾-inch-thick slices pineapple 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 4 pieces 4 large whole-wheat pitas 1 cup marinara sauce 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces

DIRECTIONS 1 Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush pork with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill pork 18 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160°F is reached and juices run clear when pierced. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly. 2 Brush both sides of pineapple and pepper pieces with oil. Place on grill grate, and heat until dark marks appear on both sides. Remove from grill, and slice pineapple and pepper into chunks. 3 Lightly brush pitas with oil. Place on grill, and heat until toasted on one side. Remove from heat, and spread marinara sauce on toasted side of pitas. Top with pork, pineapple, pepper, and pieces of mozzarella. Place back on the grill for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.

MACROS PER SERVING Calories Carbs

516 Protein 40g 59g Fat 14g

HOT STUFF

Why tip the delivery guy when you can easily grill up healthier individual pizzas with a satisfyingly crispy crust? This one stars pork tenderloin, a source of lean protein that gets even better when infused with smoky goodness.

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MACROS PER SERVING

Calories

626 Protein

32g Carbs

58g Fat

32g HOT STUFF

GRILLED TOFU GUACAMOLE STACKS WITH SWEET POTATO FRIES INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

2 medium sweet potatoes cut into ½-inch wedges 1 tbsp grapeseed oil ½ tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper 1 block extra-firm tofu 1 avocado, halved and pit removed 1 medium tomato, diced ¼ diced red onion ¼ cup chopped cilantro ½ jalapeño, minced 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup hoisin sauce or barbecue sauce

1 Place potato wedges in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain, toss with oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. 2 Slice tofu along its width into 2 slabs. Slice each slab lengthwise to make 4 pieces. Line cutting board with paper towel. Top with tofu squares; using paper towel, press gently to remove liquid. Brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper. 3 Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush avocado halves with oil, and place on a greased grill, cut-side down. Grill for 5 minutes, or until black grill

Grilling tofu is a surefire way to make the plant-based protein more palatable, perhaps even craveable. The flames breathe new life into guacamole, and these grilled sweet potato fries won’t blow up your physique.

marks appear. Let cool, then mash in a bowl. Stir in tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt. 4 Grill sweet potato wedges until cooked through and darkened, about 8 minutes, stirring at least once. Set aside and cover to keep warm. 5 Grill tofu squares until golden and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Turn 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side for crosshatch pattern. Place on serving plate, brush on hoisin or barbecue sauce, and spread on some guacamole. Top with another tofu piece, hoisin or barbecue sauce, and more guacamole. Serve with sweet potato fries. mrolympia.com

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GRILLED FRENCH TOAST WITH STRAWBERRIES SERVES 2 INGREDIENTS 2 large eggs ¾ cup milk ¼ cup plain or vanilla protein powder 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp grated orange zest (optional) 4¾-inch-thick slices bread 2 cups whole strawberries, hulled 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS 1 Blend together eggs, milk, protein powder, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest if using, and a pinch of salt. Place mixture in a large shallow baking dish, and soak bread in mixture for about 3 minutes per side. Do this in batches if necessary. 2 Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Make sure grill grate is well oiled. Thread strawberries on skewers, and lightly brush with oil. Transfer strawberries and bread slices to grill grate. Grill bread until dark-brown grill marks form on the bottom, about 2 minutes, then flip and grill for about 2 minutes longer. Grill strawberries until tender and darkened in a few places, turning once. 3 Stir together yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Top French toast with sliced grilled strawberries and maple yogurt. FLEX

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MACROS PER SERVING

Calories

560 Protein

40g Carbs

78g Fat

10g HOT STUFF The grill is a delicious way to upgrade French toast and your weekend breakfast, and flecking bread with a bit of char complements the extra-sweet caramelized berries.


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JAY CUTLER

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DENNIS NEWMAN

AARON AND BRANDY MADDRON


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GEA JOHNSON

EDDIE ROBINSON

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RONNIE COLEMAN

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DANNY HESTER

ERNIE TAYLOR (AND MODEL)

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BACK TO

DANNY HESTER AND STAN MCQUAY USHER IN THE IFBB’S NEW


BY JOE WUEBBEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL

The pecking order of the IFBB’s brand-spanking-new Classic Physique division starts with two veteran bodybuilders: Danny Hester and Stan McQuay. The debut competition of the new aestheticsfocused class—the Musclecontest Pro Physique this past March—saw Hester place first, with McQuay in third. Hester is the first IFBB pro to qualify for an appearance onstage at the inaugural Classic Physique Olympia this September. McQuay will no doubt compete again to join his adversary in Vegas.

CLASSIC PHYSIQUE DIVISION WITH A BANG!

ONCE A CLASSIC… With an emphasis on symmetry, balance, and classic posing, with weight restrictions instituted to put a cap on how big the competitors can get—à la the classic (and scaled down) physiques of vintage bodybuilders like Frank Zane, Serge Nubret, and Steve Reeves. Classic physique plays right to Hester and McQuay’s strengths, not to mention their personal preferences. “I’ve always been a classic bodybuilder because I wasn’t a mass monster,” says Hester, who competed in his first NPC USAs back in 1992 but didn’t get his IFBB pro card until 2013 due to a near decade-long hiatus from competition. “My strength was always in my aesthetics and symmetry, and luckily I had the round muscle bellies. But I’m an apple; I can’t really become an orange. Bodybuilding is a quest for never-ending size, no matter what. But with the new Classic Physique division, I don’t have to worry about getting bigger. It sets my mind at ease that, OK, these are the criteria that I have to stay within, so I can just focus on refining.” McQuay echoes these sentiments. “It’s more about concentrating on quality muscle,” he says. “I’m not saying that in bodybuilding you don’t have to worry about quality, but because of my body type, I can focus more on detail work. I always do better coming down in weight than trying to go up and get bigger. And classic physique is going to bring more attention to the art of it as opposed to just the freak factor. Posing is now more meaningful.” mrolympia.com

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SNAPSHOT Height 5’6” Weight 170 lbs Birth Date Feb. 14, 1969 Residence Venice, CA Career Highlights 2016 Musclecontest Pro Classic Physique, 1st; 2013 NPC USA Championships, 2nd; 2013 NPC National Championships, 2nd


HESTER’S TRAINING SPLIT

HESTER’S BACK WORKOUT

Monday

Quads, hamstrings (light)

EXERCISE

Tuesday

Hamstrings, back

Wednesday Shoulders

Machine Lat Pulldown*

Thursday

Triceps, biceps

Friday

Chest

Saturday

Cycle repeats*

Steady-state cardio, calves, and abs are performed in a separate workout on all training days. *Hester trains every day he’s able to, which typically ends up being four to five days per week. “Whichever days I can’t train are my off days,” he says. “I never take more than three days off in a row.”

SETS

REPS

5

12—15

Seated Cable Row

4-6

12—15

One-arm Seated Cable Row

4

12—15

3-6

10—12

One-arm Lat Pulldown

4

10—12

Dumbbell or Machine Pullover

4

12—15

Pullup

*Including two warmup sets.

MACHINE LAT PULLDOWN Hester’s take: “The machine we’re using here gives you a really nice squeeze at the bottom and a good pump. As you pull the handles down, it opens up—your hands are close together at the beginning of the rep and then wide apart at the bottom. You can’t get this effect with a standard pulldown bar. It’s almost like combining a close-grip pullup with a wide-grip pullup.” mrolympia.com

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PULLUP Hester’s take: “I prefer a narrow grip because going too wide is not good for your shoulders. And a closer grip keeps the tension in the lats more. Pullups are like a pushup to me—I just jump on it whenever I can just to keep that conditioned look. And I like to stop a little short of failure to make sure all my reps are strict. I go about 75% of the way to failure on each set and then stop.”

SEATED CABLE ROW Hester’s take: “Probably my favorite back exercise, my bread and butter. And on these, I like to use a full range of motion. I lean forward at the start to get a good stretch and lean back about 15 to 20 degrees past vertical at the end of the movement. What I’m trying to mimic at the end here is like when you’re doing a back pose onstage and you arch your back and it shows all of your Christmas tree in the lower back. If someone were to watch me, they might think it was really bad form, but it’s not. The so-called ‘correct’ way to do a seated cable row is just too much of the arms doing the work.”

ONE-ARM LAT PULLDOWN Hester’s take: “You get a much greater range of motion compared with the two-arm version. I can actually get a better stretch at the top with the one-arm pulldown, and then at the bottom of the rep I can pull back, twist at the torso, and really hit those lower tie-ins.”

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ONE-ARM SEATED CABLE ROW Hester’s take: “The foot position is like a dumbbell row. You have one foot down on the floor, which means you don’t have to put all that strain on the lower back. You’re able to go a little heavier without feeling it too much in the lower back. I also like unilateral movements because there’s always a dominant arm or leg. And if everything you do is bilateral, that dominant side is going to keep being dominant and the weak side is never going to catch up. One-arm versions of exercises are a great way to keep your physique balanced.” mrolympia.com

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STAN MCQUAY

SNAPSHOT Height 5’7” Weight 182 lbs Birth Date July 12, 1973 Residence Los Angeles, CA Career Highlights 2016 Musclecontest Pro Classic Physique, 3rd; 2011 IFBB Sacramento Pro 212, 1st; 2010 Detroit Pro 202, 1st; 2009 Jacksonville Pro 202, 1st


McQUAY’S TRAINING SPLIT

McQUAY’S CHEST WORKOUT

Monday

Chest, triceps finisher*

EXERCISE

Tuesday

Back, biceps finisher*

Wednesday Quads, hamstrings finisher*

SETS

REPS

Hammer Strength Incline Press

4*

15

4

15

Thursday

Shoulders, traps

Incline Dumbbell Press

Friday

Biceps, triceps

Incline Cable Flye

4

15

Saturday

Hamstrings, quad finisher*

Dip

3

To failure**

Sunday

Off

Pushup

3

To failure**

*McQuay’s workout “finishers” consist of a single exercise for the body part listed performed with relatively light weight and high reps (four sets of 25 reps).

*Not including warmup sets. **Somewhere around 20 controlled reps.

HAMMER STRENGTH INCLINE PRESS McQuay’s take: “First thing I like to do here is pull my scapulae back and hold them there the entire time through the movement. At the end I only go about three-quarters of the way up. I don’t want my shoulders getting too involved; I’m trying to keep all the tension on the chest. I also do a one-arm version to isolate each side.” mrolympia.com

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INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS McQuay’s take: “I’m telling myself ‘expansion of the rib cage’ the whole movement. Because the minute I deflate my rib cage, my shoulders take over. Visually, I try to keep my chest higher than my shoulders. As I’m contracting, I never let my chest drop. The angle on the bench here is generally 45 degrees or less.”

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INCLINE CABLE FLYE McQuay’s take: “Make sure your hands don’t come too narrow as you initiate the movement. Really try to arc the movement as if you were hugging a barrel. You want to keep the hands as wide as possible to keep the shoulders from taking over. Don’t make this movement into a press.”

DIP McQuay’s take: “When I’m doing dips for chest, I try to hang over to the point where my chest is parallel to the floor. If you’re staying too vertical with the torso, it’s going to be hitting mostly triceps. And for chest, I don’t do a full lockout at the elbows. My depth at the bottom is around upper arms parallel to the floor.”

CABLE CROSSOVER (Bonus) McQuay’s take: “This exercise is all about a strong mind-muscle connection. You want to get a really tight contraction on each rep. Squeeze and hold it for one to two seconds.” FLEX mrolympia.com

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Q

1 / HAVE A PLAN When he was 22 and living in Massachusetts, Cutler traveled to Southern California to enter a local show. His plan to garner publicity worked. He won the 1995 NPC Tournament of Champions and, months before he nabbed a pro card on his first try at the 1996 NPC Nationals, he was grinning on a Muscle & Fitness cover. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way he rolls. Over the ensuing 17 years, Cutler carefully plotted out everything: business, training, eating, and competing.

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2 / TURN UP THE VOLUME “I’ve always been a volume trainer,” Cutler says. Boy, has he ever. In 2003, I watched him do 10 back exercises for 43 sets over two workouts on the same day! There is a prevalent (and often irrational) fear of overtraining that leads many bodybuilders to lose sight of the growth-inducing benefits achieved by increasing their sets per workout.

4

3 / EMBRACE CHANGE “I’m not doing anything the way I did it before. I’ve changed everything,” Cutler said when I interviewed him in 2004, expecting to get a fairly “routine” routine. In preparation for that year’s Arnold Classic (which he won), he had indeed changed everything. The sport’s greatest advocate of volume training had dramatically reduced his workload and developed a precontest schedule that kept him up most of the night and napping three times a day. Before the year was over, he reverted back to something closer to his usual regime, but his ’04 adventure illustrated his willingness to experiment. He’s never adopted a rule he’s not willing to break. mrolympia.com

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5 / USE HELPING HANDS There were stretches of his career when he toiled alone, but more often than not, Team Cutler has had multiple members. In fact, during his prep for the last three Mr. Olympias (2009–11), he regularly hit the weights with two or three partners per workout. (This also expanded his rest periods between sets.) 6 / DOUBLEUP ON BACK This four-time Mr. O possesses one of the greatest rear lat spreads ever witnessed. By 2005 his lat width was matching if not succeeding Ronnie Coleman’s. Cutler, like Coleman, also worked back twice weekly. One session focused on width (using pulldowns and other cable exercises), and the other targeted thickness (mostly rows and deadlifts). 7 / GO ORGANIC In the middle of the last decade, Cutler began buying organic chicken breasts, eggs, and beef. He feels that consuming foods free of chemicals has made a subtle difference in his physique onstage and may significantly benefit his health in the long term.

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8


JAY BY THE NUMBERS

47 Number of pro qualifiers to turn pro

IFBB Pro League wins

IFBB Pro League contest entries

25 81 Mr. Olympia wins

^ Record

Arnold Classic wins 4 Arnold Classic entries

turned pro on their first tries, including Phil Heath. # Coleman has the record at 29 (1998â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2006).

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9 / DO UNILATERAL SETS As with all bodybuilders, Cutler’s left and right halves are not symmetrical. His left limbs are clearly superior to their right counterparts. He narrows this gap by including unilateral exercises in every leg and arm workout and placing a special emphasis on bringing up his weaknesses (while still expanding his stronger side).

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10 / WORK YOUR WARMUPS Let’s get the terminology straight. Cutler refers to the lighter sets preceding his working sets as “feel sets,” not warmups. This is because he’s not merely going through the motion on those sets. Instead, he’s getting a feel for the weight, making certain his technique is on point, and monitoring his muscles to determine how hard he should push his working sets.

11 / DON’T COUNT REPS “How many did I get, Greg?” he would ask me repeatedly in the many workouts I observed through the years. He knew he was somewhere around the 10–12 range, but he wasn’t certain of the exact tally. Throughout each set, he focuses on his working muscles, because he believes that calculating reps is merely a distraction.


15

12 / REMAIN PERSISTENT Five years—that’s how long he was the Mr. Olympia heir apparent. Cutler was runner-up a frustrating four times from 2001–05. All the while, the three-time Arnold Classic champ stayed focused on his ultimate goal. He learned from mistakes and used each O loss as fuel for his next attempt. That’s why it was even sweeter when he did eventually best Coleman in 2006 to hold aloft his first of four Sandows.

13 / SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

14 / EAT, EAT, AND EAT SOME MORE

Unlike most pro bodybuilders, Cutler schedules some forearm and ab sets into his routine, even during the off-season. Likewise, although he has two of the sport’s best calves, he trains his lower legs as hard as every other body part.

When Cutler was a teen bodybuilder living in rural Massachusetts, he used to buy his beef by the cow, literally. He hit the 280 mark before his 20th birthday by training heavy and eating heavier. He’ll tell you that eating six or more high-protein meals daily isn’t something he enjoys, but frequent feedings have always been a necessary part of his growth plan. mrolympia.com

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16

17 / LEARN FROM YOUR PEERS After he lost to Coleman at the 2003 Mr. Olympia, he began to adopt some of what made his rival’s workouts so successful—especially free-weight basics. Similarly, when Phil Heath was closing in on him and after he lost the Olympia title to Dexter Jackson in 2008, he employed Heath’s trainer/ nutritionist, Hany Rambod, and Rambod’s FST-7 system. Sometimes to be the best you have to beat the best at their own game. 18 / SUPPLEMENT STRATEGICALLY Whey powders boosted his daily protein intake. Creatine and BCAAs powered him through workouts. Vitamins and minerals ensured that the salad-adverse Cutler had all the necessary micronutrients for recovery. Throughout his career he’s been on the cutting edge of sports nutrition.

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19 / STICK MOSTLY TO THE 8- TO 12-REP RANGE Until 2004 most of his sets were in the 8–10 range, and during his teenage years he often went even lower. But over the past eight years, he rarely strayed from the 10–12 range for big body parts. Arms and calves were mostly in the 12–15 range.

20 / HEED THE SIGNS

21 / HIT THE ANGLES

At age 38, 20 years after his first contest, Cutler suffered his first major injury with 2011’s biceps tear. One key to bodybuilding success is injury avoidance, and Cutler did this by rarely going less than 10 reps per set in recent years, utilizing feel sets to gauge his muscles’ abilities each workout and working around small strains and pains.

He learned which foot placements will stress various areas of his legs, which grips will best target sections of his upper body, and which exercises are most effective for his particular physique. Then he employed that knowledge to hit each body part from a variety of angles, with a particular emphasis on what he most wants to accentuate.

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22 / AVOID MAJOR SHOCKS Don’t ask Cutler for scary workout stories. He doesn’t have any reminiscences about 30 continuous sets of squats or giant-set circuits that kept him hovering around a trash can, revisiting his protein. He never supersetted biceps and triceps until he couldn’t scratch his own head. He sticks to his training program, and that program has never included all-shock workouts from hell.

CUTLER’S 6 PIVOTAL SHOWS 1996 2001

23 / IMPROVISE YOUR TRAINING He has a rough outline for how each workout will progress, but doesn’t follow a detailed script. Instead, he analyzes how his muscles are responding and chooses his tools accordingly. He will often pause midworkout so he and his training partner(s) can review how many exercises he’s done and what he should do next. Every workout is a work in progress.

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2000 2004

2006


24 / STAY LEAN Where are the photos of a fat Jay Cutler? Where are the shots of a “front butt,” or a doughy face as round as Charlie Brown’s? Don’t bother Googling. You won’t find any. Throughout his pro career, he’s always stayed within striking distance of stage shape. Fat is bad for business. Yearround cardio has kept the wrong sort of pounds from sticking, and that in turn has allowed him to better monitor his progress and more effectively diet down to excavate the fine lines.

25 / KEEP IT FUN He doesn’t do any elaborate psych-ups before sets. He doesn’t scowl or stomp around the gym. Instead, he’s frequently smiling and joking with partners between sets. Jay Cutler takes bodybuilding very seriously— as a competitive pursuit, a lifestyle, and a business—but he also has fun. He never forgets how lucky he is to make an excellent living from something he loves so much. FLEX mrolympia.com

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BY MICHAEL BERG, N.S.C.A.-C.P.T. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERICA SCHULTZ


Q If you’ve seen the clips of Mountain Dog Training on YouTube, you might be scared out of your wits to try it yourself. After all they are a depiction of agony, showing bodybuilders like Evan Centopani, among others, struggling through torturous dropsets, partials, and forced reps, among other devious set-extending techniques. (One particular clip, ominously titled “Bulgarian Split Squat Dropset of Death,” would have most grown men crawling to the nearest exit.) Truth be told, the training strategy devised by IFBB pro and Columbus, OH-based bodybuilding coach John Meadows six years ago isn’t for the weak. “Out of the

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“IT’S GOOD TO START WITH HAMS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO OFTEN AN AFTERTHOUGHT. NOT SURPRISINGLY, MOST PEOPLE DON’T HAVE GOOD HAMS.”

last five guys I had down to train legs, three of them threw up,” Meadows admits. However, he’s quick to point out another key fact. “Yes, I tend to show the videos that are more extreme, but it’s not all about crazy, high intensity on every set,” he admits. “I’d say it’s actually a program more geared to help people stay healthier and injuryfree so they can keep on training and doing this thing that they love for many years.” Intensity is important, but it is a double-edged sword if not managed properly. Recently, Meadows, who won the 2015 NPC Team Universe Championships Masters overall


and last competed at the 2016 Arnold Classic 212, sat down with FLEX to walk readers through a typical Mountain Dog leg regimen, sharing the secrets of his sometimes atypical, always challenging approach. If you want more mass, deeper cuts, and new levels of strength—and you’re not afraid of the hard work (and occasional queasiness) to get there— Meadows is your man. FLEX Your leg workouts are outside the norm, starting off with the very first exercise. Why do you recommend leading with a hamstrings exercise? Meadows Years ago, I went to the gym after work, and the place was packed. I used to squat first in every leg workout—back then, it was blasphemy not to do a compound movement first—but all the racks were taken, so I figured while I’m waiting, I’d do some leg

MOUNTAIN DOG INTENSITY MENU DROPSETS

ISOHOLDS

PARTIAL REPS

curls. I did three to four sets and then went on to squats, and it was apparent right out of the gate how much better the squat felt in my hips, knees, everything. Why do you think that was? When you drive a lot of blood in your hamstrings, it provides a certain stability at the bottom of your squat and leg press. Your knees and hips feel warm, too. My science buddies tell me I have discovered some post-activation potentiation of muscle force here, but I am not sure. It could just be a change in joint proprioception as well where the cushion from the pump just feels good. In Mountain Dog, we call it “greasing the groove.” It’s also good to start with hams because they are so often an afterthought. Guys will do quads hard and then toss a couple of sets of leg curls at the end of the workout and they’re done. Not surprisingly, most people don’t have good hamstrings development. Which hamstring moves are the best to lead off? The first exercise is always going to be a leg-curl variation—standing, seated, or lying. We save the more stretch-oriented exercises like Romanian deadlifts and lunges for later in your workouts, when the muscles are pumped. Have you ever experimented with other leg exercises first? Getting the adductors—the inner part of your thigh—fired up is also really good. You feel really explosive after those muscles are activated.

FORCED REPS

Where does the high-intensity work come into play? On the leg curl, we’ll do three sets of 10, where on the 10th rep you feel you still have another rep or two in the tank. The fourth set is where we pull out all the bells and whistles: It can be a dropset, maybe some iso-holds, partials, forced reps—any high-intensity technique that jams a lot of blood in the muscles and leads to complete failure. If you’ve done it right, when you stand afterward, you can’t pick your heel up off the floor and touch your glutes with it because the hamstrings muscle is mrolympia.com

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“I CAUTION PEOPLE TO NOT JUDGE THE SUCCESS OF A WORKOUT BASED ON BREAKING A RECORD. ADDING WEIGHT IS A GREAT GOAL, BUT IT’S NOT THE BE-ALL AND END-ALL.” so pumped. Keep in mind, you turn it loose only on one set. You can’t do that on all four sets or you’ll wear yourself out for the rest of the workout. After the curl and adductor machine, do you go to a traditional compound movement? Yes, after that, it’s always going to be a squat or leg press. Squats are my favorite exercise, but a lot of people can’t do them because of various lower-back issues. In that case, the leg press is also a really good exercise for building the thigh. It baffles me that so many people don’t think the leg press is useful. It’s such a simple movement that works so well. For this third movement, we follow a more traditional approach, pyramiding up from set to set, trying to work up to a heavier weight. If you squatted 315 for seven reps the week before, your goal may be eight this week—just classic progressive overload model in play here. For squats, our goal is usually eight reps per set, and you’re done when you can’t complete eight with perfect form, while leg press would be a 10-rep cap. Just make sure that your weight jumps aren’t too big; you want to be doing five to eight working sets so you’re getting enough volume. Also use a more explosive cadence—lower the weight in a controlled manner and then drive it up with some aggressiveness. I think there is something to altering muscle fiber type by specifically training explosively. Do you need to consistently break your personal strength records? Not at all. I caution people to not judge the success of a workout based on breaking a record. First of all, you can’t get stronger every workout for the rest of your life.

It just doesn’t work that way. Just because you didn’t set a new PR doesn’t mean you didn’t get a great workout. You still are stimulating hypertrophy. Adding weight is a great goal, but it’s not the be–all and end–all. What comes next, after the squat or press? After that first compound exercise, I like to do specific pump work, focusing on the lactate threshold and the chemical reactions that happen in the muscle beyond just moving a heavy load. That could mean a hack squat, leg extension, or if you went with a barbell squat first, you could do the leg press here. We’ll do four sets, with the first three sets almost to failure, leaving a rep or two on the table, and then the last set all-out just like the leg curls. On that high-intensity set, say you’re doing hack squats. You’ll start with 12 reps, then immediately drop the weight and do

another 12. Then drop it again and do a third round of 12 reps. You can then add iso-holds. In my version of this, you’ll lower yourself down about one-third of the way on the last rep and just hold it there. In fact, if you have a spotter, that person can push down on the sled and you’re resisting that, trying to push the weight back up. The spotter needs to have a sense of that, and provide just enough resistance that it creates equal pressure—you’re pushing up hard, but the weight isn’t moving. Do you add a second pump exercise? Yes. the first one would include the fourth set, but the second really shouldn’t, unless you’re feeling really strong that day and want to go for it. The second exercise can be anything from a leg extension to a stationary lunge—I like to do those on a Smith machine. If you do the fourth set on those, you could do the dropsets, working your way down to body weight only. Lunges aren’t great for the beginning of a workout, but once you have that pump, like hacks, they can feel really good. At this point, do you circle back to hamstrings? Here we would do something that would put a stretch in them, like a stiff-leg deadlift with a barbell, dumbbells, or T-bar, for four sets of eight to 12 reps. At this point,

MOUNTAIN DOG LEG WORKOUT EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

4

4† 3 4

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you have all this blood in your hamstrings, then you get this nice deep stretch. I’m not going to say this type of stretch loosens up your fascia tissue or results in hyperplasia or anything like that. I think that’s debatable, but I will say I see better recovery and growth in the people I train this way. Logically this sequence works well—it’s like pressing to get a pump in your chest and then doing a flye. Here I might also add quadriceps stretches as well, just putting the foot up behind you on a bench and squatting down. Do you pyramid the weight on stiff-leg deads? You might need a feeder set, but you don’t need to do a lot of pyramiding, unless you’re a really strong guy who can stiff-leg 400 pounds, which I’m not. In a feeder set, you put some weight on the bar and do three reps, then add a little more and do another three reps, and then you get to your working weight. That way, you don’t fatigue yourself before you get to your working weight. So through the whole workout, there are only one or two super-high-intensity sets. That’s fewer than people new to Mountain Dog might assume. Exactly. If you think about it, we’ve done only two crazy sets, on the leg curl and then another on the hack squat or leg extension. We take the other movements right up to failure, but it’s with good form. I think it’s a good way to train really hard and intelligently and stay healthy. It works especially well for guys who are getting older and can’t get away with some of the things they used to do in their 20s and 30s. I get guys who are seemingly at their genetic limits, and I can squeeze another, say, 10 pounds of muscle out of them with nothing but training changes over the course of a year or two. You tend to get a lot of pushback from people who think Mountain Dog is too high intensity. If you look at our workout, only two sets out of the whole workout are those crazy, to-absolute-failure, highintensity sets. The other exercises are challenging, too, but not done to the extreme. It’s a sustainable longterm training method. FLEX

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218

COURTESY OF WEIDER HEALTH & FITNESS

Dave Draper’s 10 commandments to help you realize your full potential.

LAST SET YOUR ONE-STOP SOURCE FOR MUSCLE NEWS From football to boxing, to bodybuilding and acting, Kaden Vu does it all his way.

Still going strong at nearly 50, Troy Alves shares lessons learned in his 20-year career.

Kai sweeps the Arnold Classic, the Arnold Australia, and the Arnold Brasil.

Who wins the posedown between Markus Rühl and Mamdouh Elssbiay? Find out!

Take a look back at USA champ Jason Huh and the wheels he rode to the IFBB Pro League.

mrolympia.com

211


LAST SET

PROFILE

Whether it’s on the field, in the ring, the gym, on bodybuilding stages, or movie sets, Kaden Vu does it his way.

BY Andrew Gutman

Q Possessing a knack for athletics and a physique ahead of his high school football teammates, Kaden Vu was told as a teenager that he was “an abomination” compared with the “typical Asian.” But Vu has never been bothered by being considered the opposite of what that stereotype embodies. After all, if being “an abomination” means being physically superior, then Vu is more than OK with it: He embraces it. After suffering two broken wrists during his football days, Vu took time off from training and ended up losing a significant amount of weight. He later tried boxing as a way to get back into shape and discovered a new talent, winning a Golden Gloves championship while compiling a 34-3 record with 22 KOs. Vu’s coach wanted him to drop from heavyweight to light-heavyweight (178 pounds) since he’s only 5'8". His selfproclaimed “small-man syndrome” made him reluctant to make the cut. “I told my coach, ‘How about this. I’ll do bodybuilding. If I win the show, then I step away from boxing. If I lose the show, then I’ll go lose the weight and get down into the appropriate class.’” Vu won his first local show and immediately made the switch to bodybuilding. Eventually, however, he saw the sport as a dead end and shifted his interests to acting, where he wants to “become the baddest villain on the big screen.” Vu still sticks to a power-bodybuilding style of training, prioritizing the big three, with a lifetime PR of 585 pounds for one rep on the bench press, 675 pounds for eight reps on the squat, and 700 pounds for three sets of eight on the deadlift…all done at a lean 250 pounds. Vu, now 33, bounces from goal to goal because it’s not about the end, it’s about embracing who he is. “Be different. Don’t be like everybody else,” says Vu. “Don’t fit the mold. Destroy the mold because at the end of the day, you’ve got to be yourself.”

THE ABOMINATION KADEN VU HAS ALWAYS BEEN OF A DIFFERENT MOLD, AND HIS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAMMATES HAD NO PROBLEM MAKING THAT PERFECTLY CLEAR 212

FLEX | JUNE ’16


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LAST SET

OVER 40

BY Andrew Gufman

STILL PUMPED IFBB PRO TROY ALVES SHARES IMPORTANT LESSONS HE’S LEARNED IN HIS 20-YEAR CAREER

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

Barbell Curl

4

10–12

Dumbbell Hammer Curl Superset with Rope Curl*

3 3

10–12 10–12

Cable EZ-bar Curl

4

10–12

Rope Pushdown

4

10–12

Close-grip Bench Press

3

10–12

Seated Dumbbell Extension

3

10–12

Reverse-grip EZ-bar Cable Pushdown

3

12–15

Rest 60 seconds between sets. *Flare arms out at top.

214

FLEX | JUNE ’16

ALVES’ STATS Age 49 Height 5'9" Weight 215 lbs Residence Peoria, AZ Career Highlights 2013 Europa Show of Champions 212, 1st; 2011 Battle of Champions, 1st; 2011 Phoenix Pro, 1st; 2009 Europa Show of Champions, 1st

ROB PICK

Q Most bodybuilders just hope to remain competitive in their 40s but in the case of IFBB pro Troy Alves, that was his peak. Alves’ first professional bodybuilding victory came at the 2009 Europa Show of Champions, at age 42. The Connecticut native went on to win three open shows and another in the 212 division in 2013 before hanging up his posing trunks. Throughout his career, Alves, 49, made critical training and diet changes to step onstage with the elite. “Around age 40, I started doing more volume and added more dropsets,” says Alves. The new approach resulted in increased detail and thickness while giving his joints a break. Alves’ competition diet was a traditional bodybuilder’s menu—chicken, turkey, rice, and veggies—but as his career progressed, so did his body. “I realized that you don’t need 2–2.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight,” says Alves. “I was able to eat 1g per pound and still see changes in development.” A personal trainer with a goal of running a 10K race this year, Alves aims for four to five balanced meals a day. He isn’t afraid to splurge on occasion, either. “I don’t stay perfect all the time. If I want to have a burger in the middle of the day, I’ll have a burger.”


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CONTEST WRAP-UP

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216

FLEX | JUNE ’16

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LAST SET

BLOND BOMBER

FIGHT FOR

218

FLEX | JUNE ’16


THOU SHALT 1 Stop it. 2 Right now. 3 Don’t submit. 4 Train hard. 5 Eat right. 6 Be strong. 7 Know thyself. 8 Love thyself. 9 Be happy. 10 Be wise.

Q Discouragement and disappointment in large or small doses affect everyone in every area of life. These negative conditions, if they are severe and recurrent, can lead to depression. And depression can be more than a temporary misery; it can become a chronic and crushing disease. We then confront the Triple Ds: discouragement, disappointment, and depression. For our purposes, we’re specifically talking about situations relating to muscle building, fat loss, and getting in shape—where many of us experience more disappointment and discouragement than fulfillment and success. Here’s where the strong are separated from the weak: press on or pull back. THE LOWEST PIT I don’t care if it’s leap year, NASCAR tryouts, Thursday night with the girls at the Bowl-O-Rama, or you’re just hungry and pooped— random gorging is trouble. Are you willing to pay that price? Think about it. At some point you will feel weak, fat, and stupid. Guilt is a mean companion, unrelenting,

almost sadistic. You want to get in shape, you want to build muscle, and you want to be strong. But you lack discipline and are unable to deny yourself for a day. Excuses have no place in the life of a lifter. Fact is, you ate pizza and drank beer while you sat on the couch and watched the tube. You did it before, and you’ll do it again and that’s the way it works. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS A true seeker of muscle and might cannot omit a training session. Unmotivated imposters miss workouts. Hapless wimps and doodlers let their workouts slide, but not men and women of steel. The next time the urge to skip a workout arises, will you regard it as an opportunity to exhibit strength or a moment before a catastrophe? Will you submit to the moment or fight it with all your strength? If you choose the former, you lose. Choose the catastrophe and you become one. The solution I offer is composed of 10 two-word commands. We have too much to live for to be grounded and weak, so fight for might. mrolympia.com

219


LAST SET

POSEDOWN

ELSSBIAY vs. RUHL A SUPER-DUPER-HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHT FOR THE AGES

220

FLEX | JUNE ’16

RUHL HEIGHT

WEIGHT

5 10 280 '

"

AGE

PRO WINS

YEARS AS PRO

PRO CONTESTS

44 13

2

32

STRENGTHS

OVERALL SIZE, SHOULDERS, CHEST WEAKNESSES

TRICEPS, WIDE HIPS BEST POSE

MOST MUSCULAR WORST POSE

SIDE TRICEPS

CHRIS LUND

QThey have a lot in common. They won their first pro titles at 28, their highest Olympia placings are fifth (11 years apart), they’re 5'10", neither has lived in America, and, most important, they’re two of the widest and thickest bodybuilders to ever test the limits of a posing dais. Germany’s Markus Ruhl was so celebrated for his monster mass during his pro career (19972010) that cries of “RUUUUHL!” bellowed from awestruck fans whenever he crunched a pose. His traps, pecs, and delts were gargantuan, and that, combined with his ultrawidth, gave him, arguably, the most stupendous, most muscular of all time. One person who might argue is Egypt’s Mamdouh Elssbiay. Big Ramy is even wider (and heavier) than Ruhl with fuller quads. If these two behemoths had peaked in the same era, it would’ve been like Godzilla versus King Kong each time they clashed.


By Greg Merritt

"

WEIGHT

305 PRO WINS

3

PRO CONTESTS

8

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

BEST POSE

SPREAD WORST POSE

Flex (ISSN 8750-8915), Vol. 33 No. 6, 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 Oice and at additional Mailing oices. Copyright © Weider Publications, LLC 2016. 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 Oice. Subscription rate is $42.97 for (1yr) 12 issues in U.S.A. In Canada (1yr) 12 issues $59.97. Outside of U.S.A. and Canada (1yr) $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 707.4.12.5); 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 who 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.

mrolympia.com

221


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FLEX | FEBRUARY ’15


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