I personally don’t like to train any particular way for an extended period of time. I like to rotate out different styles of training, whether it’s a focus on volume for a few months, then a focus on intensity and strength training for a few months, etc. I think all rep ranges have their place, and more importantly, not to allow the body to adapt to whatever style of training you are doing.
At the moment, I’m focusing on strength training. I currently have a good friend of mine, Derek Charlebois, doing my programming for the current training blocks. It’s in a DUP (daily undulating periodization) format, and so far, it’s added some significant increases to the BIG 3 lifts (squat, deadlift and bench press).
Bench Press: 425lbs (193kg) with a pause
Squats: 605lbs (275kg) below parallel
Deadlifts: 655lbs (298kg)
I’m actually on the cover of a book called “The Stubborn Fat Loss Solution” by Lyle McDonald that describes the 4 different cardio protocols that I now use every time I do cardio. For me, I personally don’t always have a lot of extra time to do cardio (I have two toddlers at home), so HIIT always fits my schedule better. Cardio is more about creating that extra deficit rather than one form being “better” than the other really. I think whatever method of cardio one uses, it’s important to make sure that it coincides with their training and nutritional plan optimally.
My favourite exercises would have to be:
I love deadlifts mainly because it is literally a total body movement and the ultimate form of power.
I’m pretty sure I like squats simply because it’s another one of those lifts that the majority of gym-goers don’t do well (or even at all). Also, I played baseball for about 20 years of my life and I was a catcher. So, I’m pretty sure I like Squats because I’ve been squatting since I was 9!
Since I last competed, I can tell that my back was a major weak point. Since then I have been deadlifting like crazy. I’m pretty anxious to see what it looks like now without all the body fat covering it up!
I prefer to get to a comfortable weight and just maintain around that weight while I gain strength. I don’t like letting my weight get too out of hand because that’s just extra body fat I have to diet off anyway.
Nothing out of a box or a can. I typically eat all fresh, whole foods. I prefer nutrient dense foods (what IIFYMers would call bro foods) simply because I feel and perform much better when I eat that way.
The exact same as when I’m bulking, only a little less of it! Nothing really changes when I start to diet, other than I reduce the amount.
Personally I just taper them down slowly. I haven’t seen any reason to cut them out completely, so I don’t. If someone needs to use a more ketogenic approach because they might be more insulin resistant and would respond better, I’m all for that. It’s just not for me.
The biggest challenge is the mental aspect of the diet when you are just a few weeks away from a show. At the point (assuming you are lean enough), the hormonal systems are pretty out of whack. It becomes really difficult to manage emotions, how you deal with people/family, and how well you can stay on track of cardio and posing when you are dead tired and want nothing to do with it.
This is pretty easy since I eat this way anyway. My wife cooks an amazing seasoned roast chicken breast with baked sweet potatoes and broccoli. It’s usually at least two of my meals when I diet.
Pizza. It’s usually the first thing I eat when I am done competing!
MTS Machine Whey: I typically make SLUDGE every night before bed, it is like candy to me!
CORE Nutritionals ABC: It is the ultimate intra-workout drink. First off, there’s no proprietary blend, so you can see exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting. The dosing of the product blows all other intra workout drinks away. And, the taste is amazing…very light and refreshing. So much so, I usually drink it throughout the day.
I’ve used both approaches. I define “clean” by nutrient dense. I use a lot of what IIFYM’ers call “bro” foods simply because they are jam-packed with micro and phytonutrients that I feel are far superior than just “taking a multi to cover my bases”.
I’ve also noticed a DRAMATIC difference in the “look” that I had on stage between the two approaches. Using IIFYM, I still got lean, but not near as hard and grainy as I did when I was eating better food sources. Not to mention, I just feel and recover better in the off-season as well. To each their own though.
Competition. I was a baseball player for a long time, and even got the chance to play in the minor leagues for a little bit. When I was done with that part of my life, I was looking for something else to compete in. In most other sports, you have to have a special skill set, but with bodybuilding you don’t. And since weight lifting has always been a part of my life, I decided to go with that.
I sure was. I was on an interstate and a semi hit me going about 80mph while I was in a tiny Honda Accord. Believe it or not, and you wouldn’t believe it if you saw the photos from the wreck, but I only physically suffered a torn IT band in my left leg, and some pretty extensive whiplash. Pyschologically, it was pretty traumatic, so that took much longer to heal. I will probably always have issues with my IT band as long as I live, and I still get throbbing pains that keep me up at night. But in the end, I’m still here, so that’s fine by me!
Nutrition and training were just slow and steady. The most important aspect of it all was realizing that I didn’t have to get everything back all in a hurry. Slow and steady wins the race. Training, I just continued to do what didn’t hurt and slowly work my way back into the compound lifts. Nutrition, I typically eat the same way anyway, so that wasn’t a challenge. Patience was the ultimate challenge.
I see myself owning more property, expanding my tax practice, and hopefully becoming a more integral part in the growth of the personal training and supplement industry. I plan on achieving all of this by continuing to do what I am currently doing – helping people within their financial, housing, and physical situations reach their goals!
My father. He was in a wheelchair, had use of ONE arm, and yet still went to work every day instead of living off of the government.
My brother. He is in the military and VOLUNTARILY deployed to Afghanistan to help defend this country.
Determined. Genuine. Honest.
By being a master at time management! Seriously, why isn’t there an entire course on this in school? If I didn’t have time management skills, I would never be able to do everything that I am able to do.
I’m a huge fan – so much so that you can usually find me quoting Arnold in most of my lifting videos.
“Milk is for babies. When you grow up, you have to drink beer.”
I enjoy most sports simply because I love competition. I love football (gridiron) season, and still admire the way Peyton Manning plays the game.
Don’t be afraid to work on yourself with personal development. Yes, lifting heavy and doing well in sports is good and all, but the real wealth in life is in the relationships you develop with other people. I’ve been able to enjoy life so much more ever since I started trying to better myself as a person. No one will care how well you did in something if you are a complete jerk.