Understanding the Role of Key Hormones that affect Metabolism
Leptin-Leptin is a protein hormone produced by your fat cells (secreted by adipocytes) that regulates satiety and energy expenditure. Leptin is designed to maintain homeostasis between undereating/starvation and overeating/excessive fat storage. The more one restricts calories and lowers bodyfat levels, the lower leptin levels become (the brain will send signals to reduce energy expenditure and hoard fat as it senses starvation mode), whereas higher levels of leptin are associated with higher bodyfat, which act to signal satiety (the brain signaling to stop eating because the body has enough stored energy…fat). As with all hormones, excessive eating behavior for an extended period of time can impede the ability of leptin to effectively do it’s job (maintain balance). Individuals who overeat to the point of obesity ignore the signals of satiety from the brain, while they focus on the pleasure derived from eating additional calories. While higher levels of bodyfat are equated with higher leptin levels, amongst obese individuals leptin is unable to do it’s job, because of signal failure…this is termed leptin resistance. On the flipside, as one restricts calories and reduces bodyfat levels, over time thyroid function decreases (slowed metabolism) and cortisol is elevated (cortisol is a catabolic hormone responsible for breakdown…in starvation mode or conditions of extreme trauma/stress catabolism enables the body to maintain blood glucose levels even in the absence of adequate carbohydrates, which provide glycogen). Under these conditions hunger signals are sent from the brain because it senses inadequate caloric intake relative to caloric expenditure. Once again, human behavior can interfere with the body’s attempt to self-regulate. A bodybuilder preparing for a contest or a wrestler attempting to make weight will ignore the signals from the brain. This results in leptin levels continuing to fall, while the body becomes more resistant to oxidize fat, more willing to store it and more willing to breakdown muscle for energy (the opposite of the effect desired by the individual).
Insulin-Insulin is an anabolic hormone secreted by the pancreas, responsible for storage and transportation of nutrients across cell membranes. Insulin most notably responds to increases in blood glucose levels affected by carbohydrate intake. The role of insulin is to maintain balance of blood sugar. It should be noted that all hormones act to maintain homeostasis in some manner with a counterpart that acts in reverse. The counterpart of insulin is glucagon, which acts to raise blood sugar when it’s too low. Insulin acts to clear sugar in the blood. When carbohydrates are broken down into their simplest form, they become glucose. The number of steps it takes to breakdown a food into glucose determines it’s glycemic index rating (the impact on blood glucose levels) whereas the glycemic load takes into account the amount of food as well (eating a large amount of a low glycemic food can have a stronger effect on blood sugar than eating a small amount of a high-glycemic food…this is measured by glycemic load). Insulin is secreted as a response to the elevation in blood sugar (the amount secreted is dependent upon the glycemic load in addition to the individual’s insulin sensitivity) and attempts to shuttle the glucose (in addition to other nutrients) into either muscle cells or fat cells, where it becomes glycogen (stored energy). There is a maximum amount of glycogen that can be stored in the liver and muscles. This is dependent upon the relationship between energy expenditure, caloric intake and amount of stored energy (bodyfat). In simple terms, these are the variables that affect GLUT4 translocation (receptivity). GLUT4 is the receptor in your cell that allows glycogen to be received (insulin is the deliver guy and GLUT4 is the person who answers the door). To briefly summarize, someone with low bodyfat (little stored energy), high energy expenditure (works out regularly and intensely) with a balanced nutritional plan will have higher insulin sensitivity. What this means is that the muscle cells are more receptive of glycogen being shuttled into them, because there is adequate space. This is the result of demand for stored energy (glycogen) equaling or exceeding intake/supply. It should also be noted that as one becomes increasingly insulin resistant, initial response is to secrete more insulin since it is less effective. This creates additional stress on the pancreas. One with higher insulin sensitivity is able to efficiently shuttle nutrients and thus utilizes less insulin.
It should also be noted that the presence of insulin (as a result of elevated blood sugar) will inhibit fat oxidation. This is due to priority and efficiency. If there is a simple form of available energy in the bloodstream (glucose), then the body will prioritize glucose oxidation…it’s not as efficient or convenient to convert stored fat for energy when glucose is readily available. This is why it’s important to control blood sugar and blood insulin levels if your goal is to reduce bodyfat. The more insulin resistant a person is, the more insulin gets secreted, the more ineffective it is and the longer it remains in the bloodstream inhibiting fat oxidation.
Someone who is inactive and overeats, encounters insulin resistance. This is a condition where the muscle cells are already full of glycogen and so no one answers the door when the delivery guy (insulin) shows up. Insulin is then forced to drop the package at the next place (your fat cells!) That’s right, when your glycogen stores in your muscles are full glucose will be shuttled into your fat cells. This is the first stage of insulin resistance. The second stage is when the fat cells actually become resistant and insulin is unable to do it’s job at all resulting in high blood sugar that cannot be cleared. If this happens, you’re in a world of sh*t and it’s your own damn fault!!! Type II diabetes is a self-inflicted disease that can easily be cured through increased activity/exercise and controlled, balance nutrition. I should note that insulin resistance and leptin resistance go hand in hand since they are attributed to the same conditions (overeating and inactivity).
Cortisol-Cortisol is a catabolic hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, which is categorized as a corticosteroid. As mentioned earlier, one of the key roles of cortisol is elevation of blood glucose levels, which is done through a process called gluconeogenesis. In simple terms, this is the body’s way to derive blood sugar in the absence of glycogen…it breaks down it’s own muscle. While cortisol is viewed as bad (especially by bodybuilders who do not want to breakdown hard-earned muscle), it’s a necessary evil that attempts to keep the body in balance and is an important aspect of the human fight or flight mechanism. Elevated cortisol levels are synonymous with extremely high activity levels, elevated stress, inadequate sleep/recovery and/or prolonged periods of low caloric intake. Cortisol levels are naturally higher first thing in the morning and during/after workout. This is why it is important to ingest the proper combination of protein and carbohydrates at these times to blunt the rise of cortisol.
From this cursory explanation of 3 hormones involved with metabolism you can see how they are all interrelated and hopefully gain an understanding of how behavior (activity and eating) will affect them and the underlying response of your body.
30 minutes AM cardio
Close Grip Pull-ups:12,9,8,8
D-Bell FLys on Ball: 50′sx15,75′sx15,100′sx7,100′sx6,75′sx12
One Arm Lateral Cable Raises: 50×15,60×12,60×12,50×15
Alt Front D-Bell Raises:40′sx15,50′sx8,50′sx6,40′sx15
Cable Curls:stack x 12,10,10,7
Reverse Cable FLys:100×10,100×8,80×15,80×12
Overhead Rope Ext:80×10,8,6, 60×15
Hammer D-Bell Curls:50′sx8,8,8,6
Close Grip Pull Downs:220×10,8,8,8
grippers: 3 sets
Yesterday, Wednesday 11/23 (Day 10 off-season) I did a 30 minutes cardio session in the morning and then another 30 minute cardio session in the middle of the day
Thursday 11/24 Thanksgiving (Day 11 Off-Season)
Since it’s THANKSGIVING and it’s LEG DAY, i’m posting a picture of TURKEY LEGS!!!
Unilateral Leg Press:2plx15,4plx12,4plx12,6plx12,8plx8,8plx8,6plx12,4plx20
Standing Calf Raises on Bear Squat:8plx12,10plx12,12plx12,14plx7,14plx7,12plx12,12plx12,12plx12,12plx12,12plx12
HS Kneeling Leg Curl:105×10,115×8,125×6,105×10
Leg Ext: 250×16,12,12,12
10 Hill Sprints
25 minutes AM cardio + abs/core
Overhead D-Bell Press:40′s15,60′sx12,80′sx12,100′sx6,100′sx5,80′sx9,60′sx12
Underhand Pull Downs: 180×12,220×12,250×9,270×6,250×8,220×10
Incline SM Press:2plx15,4plx12,9,8,6
Seated Cable Row:250×10,270×10,280×7,250×10,220×15
HS Hi Row: 8plx8,7,7 6plx12
Push-ups with feet on swiss ball & hands on bosu: 30,20,20
One Arm D-Bell Row: 170×10,10,10
Precor Lateral Raise:100×16,12,10,8
Close Grip Chest Press: 175×10,8,8
Precor Shoulder Press: stack x 14
Very sore from yesterday, shoulders are extremely tight (have been for the past several weeks) and my strength has a long way to go to get back to where it was off-season
Saturday 11/19: 20 minutes am cardio + 4 mile in the afternoon
Sunday 11/20: 30 minutes am cardio
30 minutes am cardio
Trap Bar Deads:135×10,225×10,315×10,315×5,405×10,495×8,495×7,495×6,495×6,405×15
Barbell Pause Squats: 2 warm-ups, then 315×6,6,6,6
SM Split Squats: 2plx10,4plx10,10,10
HS Horizontal Calf Raises: 10plx15,12,11,10,10,10,10,10,10,10
Seated Calf Raises: 4plx12,10,10
Glute/Ham Raise: 15, w/ 25 lb plate x 6, 12
10 Hill Sprints
Well another contest season has come and gone and i’ve now had a week to think about and digest what has transpired. The focus of my 2011 contest season was the WNBF Pro World Championships, which were held in NYC on November 12th. I competed in the 2009 Worlds, finishing a disappointing 4th place. My goal was to bring a better overall package to the stage (elevate my personal best) enabling me to earn a better placing. Specifically, I needed to bring up some weak points to overcome structural deficiencies in my symmetry. Coming into this year’s show, I felt that I had succeeded in making some improvements to my physique that would enable me to hold my ground against those with better genetic structure. My overall win at the WNBF Pro Universe in September gave me confidence that my extended off-season paid off and that I was more ready to challenge for a top spot in the heavyweight class.
The line-up for the show proved to be as competitive as always with 10 lightweight pro men, 14 middleweights and 12 in the heavyweight class (a total of 36 pro men). Looking at the names, I knew that both Vaughan and I would have to fight for a top spot in both of our classes.
I was in contest prep mode for a total of 28 weeks leading into Worlds. In the final week I was very happy with how everything came together and felt as though I was bringing my best to the stage. I was excited to see how my efforts would translate to placing amongst the best in natural bodybuilding.
When my class was brought onstage, I started off all the way on one end (since I was competitor #1 in my class). After a set of quarter turns in the symmetry round, Head Judge Nancy Andrews moved me towards the center of the stage. From there, I remained in the middle 3 positions throughout the symmetry round, mass round and conditioning & muscularity round. This was a pretty good sign that I was in contention for top 3 in my class. The feedback I got following prejudging was consistent with this. With a class of 12 I was prepared to be onstage for awhile. I felt well prepared in my ability to hold my poses for a long time. Vaughan and I spent a lot of time practicing our posing…we had conditioned ourselves to handle long bouts onstage…at the Mid-America 5 weeks before, we were easily onstage for 40 minutes and both did not have any issues with fatigue. Likewise, I felt great at Worlds.
In my class was the 2009 Overall World Champion, Martin Daniels…a mass monster with perfect symmetry. Martin’s proportions are ridiculous. New amongst the heavies, was new pro, Richard Gozdecki from England. Richard had just recently earned his pro card and it was evident in prejudging that he was challenging for the top spot in our class. Richard not only possesses great symmetry, but is an absolute monster! Quite possible the biggest natural bber i’ve ever seen, weighing in at 229 lbs ONSTAGE!!! That’s about 30 lbs more than my stage weight! I knew right away after looking at the pictures, he’d be very hard to beat…although he could have been a little sharper in terms of conditioning, Richard probably brought the best overall combination of sheer mass and muscular symmetry with decent conditioning. The general consensus after prejudging was that it was close between the top 3 (that is usually the case at a show like Worlds…very little separating the top spots).
The day proceeded and after a long drawn out night show (I don’t think I did my routine until around 9pm), Our class was brought out to award the top 5. I was happy to not hear my name called for the 4th and 5th place spots. On the plus side, Rodney Helaire, who has been a dominant force in the WNBF over the years was announced 4th. Back in 2006 I competed against Rodney in the Pro US Cup…he won the heavyweight class and I took 2nd to him…if I remember correctly he beat me by a unanimous decision, so placing ahead of him at Worlds was certainly an accomplishment for me that demonstrated marked improvement.
I ended up placing 3rd, Martin took 2nd and Richard won the class along with the Overall Title (he beat out the lightweight and middleweight class winners)…so I lost to 2 Overall World Champions
I came away from the show with mixed feelings, not entirely sure how to react or what to think. On one hand, I improved my placing and placed ahead of someone I had formerly lost to. On the other hand I failed to achieve the goal I ultimately set for myself and I was not able to close the gap on the individual who placed ahead of me last time. At this point, I needed to wait until I could get some honest feedback from Nancy Andrews (Head Judge) and see the scores.
A couple days after the shows, the results and scores were posted…Richard finished with 7 points, beating Martin by 1 point (Martin had 8 points) and I had 17 points…it appears I was a distant third place, not challenging for the top spots in my class. This was a bit disheartening considering the efforts i’ve put forth over the last 2 years. It almost seems to demonstrate no improvement against those who beat me before. By the week’s end I was able to get some feedback from Nancy Andrews. Nancy pointed out that Richard and Martin were clearly the top 2 while I was definitively third, not matching the symmetry or mass that either Richard or Martin possessed, but clearly ahead of the 4th and 5th finishers. Nancy seemed to think I wasn’t as sharp as I was for the Universe in September, a result of maintaining contest condition for too long. From looking at the pictures, I felt that the stage lighting washed us out, detracting from my conditioning and making me appear softer than I was. Going into the show, I felt I was at my best. Regardless, I don’t think it would have affected the outcome since I did not get beat on conditioning.
Nancy did seem to think that there might be some things I can adjust with my posing to help gain me points in the rounds where I have a disadvantage. Moving forward I will plan to find anything I can tweak with posing and master it before hitting the stage again. I look forward to her suggestions on my posing, since it’s something I focus on quite a bit during my prep.
Nancy did give some very positive feedback and I am very grateful for her willingness to take time to help others in the sport. Nancy is a true ambassador of natural bbing and gives lot to help the sport grow. She was recently interviewed on Natural BBing Radio, she discusses the heavyweight class at about 51 minutes into the podcast:
Reflecting on the 2011 Contest Season as a whole:
I started the season out on a great note, winning the heavyweight class and the overall at the WNBF Pro Universe (total of 18 pro men). In that show Jim Cordova (2008 Overall World Champion) finished second in his class to my workout partner, Vaughan Twigger…I then beat Vaughan by 1 point in the overall…he got me back 5 weeks later, beating me by a point for the win at the WNBF Mid-America in a class of 9 pro men. I finished the season with a 3rd place finish at Worlds. With my placings declining throughout the season, there was definite disappointment to accompany that. The emotional high I experienced from the Universe was deflated. While I recognize that I accomplished more, made improvements and elevated my personal best, I am much quicker to recognize where I came up short and am focused on the tasks of working to improve.
Week 1 of off-season is complete and I am determined to get better. Vaughan and I began our newly designed 4 day off-season split this past week and i am strategically attacking some weak points. No decision will be made now, but I will likely not compete in 2012…my focus will likely be Worlds 2013, which gives me time to make needed improvements…not a minute to waste.
25 minutes morning cardio
Incline Cable Flys:60×15,100×15,120×10,140×4,120×9,100×15
superset w/ wide grip pronated pull-ups: 12,10,10,9,9,8
Seated Lateral D-Bell Raises:30′sx20,40′sx15,50′sx7,45′sx8,40′sx11,35′sx12,30′sx16,25′sx20
Tricep Rope Pushdown: 75×20,90×10,100×6,90×7,75×12,60×16,50×20
Alt Front Cable Raises:50×15,60×8,60×6,50×12
Alt D-Bell Curls:65′sx7,4 (shoulder issue),50′sx10
Precor Rear Delt (reverse pec deck):175×15,190×10,205×7,190×8,175×10
Decline Skull Crushers: 110×10,9,7,6
Hammer Cable Curls: 4 sets
Captains of Crusher grippers: 3 sets
superset w/ push-ups:50,30,30
15 minute post-workout cardio
- Name, Age, Occupation, marital status
- Brian Whitacre
- Age: 35
- Associate Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
- Married to Jill, Daughter Sidney
- How did you get involved with fitness?
I began weight training as a sophomore in high school in an attempt to become a better soccer player. I enjoyed weight training and stuck with it throughout my undergraduate career, long after my soccer-playing days ended. In graduate school at Virginia Tech I learned about natural bodybuilding, and I competed in my first contest during that time.
- Why is health & fitness important to you?
Being healthy is important to me because it allows me to live the type of life that I want to – doing outdoor activities, playing with my family (including my dogs), and staying active. Physique competition is important to me because it allows me to challenge myself both mentally and physically in a way that is unlike any other form of competition I have ever experienced.
- Provide some background on your workout history, athletic or competitive endeavors, etc.
I began weight training around 1992, but didn’t compete in my first bodybuilding contest until 2003. After winning several pro qualifiers in 2005, I competed as a pro for the first time in 2006. I won the overall at my first WNBF professional contest (the KC International), something that not many bodybuilders can claim. After that, I competed only once a year, focusing on the WNBF World Championships. I placed in the top 2 of the Lightweight class at Worlds for 5 consecutive years (2006 – 2010). I also won the Lightweight class at Worlds 3 times, which is the most in WNBF history. However, I have yet to win a WNBF World overall title.
- What does your current workout regiment look like? Does this vary at all during different points of the year?
I am a big proponent of changing my workout regimen. My off-season routine is focused on mass building, so I try to lift as heavy as possible with a reasonable amount of volume. Currently I am focusing on bringing up some weak points, so I am training 4 days a week with the emphasis on heavy 5×5 sets for those weak points, followed by a more typical hypertrophy training (3 sets of 10-12 reps). Other body parts are only trained for maintenance at this time. I also enjoy incorporating German Volume Training and occlusion training. Once I get into contest prep mode, I typically switch to 5 days a week training, while continuing to focus on major lifts such as squats and deadlifts.
- What do you enjoy most about training?
Simply pushing myself. I will never be the strongest guy in the gym, but my goal is to improve myself little by little every time I enter the gym. Training allows me an escape from the real-world: during that hour, I don’t think about my job, my family, or everything I need to get done during the week. I honestly believe this little break has made me more productive in other aspects of my life.
- What type of training do you enjoy the most (particular bodypart, type of workout, running, sprinting, swimming, etc.)
I enjoy back and leg training the most, probably because they require the most effort. I do like to incorporate some sprint work into my cardio routine, but for the most part the weight training is what I look forward to. I still get butterflies in my stomach the night before heavy squats or deadlifts.
- How has your approach to fitness/working out changed over the years?
I used to think people who only trained 3 or 4 days a week were lazy or not dedicated enough. As I’ve gotten older I have come to recognize (and prioritize) the importance of recovery. I’ve also thought a lot more about how to design my lifting program for optimal results. When I was in my early 20s, I would just go to the gym and do whatever I felt like. Now, my training is much more structured with a final goal in mind.
- What has enabled your success as a competitor in your chosen activity?
I strongly believe that to be successful at the highest level, you have to be willing to do something that others aren’t. In graduate school, there were lots of people smarter than me, but most didn’t study for 6 hours every night after classes. As a faculty member, I have been awestruck by the way that world-class colleagues allocate their time to ensure that everything they work on generates productive results. As a competitor, I am not going to win on sheer mass. So, I have to make sure every other aspect under my control is optimized: condition, symmetry, posing, even stage color. I diet for 26 weeks for each contest that I do, something not many competitors are willing to dedicate themselves to. I pride myself on putting as much effort into preparing for a competition as I can, while continuing to be productive in my real-world job and in my role as a husband and father.
- How has competing and/or training positively impacted your lifestyle?
Without a doubt, it has made me much more structured. I go into each week with a plan of attack for my diet, training, work schedule, and family time. I believe that this type of planning is very beneficial for making the most out of any given time period.
- Give a detailed description of a typical day in your life, including when you get up, go to bed, work, perform every day activities, workout, etc.
My daily routine has changed dramatically since my wife and I welcomed our daughter into the world. Before that, I would work from roughly 7am to 5pm, go to the gym, and get home around 7pm. Now I lift around noon and try to get home to help out with Sidney by 5:30. (Thankfully, I received tenure at my job so 10-hour days are less common). So a typical day might look like this:
Wake up: 6am
Cardio: 6:30 – 7:00
Work: 7am – noon
Workout: Noon – 1:00pm
Work: 1:00 – 5:00pm
Help out at home (chores, play with daughter): 5:30 – 7:30pm
Family time: 7:30 – 10:00pm
- What have been your greatest sources of motivation and inspiration?
Failure is without a doubt a great motivator. I have not won a WNBF Overall title since my first pro contest in 2006, and that lack of success drives me every day. I am inspired by the many incredible natural physiques out there, and the knowledge that my own physique has quite a way to go before I reach that level.
- What is the best advice you could give to anyone regarding health & fitness and how to properly adopt a lifestyle that incorporates health & fitness?
My advice would be to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine. Getting fit and eating healthy are much easier to maintain over the long run if they simply become second nature. The idea is that instead of wondering what to eat for lunch or whether you will have time to go to the gym today, you automatically pull out the lunch you made the night before, and, because it is Wednesday you know you will be at the gym at 5:00. Once these things are a part of your daily routine, you feel awkward if you miss one of them – at which point you know that you have successfully transitioned into a fitness-oriented lifestyle.
- What individual(s) has/have had the greatest impact on you throughout the course of your life and why?
Certainly my parents instilled me with a sense of work ethic at a young age. Nothing was ever easily gained in my life, something I am very grateful for and something I hope to pass on to my own children. Regarding bodybuilding, without a doubt Kurt Weidner opened my eyes to the level of dedication necessary to succeed in the sport. Kurt remains the best workout partner I have ever had and there is no one in the world of bodybuilding I respect more than him. I also have to say that my wife Jill has been my biggest supporter and has made my pursuit of this very selfish hobby much more manageable.
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievement (fitness & competition related or otherwise)
I am very proud of 2 distinct achievements in my life:
1) Earning tenure less than 5 years after completing my Ph.D.
2) Winning the WNBF World Lightweight title 3 times
I am also incredibly proud to be the father of a perfect little girl. Fatherhood changes your life in ways you never thought possible!
- Looking ahead, what are some of your goals (either personal or fitness related) over the next 1,3,6,12 months?
While I am a big believer in setting goals, I am not a proponent of discussing those goals publicly. For a novice gym-goer or dieter, stating your goals publicly can be beneficial since friends and family can attempt to hold you to your statement; however, for those at the higher end of the spectrum, publicly stating goals can seem egotistical or even condescending. I do have several long-term goals related to weightlifting and bodybuilding, and I also set yearly goals for myself regarding my job performance. But, I don’t boast to my colleagues about how many peer-reviewed articles I’m going to publish over the course of my career; and I also don’t bring attention to the goals I have in bodybuilding.
30 minutes am cardio
Bear Squat: 6plx10,10plx10,12plx10,14plx6,14plx6,12plx10
Prone Leg Curl: 190×8,190×7,190×6,175×8
HS Horizontal Calf Raise:10plx12,12,12,10,10,10,10,10,10,10
10 Hill Sprints
Today is a non-workout/recovery day, but I did do 2 x 30 minute cardio sessions this morning. I’m doing what I can to make sure my weight does not climb too quickly
Morning: 15 min abs/core training + 30 min cardio
Incline D-Bell Press: 50′sx12,75′sx12,100′sx12,10,8,7
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 160×12,220×12,260×12,280×10,260×12,240×16
HS Shoulder Press:2plx10,4plx10,6plx5,6plx4,4plx18
Underhand Seated Cable Row:240×12,270×10,300×7,300×6,240×12
HS Incline (slow descent>6 second eccentric):6plx7,5,5
Precor Lat Pull Down: 220×8,7,6,6
Dips: w/ 90 lb weighted vest x 10,7 bdywtx20
T-Bar Rows: 4plx12,5plx8,5plx8,4plx12
15 minutes cardio after workout
Today began a new journey in the relentless pursuit of improvement. Saturday completed my long 2 year journey back to the stage with the last of 3 shows for this year (32nd of my career) and the end of a 28 week contest prep. I’ll do a complete write-up about the show and the season in review after i’ve had a chance to get some feedback from the judges.
This morning I got up at 4:45am, had some whey isolate w/ water and did 25 minutes light intervals on my elliptical. I then had my preworkout meal and headed to the gym for an 8:30am workout with Day 1 of my new split. Time to work on improvements!
Barbell Pause Squats: 4 warm-up sets, then 315 x6,6,6,6,6
Standing Calf Raises on Bear Squats:8plx10,10plx10,12plx10,14plx10,14plx6,14plx6,12plx10,12plx8,10plx12,10plx12,10plx12
Barbell Walking Lunges: 135 x 2 long sets
Hyperextension w/ Barbell: 10,10,10
Seated Calf Raises: 4plx10,10,10
10 Hill Sprints
I plan on doing some more cardio this afternoon
I won’t be logging my workout for my 28th and final week of contest prep, so instead i’ll just briefly lay out my plan for workouts.
This morning (Saturday…one week out) I did 30 minutes cardio first thing in the morning, then I trained Shoulders & Arms for an hour and did a 25 minutes posing session afterwards. Tomorrow (Sunday) is a non-training day…just 30 minutes of cardio in the morning. I don’t log my cardio on my blog, but i’ve been consistently doing 30 minutes every day. Weight has been holding nicely around 197-198 lbs.
The Week ahead:
Monday: morning cardio… afternoon workout>Legs…obviously not going to crush them, i’ll go about 75% and throw some hill sprints in at the end
Tuesday: morning cardio… afternoon workout>Back, Traps, Rear Delts (typical tuesday workout)
Wednesday: some light delts & chest + triceps and biceps…my shoulders have been tight lately…not recovering well, so after today i’m going going to hit them much…I want them to recover before I hit the stage on Saturday. The only chest and delt work I do on Wednesday will just be to get some blood in the muscles.
Thursday: i’ll leave early in the am for NJ (where i’m staying)…we’ll get to the hotel by mid-day/early afternoon. I will do some cardio as soon as I get there to loosen up…maybe a few light exercises in the hotel fitness room and some stretching.
Friday: i’ll mostly take it easy, but will do some walking around + some light cardio in the hotel fitness room…second half of the day i’ll rest up.
Only 7 days left!
Close Grip Pull Downs:160×12,200×12,240×10,240×10,240×10,220×12
Unilateral H-Squat: 4plx12,6plx10,10,10
HS Kneeling Leg Curl:70×12,105×8,8,8
HS Horiztonal Calf Raise: 8plx12,10plx12,12,12
HS Hi Row: 6plx12,8plx10,10,10
Leg Press: 4plx10,8plx10,12plx10,10,10
Standing Calf Raises on Bear: 10plx12,12plx10,10,10,10
Neutral Grip Pull-ups: 12,10,10,10,10
Walking Lunges: 135 x 3 sets
Glute/Ham Raises: 12,12,12
10 Hill Sprints
Incline D-Bell Press: 50′sx15,75′sx15,100′sx10,9,8,8
Incline Cable Flys:m100x12,8,8,8, 80 x16
Tricep Rope Pushdown:75×20,90×10,90×8,75×12,60×25
HS Incline (slow descents/negatives): 6plx6,5,4
Overhead Cable Ext:80×9,7,6, 60×16
Seated Alt D-Bell Curls: 60′sx6,6,6,6
Precor preacher curl: 160×6,160×5,130×8,130×8
Medium Grip Pull Downs: 160×12,220×12,260×12,280×8,260×10,240×12,220×16
Underhand Seated Cable Row:240×12,260×10,280×8,300×6,250×12
Wide Pronated Grip Pull-ups:8,8,8,8
Isolated T-bar Row (w/ chest pad): 3plx8,8,8
Reverse Cable Flys:100×10,8,7 80×16
Precor Lat Pull Down:220×7,6 175×10
Stiff Arm lat Pull with rope:100×8,6 75×10
HS Seated Shrugs:8plx12,12,12,12
Close Grip Pull Downs: 220×8,8,8