|Image 1: The "roadmap" on Adelfo's back (left) may not yet be as detailed as the one of Phil Heath (right). The one in his head, however is probably as, if not more elaborate than the one of the reigning Mr. Olympia.|
Sometimes, keeping on track means holding back
I just checked my calendar… And I have exactly 17 more days left until I reach the12-week mark when I will be halfway through my contest prep. And though I am currently working towards my short term goal of copying, better outperforming Duong's amazing transformation by Christmas, I must keep in mind that the latter is nothing but a "test run" to practice for the real event - the 2012 Wheelchair Nationals. So as much as I want to look incredibly shredded on Chistmas day, I mustn't rush myself by drastically slashing calories (stick to 1600kcal) or overdoing HIIT cardio. So I keep telling myself that I have to stay disciplined, stick to my assigned cheat days and stay on course, knowing that this way I should, no, I will hit my mark.
|Image 2: Picture on the left hand side 149.5 lbs. Picture on the right hand side 141 lbs. Lets hope I can maintain the lean muscle mass in the latter part of my prep ;-)|
Back to a regular exercise split
As those of you who have been following all my blogposts, here at the SuppVersity (thanks for that, by the way!) will be aware of, I really enjoyed training according to the escalating density principle. I got stronger, lost body fat and felt incredible tight... but as I have been hinting at in one of the previous installments, training at such a pace and trying to outperform your personal best every time you hit the gym burns you out pretty fast (specially if you are dieting down for a show). Therefore, and simply to change things up (remember: change and thusly novel stimuli are the prerequisite for adaptation), I decided to "go back" to a more traditional bodybuilding split this month.
|Recipe of the week: Spartan Steak.|
- 7oz RAW grass-fed NY Steak (seasoned w/sea salt & pepper)
- 4 oz mangoes
- 3 oz cantaloupe
- 5 baby carrots
Tip: Add 1 tbs. coconut oil to the meal for your fat (grass fed beef is naturally lean so you may want to add more fat such as coconut oil or raw butter to add to your fats)
|Figure 1: Adelfo's current 5x5 training split; this is a screenshot I (Dr. Andro) sneaked out from his "secret" training log... let's hope he does not sue me for "breach of secrecy", now ;-)|
"Deload week? What's that? Ain't that for pussys?"
|Image 3: If you think deloading is for pussys, only, chances are you got more brawns than brains.|
- ... gives central nervous system a rest
- ... gives body & mind a rest
- ... can prevent overtraining & injury
- ... sets you up for new / accelerated progress
- ... refreshes & keeps you motivated
The beneficial novelty of the tried and proven
In the mean time, I will enjoy the astonishing benefits, I am currently seeing from a 5x5 routine, many of you may (rigthly so) call "old fashioned" or even boring. But I mean, who cares if it works? My strength has increased significantly in my bench press, and I give most of the credit to the techniques and tricks I have adapted from Rob Regish’s Blueprint. If I keep progressing like that, I do foresee myself bench-pressing three 45 plates on each side for 5 reps before the end of my contest prep (I’ll try to shoot a video for you guys next week on my progress with my bench).
|Image 4: By incorporating techniques from the Blueprint Adelfo is making constant progress.|
That being said, my energy and the intensity in the gym are still very high. Part of this could be because you can focus more on the individual lifts during a 5x5 training split vs. the fast paced as escalating density training
And now that we are already talking about training at a fast pace, Dr. Andro asked my opinion on the discussion that has been revolving around his recent blogpost on time under tension and lifting slow vs. fast: I’ve never been a fan of lifting lightweight slowly… "What am I!? Some sissy just wanting to tone up, because I’m scared to put on too much muscle!?" Lol, just kiddin'… But seriously? Isn’t this the training myth women fall usually fall for, because they are afraid of getting too buff or bulky? So they lift light weights slowly and for high reps, believing that this will "tone" their muscles? I mean, from what the studies and the research in the “TUT” article shows, this would be the exact opposite of what these women should avoid because it increases protein synthesis right?
Lift heavy and intense, but with good form and a focus on constant progression
For me the fundamental denominator of every successful training protocol is that you lift heavy and intense, use a good form and keep an eye on "progress", i.e. increasing the tension you apply to your muscles... that's all it takes to grow! ... well, I guess it goes without saying that eating smart is a necessary prerequisite without which even the best exercise protocol is pointless.
|Image 5: Don't train like Phil Heath, unless you are Phil Heath.|
(Flex Magazine cover from July '08)
You have to find what work for you (no matter what it is) and build on it.
Personally, I enjoy lifting heavy the majority of the time whether it is in the 4-6 rep range, using a 5x5 routine or during EDT-esque workout routines - all of these are part of my training arsenal, an arsenal I am constantly expanding and revising and where higher rep ranges are just another tool I use whenever I feel that switching things up training with higher reps and more volume could benefit me... it's a matter of knowing what works for you, and for me that mostly is using low(er) reps and high(er) weights. What is it for you, guys? Use the comments on the bottom of the page and let me know!