Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adelfo Cerame - Back on the Grind! Introducing the World's First Hypertrophy-EDT-5x5 Alternate Cross-Over Regimen!

Image 1: A classic physique, but a novel routine.
I guess, I don't have to tell you that our mutual friend Adelfo is fired up to get back to the gym. I guess if it had not been for the intermediate famine phase after the post-contest binge, he would hardly have endured the one week without drudgery, but alas, the time of laziness is over now and Adelfo is about to return to the gym. Yet not without a detailed plan of attack, not as "voluminous" (in the literal sense) as he had intended before our conversation, last weekend, but still a ton of grindingly hard work - exactly the kind of thing Adelfo loves and what helped him build, what may not be the most muscular, but certainly the most aesthetic physique I have ever seen on a wheelchair bodybuilder (let alone other athlete). But I guess, I will just let him tell you how he is planning to take this superlative to yet another level.

Back on the grind! But not without a few tweaks

"After taking a week off, your boy is back at it again for another 14 weeks!" *lol* Today is training day. No food, just weights - or put more simply: I will focus on the exercise part of my plan of attack for the next show. As Adel, aka Dr. Andro, already gave away in Part II of his "Step by Step Guide To Your Own Workout Routine" series (click here for Part I) I will give you the run-down on the training protocol we have workout out on the last weekend. It's more or less a work in progress, with a tried and proven workout-base, which has worked for me in the past, and some additions that are intended to make it even better. If that sounds confusing, just bear with me, you will soon understand, what I mean.

Image 2: If you have not seen them already, you better make sure to go to either or Adelfo's Facebook page to check out the pics Dave Palumbo's crew shot at the 2012 Sunshine Classics
Those of you, who have been following the "Road to Wheelchair Nationals" series, here at the SuppVersity, know that I have found some success in increasing my strength and lean muscle utilizing an EDT and 5x5 training type regimen even though I was on a caloric deficit for the most part of my prep. Up to now, I have never used this regimen on a "bulk", i.e. in a phase, where I consumed at least slightly more calories than I needed, but judged by my previous results, the results should be scary - obviously, in a positive sense ;-) For now, this will yet have to wait to the off-season. After all, the time to my next competition (~15 weeks) is not that long that I could afford to go really overboard calorie-wise.

Given my past experiences with this regimen, I would yet be a fool to skip the EDT + 5x5 regimen completely. So, I decided that it would be prudent to stick to what has worked and try to come up with a set of modification that would make it even more efficient. 

The thing I have come up with is basically a "cross-over regimen" (sounds funky, right? I guess I should patent the training system and sell it, then ;-) with a two-day 5x5 strength core that is combined alternately with two-day escalating density regimen or a newly developed three-day hypertophy protocol.

The key points and main changes of / in my new regimen:
  • I threw out the static holds and added another EDT exercise to make it a total of 3 EDT exercises in 1 workout session, equaling 60 minutes total. I did this, because I felt the cost-benefit, in terms of the time I spent doing the statics and the results strength and size-wise were not worth, given that at this point of my prep I will still be consuming enough food to cope with a third escalating density superset, which would otherwise have extended my workouts into the 70min+ realm.
  • I wanted to add hypertrophy-type workout into my regimen. Something I could alternate with the EDT workouts every other week. Firstly, to avoid overtraining on the metabolically demanding 2x60 min EDT sessions per week and secondly to add another unfamiliar growth stimulus. It has been some time that I did a "normal" bodybuilding split) and as much as I love low reps and lifting heavy, I feel that hypertrophy style training also has its benefits. When I’m lifting real heavy, my intensity and focus is just on strength and moving the weight. It’s really hard to focus on the mind to muscle connection, and the stretch and squeeze, when you’re trying to lift a lot of weight. This is where a hypertrophy style training excels. It allows you to focus on good form, the mind to muscle connection, and the stretch and the squeeze. I also feel that it’s a good confidence builder, because it allows you to appreciate the strength gains you make, from lifting heavy all the time - well, at least that is what it is for me: The way the weight suddenly feel so light, when you transition from the low reps with heavy weight, to a high(er) rep protocol with moderately heavy weight just makes me feel good.
  • I wanted to work on my "new" problem area, the shoulders, which I have decided were the body part, where Neil beat me in Florida. I must admit that just doing the classic push movements, I may have neglected my rear and side delts and the results were particularly visible, when I hit the rear double biceps pose. 
In fact my decision to add additional shoulder work was part of the reason to a) add another EDT superset and b) (re-)incorporate a "classic" hypertophy split into my regimen, the first rudimentary incarnation of which looks as follows:
Figure 1: Week A of my new alternate cross-over training regimen (2x EDT + 2x 5x5)
Basically, in the first the first week, I’m sticking to my bread and butter regimen, which is EDT & 5x5. Call it a strength and conditioning phase, if you will. In the subsequent week, I will then replace the two EDT days on Monday and Wednesday with a classic three-day bodybuilding split, so that week B is slightly more hypertrophy-oriented, and will look like that:
Figure 2: Week B of my new alternate cross-over training regimen (3x Bodybuilding Split + 2x 5x5)
Overall this regimen is - and this should apply to any of your new regimen, as well (don't forget to check out the past and future installments of the "Step By Step Guide to Your Own Workout Routine") - a "work in progress". I will stick to it for these first two weeks and think about adjustments, on either the training or the nutrition side of things, afterwards. Apropos, nutrition: If you are curious about what my intermediate "maximal muscle, minimal fat gain diet" is going to look like, I suggest you do not miss the next installment of my ongoing series, here at the SuppVersity!