Adelfo Cerame - The New Routine: Complete 4-Day Workout Program. Plus: RPE Training Prescriptions Explained!

 Adelfo is willing and in fact eager to learn and improve his "game" every day... and I guess that's also what makes him succeed in excelling his self every year!
I guess, you will already feel like being dried out with a whole week without news from "your's truly", Adelfo Cerame Jr, right? Don't worry no lengthy introductions on possible topics on the SuppVersity Science Roundup with "my brother from another mother" Carl Lanore - did you know it happens that his birthday is exactly one day before mine? Wel, one day and a couple of years... which segues actually quite nicely into the explanation for why there is not SuppVersity Science Roundup at 1PM (EST), today!
Carl's significant other, the "lovely and talented" (I am not just citing Carl's words here, Alisa!) co-host of the Casual Friday Show at Super Human Radio is celebrating her birthday today. And though I am not quite sure about which one it is, judged by her looks she can hardly be more than one year older than me! Apropos me: That's all from my (Adel aka Dr. Andro's) side, today... go ahead Adelfo!

Week 2 Of My Contest Prep – The Journey back to the WC Nationals

Well, I was going to do an update on our friend Mr. C but he’s been avoiding me like the plague for these past 2 weeks. Lol. No check-ins, no updates, no return texts, so I figured maybe he’s just taking 2 weeks off to recover from his vacay, so I let it be. And soon enough I get a call… so we talked, and just as I figured, he just needed to recover from the vacation, and is motivated to pick up where he left off. He’ll actually be coming in to the facility, where I work and get a training session in with me, today, so I’ll actually get to see him in the flesh and evaluate the damage and see what we need to do to pick up where we left off.  But until then … Give me a couple more weeks to whip Mr. C back into shape until another update.

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BackAbs & Core

My contest preparation is in full effect, and I’m ready to document my experiences for another go-around, but this time I will not be a lone ranger when it comes to preparing for my upcoming shows. As some of you may know, I’ve acquired another mentor. Other than my good friend Adel who is one of my other mentors; Alberto Nunez will be the other helping me along through this journey as well.

Last year I was just crunching numbers on a weekly basis from calories to macros for my nutrition, and set to rep schemes for my training, which wasn’t a big deal; I actually enjoy it. But it does start to get stressful and mentally wear you down towards the tail end of the diet, when contest is approaching and your mind is just everywhere, and you feel like you need some external support system that's more than just someone to talk to and have you make all the important decisions on your own.

And honestly, so far it feels refreshing to take a step back, relax, kick my feet up and just observe, learn, and follow the advice of a seasoned and experienced bodybuilder like Alberto.

I consider myself a student of the game, and if I see an opportunity where I can benefit by improving my physique, and acquire some knowledge at the same time, I’m going to take advantage.

My new workout! Let's see... RPE? WTF!?... Reps per exercise….???

Oh…. Rate of perceived exertion… (Thanks google!) – Yes I felt like such a dummy, when I clicked and opened the training program Alberto had devised for me. I was expecting your typical “exercise A:  for (x)sets x (x)reps”, so I had to double back and really look over the plan again, because it pretty much looked foreign to me... full of acronyms, I actually knew, but rarely use: RPE scale numbers and percentages!? Ok, I could read those, but had no idea what the workout would feel like in practice... so, just to make sure I would not make a fool of myself I checked back in a couple of articles on the matter and emailed Alberto about the few things that were still up in the air.

Basically the RPE scale is based on how hard you feel you are working during an exercise. It’s a scale system to help with progressive overload. If you want to get stronger you have to always push yourself, whether it be more weight, more reps or increased intensity – always trying to better yourself with every rep, with every set, with every exercise, and with every training session.

Ok how exactly does this work now?

The RPE scale is based on numbers that relate to your perceived exertion when you are lifting a given weight for a given rep. for example an…
    Alberto Nunez, Adelfo's new contest prep coach, when he won his first show in 2008 (image 3dmusclejourney)
  • RPE of 10 = absolute true max – after completing a given set, you do not have any more left in the tank to push for 1 more rep
  • RPE of 9.5= not max but could not do another rep
  • RPE of 9 = one rep left in the tank – after completing a given set, you have just enough energy left or 1 more in the tank for one more rep.
  • RPE of 8.5 = two reps left in the tank
  • RPE of 8 = three reps left in the tank – after completing a given set, you have just enough energy left for 3 more reps or three more in the tank.
So basically the weight you choose is determined by the RPE and the rep range.

Once you start out this will obviously mean that there will be a lot of trial and error and playing around or experimenting with different weights involved before you get an idea of what load it will take you to achieve the desired RPE within the given rep range. And you really have to be honest with yourself because you can easily under or overshoot your RPE.

My new workout: All the details and some explanations on how it works

It took me just a couple of hours, roughly half a day, to be honest, from the moment I received my program on Friday night until I was at the gym next morning trying to figure out weights and rep ranges. Thus I wanted to make sure I would be able to really kickstart my routine ...
    You can see the exact exercises as well as the weights I used by clicking on "view" for the individual days.
  • Monday: Push day dominant volume (view)
  • Wednesday: Pull day dominant volume (view)
  • Friday: Cruise day (view)
  • Sunday: Strength day (view)
...on Monday, already. In order to give you an idea of how this going to look in practice let me briefly walk you throgh the BB flat press on my push-dominant volume day on Monday, as an example:
    Adelfo Cerame during his last contest; that's the physique he will have to beat this time around.
  • So as you can see my rep range is 12. 
  • For my 1st set I pick a weight that I can lift for 12 reps but still have just one more rep in the tank to push for another – so I stop at 12 but know I could have pushed for 1 more. 
  • After my first set I deduct whatever back off percentage is given to me, which was 10%  - so I deduct 10% from 225 lb. 
  • Now that I’ve figured out my back off % weight (205 lb.), I will do as many sets as I can for 12 reps until I can no longer complete a whole set for 12 reps, so it may be 3, 4, or even 5 sets but you keep banging out sets of 12 until you cannot follow through with a complete set any more. 
  • Exercise done! On to the next, and so on…
As you can see it is actually pretty straight forward and once you got the notation down, just as easy to read as every other program.

My thoughts on my new training program… 

Monday and Tuesdays workouts really gave me a good kick in the balls! I was pretty spent strolling out of the gym on those days, and It’s going to take my body some getting use to with these higher volume days because I’m not use to flirting with the 12-15 rep ranges (high volume to me is 6-8 reps. Lol), on a weekly basis. But It’s something new and refreshing.

The training will challenge and push me because it’s out of my comfort zone and it allows me to be honest with myself – since there are no given sets after your initial RPE set it will allow or even force me and try to set new PR’s, in trying to push for more sets. I also love the fact that it still incorporates a hypertrophy and strength split, which I have really grown to enjoy in my other training programs that I have done…. And I can’t wait to see what I can do, and eventually achieve during my strength days on this program

Well That’s all I have for today... see you in two weeks for my contest prep nutrition and supplement updates.
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