July 2005 Archives

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Although I’m not a national champion or a pro bodybuilder yet, I’m not a novice either. My competition this fall will be my 27th. At age 36, I’ve been training 22 years and
competing for 16 years. I’m not keeping count, but I figure I must have logged at least 4,000 – 5,000 workouts, never taking more than 7 days off in a row for planned recovery or vacation time. Despite my consistency and experience, whenever I get a training session with Richie Smyth, my ego always gets humbled. How “humbled?” Well, how about doing 30 lb dumbbell curls and getting “abused” because they were “too heavy”… then ending with 45 pound barbell curls and reaching total muscular failure by the end of the set? Sissy weights? Too light to possibly get a decent workout you say? Yup, that’s what ANYONE would say… BEFORE a workout with Richie! Read on to
find out how a teensy little 30 pound dumbbell could make a grown man cry uncle…

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2005. 89 days (approximately 13 weeks) until show day. Most bodybuilders start their pre-contest diets at about 12 weeks out. However, the amount of time it takes to prepare for a competition depends on your body fat level to begin
with. I’ve developed a pretty good system for figuring out exactly how long you’ll need to diet in order to come in for a perfect landing on the one day that counts. Check it out…

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Sunday, July 3rd, 2005. It’s a gorgeous, warm, sunny 4th of July weekend day. Not a cloud in the sky. I had many offers to go “down the shore” or to various beer and barbecue gatherings. Instead, I hopped in my car, drove to East Rutherford, New Jersey to Bob Bonham’s Strong & Shapely Gym and blasted my legs like there was no tomorrow. I’m either really dedicated or I need to get a life… dedicated, yeah that’s it…

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Happy 4th of July! Time for another round of deltoids and triceps! Holiday or no holiday, it’s business as usual… Gonna light some fireworks on these stubborn body parts and
make them explode like cannon balls! Here’s what today’s Independence Day workout looked like:

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Tuesday, July 5th. 86 days and counting. We’re still using a 4 day split routine with a 2 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off schedule, so today is an off lifting day. Gonna get some good recovery time and gear up for a massive back workout tomorrow. For today, it’s just cardio, and it’s time to kick it up a notch and really torch some calories with some interval training… My Way!

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One thing I’ve noticed about natural bodybuilders is that so very few of them have outstanding upper back width and thickness. It’s unfortunate, because nothing defines the bodybuilder’s physique more than the “V-shape” created by wide lats, which taper down into a narrow waist. A pronounced V-shape is a must, of course, to score points in the front lat spread and front double bicep pose. Even more important perhaps is those wide lats that jut out under the armpits when you’re standing relaxed in the “symmetry round.” If you ain’t got em, then the judge’s first impression of you won’t be a good one. I wasn’t blessed in the genetics department
with naturally wide lats, so this has forced me to come up with some serious, no-holds barred lat-blasting workouts that FORCE those suckers to grow…

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Thursday, July 7th, 2005. We’re inside of 12 weeks now until show day, and although I’ve already been at it this hard for three weeks, when you get inside 12 weeks, that’s where you really turn on the heat… the diet, and the training… and
today’s chest and bicep workout was HOT!

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Friday, July 8th, 2005. 83 days to go (that’s 11.8 weeks!). For the past three weeks, I’ve been on what you could call a “clean” diet, but it was far from strict, low calorie or low carb – it was more like a “pre-diet diet”. You can see my 13-15 weeks out menu in last week’s blog dated July 2nd. After an “official” weigh-in today and an un-official body fat test, it’s definitely time to tighten things up. Here’s what’s changed…

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The Swing Squat Machine. Whoever invented this deliciously effective piece of equipment deserves some kind of medal! I have never seen this contraption in any gym, anywhere, ever, other than Strong & Shapely Gym. In fact, Strong & Shapely Owner Bob Bonham told me it was custom made. I bumped into him today after finishing legs and he said, “Yeah, that’s probably the best leg machine in the whole gym.” Me and my swelled-up, rapidly-growing quads couldn’t agree more…

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Sunday, July 10th. Time for another Deltoid and Tricep session. In line with my “continuity” + “confusion” principle I mentioned in a previous blog, I have changed some parts of the routine completely to shock (“confuse”) the muscles into new growth, while continuing with other parts of my training routine with heavier weight to overload them into new growth. I’m also going to start training more often. Read on to find out why…

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