Chest & Biceps With “The Master Blaster”… Getting That “Round” and “Full” Look


Tuesday, October 4th, 2005. 10 days out from the NPC South Jersey Competition. I met with Master Bodybuilding Trainer Richie Smyth again today for chest and biceps, plus he took a look at my mandatory poses to size up my progress. Good news, but still have work to do.


A1 Incline smith machine
Set 1: 135 lbs X 25 reps
Set 2: 155 lbs X 20 reps
Set 3: 205 lbs X 6 reps, drop to 185 lbs X 5 reps, drop to 135 lbs X 6 reps
Set 4: 135 lbs X 6 reps, 155 lbs X 5 reps, 165 lbs X 4 reps, 175 X 3 reps (quadruple ascending set)
B1: Pec Deck flyes (Nebula machine)
Set 1: 160 lbs X 15 reps
Set 2: 180 lbs X 6 reps, 200 lbs X 6 reps, 220 lbs X 6 reps
Set 3: 180 lbs X 3 reps full range, 3 reps partial range, 3 reps full range, 3 reps partial range
Set 4: 180 lbs X 3 reps full range, 3 reps partial range, 190 lbs X 3 reps full range, 3 reps partial range, 200 lbs X 3 reps full range, 2 reps partial range, 2 reps full range
C1: Cybex Chest Press Machine
Set 1: 130 lbs X 15 reps
Set 2: 140 lbs, 150 lbs, 160 lbs X 6, 6, 6 reps (ascending set)
Set 3: 150 lbs X 8 reps, 140 lbs X 6 reps, 130 lbs X 6 reps, 120 lbs X 6 reps (drop set)
Set 4:130 lbs X 6 reps full range, 3 reps top half range, 3 full reps, 3 reps bottom half range


A1. Standing dumbbell curls (multi angle method)
1 set X 25 lbs X 10 reps elbows in, hands out
1 set X 25 lbs X 8 reps X elbows on stomach
1 set X 25 lbs X 8 reps X hammer curl

Tri set
B1 Standing dumbbell curls
1 set X 25 lbs X elbows in hands out
1 set X 20 lbs X elbows on stomach

C1 Standing dumbbell curls
1 set X 25 lbs X elbows in hands out
1 set X 20 lbs X elbows on stomach

D1 one arm cable concentration curl elbow on knee
3 sets X 40 lbs


A1 dumbbell wrist curl
4 sets X 55 lbs X 15-20 reps

Workout Commentary

I have only been working with Richie once a week over the past few months, taking most of my workouts on my own or with a training partner. As the show has gotten closer, however, I have been hitting two sessions a week with Richie whenever possible, so he can keep an eye on how I look and keep me heading in the right direction.

It’s really easy to get “cobwebs on the brain” and not think straight when it comes to your own physique, especially during the final stages of dieting when you are so physically and mentally fatigued. You tend to get a distorted view of yourself, and that’s why a second set of eyes and an opinion you trust becomes so important.

The chest program today was typical richie stuff – lots of intensity techniques, changing the technique used on virtually every set. It was intense but brief. My chest was pumped like you would not believe.

When we finished chest, Richie asked me what I had been doing for biceps lately, and I told him how effective I felt the tri-set routines had been working for me and that I had been blitzing and bombing biceps like crazy. After hearing that, he gave me a new tri set routine, but we eased off the volume and intensity a bit… to “stimulate”, not “annihilate.”

I was very full today and the pump I got in my chest today was unbelievable. (It was a high carb day today, which helped! man, what a difference between low and high carb days… I looked like a different person today.)

Richie took a few photos and I’ll post at least one of them later today. One thing he mentioned that was definitely good news: He asked me what I thought was the difference in my physique between this year (2005) and the last time I competed (2001).

I started rattling off a list of individual body parts…

“My deltoids are a LOT better, my arms improved a little, my…” Then he interrupted and said, “No, I mean more general…” I said, “I dunno… u got me, what’s different????” His answer: “You’re rounder.”

Some people might not have “gotten it,” but I knew exactly what he meant, and hearing that was definitely good news. I have found it challenging sometimes to balance between getting ripped and keeping size / staying full (“round”). In some past competitions, I have come in shredded, but flat, smaller and lighter. On other occasions, I came in bigger, fuller and heavier, but a little smooth.

My appearance can change so much from day to day it’s almost mind boggling. Sometimes it’s encouraging, like today when I was so full and pumped up, and other times it’s discouraging, like after a few days of low carbs when I’m flat as a pancake (and that messes with your head). Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell whether I’m just flat from carb depletion or if I’m losing muscle.

So far, so good, but it’s definitely a real tricky balancing act. I still have my work cut out for me. I’m still pushing to lose even more fat and get even tighter skin in the lower abs and lower back (the very, very last place to come in). To be able to keep the muscle size with the “round” and “full” look while being ripped at the same time is the challenge ahead.

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