I love bodybuilding. There’s no doubt about it. Although many others see it as a never-ending exercise in hard work and discipline, for me it’s the total opposite. I look forward to each training day as a time to forget the stress of the outside world and do something strictly for myself.
But there is an irony in all of this. My passion for bodybuilding was the result of a serious misfortune. I fractured a vertebra during a basketball game. After months of therapy and rehabilitation the doctors recommended that I start a weight program to increase bone density and rebuild my strength. That was six years ago and I’ve been training ever since.
"In this article I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about bodybuilding and how I’ve applied it to make incredible progress.
Your training, nutrition, and supplement programs don’t have to be fancy to be effective."
I’ve been working with Team Beverly for two years now. In this article I’ll tell you what I’ve learned during this time and how I’ve applied it to make unbelievable progress. One of the most important lessons I discovered is that your training, nutrition, and supplement programs don’t have to be fancy to be effective. If you’re like me and want to see just how far you can go in bodybuilding, then nutrition should be the foundation of your program. The results you get from your training program will only be as good as your nutrition. If you have an average nutrition program, you’ll get average results. But, what I’ve found is that when I pay meticulous attention to my nutrition program, I get excellent results.
As you read on, I’ll tell you more about my individualized nutrition program as well as the training and supplement programs I used to achieve my all time best condition. But first let me give you an overview of my preparation period. I started with a realistic goal of the condition I believed I could attain. I worded with Jeremiah at Beverly to formulate a plan of attack to achieve my goals for the year.
I started my first diet regimen January 1, ready to put together my best showing ever at the NPC Caveman Classic in May. Slight adjustments were made to my calorie intake and supplement program at three-week intervals as my body fat levels decreased. With each diet change my conditioning improved. My motivation was through the roof going into the NPC Mid Illinois, three weeks before the Caveman Classic. I achieved my be condition to date and won the light heavies. However, I knew that I could still be sharper and I really didn’t have any time to slack off. I had a guest-posing event the next weekend, and then two more weeks until the Caveman Classic. The year before I had finished second in both the Novice and Open. This year I wanted to win the show and that’s all I concentrated on. We had adjusted my protein to carb ration a small amount after the Mid Illinois and at the Caveman my conditioning was right on. This time I won my class in both the novice and open while barely losing in the overall by a tie break.
It was hard to explain how it feels to achieve a long sought goal, but it sure made all the weeks of dieting and hard work worthwhile.
Now let’s take a look at the individual components of my contest preparation starting with training. When it comes to training it seems everyone goes about it a bit differently. But there are really just a few essential basics that you must take into account when formulating an effective training program: muscle fiber recruitment, muscle fiber overload, and muscle recovery. My personal training program is designed around two universal principles - muscle prioritizatioin and progressive overload.
|Day One: Chest/Biceps/Abs|
|Incline DB Press||4||5-10|
|EZ Bar Curl||4||8-12|
|Day Two: Lower Body|
|Standing Calf Raise||4||10-12|
|Donkey Calf Raise||3||10-20|
|Day Three: Off|
|Day Four: Shoulders/Triceps/Abs|
|* Superset the next two:|
|* Cable Laterals||3||8-12|
|* Rear Delt Flye||3||8-12|
|Close Grip Bench||4||8-12|
|Day Five: Back/Traps|
|Curl Grip Pulldown||3||8-12|
|DB or Machine Shrug||3||8-12|
Prioritization is important for anyone who is not blessed with perfect proportions and the capability for each muscle to grow at the desired rate. (That should just about include everyone.) The principle of progressive overload is even more important. This is not just my opinion, but also one shared by sport scientists. As you have probably noticed, once you achieve a stat of "respectable" muscular development, it becomes progressively harder to add more muscle tissue. This is because muscles adapt very readily to any new stimuli. In order to continue to progress you must continue to increase in one of the three loading parameters: increased weight for the same rep range, increased repetitions with the same weight, or decreased rest time between sets. Then, just to confuse the issue, adequate recovery from rest and improved nutrition is a must.
On the previous page I gave you my exact training routine, now let me make just a few more comments I believe in "controlled heavy training". I center my workouts on the big, multi-joint lifts that recruit the most muscle fibers. I train with the heaviest weight that I can control throughout the full range of motion. This type of training exhausts all of the muscle fibers in the targeted muscle.
I always start with a five or ten minute warmup on the recumbent bike and finish with a twenty to thirty minute cardio session. My goal is a 400k/cal expenditure per session. I vary the activity so that I don’t get bored. I may jog, walk on an incline, use the elliptical trainer, etc. I try to maintain my heart rate at 75-80% of my predicted maximum heart rate.Shane chooses to work in the higher intensity level of the training range, 76-85% in order to increase caloric expenditure over a given period of time.