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High Intensity Power Training Workouts for Fat Loss, Strength and Fitness

For most guys, when they think of conditioning for fat loss, it means either nausea-inducing sprints or churning away on a treadmill for hours like a hamster. Fortunately there’s an alternative style of training that’s as time-efficient as sprints and doesn’t require you to stray away from the weights.

Furthermore, because this style of training actually places an emphasis on high-volume technical exercises, you’ll be able to get more skillful repetitions for different lifts that many guys struggle with.

What this means for you is that this program will help you get stronger at technical lifts while also improving your body composition. How do you go about achieving this goal?  With High Intensity Power Training.

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons You Need HIIT

Researchers wanted to examine what effects Crossfit-style High Intensity Power Training had on body composition and aerobic fitness. They had a 43-person group consisting of healthy men and women participate in a 10-week High Intensity Power Training program. The program consisted of various lifts preformed as quickly as possible, combined with skill work for select gymnastic exercises and Olympic lifts.

The study results showed that both genders were able to improve their aerobic fitness as evidenced by improvements in their VO2 max numbers. In addition to this, both genders were also able to reduce their body fat percentages to the tune of 3.3% less body fat in the female participants and 4.0% less body fat in the male participants.

These two High Intensity Power Training workouts combine the beneficial aspects of the study so you can improve body composition, aerobic fitness and enhance skills that’ll transfer over to bigger PRs.

For best results, perform each repetition in the workout as explosively as possible, with little rest in between exercises. Each workout will be performed circuit-style, consisting of a total of 3 sets for each exercise, with 3-5 minutes rest in between circuits.

The weight used should be challenging but not too heavy where you can’t complete a circuit. If you don’t have experience with Olympic lifts, you can substitute the barbell lifts with moderately heavy dumbbell or kettlebell variations. Take at least one day off between workouts.

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High Intensity Power Training Workouts for Fat Loss, Strength and Fitness

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Full-body succession workout

Designed to faciliate optimal body composition to burn maximum calories, this workout will help you build strength and tone.

The circuit training component targets muscular endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness by working the heart and lungs at a higher rate. It involves performing one set of each exercise with little or no rest in between until all the exercises have been completed.

 “Traditional-style (succession) strength programs are when all sets of the first exercise are performed before progressing to the next exercise,” says trainer Nichelle Laus.

“By adding a succession routine to your current full-body circuit, it will help in maximising your strength and adding lean muscle mass.”

 When choosing your dumbbell weight, err on the heavy side. “Succession programs generally use higher weights than circuit training,” Laus says. “This is key to building metabolically active lean tissue.”

 What you’ll need:

» Workout bench

» 1 set of medium to heavy dumbbells

What you’ll do:

For Day 1 

Start with the Upper Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Lower Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 2 

Start with the Lower Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Upper Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 3 

Start with the Upper or Lower Body exercises. Complete three sets of the first exercise before moving on to the next. Repeat until all the exercises of the Upper and Lower Body exercises have been completed.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise, resting 60 seconds in between sets. For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise, resting 90 seconds in between sets.

Exercises:

Upper Body

•Shoulder Press

•One-Arm Dumbbell Row

•Alternate Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

•Bench Dips

•Decline Push-ups

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Full-body succession workout

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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

 

Back when I only had 135 pounds on my 6-foot-1 frame, I had to deal with the usual labels: ectomorph, hardgainer, skinny kid. I didn’t care for those words then, and I don’t like them any better now.

I used weights to change my physique. I love to train heavy, I love to move quickly, and I love the pump I get from high volume. I put all three of these elements into each workout I do, and I couldn’t ask for better results.

Today’s chest workout is no different. It combines a fast pace to keep your heart rate up, high volume for an insane pump, and heavy weights to make you stronger.

When you put each of these pieces together, you end up with a max-effort workout that will challenge all aspects of your fitness level.

Let’s get it done!

Power Pecs
Watch The Video – 11:11

One of the toughest aspects of this workout is the mental game. Your body will always have that extra rep, or that extra set, but you have to find the mental energy to get it done. I may not be the biggest or strongest guy in the gym, but I guarantee no one can outwork me.

If you’ve never done this type of training before, you might find it difficult. If you fail, put the weight down and give yourself a little break before you finish the set. You want the shortest rest periods possible, but do whatever you need to get the work done. Never give up on a set.

A lot of guys tell me that they want to build the best physique ever. I think that’s the wrong approach. Don’t focus on being the best ever, focus on building your best physique ever.

Max out what you can do. If you constantly compare yourself to everyone else, you’ll sell yourself short. Hit this workout with all you’ve got and reap the personal rewards.

Program Notes

Incline dumbbell press

I like to do a couple warm-up sets before starting the first heavy set. Don’t go too heavy on the warm-up because you’ll wear yourself out. Eighty total reps is a lot of reps, so you have to keep an eye on muscular endurance. This is a chest marathon.

I start with 75-pound dumbbells for the first warm-up set and then go up to 85 pounds for the second. When I start my working sets, I go up to 100 pounds. Don’t worry about what I’m doing, though. Pick a weight that’s challenging for you.

This style of training is mentally draining. Dig deep and do your best on those last couple sets. If you need to rest-pause to hit the total rep count, do it, but make sure you finish every single rep.

Hammer strength chest press

You can do these with whatever grip you prefer. Challenge yourself with the weight and then increase it every set. You might feel like you’ll never get those target reps, but trust me—I’ve been doing this long enough. One way or another, the reps will come.

Hammer Strength Chest Press

 

Reverse-grip barbell bench press

Use lighter weight for this exercise and focus on the contraction—squeeze on each and every rep. You want to push until you can’t go anymore. Crush the barbell with your grip and engage your mind-muscle connection.

If you fail on this exercise, don’t panic. Let the weight briefly sit on your chest, reverse your grip back to normal, and press the bar back up.

Pec deck

Make sure you don’t round your shoulders forward: Keep your chest high and maintain a good arch in your lower back. Focus entirely on the chest and squeeze.

Pec Deck

 

Incline dumbbell flye

Get as much as you can out of this exercise. Stretch nice and wide at the bottom of each rep, and squeeze at the top for a full contraction. Don’t go too heavy or you’ll round your shoulders forward. Keep the tension entirely on your upper chest.

High cable flyes

We’re doing 100 total reps, so do as many reps as you can per set and as many sets as you need to get to 100 reps. I usually do four sets of 25 reps.

High Cable Flyes

At the end of the workout, you’ll be exhausted. You may want to give up and walk out. But at the end of the day, you always have those extra reps and extra sets in you. Leave them in the gym.

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About The Author

Ryan Hughes was one of the first men to qualify as an IFBB Physique Pro. He works as a personal trainer and fitness model in New York City

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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

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Apply Here To Be A Transformation Of The Week!

Body Transformation: Catherine Biery Busted Into A Figure Physique!

Name: Catherine Biery

Why I decided to transform

My weight skyrocketed during my 20s due to lifestyle choices, low self-esteem, and poor relationships. Even though I earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, I couldn’t get my weight under control. At one point, I got up to 175 pounds on my 5-foot-3 frame.

I started dating my husband in my early 30s, regained some of my lost self-esteem, and became more serious about exercise and nutrition. I became a cardio queen and steered clear of the weight room. I ran on the treadmill for hours and wondered why I didn’t lose weight. My husband later introduced me to weightlifting and I loved it. I developed a passion for strength training, slowly lost weight and eventually hit 135 pounds, which felt amazing. Rather than focusing on being skinny, I wanted to be strong.

I became pregnant at age 33 and gained weight again, but weighed less than I did in my 20s. I lost all of my pregnancy weight with continued training. I also paid attention to portion sizes by measuring food in a food journal. I was mostly fit again but wanted to take it to the next level.

Before

After

AGE 37 / HEIGHT 5’3″ / BODY FAT 25%

AGE 37 / HEIGHT 5’3″ / BODY FAT 10%

Post To Fitboard

My ultimate goal was to compete in a figure. I learned about figure competitions years before, but always assumed I wouldn’t make it to that level. The physical and mental strength required to accomplish my goal seemed inspiring and appealing.

Before my daughter turned 3 years old, something clicked. I realized I could accomplish my goal if I set my mind to do it. I wanted to set a good example for my daughter who could watch me follow through with something important. A fire was ignited inside me at age 37. I was ready to see what I was made of, so I cleaned up my diet, increased my training, and watched myself transform.

On November 16, 2013, with support from my family and friends, I competed in my first figure competition. My confidence and inner strength are through the roof. I feel better mentally and physically now than at any time in my life. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me and am excited to compete again.

How I accomplished my goals

Accomplishing my goals felt like a rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs. When I made the commitment to compete, I was determined to follow through. I wasn’t going to let myself down.

 

“Rather than focusing on being skinny, I wanted to be strong.”

I vocalized my goal to my friends and family who became my support team. Having their support motivated me when times got tough. It would’ve been easy to quit if I hadn’t let those I care about join my journey. The month before my contest was tough physically and mentally. I reached out to my support team on tough days and asked them to send me their favorite motivational quotes, stories, and experiences, which helped a lot.

On tough days, I’d look to individuals I admire. I visited Erin Stern’s Facebook page often and read transformation stories on Bodybuilding.com. I also read fitness magazines for new workout tips and clean-eating ideas. Most of all, I thought about who I wanted to be for myself and my daughter. I want her to know that it’s important to chase and complete your goals, even when it’s hard and you’re afraid.

I’ve been told countless times by friends, family, and random strangers at the gym that I inspire them. If I told my 20-year-old self that one day people would say that I inspire them, I would’ve never believed it. It’s those moments that keep me motivated to push toward my future goals.

Apply Here To Be A Transformation Of The Week!

Apply Here To Be A Transformation
Of The Week!

Bodybuilding.com honors people across all transformation categories for their hard work and dedication. Learn how our featured transformers overcame obstacles and hit their goals!

Diet plan that guided my transformation

I drink at least one gallon of water per day and increase that to two gallons per day three weeks before competition. This is my maintenance diet that keeps me running like a well-fueled machine.

  • Salad
  • Spring Greens Spring Greens2 cups
  • Mixed Veggies Mixed Veggies1 serving
  • Light Asian Sesame Dressing Light Asian Sesame Dressing2 tbsp
  • chicken Chicken5 oz
  • cottage cheese Cottage Cheese1/2 cup
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk Unsweetened Almond Milk1 cup

Training regimen that kept me on track

I strength train six days per week and work each muscle group twice per week. I also do 3-4 hours of cardio per week on the stairmaster.

What aspect challenged me the most

The most challenging part of my transformation was three weeks out from my contest date. I increased my cardio from four to seven days per week and depleted additional calories from my diet.

The combination left me with low energy and an energetic 3-year-old to keep up with. Knowing it was temporary kept me going. I leaned on my husband and support team for motivation and visualized myself on stage completing my goal.

“Don’t obsess about the number on the scale!”

My future fitness plans

I learned a lot from my first figure competition. I met many wonderful people and had fun. I’m excited to get back on stage and do it again. I have specific improvements that I want to make for my next show and will give myself a few months before I step on stage again.

Even though I have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, I was too embarrassed to pursue my dreams and help others meet their fitness goals because I hadn’t completed mine. I now have the confidence to pursue it and plan to become a certified personal trainer when my daughter is in preschool.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

  • Believe in yourself and make long-term changes.
  • Surround yourself with positive people to lean on when you need help.
  • Seek inspiration from others who have been there to ignite your inner fire.
  • Take progress photos.
  • Keep a food log and measure your food.
  • Don’t obsess about the number on the scale!
  • Reach for the stars!

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals

My husband and I use Bodybuilding.com for our supplementation needs because it has the best prices and fastest shipping. Bodybuilding.com keeps us happily stocked with supplements and motivates us with articles and transformation stories.

Catherine’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Shut It Down” by Pitbull (Feat. Akon)
  2. “Shake It” by Metro Station
  3. “Remember The Name” by Fort Minor (Feat. Styles Of Beyond)
  4. “Berzerk” by Eminem
  5. “Hella Good” by No Doubt

 

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About The Author

Have you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle or by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?

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Body Transformation: Catherine Biery Busted Into A Figure Physique!

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Bodybuilding.com Fit Team Member Spotlight: Joshua Dakin Pushes Human Limits

Look at him now and it’s a hard sell to believe that Joshua Dakin was bullied as a kid. Just imagine the pills of those bullies if they tried that trash today! Now that he’s a strapping hulk, crushing massive weight in powerlifting’s core lifts, no one gives him anything but compliments.

But back in middle school Josh was overweight, and bullied for it. He avoided sports and didn’t start a regular exercise routine until he was in high school. The gym gave him an escape from the trash talk, but he also found that in the weight room, he could achieve impressive feats and take control of his body for the first time.

“I had to find out how to train properly through trial and error,” Dakin says. “As high school progressed, it became clear I was abnormally strong—especially with deadlift and squat—compared to the other athletes and football players. I leaned down as time went by and became more interested in fitness because I liked that I wasn’t looking chubby anymore. I looked better, and as a result, I felt better.”

With his new physique and strength, Josh enlisted in the Marine Corps. Everything was progressing well until boot camp, when he fell ill with a severe case of pneumonia. That’s not the sort of environment where quitting is acceptable, so he refused to stop training. “I completed a 3-mile run with a 109-degree temperature, before finally collapsing, not responding to anyone,” Josh says. “That’s the last I remember before waking up in a hospital.”

The heatstroke caused by the fever damaged his internal organs. “They pretty much all were literally boiled internally,” He says. The incident and the damage to his vital organs led to a month in the hospital, another two months in rehab, and, unfortunately a medical discharge from the corps.

“When I came home after being discharged I was incredibly weak,” Josh says. “I dropped more than 30 pounds in the month after the heatstroke occurred and could barely stand for more than 30 minutes at a time before feeling like my legs were going to give out. This was the most depressing time in my life. I had to rebuild my body from scratch.”

He did just that, and three years later, Josh tested his hard work when he competed in his first powerlifting competition in Idaho. He didn’t know what to expect, but he ended up taking first place overall. That victory, and his new passion for powerlifting, set him on a course to join Bodybuilding.com and further advance his career in and out of the weight room.

QWhat is your position at Bodybuilding.com? How long have you worked here?

I am currently a customer service representative in the call center. I have been here just over a year, and honestly I love every minute of it. We take care of our customers.

What was your fitness level before working at Bodybuilding.com? What is your competition history like?

I was pretty active. I was lifting daily and sticking to my training routines. I will admit that my nutrition wasn’t that great though. I will say that I’ve significantly improved since I’ve been working here.

“To date, I have competed in four different powerlifting events. I also utilize some strongman exercises for conditioning, and I have my eyes on doing a bodybuilding show within the next year.”

To date, I have competed in four different powerlifting events. I also utilize some strongman exercises for conditioning, and I have my eyes on doing a bodybuilding show within the next year. I don’t really like to flaunt my strength. I try to not look like I’m searching for attention when I train.

What is it like working at Bodybuilding.com? How does it create a helpful fitness environment?

Honestly, it’s awesome! I love coming to work—even on my days off, just to train. The environment here is unlike any job I’ve had. Everyone is extremely supportive of their peers—especially the people competing or who have physical goals. We keep each other motivated and offer a hand to help one another out when possible.

What do you think of the new gym in the corporate office? Is it missing anything you need?

The gym is pretty sweet. I think we need more cowbell, j/k. But we could maybe use a prowler sled that we could push in the parking lot and a tire to flip when the weather warms up. Those are great conditioning tools; I found that they actually make conditioning fun, opposed to being on a stair-stepper for 30 minutes.

How does the Bodybuilding.com environment influence your health, fitness and appearance goals?

Our environment provides the support we need when we begin to feel overwhelmed. It’s honestly very cool that we have a job that supports its employees in this field.

Do you get asked for advice in the gym often?

I get asked about how to squat or deadlift properly almost daily actually! I don’t mind coaching anyone seeking help on their form. I actually take it as a compliment that they trust my opinion.

You’re still pretty young Josh, and are years from your prime. Do you think you’re on pace to maybe go pro some day?

In powerlifting, I honestly think I may have what it takes. I have some goals I’ve set this year and they appear to be on the horizon of being met very soon. If I meet them I may be able to compete on the pro level. If this happened, it would only be more motivation to train harder and continue to improve.

“I have some goals I’ve set this year and they appear to be on the horizon of being met very soon.”

Can you point out a moment in the gym when a co-worker asked you for advice?

What is your strategy when you are contacted by a customer? Honestly, paying full attention to the customer, just showing them we are here to help them to the best of our ability. Not a lot of companies allow their employees to do this and tend to be completely policy-driven. We legitimately care about our customers and will take care of them.

What is more important to you: looking good or being strong?

I like to try to balance it out. I’m not as ripped as some of the guys here, but I’m working on it. Being strong is a priority to me because it’s what I do, but I won’t use strength training as a reason to diet poorly and neglect basic conditioning. I want to try bodybuilding out because I believe these two goals can be balanced and will benefit each other if you know what you’re doing.

“Being strong is a priority to me because it’s what I do, but I won’t use strength training as a reason to diet poorly and neglect basic conditioning.”

Have you participated in the employee transformation challenge? How did that experience affect your life?

I am actually currently participating in it at the moment. I get compliments daily that I am looking way more lean and defined than prior. It honestly keeps me going, knowing I’m making progress. I’ve never made so much progress before, and it’s because of this support. It’s awesome.

Gym Rat Josh’s Lifting Regimen

I warm up on chest day with pull-ups to activate my lats for the bench press.

Warm up:

Nutrition: Sample daily meal-by-meal breakdown

Josh’s Supplement Stack


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Bodybuilding.com Fit Team Member Spotlight: Joshua Dakin Pushes Human Limits

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 32

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You may not often see someone as big as Arnold doing pull-ups for big reps in the gym, but chins were a crucial part of his training throughout his youth and competitive years. But he quickly learned that this fundamental movement wasn’t quite enough to build a complete bodybuilder’s back.

“When I met Roger Callard, Mr. Western America, he had been doing chin-ups his whole life,” he wrote in “The Education of a Bodybuilder.” “He had a wide back, but never a winning back. He could hit a straight-on back pose and nothing happened. A year ago I encouraged him to start rowing; as a result of his efforts he now wins the ‘best back’ in every contest.”

As the ultimate self-critic, Arnold felt that he still needed one more movement to maximize his own back development. He found it in the T-bar row, which was relatively new when he was captured doing it in the film “Pumping Iron.” His total back formula, which he laid out in “The Education,” was a three-pronged approach: “chin-ups work on width, bent-over rowing with the bar develops the center and lower back, and T-bar rowing develops the outside of the back and the lower lats.” It’s the perfect formula. Finish your back work strong with it today!

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About The Author

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 32

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<div id="DPG" webReader="219.526801913"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-14.5273972603"><div class="c12"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/train-magazine-vital-stats-b.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c13">Vital Stats</h3><p><strong>TRAIN MAGAZINE</strong><br />The Official Print Partner of Bodybuilding.com</p><p><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="https://train.magcs.com/IT2C51/subscribe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">https://train.magcs.com/</a><br /><strong>Facebook:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TRAINmagazine" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">TRAINmagazine</a><br /><strong>Twitter:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/TRAINmag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">TRAINmag</a></p></div><p>If you're into fitness then the name Steve Cook should resonate with you already. Pick up any respectable fitness magazine in the world today and it's unlikely you find a copy without a picture of his smiling face and ripped torso stirring back up at you.</p><p>In 2013, he solidified his place as arguably the planet's most sought-after fitness model. Steve Cook has the physique most fitness enthusiasts aspire toward, with a soaring international fan base, a list of blue-chip corporate sponsors, and more photo shoot requests than half of Hollywood.</p><p>But what makes Cook tick? What are the training philosophies of the professional fitness model and men's physique bodybuilder? TRAIN traveled to his home town of Boise, Idaho, for a week of training with the fitness icon. We discovered an athlete who is only getting started with his athletic aspirations.</p><h3 class="article-title">THE BASICS</h3><p>Born in the middle of a family of seven children, Steve excelled at sports growing up. Cook was already in great shape after a childhood that was built around a training rewards system, like being able to watch TV after he'd finished his daily push-ups! He played football in college and eventually graduated with a degree in Integrated Studies (biology/psychology).</p><p>Steve maintains that those early training memories, instilled into him from his father, are the key to staying in shape today. Cook insists that getting the basics right, no matter what your fitness level, offers the key to a healthier, fitter lifestyle, especially if your gym visits aren't as frequent as you may wish.</p><p>"As long as you stick to the basics then you won't go far wrong," Steve says. "Things like bench press, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, movements that work a lot of muscle groups. If people reading this can't get to the gym as much as they'd like, then at least make sure you do the compound exercises.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bigger-faster-stronger-happier-learn-more-from-steve-cook-2.jpg" width="560" height="416" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Pull-Up</h6><p>"The basic stuff, like deadlifts, that works the back, core, legs and shoulders are essential. By sticking to those types of movements you'll see the biggest results."</p><p>Focus on your own goals and achievements matters most, states the IFBB pro men's physique competitor. Allowing someone else's achievements or performance to cloud your own aspirations is a surefire way to stunt your growth.</p><p>"Don't compare yourself to other people," Steve says. "Whether it's in competition or just in the gym, there is always going to be someone out there with better calves or a better chest, but the minute you start comparing yourself physically to other people is the minute you're not going to be happy with your training.</p><p>"If you concentrate on your progress and getting better from month to month then you will be satisfied. The minute you start comparing everyone else's best features to your worst features you're in trouble. I've been there myself in the competition world when I've felt like crap because I may not have felt like I was lean enough or big enough.</p><p>"The best advice I can offer is to focus on yourself, focus on your goals and achievements, and don't allow anybody else's progress and scupper your fitness plans."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bigger-faster-stronger-happier-learn-more-from-steve-cook-1.jpg" width="206" height="443" border="0" class="float-right c16"/><h3 class="article-title">BODYBUILDING VS CROSSFIT</h3><p>Cook doesn't see his own fitness potential as a job, however, but more of a lifestyle. He doesn't stereotype himself as a professional bodybuilder, rather as more of a full-time athlete, a guy who through commitment and training has provided himself with an opportunity to live his life the way he wants.</p><p>Sure, it's through conventional bodybuilding that he has found himself in the public eye. But Cook's training regimen is so much more than pumping iron. He lives for new challenges, is determined to try anything at least once, and embraces all forms of exercise, including CrossFit.</p><p>The strength and conditioning training phenom has stormed the planet in recent years, but along the way he noticed a divide between traditional bodybuilding practitioners and a generation of CrossFit devotees. However, Cook insists there's plenty of space on the planet for both to not only coexist but even embrace one another's core values.</p><p>"There is a big issue between bodybuilders and CrossFitters, and I think there's negativity on both sides," Cook says. "CrossFit people say that bodybuilders don't have functional muscle, while bodybuilders say that CrossFit is just a surefire way to get injured. But I don't see why there has to be such disconnect.</p><p>"Obviously, there are bodybuilders out there who fit the stereotype of not being athletes, just concentrating on isolation movements that don't really do anything in regard to functionality. At the same time, there are also CrossFitters who really don't know the technique of the lifts they are doing. But stereotyping is dangerous.</p><p>"For me, I train pretty instinctively now and I always like to try new things. So I will always incorporate movements like the clean, always try things like the muscle-up, on top of my bodybuilding exercises, like biceps curls or your bench press, things like that. I like doing both.</p><img class="float-left c17" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bigger-faster-stronger-happier-learn-more-from-steve-cook-3.jpg" width="248" height="299" border="0"/><p>"Whether you are a CrossFitter or a bodybuilder it should always just be about improving your life."</p><p>"I like to lift to be a better athlete and to live healthier, but yet I also like to lift to look better too . It should all just be about health. Whether you are a CrossFitter or a bodybuilder it should always just be about improving your life. And so if I can do both and have fun doing it, as well as make progress in looks and performance, then I'm a happy guy."</p><p>So, does this mean we may even see him compete in CrossFit arena one day in the future? "I wouldn't mind giving it a go," Cook says. "I'm the type of guy who likes a new challenge. I've got my pro card and I've competed on the Olympia stage and while I'm not saying I am done doing that, I am also starting to look for something else to push my body.</p><p>"When you are a bodybuilder, and you've competed on the stage, it's easy to become depressed after a competition because you look back and you know that you're not going to look as good as you did on the stage. So now you're back in the gym and what are you striving for, to get bigger and leaner for next time?</p><p>"What I want to do is concentrate on other goals, so I'm not obsessed just with how my body looks. I really want to look at what my body can do, and that means improving all of my best lifts through the winter. It means improving my cardiovascular system too, and getting my mile time down or going swimming more.</p><p>"And by having more performance driven goals it keeps me from getting bored with my training, and that's really something everyone can take from my own experiences. Nothing beats training with a smile on your face."</p><h3 class="article-title">SWOLDIER OF FORTUNE</h3><p>Training happy is the key to keeping Cook interested. While he'll happily play around with different exercises and programs in the gym, outside of it he's even more adventurous.</p><p>"I like trying new things for sure, and there's no better opportunity to try new ways to work out than when you're on the road," Steve says. "Of course when I compete I want to be the best and I enjoy being good at something, but I also want to try everything and anything I can. There is no better feeling than taking something you're not too good at and making it your strength.</p><p>"I'll do yoga, I go trail running, I enjoy getting out into nature especially. I enjoy getting out of the gym, opening my mind to new experiences and really living life. It's actually as much a spiritual thing as anything else. What better way to work out than swimming in the ocean or surfing. I grew up in the mountains in Idaho so using my surroundings to stay in shape is too good an opportunity to miss.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bigger-faster-stronger-happier-learn-more-from-steve-cook-4.jpg" width="560" height="373" border="0" class="c19"/><p>"Recently, I was over in Hawaii so I went surfing, ocean kayaking, I was running on the beach, standup paddle boarding. And this is on top of going the gym for 45 minutes every day too. And it's all because I wanted to experience things I could only experience in Hawaii.</p><p>"There's no better way to start your day than doing something active. And then you don't have to worry about all the little details of what you are eating, because you're being so active and burning off everything anyway. There's no such thing as the wrong cardio, in my opinion. As long as you're enjoying it, then that's it."</p><p>And right now Steve is training with a smile on his face. He's living out of a suitcase, and has spent only around a week or two out of the last few months actually at home in Boise, due to demands for his time. But he wouldn't have it any other way.</p><p>"I was actually talking with my sister on the phone just the other day and complaining to here that I was travelling so much," Steve says. " But she's a nurse back in Idaho where its five degrees and here's me complaining while sitting in my shorts on a beach in Hawaii, so she helped me put things into perspective that's for sure. Hotel rooms and airports are a drag, but I wouldn't have it any other way."</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bigger-faster-stronger-happier-learn-more-from-steve-cook-5.jpg" width="560" height="398" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Front Squat</h6><p>As for his conditioning? "Right now I'd like to incorporate a lot more strength movements into my training, and do CrossFit at least once or twice a week too," Steve says. "Trying out more of the Olympic lifts and concentrating on getting stronger are really the main focus in the off-season.</p><p>"But I've been doing so many photo shoots that I've actually had to stay pretty lean this winter so my training has been a much quicker pace. I've been doing a lot of supersets, lots of dropsets, with not a lot of rest periods in between."</p><iframe src="//instagram.com/p/lGaC1YPcG2/embed/" width="560" height="650" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><h3 class="article-title">STEVE COOK WEEKLY WORKOUT</h3><div id="meal-plan-table" webReader="-7.05319148936"><ul><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-guillotine-bench-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/305/Male/t/305_1.jpg" alt="Bench Press To Neck" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-guillotine-bench-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/305/Male/t/305_2.jpg" alt="Bench Press To Neck" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-guillotine-bench-press')">Bench Press To Neck</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('incline-dumbbell-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/380/Male/t/380_1.jpg" alt="Incline Dumbbell Press" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('incline-dumbbell-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/380/Male/t/380_2.jpg" alt="Incline Dumbbell Press" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('incline-dumbbell-press')">Incline Dumbbell Press</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('decline-dumbbell-flyes')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/36/Male/t/36_1.jpg" alt="Decline Bench Flyes" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('decline-dumbbell-flyes')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/36/Male/t/36_2.jpg" alt="Decline Bench Flyes" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('decline-dumbbell-flyes')">Decline Bench Flyes</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10-14 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('push-ups-with-feet-on-an-exercise-ball')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/126/Male/t/126_1.jpg" alt="Ball Push-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('push-ups-with-feet-on-an-exercise-ball')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/126/Male/t/126_2.jpg" alt="Ball Push-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('push-ups-with-feet-on-an-exercise-ball')">Ball Push-Up</a></strong><br />3 sets to failure</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('alternating-renegade-row')">Renegade Row</a></span></li>
<li class="c11">
<h6>Abs: 4 rounds to failure</h6>
</li>
</ul><p>Select 3 of the following exercises and do them in a circuit</p><ul><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_1.jpg" alt="Hanging Knee-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_2.jpg" alt="Hanging Knee-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')">Hanging Knee-Up</a></strong></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_1.jpg" alt="Chair Hold" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_2.jpg" alt="Chair Hold" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')">Chair Hold</a><br />(isometric hold)</strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/194/Male/t/194_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Decline Bench Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/194/Male/t/194_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Decline Bench Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')">Reverse Decline Bench Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/209/Male/t/209_1.jpg" alt="Bicycle Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/209/Male/t/209_2.jpg" alt="Bicycle Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')">Bicycle Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/163/Male/t/163_1.jpg" alt="Rope Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/163/Male/t/163_2.jpg" alt="Rope Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')">Rope Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/117/Male/t/117_1.jpg" alt="Swiss Ball Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/117/Male/t/117_2.jpg" alt="Swiss Ball Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')">Swiss Ball Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('pullups')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/46/Male/t/46_1.jpg" alt="Pull-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('pullups')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/46/Male/t/46_2.jpg" alt="Pull-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('pullups')">Pull-Up</a></strong><br />5 sets to failure</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('rope-climb')">Rope Climb</a></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/13/Male/t/13_1.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Single-Arm Row" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/13/Male/t/13_2.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Single-Arm Row" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')">Dumbbell Single-Arm Row</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-front-lat-pulldown')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/14/Male/t/14_1.jpg" alt="Close-Grip Pull-Down" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-front-lat-pulldown')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/14/Male/t/14_2.jpg" alt="Close-Grip Pull-Down" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-front-lat-pulldown')">Close-Grip Pull-Down</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-10 reps</span></li>
<li class="c11">
<h6>Superset</h6>
</li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('inverted-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/879/Male/t/879_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Fixed Bar Row" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('inverted-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/879/Male/t/879_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Fixed Bar Row" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('inverted-row')">Reverse Fixed Bar Row</a></strong><br />3 sets to failure</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('straight-arm-dumbbell-pullover')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/39/Male/t/39_1.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Pull-Overs" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('straight-arm-dumbbell-pullover')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/39/Male/t/39_2.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Pull-Overs" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('straight-arm-dumbbell-pullover')">Dumbbell Pull-Overs</a></strong><br />3 sets to failure</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_1.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_2.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors">Cardio</a></strong><br />Yoga, or <a href="javascript:pop('trail-runningwalking')">Trail Running</a></span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('power-clean')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/185/Male/t/185_1.jpg" alt="Power Clean" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('power-clean')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/185/Male/t/185_2.jpg" alt="Power Clean" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('power-clean')">Power Clean</a></strong><br />3 sets of 5 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('seated-dumbbell-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/364/Male/t/364_1.jpg" alt="Seated Dumbbell Press" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('seated-dumbbell-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/364/Male/t/364_2.jpg" alt="Seated Dumbbell Press" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('seated-dumbbell-press')">Seated Dumbbell Press</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-10 reps</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('handstand-push-ups')">Handstand Wall Push-Up</a></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-deltoid-raise')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/72/Male/t/72_1.jpg" alt="Cable Single Side Laterals" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-deltoid-raise')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/72/Male/t/72_2.jpg" alt="Cable Single Side Laterals" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-deltoid-raise')">Cable Single Side Laterals</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-machine-flyes')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/912/Male/t/912_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Pec Deck" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('reverse-machine-flyes')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/912/Male/t/912_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Pec Deck" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-machine-flyes')">Reverse Pec Deck</a></strong><br />3 sets of 8-10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('upright-barbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/365/Male/t/365_1.jpg" alt="Upright Row" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('upright-barbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/365/Male/t/365_2.jpg" alt="Upright Row" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('upright-barbell-row')">Upright Row</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10-12 reps</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-kettlebell-swings')">Kettlebell Swing</a></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-shrug')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/97/Male/t/97_1.jpg" alt="Shrug" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-shrug')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/97/Male/t/97_2.jpg" alt="Shrug" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-shrug')">Shrug</a></strong><br />3 sets of 12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('rope-jumping')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/651/Male/t/651_1.jpg" alt="Jump Rope" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('rope-jumping')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/651/Male/t/651_2.jpg" alt="Jump Rope" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('rope-jumping')">Jump Rope</a></strong><br />15 minutes</span></li>
</ul><h6>Superset</h6><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/131/Male/t/131_1.jpg" alt="Cable Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/131/Male/t/131_2.jpg" alt="Cable Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-biceps-cable-curl')">Cable Curl</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-curl')">Barbell Curl</a></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('lying-triceps-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/342/Male/t/342_1.jpg" alt="Skullcrusher" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('lying-triceps-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/342/Male/t/342_2.jpg" alt="Skullcrusher" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('lying-triceps-press')">Skullcrusher</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps</span></li>
<li class="c11">
<h6>Superset</h6>
</li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('concentration-curls')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/136/Male/t/136_1.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Concentrated Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('concentration-curls')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/136/Male/t/136_2.jpg" alt="Dumbbell Concentrated Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('concentration-curls')">Dumbbell Concentrated Curl</a></strong><br />3 sets of 12 reps</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br />Cable Concentrated Curl</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('ring-dips')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/1431/Male/t/1431_1.jpg" alt="Ring Dips" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('ring-dips')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/1431/Male/t/1431_2.jpg" alt="Ring Dips" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('ring-dips')">Ring Dips</a></strong><br />3 sets of 12 reps</span></li>
<li class="c11">
<h6>Superset</h6>
</li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/9/Male/t/9_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/9/Male/t/9_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')">Reverse Curl</a></strong><br />3 sets of 21s</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-one-arm-triceps-extension')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/149/Male/t/149_1.jpg" alt="Overhead Triceps Cable Straight Bar Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-one-arm-triceps-extension')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/149/Male/t/149_2.jpg" alt="Overhead Triceps Cable Straight Bar Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content c21"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-low-pulley-one-arm-triceps-extension')">Overhead Triceps Cable Straight Bar Extension</a><br />(shown one-handed)</strong><br />3 sets of 21s</span></li>
</ul><p><strong>21s Technique:</strong> 7 reps of top half of ROM, 7 reps of bottom half ROM, and 7 reps full ROM</p><p>
<h6>Abs: 4 rounds to failure</h6>
</p><p>Select 3 of the following exercises and do them in a circuit</p><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_1.jpg" alt="Hanging Knee-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_2.jpg" alt="Hanging Knee-Up" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')">Hanging Knee-Up</a></strong></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_1.jpg" alt="Chair Hold" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/340/Male/t/340_2.jpg" alt="Chair Hold" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kneehip-raise-on-parallel-bars')">Chair Hold</a><br />(isometric hold)</strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/194/Male/t/194_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Decline Bench Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/194/Male/t/194_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Decline Bench Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('decline-reverse-crunch')">Reverse Decline Bench Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/209/Male/t/209_1.jpg" alt="Bicycle Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/209/Male/t/209_2.jpg" alt="Bicycle Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('air-bike')">Bicycle Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/163/Male/t/163_1.jpg" alt="Rope Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/163/Male/t/163_2.jpg" alt="Rope Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('cable-crunch')">Rope Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/117/Male/t/117_1.jpg" alt="Swiss Ball Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/117/Male/t/117_2.jpg" alt="Swiss Ball Crunch" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('exercise-ball-crunch')">Swiss Ball Crunch</a></strong><br /></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_1.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_2.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors">Cardio</a></strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('rope-jumping')">Jump Rope</a>, Yoga, Swimming, or <a href="javascript:pop('running-treadmill')">Running</a></span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-full-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/64/Male/t/64_1.jpg" alt="Back Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-full-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/64/Male/t/64_2.jpg" alt="Back Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-full-squat')">Back Squat</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps</span> <span class="mpt-other-options" valign="top"><strong>Alternate Option:</strong><br /><a href="javascript:pop('front-barbell-squat')">Front Squat</a></span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-one-legged-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/546/Male/t/546_1.jpg" alt="Single-Leg Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-one-legged-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/546/Male/t/546_2.jpg" alt="Single-Leg Deadlift" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-one-legged-deadlift')">Single-Leg Deadlift</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('leg-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/57/Male/t/57_1.jpg" alt="Leg Press" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('leg-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/57/Male/t/57_2.jpg" alt="Leg Press" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('leg-press')">Leg Press</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10-12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('seated-leg-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/69/Male/t/69_1.jpg" alt="Seated Leg Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('seated-leg-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/69/Male/t/69_2.jpg" alt="Seated Leg Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('seated-leg-curl')">Seated Leg Curl</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10-12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('leg-extensions')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/53/Male/t/53_1.jpg" alt="Leg Extensions" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('leg-extensions')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/53/Male/t/53_2.jpg" alt="Leg Extensions" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('leg-extensions')">Leg Extensions</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10-12 reps</span></li>
</ul><ul><li class="rowBorderColor c20"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_1.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_2.jpg" alt="Cardio" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/finder/saved/id/11367/main-muscle/abdominals-abductors">Cardio</a></strong><br />Yoga, or <a href="javascript:pop('trail-runningwalking')">Trail Running</a></span></li>
</ul></div><a href="https://train.magcs.com/IT2C51/subscribe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/train-magazine-banner-1-24-2014.jpg" width="560" height="200" border="0" class="c23"/></a><br class="c24"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c27" webReader="5.20603015075"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pumping-iron-kris-gethins-top-3-triceps-exercises.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/kris-gethins-top-3-triceps-train-small.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c26" webReader="6.69346733668"><h4 class="c25"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pumping-iron-kris-gethins-top-3-triceps-exercises.html">Pumping Iron: Kris Gethin's Top 3 Triceps Exercises</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
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Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Happier: Learn More From Steve Cook

If you’re into fitness then the name Steve Cook should resonate with you already. Pick up any respectable fitness magazine in the world today and it’s unlikely you find a copy without a picture of his smiling face and ripped torso stirring back up at you.

In 2013, he solidified his place as arguably the planet’s most sought-after fitness model. Steve Cook has the physique most fitness enthusiasts aspire toward, with a soaring international fan base, a list of blue-chip corporate sponsors, and more photo shoot requests than half of Hollywood.

But what makes Cook tick? What are the training philosophies of the professional fitness model and men’s physique bodybuilder? TRAIN traveled to his home town of Boise, Idaho, for a week of training with the fitness icon. We discovered an athlete who is only getting started with his athletic aspirations.

THE BASICS

Born in the middle of a family of seven children, Steve excelled at sports growing up. Cook was already in great shape after a childhood that was built around a training rewards system, like being able to watch TV after he’d finished his daily push-ups! He played football in college and eventually graduated with a degree in Integrated Studies (biology/psychology).

Steve maintains that those early training memories, instilled into him from his father, are the key to staying in shape today. Cook insists that getting the basics right, no matter what your fitness level, offers the key to a healthier, fitter lifestyle, especially if your gym visits aren’t as frequent as you may wish.

“As long as you stick to the basics then you won’t go far wrong,” Steve says. “Things like bench press, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, movements that work a lot of muscle groups. If people reading this can’t get to the gym as much as they’d like, then at least make sure you do the compound exercises.

Pull-Up

“The basic stuff, like deadlifts, that works the back, core, legs and shoulders are essential. By sticking to those types of movements you’ll see the biggest results.”

Focus on your own goals and achievements matters most, states the IFBB pro men’s physique competitor. Allowing someone else’s achievements or performance to cloud your own aspirations is a surefire way to stunt your growth.

“Don’t compare yourself to other people,” Steve says. “Whether it’s in competition or just in the gym, there is always going to be someone out there with better calves or a better chest, but the minute you start comparing yourself physically to other people is the minute you’re not going to be happy with your training.

“If you concentrate on your progress and getting better from month to month then you will be satisfied. The minute you start comparing everyone else’s best features to your worst features you’re in trouble. I’ve been there myself in the competition world when I’ve felt like crap because I may not have felt like I was lean enough or big enough.

“The best advice I can offer is to focus on yourself, focus on your goals and achievements, and don’t allow anybody else’s progress and scupper your fitness plans.”

BODYBUILDING VS CROSSFIT

Cook doesn’t see his own fitness potential as a job, however, but more of a lifestyle. He doesn’t stereotype himself as a professional bodybuilder, rather as more of a full-time athlete, a guy who through commitment and training has provided himself with an opportunity to live his life the way he wants.

Sure, it’s through conventional bodybuilding that he has found himself in the public eye. But Cook’s training regimen is so much more than pumping iron. He lives for new challenges, is determined to try anything at least once, and embraces all forms of exercise, including CrossFit.

The strength and conditioning training phenom has stormed the planet in recent years, but along the way he noticed a divide between traditional bodybuilding practitioners and a generation of CrossFit devotees. However, Cook insists there’s plenty of space on the planet for both to not only coexist but even embrace one another’s core values.

“There is a big issue between bodybuilders and CrossFitters, and I think there’s negativity on both sides,” Cook says. “CrossFit people say that bodybuilders don’t have functional muscle, while bodybuilders say that CrossFit is just a surefire way to get injured. But I don’t see why there has to be such disconnect.

“Obviously, there are bodybuilders out there who fit the stereotype of not being athletes, just concentrating on isolation movements that don’t really do anything in regard to functionality. At the same time, there are also CrossFitters who really don’t know the technique of the lifts they are doing. But stereotyping is dangerous.

“For me, I train pretty instinctively now and I always like to try new things. So I will always incorporate movements like the clean, always try things like the muscle-up, on top of my bodybuilding exercises, like biceps curls or your bench press, things like that. I like doing both.

“Whether you are a CrossFitter or a bodybuilder it should always just be about improving your life.”

“I like to lift to be a better athlete and to live healthier, but yet I also like to lift to look better too . It should all just be about health. Whether you are a CrossFitter or a bodybuilder it should always just be about improving your life. And so if I can do both and have fun doing it, as well as make progress in looks and performance, then I’m a happy guy.”

So, does this mean we may even see him compete in CrossFit arena one day in the future? “I wouldn’t mind giving it a go,” Cook says. “I’m the type of guy who likes a new challenge. I’ve got my pro card and I’ve competed on the Olympia stage and while I’m not saying I am done doing that, I am also starting to look for something else to push my body.

“When you are a bodybuilder, and you’ve competed on the stage, it’s easy to become depressed after a competition because you look back and you know that you’re not going to look as good as you did on the stage. So now you’re back in the gym and what are you striving for, to get bigger and leaner for next time?

“What I want to do is concentrate on other goals, so I’m not obsessed just with how my body looks. I really want to look at what my body can do, and that means improving all of my best lifts through the winter. It means improving my cardiovascular system too, and getting my mile time down or going swimming more.

“And by having more performance driven goals it keeps me from getting bored with my training, and that’s really something everyone can take from my own experiences. Nothing beats training with a smile on your face.”

SWOLDIER OF FORTUNE

Training happy is the key to keeping Cook interested. While he’ll happily play around with different exercises and programs in the gym, outside of it he’s even more adventurous.

“I like trying new things for sure, and there’s no better opportunity to try new ways to work out than when you’re on the road,” Steve says. “Of course when I compete I want to be the best and I enjoy being good at something, but I also want to try everything and anything I can. There is no better feeling than taking something you’re not too good at and making it your strength.

“I’ll do yoga, I go trail running, I enjoy getting out into nature especially. I enjoy getting out of the gym, opening my mind to new experiences and really living life. It’s actually as much a spiritual thing as anything else. What better way to work out than swimming in the ocean or surfing. I grew up in the mountains in Idaho so using my surroundings to stay in shape is too good an opportunity to miss.

“Recently, I was over in Hawaii so I went surfing, ocean kayaking, I was running on the beach, standup paddle boarding. And this is on top of going the gym for 45 minutes every day too. And it’s all because I wanted to experience things I could only experience in Hawaii.

“There’s no better way to start your day than doing something active. And then you don’t have to worry about all the little details of what you are eating, because you’re being so active and burning off everything anyway. There’s no such thing as the wrong cardio, in my opinion. As long as you’re enjoying it, then that’s it.”

And right now Steve is training with a smile on his face. He’s living out of a suitcase, and has spent only around a week or two out of the last few months actually at home in Boise, due to demands for his time. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I was actually talking with my sister on the phone just the other day and complaining to here that I was travelling so much,” Steve says. ” But she’s a nurse back in Idaho where its five degrees and here’s me complaining while sitting in my shorts on a beach in Hawaii, so she helped me put things into perspective that’s for sure. Hotel rooms and airports are a drag, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Front Squat

As for his conditioning? “Right now I’d like to incorporate a lot more strength movements into my training, and do CrossFit at least once or twice a week too,” Steve says. “Trying out more of the Olympic lifts and concentrating on getting stronger are really the main focus in the off-season.

“But I’ve been doing so many photo shoots that I’ve actually had to stay pretty lean this winter so my training has been a much quicker pace. I’ve been doing a lot of supersets, lots of dropsets, with not a lot of rest periods in between.”

STEVE COOK WEEKLY WORKOUT

Select 3 of the following exercises and do them in a circuit

Superset

21s Technique: 7 reps of top half of ROM, 7 reps of bottom half ROM, and 7 reps full ROM

Abs: 4 rounds to failure

Select 3 of the following exercises and do them in a circuit


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Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Happier: Learn More From Steve Cook

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments Off on Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Happier: Learn More From Steve Cook

Step-up with a bicep curl

Step-up with a bicep curl Work your biceps, butt and legs with this fat-blasting workout from Nichelle Laus.How toStand with left foot on a sturdy bench, step, or chair with a dumbbell in each hand.Step up onto the bench and raise the right thigh so it’s parallel to floor; at the same time, curl weights up toward shoulders.Return to starting position, switch legs and repeat.NEXT: Browse more exercises for toned arms>>Photo credit: Dave Laus

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Step-up with a bicep curl

Posted in BodybuildingComments Off on Step-up with a bicep curl

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Paul Is A Massive Canadian Competitor!

QHow did your bodybuilding journey begin?

I started training at the university gym in Ottawa, Canada, in 2004 at 160 pounds. My friends introduced me to bodybuilding training, diet, and supplementation. I remember getting my first look at the Arnold Encyclopedia. Seeing huge guys in print brought back childhood memories of heroes and the cool role models of the 80s. Initially, I wanted to get bigger than my roommate in the spirit of healthy competition but it became much more.

I have an addictive personality and lifting became my healthy addiction. I stopped smoking first and then stopped drinking and started eating well later. In my first six years of training, I bulked up with lots of muscle, but had high body fat. I was 280 pounds before I realized that I looked more like the incredible bulk than the Incredible Hulk. This started my itch to lift competitively.

I was at a stage in life when I needed a new goal. I just graduated from college and settled into my career. Initially, I trained for powerlifting meets. My first was a raw bench meet in Waterloo, Ontario, where I placed second overall. I was interested in bodybuilding but never intended to compete until I watched my friend compete in 2011. After his show, I decided to become a bodybuilder.

I didn’t know how much mental, physical, and psychological change was required to become a successful bodybuilder. I adopted new eating habits, training philosophies, and made lifestyle changes. In 2012, I stepped on stage in London, Ottawa, Ontario, at 218 pounds. My first season was a learning experience that helped me realize what needed to be done to make it to the next level of competition. In 2013, I stepped on stage as a conditioned heavyweight in Couberg, Ontario, where I clenched the provincial qualifying spot after a third place finish.

Cool Fact

Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has several vocational rehabilitation designations!

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

I like to hit a muscle group with at least six exercises with a minimum of 4 sets at 8-10 reps and a maximum of 10 sets at 10 reps per exercise. I can do phenomenal things with my chest and lift high volume with high weight. My back can also handle this kind of training. I hit arms and legs with high frequency and moderate weight at 12-20 reps. Here is my pre-contest training routine.

21s Technique: 7 reps of top half of ROM, 7 reps of bottom half ROM, and 7 reps full ROM

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

What Supplements Gave You The Greatest Gains?

How did your passion for bodybuilding emerge?

Bodybuilding is a lifestyle, passion, art, sport, and a form of entertainment. This is what makes bodybuilding attractive. When people ask how my show prep is going, I say that I love every second of it. I take pride for declining everyday pleasures and delaying short-term gratification. The best part of bodybuilding is that the gratification isn’t winning the class or the show, it’s getting there and being the best you can be on stage.

What motivated you to be a bodybuilder?

New goals motivate me to be a bodybuilder. Dreaming and taking action to make that dream come true is one of the best feelings. The results are enough to keep me motivated.

“Taking action to make your dream come true is one of the best feelings.”

Where did you go for inspiration?

I love the friends I met at the gym. They’re the most loyal and honest people I know. We have a sense of community that can’t be broken. They inspire me every day.

“I plan to take a year off and perfect my physique so I can blow everyone away when I hit the stage in June 2015.”

What are your future bodybuilding plans?

I qualified for the Ontario Provincial contest by placing third in the combined heavy and super heavyweight class in Cobourg, Ontario. I came in at 224 pounds with 5 percent body fat and looked great in terms of overall symmetry, strength, and leanness.

I plan to take a year off and perfect my physique so I can blow everyone away when I hit the stage in June 2015. There, I hope to qualify for the Canadian National Contest.

What is the most important bodybuilding tip?

Fun isn’t the result, it’s the process.

Who is your favorite bodybuilder?

I don’t have a favorite bodybuilder. I respect what many bodybuilders contributed to the sport. Arnold introduced bodybuilding to the mainstream and had an iconic personality. I respect Frank Zane for brining classic physiques to bodybuilding. Dorian Yates broke the mold and paved the way for the new generation of bodybuilders. I also like Kai Greene because of his humble and perseverant personality.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com content provides posing tips, diet plans, training routines, and supplement reviews. BodySpace helped me network with the international community and diversified my understanding of bodybuilding. Resources on Bodybuilding.com are limitless.

Paul’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Microwave Mayonnaise” by MF Doom
  2. “Winter Isn’t Coming” by RJD2
  3. “Crows” by Asop Rock
  4. “Right This Second” by Dead Mau5
  5. “Otis” by Jay-Z
Contest History
  • 2013 OPA Winston Invitational – Heavyweight
  • 2012 OPA GNC Ottawa Classic – Light heavyweight
  • 2012 OPA London Invitational – Heavyweight
  • 2011 CPF No Frills Bench Press – 2nd Place, 365-Pound Raw Bench


About The Author

Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Of course, he/she also…

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Paul Is A Massive Canadian Competitor!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Training MethodsComments Off on Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Paul Is A Massive Canadian Competitor!

<div id="DPG" webReader="166"><p>As nice as it would be to have unlimited training time, it's simply not in the cards for most people. The gym is great, but a little thing called life often throws a wrench in your best-laid plans. Realistically, even the most dedicated people can only attend the gym 3-5 days per week for an hour per day, and that's with a little luck.</p><p>The good news is that one hour per session is plenty of time, <em>if</em> you use your time wisely! You just have to be smart with your exercise selection and workout program. Enter "power pairings," which are specific superset-style exercise pairs I created to help you get the most out of your precious training time.</p><p>As with any superset, you perform power pairings without resting between the paired exercises. Take a bench press and chin-up pair, for example. You perform one set of bench press followed immediately by a set of chin-ups. You won't rest until after you complete both exercises.</p><h3 class="article-title">Pairing Power</h3><img class="float-right" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/power-pairings-1.jpg" width="287" height="309" border="0"/><p>"Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic."</p><p>Power pairings can be useful within full-body routines or body-part splits, but for this article I'll explain how to use them in full-body routines. Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic. In a full-body routine, you'd use a power pairing after your primary lift. This allows you to give your first lift maximum attention and strength.</p><p>Start your workout with a big-bang strength movement and devote your full energy and attention to it. When you finish your main lift, implement a power pairing as your finisher. Power pairings use one piece of equipment and require little to no setup, which makes them easy to use even in crowded gyms.</p><p>Here are four power pairings that you can add to your own training program to cut down on your overall workout time and still get a great training effect!</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">1 Ring Dip And Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo</h4>
</p><p>Pair ring dips with a chin-up/hip thrust combination exercise I created to blast the back, glutes, and hamstrings simultaneously. Rather than confusing you by trying to explain the exercise, here's a video of what it looks like in action:</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JVkn1pHcB5E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>From a strength and muscle-building standpoint, this pairing works well because the exercises focus on different body parts, so they won't negatively impact each other or impair your strength. From a logistical standpoint, it's a great pair because the ring height is the same for each exercise, which means no necessary adjustments between sets.</p><p>To up the ante, try the pairing in a countdown format, as demonstrated in the video. Rather than doing straight sets of each exercise, start by doing decreasing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between sets. Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.</p><p>Use it: This pair works as a brutal finisher to cap off a great heavy, knee-dominant exercise like the front squat, back squat, split squat, or lunge.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">2 "Bottoms Up" Front Squats And Inverted Rows</h4>
</p><p>Instead of starting in the standing position, "bottoms up" squats call for you to start at the bottom of the rep and lift from the squat rack's safety pins. Pause after each rep! This is a great front squat variation to hammer your quads and core, and help you build strength out of the hole.</p><p>After you finish the front squats, leave the bar on the pins and use it to perform a set of inverted rows. The bar will be at a perfect height to allow for full range of motion with no adjustments. It works great from a logistical standpoint.</p><p>In the video below, I use chains on the front squats, which is great if you have chains at your disposal, but they're not essential.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2sgIg3qubEU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pairing is an ideal finisher after a heavy bench press or overhead press variation.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">3 Rack RDL And Split-Stance Row Combo</h4>
</p><p>I recommend doing RDLs and barbell rows from the safety pins of a squat rack. Reset after each rep to take stress off your lower back and encourage proper form. I also recommend doing barbell rows with a split stance to take stress off the lower back, because the split stance helps prevent against lower-back rounding.</p><p>Fortunately, the proper pin height is the same for each exercise, so it works well as a pairing. You'll almost undoubtedly be able to use more weight on RDLs than barbell rows, so you'll need to change the weight, which is a breeze because the bar is raised off the floor. This video below shows how the pair looks in action. I use an oversized trap bar, which is great if you have one, but you can just as easily use a standard barbell.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/plwM2jT1FIM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p>If you use a barbell, here is how the rows look.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iOGYG4SKMDo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pair goes well after a heavy pressing day.</p><p>
<h4 class="c11">4 Overhead Press And Front Squats</h4>
</p><p>Pairing overhead presses with front squats works well because you don't need to waste time adjusting the bar in the rack. It's set to the same height for each exercise, making this a killer combo.</p><p>I recommend doing the overhead press before the front squats, because after much experimentation, I found that the overhead press doesn't negatively impact the subsequent front squats. Alternatively, if you do the front squats first, the overhead press suffers.</p><p>It's also important to note that most people will be much stronger on front squats than overhead press. This gives you two options: add weight for each set of front squats, or simply do more reps. I usually choose the latter and do twice as many front squats as overhead presses, as I do in this video.</p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wgpFeuusphc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>Use it:</strong> This pairing works perfectly as a finisher after doing a heavy chin-up or row variation. It's also ideal as a standalone workout when you're really pinched for time and still want to get a good training effect.</p><h3 class="article-title">Putting It All Together</h3><p>Here's an example of how to utilize these power pairings within a full-body workout program to keep your workouts brief but effective. Shoot to train 2-4 days per week and rotate the workouts as necessary.</p><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-5"><p><strong>Workout 1:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Front Squats: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Ring Dips: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 2:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> "Bottoms Up" Front Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 3:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Rack RDL: 4 sets of 8 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Split-Stance Rack Row: 4 sets of 8 reps</p><p><strong>Workout 4:</strong><br /><strong>A1.</strong> Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B1.</strong> Overhead Press: 4 sets of 6 reps<br /><strong>B2.</strong> Front Squats: 4 sets of 12 reps</p></div><br class="c12"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="42.3963133641"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="8.50299401198"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html">Ben Bruno</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Ben Bruno graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and trains clients at Rise Movement...</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html"><img src="images/2014/writer-ben-bruno-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ben-bruno.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size

As nice as it would be to have unlimited training time, it’s simply not in the cards for most people. The gym is great, but a little thing called life often throws a wrench in your best-laid plans. Realistically, even the most dedicated people can only attend the gym 3-5 days per week for an hour per day, and that’s with a little luck.

The good news is that one hour per session is plenty of time, if you use your time wisely! You just have to be smart with your exercise selection and workout program. Enter “power pairings,” which are specific superset-style exercise pairs I created to help you get the most out of your precious training time.

As with any superset, you perform power pairings without resting between the paired exercises. Take a bench press and chin-up pair, for example. You perform one set of bench press followed immediately by a set of chin-ups. You won’t rest until after you complete both exercises.

Pairing Power

“Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic.”

Power pairings can be useful within full-body routines or body-part splits, but for this article I’ll explain how to use them in full-body routines. Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic. In a full-body routine, you’d use a power pairing after your primary lift. This allows you to give your first lift maximum attention and strength.

Start your workout with a big-bang strength movement and devote your full energy and attention to it. When you finish your main lift, implement a power pairing as your finisher. Power pairings use one piece of equipment and require little to no setup, which makes them easy to use even in crowded gyms.

Here are four power pairings that you can add to your own training program to cut down on your overall workout time and still get a great training effect!

1 Ring Dip And Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo

Pair ring dips with a chin-up/hip thrust combination exercise I created to blast the back, glutes, and hamstrings simultaneously. Rather than confusing you by trying to explain the exercise, here’s a video of what it looks like in action:

From a strength and muscle-building standpoint, this pairing works well because the exercises focus on different body parts, so they won’t negatively impact each other or impair your strength. From a logistical standpoint, it’s a great pair because the ring height is the same for each exercise, which means no necessary adjustments between sets.

To up the ante, try the pairing in a countdown format, as demonstrated in the video. Rather than doing straight sets of each exercise, start by doing decreasing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between sets. Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.

Use it: This pair works as a brutal finisher to cap off a great heavy, knee-dominant exercise like the front squat, back squat, split squat, or lunge.

2 “Bottoms Up” Front Squats And Inverted Rows

Instead of starting in the standing position, “bottoms up” squats call for you to start at the bottom of the rep and lift from the squat rack’s safety pins. Pause after each rep! This is a great front squat variation to hammer your quads and core, and help you build strength out of the hole.

After you finish the front squats, leave the bar on the pins and use it to perform a set of inverted rows. The bar will be at a perfect height to allow for full range of motion with no adjustments. It works great from a logistical standpoint.

In the video below, I use chains on the front squats, which is great if you have chains at your disposal, but they’re not essential.

Use it: This pairing is an ideal finisher after a heavy bench press or overhead press variation.

3 Rack RDL And Split-Stance Row Combo

I recommend doing RDLs and barbell rows from the safety pins of a squat rack. Reset after each rep to take stress off your lower back and encourage proper form. I also recommend doing barbell rows with a split stance to take stress off the lower back, because the split stance helps prevent against lower-back rounding.

Fortunately, the proper pin height is the same for each exercise, so it works well as a pairing. You’ll almost undoubtedly be able to use more weight on RDLs than barbell rows, so you’ll need to change the weight, which is a breeze because the bar is raised off the floor. This video below shows how the pair looks in action. I use an oversized trap bar, which is great if you have one, but you can just as easily use a standard barbell.

If you use a barbell, here is how the rows look.

Use it: This pair goes well after a heavy pressing day.

4 Overhead Press And Front Squats

Pairing overhead presses with front squats works well because you don’t need to waste time adjusting the bar in the rack. It’s set to the same height for each exercise, making this a killer combo.

I recommend doing the overhead press before the front squats, because after much experimentation, I found that the overhead press doesn’t negatively impact the subsequent front squats. Alternatively, if you do the front squats first, the overhead press suffers.

It’s also important to note that most people will be much stronger on front squats than overhead press. This gives you two options: add weight for each set of front squats, or simply do more reps. I usually choose the latter and do twice as many front squats as overhead presses, as I do in this video.

Use it: This pairing works perfectly as a finisher after doing a heavy chin-up or row variation. It’s also ideal as a standalone workout when you’re really pinched for time and still want to get a good training effect.

Putting It All Together

Here’s an example of how to utilize these power pairings within a full-body workout program to keep your workouts brief but effective. Shoot to train 2-4 days per week and rotate the workouts as necessary.

Workout 1:
A1. Front Squats: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Ring Dips: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps
B2. Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps

Workout 2:
A1. Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. “Bottoms Up” Front Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps
B2. Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps

Workout 3:
A1. Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 reps
B1. Rack RDL: 4 sets of 8 reps
B2. Split-Stance Rack Row: 4 sets of 8 reps

Workout 4:
A1. Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Overhead Press: 4 sets of 6 reps
B2. Front Squats: 4 sets of 12 reps


About The Author

Ben Bruno graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and trains clients at Rise Movement…

Read more: 

Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments Off on Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size


Paige Hathaway

18 hours 59 minutes ago

What's the best way to burn fat you ask?

Mixing in HIIT training or plyo metrics to your lifting routine is the absolute best way (besides getting your diet in order) to burn fat and build muscle! Instead of resting in between sets.. add this move or moves similar! This will keep your heart rate up and core engaged! #hellosummerbody

This move: INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps

Example of mixing this into your circuit:
Leg extension 12-15 reps
Leg press (quad focused feet positioning) 12-15 reps (normally you would rest here) but instead..
NO REST - INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps
No rest and repeat x3-4
(your rest is basically you on the leg extension)
Music 🎶 American Teen #khalid

Paige Hathaway

1 day 3 hours ago

Midday/Preworkout snack Big Slice Apples
More importantly why I like this on the go pouch, is when I am moving around from shoot to shoot, meeting to meeting and gym session to gym session, #bigslice is the perfect snack to keep me going, when I need a quick boost. 😋🍎
............... Check them out #GNC #Sprouts #Wholefoods

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