Brandon Hendrickson Outlasts Large Field To Win Arnold Men’s Physique

In a hard-fought battle, a new champ emerged in this fledgling category at the 2016 Arnold Sports Festival.

Brandon Hendrickson of Bartlett, Illinois, outlasted a field of nearly 40 competitors to win the Arnold Classic Men’s Physique for the biggest win of his three-year career in the IFBB Pro League. Hendrickson received congratulations from Arnold Schwarzenegger, $ 5,000, a Tony Nowak official champion’s jacket, and the champion’s trophy from Eric Hillman of Europa Sports Products and Eric Torgerson of EAS.

The remainder of the Arnold Men’s Physique top six:

  • Second place: George Brown of Columbus, Ohio received $ 2,000 and a trophy from Jan Tana and MHP.
  • Third place: Jason Poston of Dallas, Texas, received $ 1,500 and a trophy from Blackstone Labs and Muscle & Fitness.
  • Fourth place: Ryan Terry of England received $ 1,500 and a trophy from Lone Star Distribution and Optimum Nutrition.
  • Fifth place: Andre Ferguson of Selden, New York, received $ 1,000 and a trophy from Scitec Nutrition and Rule One Proteins.
  • Sixth place: Raymont Edmonds received $ 500 and a trophy from VPX and Black Skull.

Photos courtesy of Arnold Sports Festival (Dave Emery).


Bodybuilding.com Articles

Man Who Lost 160 Pounds Reveals His Full Fitness Plan

Adam wanted to lose weight to fit in and make friends. Along the way, he found a new, fit lifestyle.

Adam Park always felt left out because of his weight. “I couldn’t go on roller coasters, swim, ski, or snowboard,” he remembers. “By my teen years, I didn’t really have any friends. I was never bullied, but I still felt left out because my weight kept me from participating in most of the things kids my age were doing. I was shy, and having to hang back because of my weight added to that. It was very lonely.”

Even though Adam and his mother were both overweight, his father and brother weren’t, and they kept the house stocked with unhealthy snacks. “I overconsumed calories pretty consistently when I was young, especially when it came to snacks and soda,” he says. To make matters worse, Adam admits he sat on the sidelines—and on the couch. Throughout his childhood and into his early teen years, he picked up bad habits.

“We had big family dinners every night with meat, potatoes, and vegetables,” he says. “They weren’t especially unhealthy meals, but we’d fry things and cook with a lot of oils and fats. That, combined with the snacking and lack of exercise, just made it easy to be overweight.”

As he was preparing to enter high school, Adam weighed 315 pounds. Desperate to fit in with his classmates, he realized that getting in shape had to happen now or never.

This is Adam’s story.

What was your turning point or aha moment?

I was starting high school, and I still had no friends. I wanted to start fitting in, which meant that I had to change my lifestyle.

What was the first thing you changed?

The first thing I changed was my eating habits. I cut out all snacking and stopped drinking anything other than water. If I had to have a snack, I went for something healthy, like a protein bar instead of chips.

Before 315 lbs.

After 155 lbs.
Age: 15
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 315 lbs.
Body Fat: 38%
Age: 17
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 155 lbs.
Body Fat: 16%

Was your family supportive of your decision to get healthy?

My family was behind me 100 percent. They thought my decision to make this change was the greatest thing ever. The most important part was that I came to it on my own terms. My mom has been overweight her entire life and was always told to lose weight, so she was adamant about never telling me that I had to lose weight.

Everyone wanted it to be my decision, and as soon as I made that decision, they stood right behind me. I think they thought that if they pushed me to do it, I might rebel and fight back. I’m glad they waited and let me make that choice for myself.

What did your first steps on your healthy journey look like?

As soon as I made the decision to start getting healthy, my parents gave me a gym membership and hired me a personal trainer. I couldn’t do it all on my own, and they knew that. That was one of the biggest ways they supported me.

They also made an effort to cut back on keeping unhealthy snacks in the house and bought more fruits and vegetables for me to eat. They cleaned out the basement so I could set up a home gym. They really did everything they could to help me get healthy.

[My family] also made an effort to cut back on keeping unhealthy snacks in the house and bought more fruits and vegetables for me to eat. They cleaned out the basement so I could set up a home gym. They really did everything they could to help me get healthy.

Has your transformation led to healthier habits for the rest of your family?

The rest of the family has tried to adopt some of my eating habits, and my mom has lost 30-40 pounds. They go for walks and eat healthier snacks now. It’s been a positive change for the whole family.

How did you start to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?

The only piece of exercise equipment we had was a treadmill, so that’s where I started. Within the first couple months, I started to see weight come off, just from walking and running on the treadmill daily. I also noticed I had more energy. I was happier and more outgoing. When I walked by the mirror, I would look at myself, whereas before I avoided my reflection.

What was the most challenging thing for you at the gym?

At first, my confidence was shot. I was so self-conscious that I didn’t want my trainer taking me out on the floor. We used a private room at the gym instead.

Once I learned proper form and developed better balance so I wouldn’t fall, I was able to work out on the floor with everyone else.

When did you discover Bodybuilding.com?

I came across Bodybuilding.com at about the same time I started going to the gym. Once I started lifting weights, I looked up workouts. One that I used early on was the Beginner’s Fat Loss Program. I saw good results from sticking to that, and then I was hooked.

How did the site affect your transformation?

It was really an all-in-one place for the information I was looking for at that point. If I want to work on a specific part of my body, but I’m not sure how, I can ask on BodySpace and learn what other people’s favorite moves are.

I was able to find meal plans and workout ideas, too. I actually based my own meal plan on several others I saw on the site. The common factor was lean protein and healthy carbs, so I used that as a base to start forming my own diet.

How did you create the meal plan you use now?

Bodybuilding.com helped me figure out my meal plan. After reading through diet plans on the site, I started increasing my protein intake and moderated my carbs. Eventually, through a lot of trial and error, I took those basics and turned them into the diet that works for me.

Meal 1

Celery 2 stalks


Peanut butter 2 tbsp


Smoothie:

Coconut water 1 cup


Nonfat yogurt 1/2 cup


Frozen mixed fruit 1 cup


Granola 1/4 cup


Meal 2

Raw carrots 2-3


Meal 3

10″ whole-wheat wrap 1


Fat-free mayo 1 tbsp


Chicken breast, chopped 5 oz.


Lettuce 1 cup


Tomato, diced 1


Green pepper, chopped 1


Grated cheese 2 tbsp


Meal 4

Celery 2 stalks


Peanut butter 2 tbsp


Meal 5

Chicken breast, chopped 5 oz.


Dry baked potato 1


Cauliflower 1 cup


Mixed green salad 2 cups


How do you curb cravings?

I’ve always craved soda, but all I need to do to overcome cravings is look in the mirror. I have a lot of excess skin, and seeing that in the mirror serves as a daily reminder of what I used to look like. I don’t want to go back to that. I see how far I’ve come, and it gives me the willpower to say no to my old, unhealthy habits.

How did you transition from working with a trainer to setting your own workouts?

I worked with my trainer for about four or five months. We weren’t able to keep paying for sessions at that point, but he still said I could call him if I ever had questions or needed help. I felt a lot more confident. I was able to keep using the same workout plans my trainer had shown me, or change them up by learning about new workouts online.

What do your workouts look like now?

Day 1: Legs />
1

Squat

4 sets of 12 reps

Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

2

Leg Press

4 sets of 12 reps

Leg Press Leg Press

3

Lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg

Barbell Lunge Barbell Lunge

4

Leg Extension

4 sets of 12 reps

Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

5

Seated Leg Curl

4 sets of 22 reps

Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

Day 2: Core />
1

Crunch

50 reps

Crunches Crunches

2

Plank

5 min.

Plank Plank

3

Air Bike

10 min.

Air Bike Air Bike

4

Mountain Climber

10 min.

Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers

5

Russian Twist

20 reps

Russian Twist Russian Twist

Day 3: Rest />

Day 4: Chest and Shoulders />
1

Bench Press

4 sets of 12 reps

Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

2

Dumbbell Fly

4 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell Flyes Dumbbell Flyes

3

Shoulder Press

4 sets of 12 reps

Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press

4

Treadmill jog

30 min.

Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

Day 5: Arms and Back />
1

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

4 sets of 12 reps

Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl

2

Triceps extension

4 sets of 12 reps

Seated Triceps Press Seated Triceps Press

3

Hammer Curl

4 sets of 12 reps

Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

4

Barbell Biceps Curl

4 sets of 12 reps

Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

5

Lat Pull-down

4 sets of 12 reps

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

6

Bent-Over Barbell Row

4 sets of 12 reps

Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row

7

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

4 sets of 12 reps

One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

8

Cable Row

4 sets of 12 reps

Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

Day 6: Cardio />
1

Elliptical

15 min.

Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Trainer

2

Treadmill jog

30 min.

Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

3

Burpee

15 min.

Burpee Burpee

Day 7: Rest />

How did you stay motivated when you wanted to quit?

When I started seeing results, I realized that fitness is my future. I can’t go back. I have to keep moving forward.

Adam’s Favorite Gym Tracks

OMI
“Hula Hoop”
DVBBS & Borgeous
“Tsunami”
K’naan
“Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)”
Cold Creek County
“Till The Wheels Come Off”
OMI
“Hula Hoop”
DVBBS & Borgeous
“Tsunami”
K’naan
“Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix)”
Cold Creek County
“Till The Wheels Come Off”

We Want Your Story!

Have you transformed your body by burning fat or building muscle? We want to tell your story. Send your before and after photos, plus a brief paragraph about your experience, to transformations@bodybuilding.com for a chance to be featured on Bodybuilding.com!


Bodybuilding.com Articles

How To Eat For Maximum Muscle Growth At Any Age!

As you age, your body’s protein, carb, and fat needs change, making it harder to hold on to muscle. Here’s how to build a diet to sustain you for a lifetime!

From teens to people in their 80s, improving one’s physique is a truly “ageless” pastime. Sure, not all of these people call themselves bodybuilders, but more of them in all age groups are eating and training with the pursuit of more muscle in mind. And with good reason! The further on we get in age, the more pronounced the benefits of a little more muscle mass become in terms of quality of life and longevity.

In short, you’re never too old to see the benefits of getting stronger. But while training plays a major part in giving your body the stimulus to change, there’s plenty you can do with your diet, as well. In fact, structuring your diet around your age and goals is essential to great results.

Of course, I’m not going to hit you over the head with some “one magic food” baloney here. Just the opposite. I’m going to help you utilize the classic way bodybuilders balance the three macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fats—to ramp up muscle growth and fat loss. The only difference: You’re going to optimize them for your age!

It turns out there’s been an extensive amount of research into how people at different ages respond to different levels of the macronutrients, and it’s not hard to make some recommendations that could pay off big-time for you. Let’s chow down!

Protein Are you getting enough?

You are probably aware that dietary protein is important for stimulating muscle growth (through muscle protein synthesis, or MPS) and optimal recovery from training. But how does age affect this anabolic (muscle-building) response to protein?

Research suggests that younger individuals are very sensitive to the anabolic effects of amino acids.1-3 The old cliché of a young man who can seemingly put on muscle just by looking at a steak? Yeah, there’s probably something to it. The opposite might also be true, as several researchers have shown that comparatively large doses of amino acids are required to maximize the anabolic response in older individuals.1,2,4-8

As you age, a diet rich in protein can help prevent age-related decline in muscle protein synthesis.

Why is this? It appears the decreased response may be explained by a decrease in the activity of the protein mTOR and the enzyme p70S6K, both of which are involved in initiating protein synthesis.2,4 Furthermore, it appears that the decreased anabolic response in the elderly may be due, at least in part, to the natural increase in oxidative stress that accompanies aging. Oxidative stress is the type of damage that all those antioxidants are meant to mitigate. As levels of certain molecules known as “reactive oxygen species” go up, levels of protein synthesis go down.9

There is hope, however. Consuming a diet rich in protein—specifically, the amino acid leucine—can help prevent the age-related decline in muscle protein synthesis.

Muscle-building protein recommendations by age:

  • < 18 years: 0.6-0.8 grams per pound of body weight
  • 19-40 years: 0.8-1.1 grams per pound of body weight
  • 41-65 years: 1.1-1.3 grams per pound of body weight
  • > 65 years: 1.3-1.5 grams per pound of body weight

Even if you don’t measure out your protein to the gram, the lesson here is that as you age, you need more protein. If you can have it with antioxidant-rich foods, all the better. You can’t go wrong with a diet rich in meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds here.

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Carbohydrates Eat less over time

Like protein, adequate intake of carbohydrates can positively affect muscle protein synthesis rates. However, compared to their younger counterparts, older adults may need fewer carbs to experience muscle growth.

The primary way carbohydrates influence muscle growth is by increasing insulin secretion. Insulin helps shuttle available amino acids to cells to jump-start the muscle growth and repair process. In this sense, a fair amount of carbohydrates are still needed even in your later decades of life to help maintain and grow muscle.

Carbohydrates consumed together with protein appear to have a greater anabolic effect in adults than simply consuming protein alone.10 It also appears that insulin can still guard against protein breakdown in adults, meaning it could have a “muscle-sparing” effect. Additionally, there is some evidence that eating carbs can prolong the body’s muscle-building response to amino acids.11

Compared to their younger counterparts, older adults may need fewer carbs to experience muscle growth.

In short, you can still benefit from carbs as you get older. But because physical activity and metabolic rate tend to decline as you age, you probably don’t need nearly as many of them. As your protein intake goes up with age, your carbohydrate intake can comparatively go down.

Muscle-building carbohydrate recommendations by age:

  • < 20 years: 1.8-2.6 grams per pound of body weight
  • 21-40 years: 1.5-2.3 grams per pound of body weight
  • 41-65 years: 1.2-2 grams per pound of body weight
  • > 65 years: 0.8-1.7 grams per pound of body weight

It’s worth repeating here that these recommendations are for maximizing muscle gain, so they will need to be adjusted for individuals wanting to lose body fat. Additionally, as I mentioned in my PH3 Power and Hypertrophy Trainer, individuals vary wildly in their ability to “tolerate” carbs—that is, eat them without turning them into body fat.

So consider these numbers simply to be a start to the conversation. While I think the protein numbers are more or less solid, these carb recommendations definitely aren’t set in stone.

Fat Go up as carbs go down

The classic way for bodybuilders to construct their diet plan is like this: Protein first, and then tinker with the balance between carbs and fats until you find the sweet spot that works for you. Often, the protein stays consistent, regardless of whether the goal is muscle gain or fat loss.

This approach works wonders because it prioritizes the nutrient most people neglect most—protein—and gives endless room for customization in the other two macronutrients. Appropriately, I advise that, as you age, your fat intake should largely be determined by your carb intake.

Protein first, and then tinker with the balance between carbs and fats until you find the sweet spot that works for you.

In other words, while someone who is younger and still sensitive to the anabolic effects of carbohydrates may be better off consuming lower fat (never lower than 0.2 grams per pound of body weight) with more carbohydrates, an older individual may want to consume fewer of their calories from carbohydrates, and more from protein and fat.

Muscle growth fat recommendations by age:

  • < 20 years: 0.25-0.45 grams per pound of body weight
  • 21-40 years: 0.35-0.55 grams per pound of body weight
  • 41-65 years: 0.45-0.65 grams per pound of body weight
  • > 65 years: 0.55-0.75 grams per pound of body weight

Never Stop Growing

As they age, far too many people in their middle years and older take what is effectively a haphazard approach to their diet. If they want to lose weight, they keep eating the same things in the same balance, but simply cut serving size. If they want to gain muscle, they eat their normal diet, plus a protein shake or bar every now and then.

That can work to a limited degree for certain people, but it’s far from ideal. You deserve better—and getting your macros in the right ballpark is the best place to start! Get just a little more systematic about what you’re eating to go along with your training, and you can amaze yourself with what you’re able to achieve at any age!

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References
  1. Paddon-Jones, D., Sheffield-Moore, M., Zhang, X. J., Volpi, E., Wolf, S. E., Aarsland, A., … & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Amino acid ingestion improves muscle protein synthesis in the young and elderly. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 286(3), E321-E328.
  2. Cuthbertson, D., Smith, K., Babraj, J., Leese, G., Waddell, T., Atherton, P., … & Rennie, M. J. (2005). Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle. The FASEB Journal, 19(3), 422-424.
  3. Drummond, M. J., Miyazaki, M., Dreyer, H. C., Pennings, B., Dhanani, S., Volpi, E., … & Rasmussen, B. B. (2009). Expression of growth-related genes in young and older human skeletal muscle following an acute stimulation of protein synthesis. Journal of Applied Physiology, 106(4), 1403-1411.
  4. Guillet, C., Prod’homme, M., Balage, M., Gachon, P., Giraudet, C., Morin, L., … & Boirie, Y. (2004). Impaired anabolic response of muscle protein synthesis is associated with S6K1 dysregulation in elderly humans. The FASEB Journal, 18(13), 1586-1587.
  5. Katsanos, C. S., Kobayashi, H., Sheffield-Moore, M., Aarsland, A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2006). A high proportion of leucine is required for optimal stimulation of the rate of muscle protein synthesis by essential amino acids in the elderly. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 291(2), E381-E387.
  6. Katsanos, C. S., Kobayashi, H., Sheffield-Moore, M., Aarsland, A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2006). A high proportion of leucine is required for optimal stimulation of the rate of muscle protein synthesis by essential amino acids in the elderly. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 291(2), E381-E387.
  7. Dardevet, D., Sornet, C., Bayle, G., Prugnaud, J., Pouyet, C., & Grizard, J. (2002). Postprandial stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in old rats can be restored by a leucine-supplemented meal. The Journal of Nutrition, 132(1), 95-100.
  8. Rieu, I., Balage, M., Sornet, C., Debras, E., Ripes, S., Rochon-Bonhomme, C., … & Dardevet, D. (2007). Increased availability of leucine with leucine-rich whey proteins improves postprandial muscle protein synthesis in aging rats. Nutrition, 23(4), 323-331.
  9. Patel, J., McLeod, L. E., Vries, R. G., Flynn, A., Wang, X., & Proud, C. G. (2002). Cellular stresses profoundly inhibit protein synthesis and modulate the states of phosphorylation of multiple translation factors. European Journal of Biochemistry, 269(12), 3076-3085.
  10. Volpi, E., Mittendorfer, B., Rasmussen, B. B., & Wolfe, R. R. (2000). The response of muscle protein anabolism to combined hyperaminoacidemia and glucose-induced hyperinsulinemia is impaired in the elderly. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 85(12), 4481-4490.
  11. Wilson, G. J., Layman, D. K., Moulton, C. J., Norton, L. E., Anthony, T. G., Proud, C. G., … & Garlick, P. J. (2011). Leucine or carbohydrate supplementation reduces AMPK and eEF2 phosphorylation and extends postprandial muscle protein synthesis in rats. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 301(6), E1236-E1242.


Bodybuilding.com Articles

Ask The Supplement Guru: Is Organic Whey Protein Worth The Money?

Trying to decide whether or not to splurge on organic whey? The Supplement Guru’s insight will make your decision whey easy!


Q

Is it worth paying a little extra for “organic” protein powder? Are there any additional benefits to using it?

Let me start by saying that I’m a big believer in organic dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt—especially if they come from well-raised, grass-fed cows. I also like organic fruits and vegetables, which are worth the extra cash because less pesticides are used. But organic whey protein powder? Not so fast.

Some readers might find my thumbs-down on organic whey contrary to my thumbs-up on organic dairy, since whey protein comes from milk. After all, whey protein powder manufactured from organic, grass-fed milk must be better than plain-old whey, right? Not necessarily!

The Fat is Where It’s at

First, you need to consider what exactly makes milk from grass-fed cows better for you. It’s the fat! Organically raised, grass-fed cows have higher amounts of the all-important and essential omega-3 fats, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and vitamin E (a fat-soluble vitamin) than their grain-fed counterparts, and these nutrients are found in the milk fat.

But whey is processed to isolate the protein from the carbs and the fat. In fact, a quality whey protein isolate has close to 100 percent of the fat removed. This means that if a protein-powder manufacturer is using whey protein from organic milk, nearly all of the extra omega-3 fats, CLA, and vitamin E have been removed during the manufacturing process anyway!

The protein in milk from grass-fed cows has the same amino acids and structure as protein in grain-fed milk. Amino acids are amino acids.

When you look at it this way, there is little sense in paying more for whey protein from organic milk given the fact that all the additional health benefits are completely removed in the manufacturing process.

As for the protein content, the protein in milk from grass-fed cows has the same amino acids and structure as protein in grain-fed milk. Amino acids are amino acids.

But What About Those Pesky Pesticides?

You might have also heard that organic whey protein is free of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. But due to the rigorous processing that whey protein already undergoes to isolate the whey protein from everything else in the milk, none of those contaminants should be left behind to make it into the jug of protein powder you’re buying.

Furthermore, none of those chemicals alter the structure of the whey protein molecules that are isolated from milk protein. So, again, there’s no difference between regular whey protein and grass-fed protein in regards to any contaminants.

Are You Wasting Money on Whey?

If you prefer to use grass-fed whey protein powder for ethical reasons, then by all means, fork out a little extra cash for the stuff. If, however, you think it’ll offer up superior health benefits, or you’re concerned about antibiotics and hormones, your money may be going to waste.

A high-quality whey protein isn’t going to contain any contaminants, and if you are at all concerned with what could be in your whey, stick with a whey protein isolate.

Don’t get sucked into this trap and waste your money on organic whey protein. A high-quality whey protein isn’t going to contain any contaminants, and if you are at all concerned with what could be in your whey, stick with a whey protein isolate, as it contains the lowest possible amount of hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.

For more nutrition and supplement articles, as well as full training programs to complement them, check out jimstoppani.com.

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The New Way To Train Upper Body Twice A Week

Training your upper body twice a week is a surefire way to build size and strength, but you don’t want to lift as heavy as your first day. Grow more with these push-pull trisets!

At least one day each week, I think it’s necessary to train with gut-busting, balls-to-the-wall intensity. But even the most experienced lifters have trouble programming meaningful secondary days, especially for the upper body. You can’t go HAM all the time and continue to make progress and stay healthy. If you could, we’d all be Ronnie Coleman by now—you know, before the surgeries.

However, even if you train yourself to absolute fatigue on your primary upper-body days, you can still complete a huge amount of additional work in a pain-free manner during the week with trisets and giant sets. You can plug them into a full-body program, an upper/lower split, or a more regional body-part split. And no, you won’t have to hog five pieces of equipment and make gym enemies every time you train.

This type of training will provide the ying to your primary-training-day yang when used properly, but it’s no walk in the park. In fact, this is maybe the toughest secondary upper-body training day that I’ve ever written. Yeah, you’ll have your heart rate maxed out and you’ll be sweating bullets, and you’ll do it while pushing decent weight and strategically crushing yourself in a controlled manner.

Welcome to the new way of training upper body twice a week.

Your Second Upper-Body Training Day

Program this complete training day into your routine late in the week, after all your primary training days have been completed. This routine works as a great way to conclude your training week, since a day of rest will be absolutely necessary before you can hit any aspect of your upper body again with any meaningful intensity.

Before you jump in, ensure that you complete a pretty thorough upper-body warm-up; don’t just jump right into the fire. When in doubt, try my 3-minute banded shoulder warm-up giant set to grease up your shoulders, activate the all-important intrinsic muscles of the shoulder complex, and prepare for battle.

Banded Shoulder Warm Up Giant Set
Watch the video – 1:02

John Rusin’s Shoulder Warm-up />
Triset

Band shoulder dislocate

3 sets of 10 reps

Band shoulder dislocate Band shoulder dislocate

Band face pull

3 sets of 10 reps

Band face pull Band face pull

Band Pull-Apart

3 sets of 10 reps

Band Pull Apart Band Pull Apart

After the warm-up, go through these three trisets in order, using two ramp-up sets in each set of movements to get your stations set and your body ready to perform.

Don’t be a hero on these sets. Simply move the loads up over the course of the two warm-up sets, and land on your top-end weights for each movement by the time you get into your working sets. This ramp-up scheme adds a little more pain-free volume to this training day, which is a bonus.

Now, if this day doesn’t leave you blasted, you’re not training with the right loads or intensities. Get aggressive with the loads, hit all your reps, and keep the pace of the workout moving. This session can be completed in less than 60 minutes and should have your heart rate maxed out under heavy loads at least three separate times, probably sending you to the nearest garbage can.

Enjoy, and don’t say you weren’t warned.

The Ultimate Second Upper-Body Workout />
Triset
1

Hammer Strength single-arm high row

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 15 sec.

Leverage High Row Leverage High Row

Hammer Strength banded flat chest press

4 sets of 10 reps, rest 15 sec.

Bench Press - With Bands Bench Press - With Bands

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

4 sets of 15 reps, rest 90 sec.

Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

Triset
2

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 15 sec.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Slight-Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

3 sets of 8 reps, rest 15 sec.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Prone-incline dumbbell rear-delt raise

3 sets of 20 reps, rest 120 sec.

Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes

Why machines?

I wouldn’t have you replace your major free-weight movements on your primary pushing day with machines, but on a second day, they definitely have their uses. First and foremost, they are far less stressful on the joints, particularly with these set and rep schemes.

The Hammer Strength machines offer a few key advantages over dumbbells and barbells in this routine, especially for continuing to “warm up” the tissues being targeted in training after the general dynamic warm-up. Locking into a range and movement plane also allows you to place more emphasis on the muscles themselves instead of controlling the movement pattern.

Finally, by controlling the movement to a greater degree in a locked-in range, you can implement novel training tools like bands and loaded stretches to emphasize driving blood into the muscles, lubricating joints, and increasing the overall readiness for your body to perform.

Don’t think that you are just limited to plate-loaded machines for this, though. Any machine will work, including the pin-loaded machines that are starting to take over the commercial-gym industry. Just make sure that you choose two machines located close together, so you can jump on and off.

As a rule, pick the same type of machine for each movement, as these machines are grouped together a majority of the time in the big boxes.

Hammer Pull-Push + Shoulders Giant Set
Watch the video – 1:42

Here are some notes to get the most out of each movement:

Hammer Strength single-arm high row

Emphasize a full range of motion, getting a stretch at the top of each rep and making sure to flex your lats and scapular retractors hard in the contracted position of every rep.

As you will quickly find out, doing these in single-arm fashion will challenge your back not only from moving the weights, but holding that loaded, stretched position. This expedites the pump effect, which makes this variation perfect for first in our training day.

Hammer Strength single-arm high row

Hammer Strength banded flat chest press

To create a little more tension in this movement, throw a light resistance band on each side of the machine. This will create a better contraction and make up for some of the loss of tension that comes with a machine press.

Contract for a half of a second at the top of every rep, and limit the range of motion at the bottom of this movement. Really work the top half, because you want to keep as much tension on the pecs as possible. Also, the bottom half and semi-stretched position is notoriously brutal on the shoulders.

Dumbbell lateral raise

Hit 15 full-range-of-motion reps with a slow and deliberate tempo in the lateral raises. Your shoulders should already be on fire from the previous two exercises, and your heart rate should be getting up there, as well. Concentrate on perfect execution on these shoulder movements, as even more experienced lifters tend to get sloppy under serious muscular and metabolic fatigue.

After your last set, take a few minutes and let yourself recover a bit, because the next triset is going to be a blood bath. Here are some notes to get the most out of those movements.

Pull-Push-Shoulder Giant Set
Watch the video – 1:52

Single-arm dumbbell row

Load this up as heavy as possible while still maintaining good rhythm. Complete 10 full-range reps, emphasizing the stretch at the bottom and letting your shoulder blade protract and rotate around your ribcage into a nice squeeze at the top of each rep. To place a greater amount of focus on the lats and back, strap up for this movement.

Slight-decline dumbbell press

Use the same dumbbells you used for rows. You can create a slight decline by placing a single 45-pound plate under the foot of the bench, or use one notch up on an adjustable flat bench (as featured in the video above). The movement is nothing fancy here, just 8 perfect reps with a squeeze at the top of each rep.

This angle should feel great on your shoulders, but as you move through the sets, your limiting factor will be neural fatigue from the rows and the growing metabolic fatigue from the cumulative training.

Prone-incline dumbbell rear-delt raise

Use the same adjustable bench that you’ve been using for the rows and presses, set at a higher incline. Lock your core and hips, and move the dumbbells through a full range of motion for 20 reps. If you can’t quite get there, finish the set off with a few partials. This will be torturous.

Prone-incline dumbbell rear-delt raise

I had my heart rate around 195 beats per minute on the set above, so monitor your recovery, and work hard to bring that heart rate down between sets. If you have to extend your rest period a bit due to fatigue, that’s fine. Remember, your goal is to go heavy and get all the reps, so modify accordingly.

You’ll Be Seeing Stars

Voila! In less than an hour, you’ve got a convenient and effective secondary upper-body training day that will hit your muscles hard, have you huffing and puffing, and give you a pain-free way to keep moving toward your muscle and strength gains.


Bodybuilding.com Articles

The Simplest Weight-Loss Diet Ever!

Hardcore dieting can become a mess of food scales, portions, and hunger that very few survive. If you’re looking to lose weight without the stress, this article is for you!

From extreme calorie restriction, to sprawling “off-limit” food lists, to tracking every single morsel of nourishment, strict dieting can be a major turnoff. The so-called “best diet in the world” is useless if you can’t stick to it, and many popular restriction-based diets are downright hard to stick to!

If you want to lose weight without following a complicated rule book that dictates when and what you can eat, this article is for you. If you want to drop fat without feeling like you have to drop your social life, this article is for you. Simply put, if you want to shed excess weight and the stress that usually comes along with it, this article is for you.

Read these eight steps, start living them, train for fat loss a few days per week, and reap the benefits of a healthy diet without having to abandon the fun in your life.


1

Eat Protein and Vegetables at Every Meal

Protein is the key player when it comes to muscle growth and recovery. But outside of its invaluable muscle-building benefits, protein slows down digestion, keeping you fuller for longer, which means you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself silly if you eat an ample amount of it.

Which proteins sources have lean cuts of meat? The fewer legs, the better.

To keep overall calories at bay, choose lean proteins at every meal, ball-parking around 30 grams. If you’re unsure which lean protein options to choose, keep this advice in mind: “The fewer legs, the better.” Think about it: Between fish, two-legged poultry, and the four-legged cow and pig, fat content increases as the number of legs increases. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a solid starting place when you’re unsure.

Lean protein sources: Chicken or turkey breast (no skin), pork tenderloin, filet mignon, sirloin, tenderloin, egg whites, low-fat Greek yogurt/milk, bison, venison, soy protein, whey protein, casein protein

Vegetables contribute to your fullness because they’re high in both water and fiber. Water fills your stomach, and fiber slows down digestion, both of which can keep you from steering toward extra calories and sweets. Eating veggies is also a surefire way to increase vitamin and mineral intake, which is important for optimal health as well as cognitive and physical performance.

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2

Eat Carbohydrates at Three Meals

Eat direct carbohydrate sources like oats, rice, and potatoes at three meals per day. Make sure that two of these meals include your pre- and post-workout meal. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source, so consuming them at your pre-workout meal will help “top off” your fuel tank. This will help you give 100 percent effort during your training. In your post-workout meal, carbohydrates can enhance recovery and replenish your used fuel, so to speak.

Note: On nontraining days, when your activity is probably much lower, reduce carbohydrate-focused meals to two per day to account for the reduction in energy expenditure.


3

Choose Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates, due to their high fiber content. Choose complex carbs over simple, quick-digesting options to enhance fullness and provide your body with longer-lasting energy throughout the day.

Complex carbohydrates are often dark, or browner in color, compared to simple carbohydrates.

A quick way to identify complex carbohydrates is by observing the color of the carbohydrate. The darker, more brown in color, the better the option usually is. For instance, opt for brown rice over white rice, or whole-wheat bread over white bread.

Carbohydrate Comparison

  • Complex carbs: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, fruits, vegetables.
  • Simple carbs: Cookies, cakes, chips, pretzels, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy.

4

Eat More Healthy Fats

Fat is a (ridiculously delicious) nutrient that promotes fullness because it digests slowly. Fat is very calorie-dense, so the type of fat you choose is critical. Eating primarily “healthy,” unsaturated fats has been suggested to improve blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and weight loss.1-6

The Fat Facts

  • Unsaturated Fats: Avocado, fatty fish, olive oil, canola oil, omega-3 fish oil supplements, nuts, seeds, nut butters, flax seed.
  • Saturated Fats: Coconut oil, reduced- and full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt, butter, egg yolks, animal meats.

5

Use Your Hands

Measuring out every morsel of food can be a real pain in the butt. Fortunately, you can absolutely lose weight without weighing all your food. Of course, portion control is still an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but there’s an easier way: Just use your hands!

Get a grip on portions by using your hands to estimate.

Palm of protein: Consume a palm-sized portion of protein each time you eat. Choose complete protein options (animal, soy, or quinoa) for most of your meals to ensure you’re getting all the essential amino acids necessary to optimize muscle growth and recovery.

Fist of carbs: For both vegetables and more starchy carbohydrates like oats, rice, and potatoes, use your fist to eyeball the right portion size. You can always go over on nonstarchy veggies to get more vitamins, minerals, and food in your tummy.

Thumb of fats: For liquid fats such as oils, spreads, and butters, incorporate two thumb-sized portions 3-4 times per day, preferably not too close to your training session. For solid fats such as nuts and seeds, count out one serving according to the package, which typically provides around 15 grams of fat. (For example, 24 almonds is one serving.)


6

Eat More Frequently

Let go of the traditional three-meals-per-day mindset and provide your body with the fuel it needs every 3-4 hours to stay full and maximize protein synthesis (MPS), which is the body’s muscle-building process. Whether you have big meals or small snacks, you should have protein every time you eat! Eating protein every 3-4 hours will help you maintain that precious, hard-earned muscle while on a fat-loss diet.

Around 20-30 grams of complete protein turns on muscle protein synthesis for approximately 90 minutes, and then MPS returns to baseline within three hours. By eating every 3-4 hours, you “turn on” your body’s ability to build muscle as often as possible throughout the day.

Also, keep in mind that the longer you go without food, the more likely you are to indulge in a high-calorie, high-sugar option. This is because your brain recognizes sugar as a rapidly available fuel source. Hello, cravings! Even more, long periods without food will reveal your hangry side, which nobody likes—not even you.


7

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to keep hunger under control. Filling up on fluids stretches your stomach, which is a satiety signal in and of itself. Additionally, your brain and muscles prefer to operate in a hydrated state, so you’ll avoid common consequences of dehydration such as increased irritability, decreased focus, and suboptimal strength and power.

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to keep hunger under control.

Make sure you choose calorie-free fluids. A bottle of your favorite soft drink or sweet tea can easily contain over 200 calories! If you’re trying to cut back on calories, there’s no better place to start than with liquid calories, especially alcohol. Stick with water, diet beverages, and calorie-free additions.

If you’re ever feeling randomly hungry, don’t just dive into your candy drawer. First, try consuming 12-16 ounces of fluids before eating, and then re-evaluate your hunger situation 15-20 minutes later. You’ll be surprised how often you feel hungry when you’re actually dehydrated.


8

Cheat Occasionally, but Consciously

Chances are you’re not prepping for a photoshoot anytime soon, so there’s no reason to ramp up restriction or remain glued to your Tupperware every day. Break up your weekly routine with an occasional “free” meal, whether it’s eating dinner at your favorite restaurant or enjoying larger portions than usual.

A weekly indulgence will mentally solidify the idea that this isn’t a diet—it’s a way of eating to feel good and perform well. Enjoying the food should be your top priority, but make sure you still get your protein in at this meal!

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References
  1. Fernandez, M. L., & West, K. L. (2005). Mechanisms by which Dietary Fatty Acids Modulate Plasma Lipids. The Journal of Nutrition, 135(9), 2075-2078.
  2. Riccardi, G., Giacco, R., & Rivellese, A. A. (2004). Dietary fat, insulin sensitivity and the metabolic syndrome. Clinical Nutrition, 23(4), 447-456.
  3. Vaughan, R. A., Garcia-Smith, R., Bisoffi, M., Conn, C. A., & Trujillo, K. A. (2012). Conjugated linoleic acid or omega 3 fatty acids increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and metabolism in skeletal muscle cells. Lipids in Health and Disease, 11(142), 2090-2098.
  4. Maroon, J. C., & Bost, J. W. (2006). Omega-3 Fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surgical Neurology, 65(4), 326-331.
  5. Xu, Y., & Qian, S. Y. (2014). Anti-cancer activities of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Biomedical Journal, 37(3), 112.
  6. Grosso, G., Pajak, A., Marventano, S., Castellano, S., Galvano, F., Bucolo, C., … & Caraci, F. (2014). Role of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depressive disorders: a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PloS One, 9(5), e96905.


Bodybuilding.com Articles

From Dad Bod To Dat Bod

Cary went from motocross and free time to kids and family time. Along the way, his diet slipped—until tragedy led him to take control.

Cary Higginbotham was in good shape throughout high school and college. His weight had never been an issue. “At 5-foot-11, I’d stay between 175 and 185 pounds, and I always felt athletic,” he recalls. “I even raced motocross when I was in college and during the first few years of my marriage, which kept me in great shape.”

Soon, however, things began to slow down. “My weight issues started out as the now-popular ‘dad bod,’” he says. “I was still working out occasionally, but I was eating whatever I wanted. Initially, I only gained a few pounds.”

But poor diet combined with inertia caused Cary’s weight to increase. Healthy activities took a back seat to adult responsibilities, and a desk job and diet of sugary drinks and fast-food lunches set Cary back even more.

Binge-watching TV on the couch replaced an active lifestyle. It wasn’t until his mother passed from heart complications associated with type 2 diabetes that Cary decided to implement change.

This is Cary’s story.

Cary Higginbotham, What Was Your Spark? The Spark
Watch the video – 7:19

You were fairly active as a child and teen. What caused things to slow down?

As I got older, my metabolism slowed, and I focused more on being a good father, husband, and provider, and less on my personal health. I had a desk job, and my daily diet consisted of a high-calorie latte first thing in the morning, followed by sugary drinks throughout the workday to keep me going. For lunch, I’d grab fast food and down some high-calorie vending-machine snacks. I started slowly inching toward having a “middle-age bod,” which is not a popular look.

Once I got home, my diet didn’t improve. I would eat another unhealthy dinner, or I’d overeat even if it was healthy. Then you have to finish the night off with dessert with the kids, right? This poor diet combination and zero physical activity shot my weight up to 220 pounds by 2009, 40 pounds more than I’d weighed in college.

Did you have a wake-up moment?

My wake-up call was twofold. The “wow, you’re out of shape” moment came at work one day when I had to renew a badge. I was astonished how different my face looked when comparing it to my photo from five years before. I could see the weight gain in my face, and I took notice of my overall weight gain looking in the mirror. I hated what I saw.

Before 220 lbs.

After 181 lbs.
Age: 39
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 220 lbs.
Body Fat: 30%
Age: 39
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 181 lbs.
Body Fat: 7.5%

When I lost my mom in 2013, due to the heart complications she developed from type 2 diabetes—and the damage it did to her organs—I developed a sense of urgency to turn things around. My mom passed on the morning of her 60th birthday, which was way too early to lose a loved one, especially when it could have been prevented with proper diet and exercise.

My oldest child was in the fifth grade, and I started thinking about all of life’s big moments she would miss. For my children’s sake, I wanted to make sure I’d be around for as long as possible for moments like school graduations, weddings, and grandchildren.

How did you go about implementing change?

In 2010, my job responsibilities changed, and I started working from home. I took this opportunity to start planning better meals and eating healthier. I also got my home gym in order and started working out more. I slowly lost weight and developed better eating habits. I still had cheat meals and desserts with my kids, so my transformation was not in full swing yet, but I was making progress.

Did you hit any stumbling blocks along the way?

I did a complete 180 and became so focused on dieting and eating healthy that I took things too far. My weight dropped down to the 160s that year—much less than I weighed when I graduated high school! My wife told me I looked like a skinny version of Tim McGraw, which was not the look I was going for. After that, my diet fell by the wayside, and by January 2015, I was back to over 200 pounds.

For my children’s sake, I wanted to make sure I’d be around for as long as possible for moments like school graduations, weddings, and grandchildren.

How did you turn things around and find that balance?

I saw the BodyBuilding.com 200K Transformation Challenge advertised, but initially, I didn’t make the decision to commit. Then, on my 39th birthday, after overeating at dinner and not liking what I saw in the mirror, I promised myself to see my abs again before turning 40.

I had my wife snap a photo and uploaded my “before” pics to complete my 200K transformation registration before I could change my mind. Even though the photo was initially embarrassing, uploading it forced me to be accountable. It was one of my best fitness decisions.

What do you think was the real catalyst in sparking change?

It’s amazing how motivated you can get from knowing how bad your first picture looks and wanting to improve your body before your next progress photo rolls around.

There was just something about knowing that my bodybuilding peers would be looking at them that gave me the extra kick to keep going. It lit a fire underneath me. Not only did I see my abs before turning 40—I saw them by the end of the 12-week challenge!

How did you accomplish your goals?

Diet, diet, diet! Oh, did I mention diet? I started eating above maintenance calories before the challenge started. After that, I dropped my calorie intake to 10 times my body weight, about 2,000 calories. I adjusted it as my weight dropped. I ate about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and only my fat and carb intake changed.

Carbs started off at about 1.5 grams per pound of body weight per day and dropped to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight per day as I started cutting. I only ate only three or four meals per day while cutting. This helped me tremendously with cheat meals at night, which is usually my worst time to cheat.

What aspect challenged you the most?

By far, the most challenging part of my transformations was my diet. By just cutting calories and working out, I was able to get under 20 percent body fat. I had to be much more disciplined with my diet and cut out all cheat meals to get under 10 percent. To get lower than 8 percent, I had to change my whole way of thinking.

I had to start eating what I needed versus what I wanted. It required me to say “No thanks” a lot, when I really want to say “Yes, please!” This was especially hard at social events with friends and family. I had to eat ahead of time or plan ahead and take my food with me. In the end, it was worth the extra effort.

What did your meal plan look like?

I started skipping breakfast, since I was busy working and could keep my mind off food. This also gave me a bigger window to perform fasted cardio before lunch, which was usually my first meal of the day. Then I would have one or two small meals or snacks before my workout at 5:30 p.m. I had a smaller post-workout shake immediately after my workout, then ate a big meal later for dinner.

This approach allowed me to eat more calories at night, kept me full until bedtime, and eliminated the cheat snacks. It was sort of my unique twist on intermittent fasting.

What does your diet look like these days?

Meal 1

Coffee 2 cups


Whole milk 1/2 cup


Meal 2

Chicken breast or tuna 8 oz.


Broccoli 1 cup


Brown rice 1/2-1 cup (depending on macro goals)


Olive oil 1 oz. (on low-carb day)


Meal 3: Pre-workout
Protein shake:

1% milk 4 oz.


Water 4 oz.


Egg whites 4 oz.


Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey 2 scoops


Rolled oats 1/4-1/2 cup


Banana 1


Meal 4: Post-workout
Protein shake:

1% milk 4 oz.


Water 4 oz.


Egg whites 4 oz.


Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey 2 scoops


Waxy maize 30 g


Meal 5

Chicken breast or tuna 8 oz.


Broccoli 1 cup


Brown rice 1/2-1 cup (optional, depending on macro goals)


Olive oil 1 oz. (on low-carb day)


What supplements helped you along the way?

With Meal 1

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil 1 capsule


With Meal 2

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil 1 capsule


Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey 2 scoops


Creatine monohydrate 1 serving


Pre-Workout

Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. Energy 2 scoops


Post-Workout

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey 1 scoop


Waxy maize 30 g


With Meal 3

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil 1 capsule


How is your workout program set up?

I trained three days on and then took one day off. I’d “rinse and repeat.” This was challenging at first, but I think it had the largest impact on my results other than my diet.

I trained three days on and then took one day off. I’d “rinse and repeat.” This was challenging at first, but I think it had the largest impact on my results other than my diet.

I did ab work and cardio workouts before my first meal in the morning to help drop my body fat. I also added weekend lunchtime cardio sessions as my schedule allowed. My workouts focused primarily on compound exercises, because they are so effective and efficient.

Day 1: Legs />
Warm-up
1

Squat

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

2

Leg Press

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Leg Press Leg Press

3

Leg Extension

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

4

Calf Raise

4 sets of 15-20 reps

Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Barbell Calf Raise

Day 2: Chest, shoulders, and triceps />
Warm-up
1

Bench Press

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

2

Incline Dumbbell Press

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

3

Barbell Incline Press

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip

4

Military Press

5 sets of 10-12 reps

Standing Military Press Standing Military Press

5

Cable Lateral Raise

5 sets of 10-12 reps

Cable Seated Lateral Raise Cable Seated Lateral Raise

6

Dip

5 reps of 10-12 reps

Dips - Triceps Version Dips - Triceps Version

7

Skullcrusher

5 sets of 10-12 reps

Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press

Day 3: Back, biceps, and traps />
Warm-up
1

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

5 sets of 5-8 reps

Stiff-Legged Deadlift Stiff-Legged Deadlift

2

Pull-up

5 sets of 10-15 reps

Pullups Pullups

3

Lat Pull-down

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

4

Bent-Over Barbell Row

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row

5

Seated Row

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

6

EZ-bar curl (reverse incline)

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline

7

Seated incline curl

5 sets of 6-10 reps

Incline Dumbbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl

Day 4: Rest />

How do you feel now?

At less than 8 percent body fat, I feel so much better and love what I see in the mirror each day. I also know that maintaining a lean body increases my odds of staying healthy, while also providing a good example for my three children. Knowing that is what drives me each day. I am going to make sure I do everything possible to stay healthy and live a long life so that I am there for all my children’s and grandchildren’s major life events.

What suggestions do you have for aspiring transformers?

Do your research, and find a workout plan and diet that work for your lifestyle. Workout and diet templates are great starting points, but customize the plans so that they work better for you. You don’t have to eat a set number of meals or do a certain workout on a specific day. Making things work for you will increase the chances that you’ll stick with it instead of getting frustrated and quitting.

Plan out your meals and workouts. Juggling life and your fitness goals is hard enough as it is. Simplify things as much as possible, and you will be successful.

Do your research, and find a workout plan and diet that work for your lifestyle. Workout and diet templates are great starting points, but customize the plans so that they work better for you.

How has Bodybuilding.com helped you reach your goals?

I’ve always worked out at home and never had a training partner. Bodybuilding.com became that partner to help lead me through my journey. I got—and continue to get—all of my information, motivation, and supplementation information on the website.

I gained motivation through the transformation challenges and encouragement from the BodySpace community. I would have never thought I could get so much support from hundreds of people I have never met, but our common fitness goals brought us together.

The store helped me choose products based on my goals, and user reviews helped me make my selection. Fast shipping ensured I had my supplements when I needed them.

Cary’s Favorite Gym Tracks

Nirvana
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Rob Zombie
“Dragula”
Powerman 5000
“When Worlds Collide”
Marilyn Manson
“Sweet Dreams”
Nirvana
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Rob Zombie
“Dragula”
Powerman 5000
“When Worlds Collide”
Marilyn Manson
“Sweet Dreams”

We Want Your Story!

Have you transformed your body by burning fat or building muscle? We want to tell your story. Send your before and after photos, plus a brief paragraph about your experience, to transformations@bodybuilding.com for a chance to be featured on Bodybuilding.com!


Bodybuilding.com Articles

Thrash Your Chest With Frank “Wrath” McGrath

After pushing himself to the limit for competitive glory, Frank McGrath launched his offseason with a chest workout as classic as the gym he performed it in. Get ready to feel like a bodybuilder.

Anyone who has ever been onstage at the peak of leanness knows that the triumph of being in competition shape comes at a steep price. You may look like the best version of yourself for a day, but you probably won’t feel like your best self for a while.

On the contrary, in the weeks leading up to the event, the basic rituals of the fit life, like training and eating, can become immense challenges. You may even have to force yourself to do things that used to be automatic. Even chewing can be a battle.

Basic rituals like training and eating became immense challenges for Frank “Wrath” McGrath during the weeks leading up to his first major show in three years.

But then, as quickly as a round of applause, it’s all over. The trophies get handed out, the sweats go back on, and the tan washes off. You have a meal (or several), carb up, and finally—there you are. Time to wake up again, live again, and yes, even train again.

Frank McGrath went through the wringer to prepare for his first major show in three years, and he detailed every step of the process in the video series Frank McGrath: The Making of an Animal. Then, five days later and 10-15 glorious pounds heavier, he headed to the legendary Ed Ryan’s Gym in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, for his first training session of the offseason.

With the cameras rolling and Ed Ryan himself in the house, this IFBB pro and fan favorite trained—what else?—chest. Think you can hang?

Aftermath with Wrath Chest Training with Frank McGrath
Watch the video – 8:33

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