- Name: Connor LaVallie
- E-mail: CJL1340@aol.com
- Age: 21
- Where: Illinois
- Height: 6'3"
- Weight: 180 Lbs.
- Years Bodybuilding :1
- Favorite Bodypart: They're all Important.
- Favorite Exercise: Deadlift
- Favorite Supplements: Scivation Xtend, Jay Robb Whey
How Did You Get Started?
I have played football, basketball, and baseball my whole life but injuries and a kidney illness ended my football career last year, my freshman year in college. The next summer my interest in bodybuilding became apparent when I took a trip to Colorado to visit my grandparents lodge. One thing I always kept constant despite my injuries was my diet. I made sure I was getting all the correct nutrients I needed to maintain maximum muscle when I was unable to train. I also made it to the gym 4 days a week to keep what I had.
Last June, when I arrived in Colorado, I was feeling pretty healthy and my strength was slowly returning to normal. I was especially excited for this trip because the lodge I was staying at had a fully equipped gym right outside our room. I began lifting and my hand wasn't hurting at all so I decided to slowly increase weight for a few pyramid sets on deadlifts. Before I knew it, I was pulling as much weight as I had when training for football camp and the adrenaline was back. I was in the zone.
As soon as I finished my final set, a big guy wearing an Optimum Nutrition sweat shirt came over to me and asked me how old I was. I told him 18, almost 19 and he complimented me for the work I had done. I asked him about bodybuilding and he said he competed when he was younger and that he had the time of his life. He also explained that it kept him out of trouble as a kid and taught him an incredible amount of discipline. I was instantly intrigued by this because training has always been my favorite part of football, besides scoring touchdowns and hanging with teammates. I loved football, basketball, and baseball, but I was also burnt out from being on a schedule.
Team sports are great, but I wanted to work out on my own time, develop my physique and do it in the healthiest way possible. I knew I had the discipline, a fair amount of knowledge; all I needed was a place to start. That night I made my way up to the computer room and found Bodybuilding.com. On the front page there was a link featuring "knowledgeable natural bodybuilder Layne Norton" I read through his first article, then the second, the third, I was so excited learning about his experiences from when he was my age.
Right then and there I realized my goal would be to compete before I turned 21. The next day I made my way to the gym and completed my first "true" leg day filled with all types of intensity techniques I had used in the past, but never for the sole purpose of muscle growth. I now had the vision to complete my goal so I set up my own bodybuilding style program focusing on gaining lean mass. The progress I made led me to check out a few shows and I was hooked from there.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
My training is very instinctive for the most part. I will usually exercise whatever I feel is ready, but within a particular split I choose. Depending on how I'm progressing I may devote an extended block of time to either 1-3 reps, 4-6 reps, or 8-15 reps for power, strength, or hypertrophy only. An example would be:
- Day 1: Upper Push
- Day 2: Lower
- Day 3: Upper Pull
- Day 4: Off/Cardio
- Day 5: Upper Push
Another very effective training routine I've used is called Power Hypertrophy adaptive training. Popularized by Layne Norton, and implemented by many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts now... it focuses on heavy compound movements for strength progression early in the week followed by less weight, more volume days for pure hypertrophy later in the week. I gained the most mass using this type of split:
Day 1: Upper Strength
- Dumbbell Bench: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Push Press: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Weighted Dips: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Weighted Pull-Ups: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Barbell Rows: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Military Press: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
Day 2: Lower Strength
- Squats: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Stiff Legged Deadlift: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Front Squats: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Leg Curl: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
- Leg Press: 3 Sets Of 4-6 Reps
Day 3: Rest Or Cardio
Day 4: Back and Chest Hypertrophy
I will use the exercises I like best for each body part and stay in the 8-15 rep range. I will usually take the last set to
Day 5: Legs Hypertrophy
Again, sticking to my favorite exercises and working in that 8-15 rep range, very high volume has worked best for me.
Day 6: Shoulders, Arms and Calves Hypertrophy
I will work up to max weights with the goal of setting new personal records and making continued progress.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Nutrition is very distinct for each and every individual. I make sure I eat enough protein each day to support muscle gains and then fill in the remaining kcals I need from carbohydrates and fat. I take in roughly 1.3 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and depending on my goals; I will adjust the other macronutrients to get me where I need to be. In order to reach my totals I usually stick to these types of foods:
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Potatoes
- Ezekiel Breads
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Olive Oil
- Flax Meal
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
The daily challenge it brings to get better and better. The degree of knowledge it requires to make consistent progress and sharing that knowledge with like-minded individuals. Studying Psychology and Nutritional Science in college allows me to apply what I learn, and I enjoy helping my friends with their goals. If done correctly, bodybuilding can enhance all areas of your life.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I'm determined to keep this momentum while I study overseas next semester, and when I return to the states I want to pick out a time to compete that will allow me to bring a whole new package. As long as I am having fun with it, and enjoying the process I will give it my best; knowing that bodybuilding is a life-long journey makes even the smallest progress seem awesome.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
You have to find what works for you, and then pursue it with passion and consistency. I believe you can do things you never thought possible through hard work, self-discipline, and personal accountability. Being honest with yourself will minimize any additional stress, and the results will be incredible.