The Road To The Olympia
To Be The Best, You Need To Learn From The Best - 10 Olympia Champions Present Their Greatest Workouts Of All Time.
Although Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman share Mr. Olympia status, their training principles and techniques are different; the only similarity is that their methods were equally effective in making them the best in the world.
So it goes for their Mr. Olympia antecessors, whose own approaches to training also carried them to the same zenith. In hopes of distilling the common secret of their success, FLEX presents sample bodypart workouts of 10 Mr. Olympias. Here's one.
1st Mr. Olympia (1965-66)
He did them up the rack or up and down the rack for six heavy sets, always finishing with burn sets (nonstop repeat sets, until no more movement of the dumbbell was possible). For some exercises, he'd go "light," which meant eight reps to failure. Heavy sets were a maximum of six, followed by a transition into those accursed burns. That was just the beginning. Scott would then further bedevil his delts with another 14 blistering sets of dumbbell work, always capped by burns.
SCOTT TALKS SHOULDERS I wasn't blessed with great shoulder width, and had to really work to cap my delts. Here are the fundamentals of how I did it.
- You need to cheat a little during lateral raises. That sounds like heresy from the past, but putting some body English into the lift, then resisting it strongly on the descent, forces more growth-stimulating stress onto the lateral head. This process needs to be completed quickly, so use a lot of weight and low reps. The current fad is to isolate that head and then pump it to death, but that does not sufficiently tear down the fibers.
- Train delts more often than larger bodyparts; they can take it. As a small and complex muscle group, they recover quickly.
- In my day, most of us trained our deltoids a minimum of twice a week, and usually three times a week.
- For one-arm dumbbell front raises, bring the dumbbell up horizontally and keep it directly in front of the anterior head of your delt, so that your sightline, when you're looking straight ahead, passes directly over the inner plates of the dumbbell.
- Use free weights as much as possible for all three heads. Overisolating the delts fails to adequately fill in the interstices among the various heads.
- Keep the dumbbells parallel at all times. If they tilt to one side, resistance shifts away from the deltoids to the traps or back.
For Larry Scott's shoulder routine and nine more Olympia winners' workouts, pick up the October issue of FLEX, on newsstands September 10.