The Main Event!

Learn about the layout of your training program and how bodybuilding is NOT a one size fits all sport!
No, although I am a huge boxing fan, this article does not concern the pugnacious sport.

Yes, I know that Mike Matarazzo was a boxer, Melvin Anthony was allegedly popped in the face by Craig Titus, and Chris Cormier is a former boxer with the moniker of "The Real Deal."

Chris Cormier Mike Matarazzo
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Chris Cormier And Mike Matarazzo.

No, this article solely concerns bodybuilding and one of the lesser-explored mental aspects stressing the way you approach bodybuilding. Please don't think that just because this article does not concern training or nutrition specifically it can't still help you build on the extensive knowledge to be had on the Iron Game.

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The Layout Of Your Training Program

Although I am by no means the size of a professional, I have a decent amount of muscle and cuts to warrant people around me to ask for training advice. In most cases, I tell them that bodybuilding is a very complex multi-factor endeavor. Then they usually ask, "What do you do, personally?"

That's when I give them a rough outline of what my workouts look like. Then when they ask me what type of training program they should use, my reply is, "Oh that's easy... you can do:

  • multi-joint compound movements
  • isolation movements
  • a combo of the two
  • compound exercises first, then isolation exercises
  • pre-exhaust
  • heavy weights and lower reps
  • high reps and light weights
  • heavy weights on compound movements
  • lighter weight on isolation movements
  • free weights
  • machines

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  • free weights first to 'hit the heavy weights when you are fresh,' then machines
  • machines first to fully warm up the muscles, then free weights
  • supersets

What Are Supersets?
A superset is the alternating back and forth between two (or more) exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete, usually with no rest between exercises. There are various types of supersets, however.

Find more definitions in our glossary.

  • trisets
  • giant sets
  • negative reps
  • forced negative reps
  • isometric tensing of the muscles between sets
  • peak contraction
  • cables
  • straight bars vs. cambered bars
  • doing an exercise standing vs. sitting down
  • cheat reps
  • preacher benches
  • cheat reps at the end of a set
  • wide hand spacing
  • close-hand spacing (and the same with feet)
  • training 6 days a week
  • hitting each body part once vs. twice a week
  • cardio before or after the workout
  • drop sets

What Is A Drop Set?
A drop set is a set where you do as many reps as you can with a certain weight, then immediately lower the weight and do more reps. There should be as little rest as possible between sets.

  • same workout until you go stale
  • following the routines in all the mags and other sources verbatim
  • triple drop sets
  • multi-angular training
  • extension vs. pressing motions

Hey, that's it - see how simple bodybuilding is?" Grin.

Bodybuilding Is Far From Just A Simple, One-Size-Fits-All Sport!

What I am basically saying here is to try what other people do and incorporate it into what you, yourself, are productive with. Do you think Kevin Levrone and Frank Zane train the same way?

Kevin Levrone Frank Zane
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Kevin Levrone And Frank Zane.

Hell, no - they individualize their training by borrowing from others and then stick with what works, and get great results - and that is one of the first things you should keep in the front of your mind when you engage in this activity.

Keep in mind that all of these techniques will work for somebody, for a certain period of time... Just experiment and see what works for you!

What'cha Looking For?

Are you just trying to have general fitness, impress people at the beach, fend off the meatheads that beat you up, look better in those clothes, get on a bodybuilding stage, model, up your lifts, be the strongest muthafucka in da gym, look fly in a club, improve performance for a sport, try to get big, be muscular, and/or defined?

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The bottom line is, no matter what you wanna do, you gotta make a selection and run with it - and stick with it, or alter it (as necessary). If, for instance, ya wanna be muscular - size and sinew, as I call it - you will have to employ a workout program that allows you to realize muscle hypertrophy. You will also need to keep an eye on your nutrition, to keep track of body fat levels.

Hypertrophy Vs. Hyperplasia
Hypertrophy refers to an increase in muscle size, due to the enlargement of the size of the cells, as opposed to an increase in the number of cells (by cell division, a.k.a. Hyperplasia). Hypertrophy is most commonly seen in muscle that has been actively stimulated, the most well-known method being exercise.

Are You Ready To Rumble?

Actually, what I mean here is how committed are you ready to be? I mean, 5-6 meals a day with a specific nutritional ratio (which in most cases does not consist of the most enticing foods in the world), training balls to the wall and being devoted to something almost as much as the most important thing in your life, requires a lot of commitment!

I can speak for myself here. I know that for me to be able to get the most out of my bodybuilding workouts that I need to get up at the crack of dawn. I have a "nine to five," and by the time I get home at six o'clock, my intensity for the gym would be lackluster. Thus, I train from 5:45 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. in the morning.

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Sure, I end having to go to bed earlier and end up missing some of my favorite T.V. shows, and can't always go out partying and get drunk with my friends (I love to do that in moderation, though) - but I have a high level of commitment to bodybuilding.

You will need to see what works for you, but for me, being dedicated to what I love has been the only thing that's worked. Okay, champ, go get in the ring, 'cuz I know there's a K.O. on the way!