Where I Am, Where I'm Going: A Personal Look At Todd Opheim!

Anyway, I, like most of you have set some new goals for myself for the new year. If you already have a monster chest and weak arms, don't continue to try to impress people with how much you can bench.
Come back next month for your next routine to help you reach your genetic potential!

Click here for an AUDIO INTRO from Todd!

Ok, so as each of you who follows this section of Bodybuilding.com is already aware, the last month workout of the year continues on for this month. That means I have no new workout for you guys/gals. I asked Ryan Deluca what type of article to write for this month, and based on the e-mails we both have received, he felt it would be a good idea to update everyone who reads this site on my current and future plans in the world of bodybuilding. I realize this may seem somewhat egocentric, but hey, we all are to a certain degree, right?

Anyway, I, like most of you have set some new goals for myself for the new year. I am currently weighing in at 239.5 pounds at 8.5% bodyfat. That is with shoes and clothes and after a couple of meals, so realistically I am weighing about 235. I am not normally this heavy, but the holiday festivities and spirits effect me just the same as anyone. Regardless, despite the frantic pace of the holidays, moving into a new house, and keeping a full time personal training clientele happy and fit throughout the holidays, I have slowly been able to increase my lean body mass to roughly 215 pounds which is an all-time personal best. So, where am I headed from here?

First off, as any seasoned bodybuilder will tell you, it is not just the lean body mass of a bodybuilder that wins shows, but also the quality of that mass. Despite being at a personal high bodyweight and lean mass, I am still unsatisfied with a few areas of my body. After my knee surgery in May of 2001, I have yet to get back all of the strength and size in my left leg. There is still a significant amount of pain in the knee, and my doctor has advised me that it probably won't get any better than it is. He said I may choose to do a cartilage culture in the future, but that would almost assuredly result in no more heavy squats, leg presses, deadlifts, etc. I guess there are two ways to look at it. I can either retire and be happy with my current accomplishments, or I can see it as just another challenge in my bodybuilding career. As of today, I am seeing it as a challenge. My left leg is currently 1 1/4 inches smaller than my right and my left calf is lagging by 1/2 inch. I hope to continue to build up my left leg to close this symmetrical gap. I lack quad sweep, hamstring depth, and overall density qualities that my right leg possesses. I am currently performing a large amount of single leg exercises to try to bring this weak area up.

Additionally, I am working on my chest (it is, has been, and probably always will be my biggest nemesis). It is not nearly as full as most of my competitors, so I must be sure it is sliced and diced come competition time, or it will surely be discovered by the judges. I also continue to work on my lats, as they insert very low and give me the appearance of having less of a v-taper than some of my competitors. I am focusing on heavy rows, pullups, and deadlifts to bring this area up. So far I am pleased with my results in the latter half of 2001. Other than those areas, I am fairly pleased with my progress.

I am planning on doing the Professional show being held in Boise, Idaho on June 1, 2002. After that I may do the Professional Galaxy in Florida on June 15, 2002, but I will have to wait and see how things develop during the next five months. I hope to slowly chisel myself down to a competitive weight of around 208-210 pounds. In the past I have competed anywhere from 202-215 and have found that the lighter bodyweight generally presents a better overall package. Although I sacrifice a little size throughout my torso, at the lighter bodyweight, I have found that I must shed those additional pounds to bring out my hamstring and glute detail. Maybe someday in the future I will be able to compete at a heavier weight and still have the hamstring detail necessary to win, but for now I will shoot for around 208.

During January I will attempt to bring my bodyweight down to around 225-230 and bodyfat down to around 6%. I will accomplish this by slightly increasing my cardio to 3-4 x 30 minutes per session, which is up from about 2 x 20 minutes for the last few months. I will also increase my weight training to 4 x per week following a back/chest, shoulder/arms, legs/calves, 3 day split. I will keep my rest intervals at approximately 60 seconds, and continue to focus on the exercises mentioned above to work on my weak areas. In the following months I will continue to try to bring my weight down by approximately 5 pounds per month in order to reach my goal weight and bodyfat (3.5-4%). I will do this by further manipulation of my cardio, strength training, and diet (calories).

I am unaware of the interest that the readers of this column have with this type of article, so I would welcome any feedback you have. My e-mail address is below.

Finally, I would highly recommend that each and every bodybuilder out there take a serious look at your personal physique. You must take an objective look at your weak points if you want to go far in this sport. There are tons of guys/gals out there with impressive bodyparts, as I am sure most of you possess one or more. But, the champions are the ones who continually strive to work on their weak points, not their strong points. If you have one or more weak areas, make those your priority in your training. If you already have a monster chest and weak arms, don't continue to try to impress people with how much you can bench. I think you get the picture.

Good luck to each and everyone of you in the coming year. I sincerely appreciate all of your feedback. See you next month.

E-Mail Me Your Questions At OPT4FIT@opt4fit.com