This was my first opportunity to compare myself against the best natural athletes my organization has to offer. After the initial disappointment of not finishing higher, and viewing both the video and few photos I was able to obtain, I was able to come up with a few conclusions:
1. Lesson #1 - Stick with your strengths. In my case that has always been showing up in better condition than any other competitor. Being new to the professional game and not knowing what to expect, I envisioned competing against some real behemoths. I focused hard on not overdieting (as detailed in my August 2000 workout), and came in at a bodyweight of 210 lbs. I was hard, but this was definetly not my best condition.
I got so focused on keeping my weight up that I ignored the mirror (or at least didn't pay much attention to it). Big mistake. By the way, I was the heaviest competitor in the show, but still only managed 9th place.
2. Lesson #2 - Cut out the negative talk. Going into the show, and not knowing what to expect left me with the mindset that I'll just see what happens. Wrong answer! With that attitude I got spanked. I'm in this sport to win, and I presume every other competitor is too. I will diet harder. I will diet smarter. I will train with undeniable intensity. I will be the very best bodybuilder that I can be.
3. Lesson #3 - As you climb the competitive ranks of natural bodybuilding, it is not all about size. Sure, all of the competitors have an impressive amount of muscle, but that is somewhat true at all levels of bodybuilding. What wins at local and regional shows still wins at professional shows. The winner is typically extremely symmetrical and in tremendous shape with impressive size. The only difference you will find is that in the pro shows, all of the competitors have great symmetry.
As I looked at all the competitors backstage, the most noticeable differences were in height and detail. Sure, there were some competitors with more impressive bodyparts than others, but the key point to remember is that regardless of how big you get, if you are not complete, you may as well take up wrestling or football, because your dreams of being a top pro bodybuilder will not come true.
|1st - Robert Noble||2nd - Terry Baldwin||3rd - Anthony DeAngelis|
With the experience of my first pro show under my belt, I am now beginning preparations for my second pro show on April 14th, 2001 at the NGA Heart of the Midwest Professional Championships.
At least twice per year, I take an objective look at my own body and try to really focus in on my weak areas. This will be the focus of this month's workout. This is a practice that I strongly recommend for all bodybuilders out there. I also advise that you get the opinion of some objective fellow bodybuilders to ensure that you are not being too generous or harsh on yourself. Really take a close look at all your bodyparts from head to toe, and list in detail the improvements that you need to make. The more specific the better. If you know where you're going, it is much more likely you will get there.
After you have compiled your list, prioritize them in numerical order. You can then structure your workouts so that the areas needing the most work get the attention they deserve. What I have found is that most bodybuilders continue to work their good bodyparts with intensity and priority, while slacking on their less imporessive bodyparts. In truth, I have been guilty of this practice myself, and without constantly reminding myself to remain focused on building a well balanced, complete, symmetrical physique, I am sure to fall in the same trap again. This is a sure-fire way to further enhance your weaknesses and limit your capabilities as a bodybuilder.
The areas I need improvement of are as follows:
1. Lower lat width - By focusing on my upper lat width as detailed in the July 2000 Workout Of The Month, I was able to put on additional size in that region. However, my lower lats still are lacking, particularly when viewed from the front in the front relaxed and front lat spread poses. Rather than focusing on pullups and straight arm pulldowns, I will turn my focus to reverse grip pullups, bent over barbell rows, and one arm dumbell rows. I have already begun doing this and am seeing impressive results.
2. Weak upper chest and overall chest depth - As per the July 2000 Workout Of The Month, I will continue to prioritize this area. Changes to the program will include putting a flat dumbell fly in between my two incline pressing motions in order to give my upper chest a chance to recover from the first movement. I find that putting two incline movements back to back causes me to rely too heavily on my front delts to complete the second movement. This is almost completely eliminated by putting the flat fly in between them.
3. Glute-Ham tie-ins and Hamstring Depth - As per the July 2000 Workout Of The Month, I will continue to prioritize this area. Details of changes to the program are listed in this workout. Additionally, I will focus intensely on feeling the contraction in the glute hamstring area. I will drive from my heels on all applicable movements.
4. Add to tricep size - In the past this has been a relative strong point, but against top competition, I feel I need to improve these further.
This is a four day split that should be performed in 6 - 7 days. Take a day off when you feel it necessary, but don't workout more than 3 consecutive days without a day off. Here is the workout:
Note: 4 X 8-12 means that you should do 4 sets with each set being 8 - 12 reps. Be sure to use weight that lets you reach failure between 8 and 12 reps.
|Day #1 - Back and Biceps|
|Reverse Grip Pullups||4 X Max (add weight for 1st two sets)|
|Bent-Over Barbell Rows||4 X 8-12|
|One Arm Dumbell Rows||4 X 8-12|
|Dumbell Shrugs||4 X 8-12|
|Barbell Deadlifts or Weighted Hyperextensions||3 X 8-12|
|Bent Over Dumbell Flyes||4 X 8-12|
|EZ Bar Curls||4 X 8-12|
|Incline Dumbell Curls||4 X 8-12|
|Preacher Curls||3 X 8-12|
|Day #2 - Chest and Abs|
|Incline Dumbell Press||4 X 8-12|
|Flat Dumbell Press||3 X 8-12|
|Incline Dumbell Press||4 X 8-12|
|Weighted Dips||3 X 8-12|
|Hanging Ab Raises||4 X Max (straight legs first 2 sets)|
|Weighted Ab Crunches||3 X 15|
|Oblique Crunches||3 X 15|
|Day #3 - Legs and Calves|
|Barbell Lunges||4 X 10-15|
|Smith Machine Squats||4 X 10-15 (4-1-4 cadence)|
|Leg Press||3 X 10-15 (feet high on platform)|
|Single Leg Standing Hamstring Curl||4 X 10-15 (focus on the contraction)|
|Lying Hamstring Curl||3 X 10-15|
|Stiff Leg Deadlifts||3 X 10-15|
|Standing Calf Raises||4 X 10-15|
|Seated Calf Raises||4 X 10-20|
|Day #4 - Shoulders and Triceps|
|Overhead Barbell Press||4 X 8-12|
|Front Dumbell Raise||4 X 8-12|
|Lateral Dumbell Raise||4 X 8-12|
|Skull Crushers||4 X 8-12|
|Cross Bench Dips||4 X 8-12|
|Rope Pushdowns||4 X 8-12 (focus on the contraction)|
Check out my new workout videos which you can download online! Click here!
Please contact me if you have any questions at OPT4FIT@OPT4FIT.com.
Don't forget to check out the Todd Opheim Bodybuilding Miracle Supplement Stack! Double your results easily.
Other Workouts Of The Month:
January - Dumbell Workout
February - Four Day Split
March - Lower Body Slim-Down/Upper Body Mass Gaining
April - Get Back! Focus on Building Back Size
June - Advanced Program
July - For Advanced Bodybuilders
August - Precontest Program
September - Plateau Buster
October - Mass Gainer
November - Torso/Limbs Split System
December - Holiday Maintenance