A few years ago, I saw a profile of a young bodybuilder on Bodybuilding.com that, while brief, nevertheless stuck with me. He was cleaning house in amateur competitions at just 22 years old, but more impressively, he already had the type of development that other guys spend their whole lives pursuing. The makings of a world-class physique were plain to see: clean lines, incredible definition, and the aesthetics of a young Flex Wheeler. I thought: This guy is going places.

I was right. Brandon Curry continued to squash the amateurs, and he earned his 212 division pro card in 2008, serving notice that he was here to stay. He became the subject of an ongoing web series called "Brandon Curry: Unleashed," and complementary cover stories started showing up in "Flex" and elsewhere with headlines like "10 Things We Hate About Brandon Curry."



Since then, Brandon has grabbed a dozen top-10 finishes as an IFBB Pro, including an eighth place finish at the 2011 Olympia, and most people expect him to keep climbing the ranks. At 31, he is still one of the younger pros at that level, but Curry's humble attitude and work ethic will keep him in the race for the big one. With his legs coming up in size and better timing in his conditioning, I'm convinced Brandon has the ability to push into the top five in the world.

Other than picking the right parents, how does a prospect become a prodigy? With hard, straightforward training and an airtight nutrition and supplementation plan that's built to last.

A Man on the Make

Take a look at Brandon's programs, and it's clear that he puts heavy emphasis on his weak points, rather than focusing on what he's best at. That's one major difference between a seasoned pro and the amateurs who fantasize about becoming one.

While he trains most muscle groups with high volume once per week, Brandon's legs receive a double treatment, splitting each session into two parts so he can pour all his energy and focus into his quads and hams. Additionally, he doesn't do a lot of direct ab or arm work.

Brandon has excellent arms already, and his small waist accentuates his aesthetic build, giving him that classic bodybuilding look. Too much additional abdominal work would likely only serve to make him appear bulky, and "mass monster" isn't Brandon's game.

A high-performance machine like Curry also has to take in a lot of fuel. He's eaten as many as eight meals per day in recent years, but is currently happy at six daily meals made up of large amounts of lean meat alongside small amounts of clean carbs. He selects fats carefully and satisfies his sweet tooth with nonfat Jello pudding or nonfat frozen yogurt.

Once a week he indulges in a cheat meal. This is a simple strategy that will work well for his followers, but they should be advised to monitor the quantities unless they are feeding as much muscle as Brandon does.



Brandon's supplementation is similarly built around the classics: protein, BCAAs, and carbs. He stays stoked for growth with 20 grams of aminos when he wakes up and intra-workout, along with a hefty amount of BSN Volumaize. Since his diet is pretty lean, Brandon also augments his fat intake with essential fatty acids.

Here's what a recent five-week cycle looked like for Brandon:

Weeks 1-3
  • Monday: Quads, Hams, and Calves
  • Tuesday: Chest and Back
  • Wednesday: Shoulders and Arms
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Quads, hams, and calves
  • Sunday: Chest and Back
Weeks 4-5
  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Arms
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Quads, Hams, and Calves
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Cardio: 30 minutes after workout or in morning, 5 days per week

Weeks 1-3

Day 1: AM Quads
1
Leg Extensions
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Front Barbell Squat
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Leg Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Hack Squat
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
Day 1: PM Hamstrings and Calves
1
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Seated Leg Curl
3 sets, 5-7 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
4
Standing Calf Raises
4 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
4 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
Day 2: AM Chest
1
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Machine Bench Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Flat Bench Cable Flyes
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
5
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
3 sets, 8-12 reps
Day 2: PM Back
1
Chin-Up
Wide-grip.
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Pullups
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Lying T-Bar Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps
5
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps (per arm, Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
6
Straight-Arm Pulldown
3 sets, 8-12 reps
Day 3: AM Shoulders and Traps
1
Seated Barbell Military Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Front Dumbbell Raise
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Side Lateral Raise
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Machine Shoulder (Military) Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
5
Dumbbell Shrug
4 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Barbell Shrug
4 sets, 8-12 reps (with 2-second pause at top)
Day 3: PM Arms
1
EZ-Bar Curl
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Concentration Curls
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Preacher Curl
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
4
Bench Dips
3 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Lying Triceps Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)

Days 4 and 5: Rest

Day 6: AM Quads
1
Leg Extensions
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Front Barbell Squat
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Leg Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Hack Squat
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
Day 6: PM Hamstrings and Calves
1
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Seated Leg Curl
3 sets, 5-7 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
4
Standing Calf Raises
4 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine
4 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
Day 7: AM Chest
1
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Machine Bench Press
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Flat Bench Cable Flyes
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)
5
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
3 sets, 8-12 reps
Day 7: PM Back
1
Chin-Up
Wide-grip.
3 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Pullups
3 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Lying T-Bar Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps
5
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets, 8-12 reps
6
Straight-Arm Pulldown
3 sets, 8-12 reps (Perform this exercise 21-style: First set is bottom half range of motion, second set is top half range of motion, and third set is full range of motion.)

Brandon's Nutrition

Upon Rising
BCAAs (BSN AminoX)
2 scoops
Coffee
1 cup
Meal 1
Beef Tenderloin (lean)
8 oz
Egg Whites
4
Grits
3 oz
Toast (whole-wheat)
2 slices
Meal 2
Chicken
8 oz
White Rice
1 1/2 cups
Broccoli
1 cup
Olive Oil
10 g
Meal 3
Chicken
8 oz
Potato
10 oz
Asparagus
1 cup
Olive Oil
10 g
Meal 4
Salmon
8 oz
White Rice
1 1/2 cups
Salad
1 serving
Meal 5
Egg Whites
6
Protein Powder (BSN Syntha 6)
2 scoops
Walnuts
2 oz

Supplements

Upon Rising:

Pre-workout:

During Workout:

Post-workout (And on rest days):



About the Author

Matt Biss

Matt Biss

Matt Biss is a training and nutrition specialist. He earned his B.S. in Exercise Physiology and is a certified personal trainer and strength coach.

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