Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Master Of The Mind

Lawrence channels his inner Kai Greene to overcome mental barriers and bury the competition. It starts with his mind and ends with a trophy in hand. This is the path of champions!

Name: Lawrence Ballenger
E-Mail: Lawrence_Ballenger@yahoo.com
BodySpace: Lawrence_Ballenger
Location: Zion, Illinois
Age: 25  Height: 6'0"  Weight: 251 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 2

Q
How Did Your Bodybuilding Journey Begin?

I will never forget the reason why I started working out seriously. When I was 15 years old, my family and friends from church came over to celebrate Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. After dinner, we went to the basement to lift on his new bench.

Everyone was lifting 50 pounds for 20 reps. When it was finally my turn, I unracked the bar and it fell straight to my chest and everyone started laughing because I couldn't get it off. I was extremely embarrassed. If that wasn't bad enough, they called a 15-year-old girl down right after me and she did it 20 times.

I was 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds when the girl out-lifted me, so the next day I bought a Flex Magazine and asked my sister if I could go to the gym with her until I got my license. The following summer I grew almost eight inches, gained 50 pounds, and have been in the gym ever since.

My first competition was in June of 2012 at the Bodybuilding.com Fit Body Competition. I was nervous before stepping onstage. I always wanted to compete, but didn't know if I had it in me. When I stepped onstage it felt like home and I was hooked. I placed second, and from that point on I had a new passion and drive to pursue the sport. I haven't looked back.

What Workout Regimen Delivered the Best Results?

What works best for me is pre-exhausting the body part by doing isolating exercises so I get a good pump and then go heavy on my compound lifts. I usually add partial sets and dropsets for isolation lifts. I rest one minute between sets. I saw growth this way, so I stick with it throughout my bulk and cut.

Day 1: Legs
    • Stair Climbers Stair Climbers

      Stair Climbers

      15 minute warm-up
    • Leg Extension Leg Extension

      Leg Extension

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Leg Curl Leg Curl

      Leg Curl

      3 sets of 20 reps

Superset

    • Hip Adductors Hip Adductors

      Hip Adductors

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Hip Abductors Hip Abductors

      Hip Abductors

      3 sets of 20 reps

Resume regular sets

    • Heavy Squat Heavy Squat

      Heavy Squat

      5 sets of 5 reps
    • Heavy Leg Press Heavy Leg Press

      Heavy Leg Press

      5 sets of 5 reps

Superset

    • Vertical Press Vertical Press

      Vertical Press

      3 sets of 8 reps
    • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

      Seated Calf Raise

      3 sets of 20 reps

Superset

  • Walking Lunges Walking Lunges

    Walking Lunges

    3 sets of 15 steps each leg
  • Single-Leg Press Single-Leg Press

    Single-Leg Press

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 2: Chest
  • Bike Bike

    Bike

    10 minute warm-up
  • Pec Deck Pec Deck

    Pec Deck

    3 sets of 20 reps
  • Dumbbell Incline Press Dumbbell Incline Press

    Dumbbell Incline Press

    3 sets of 20 reps
  • Bench Press Bench Press

    Bench Press

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Incline Bench Press Incline Bench Press

    Incline Bench Press

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Incline Flyes Incline Flyes

    Incline Flyes

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Flyes Cable Flyes

    Cable Flyes

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Pull-Over Dumbbell Pull-Over

    Dumbbell Pull-Over

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Hammer Strength Decline Press Hammer Strength Decline Press

    Hammer Strength Decline Press

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 3: Back
  • Stair Climbers Stair Climbers

    Stair Climbers

    15 minute warm-up
  • Pull-Ups Pull-Ups

    Pull-Ups

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Downs Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Downs

    Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Downs

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • High Row High Row

    High Row

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Wide-Grip Barbell Row Wide-Grip Barbell Row

    Wide-Grip Barbell Row

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Cable Row Cable Row

    Cable Row

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • T-Bar Row T-Bar Row

    T-Bar Row

    3 sets of 8 reps


Day 4: Shoulders
  • Bike Bike

    Bike

    10 minute warm-up
  • Lateral Raise Lateral Raise

    Lateral Raise

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Front Raise Front Raise

    Front Raise

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Rear Delt Machine Rear Delt Machine

    Rear Delt Machine

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Seated Military Press Seated Military Press

    Seated Military Press

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Smith Machine Press Smith Machine Press

    Smith Machine Press

    5 sets of 5 reps
  • Cable Lateral Raise Cable Lateral Raise

    Cable Lateral Raise

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Arnold Press Arnold Press

    Arnold Press

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Upright Row Upright Row

    Upright Row

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Shrugs Shrugs

    Shrugs

    3 sets of 12 reps


Day 5: Legs
    • Stair Climbers Stair Climbers

      Stair Climbers

      15 minute warm-up
    • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

      Leg Extensions

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Leg Curl Leg Curl

      Leg Curl

      3 sets of 20 reps

Superset

    • Hip Adductors Hip Adductors

      Hip Adductors

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Hip Abductors Hip Abductors

      Hip Abductors

      3 sets of 20 reps

Resume regular sets

    • Squat Squat

      Squat

      5 sets of 20 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press

      5 sets of 20 reps

Superset

    • Vertical Press Vertical Press

      Vertical Press

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

      Seated Calf Raise

      3 sets of 20 reps

Superset

  • Walking Lunges Walking Lunges

    Walking Lunges

    3 sets of 20 steps each leg
  • Single-Leg Press Single-Leg Press

    Single-Leg Press

    3 sets of 20 reps


Day 6: Arms
  • Bike Bike

    Bike

    10 minute warm-up
  • Standing Dumbbell Curl Standing Dumbbell Curl

    Standing Dumbbell Curl

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Preacher Curl Preacher Curl

    Preacher Curl

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

    Hammer Curls

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Curl Cable Curl

    Cable Curl

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Reverse Curl Reverse Curl

    Reverse Curl

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Weighted Dips Weighted Dips

    Weighted Dips

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Triceps Push-Downs Triceps Push-Downs

    Triceps Push-Downs

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Reverse Push-Downs Reverse Push-Downs

    Reverse Push-Downs

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Single-Arm Overhead Extension Cable Single-Arm Overhead Extension

    Cable Single-Arm Overhead Extension

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 7: Rest

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?
Bulking Diet ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
  • Egg Whites

    Egg Whites

    10 whites

  • Whole Eggs

    Whole Eggs

    2 eggs

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1/2 cup

  • Cream of Rice

    Cream of Rice

    1 serving

Pre-Workout
Post-Workout
Meal 3
  • Steak

    Steak

    12 ounces

  • Brown Rice

    Brown Rice

    1 cup

Meal 4
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    12 ounces

  • Natural Peanut Butter

    Natural Peanut Butter

    2 tablespoon

  • Cottage Cheese

    Cottage Cheese

    1/2 cup

  • Brown Rice

    Brown Rice

    1 cup

Meal 5
  • Salmon

    Salmon

    10 ounces

  • Olive Oil

    Olive Oil

    1 tablespoon

  • Spinach Salad

    Spinach Salad

    2 cups

Meal 6

Cutting Diet (Carb Cycle) ///
  • Sunday - Low
  • Monday - Low
  • Tuesday - Medium
  • Wednesday - High
  • Thursday - Low
  • Friday - Low
  • Saturday - Low
High ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
  • Egg Whites

    Egg Whites

    12 whites

  • Uncooked Oatmeal

    Uncooked Oatmeal

    1 cup with 1 teaspoon suger

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1/2 cup

Meal 3
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    6 ounces

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet Potatoes

    2 medium potatoes

Meal 4
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    6 ounces

  • Brown Rice

    Brown Rice

    2 cups with 1 tablespoon olive oil

Post-Workout
Meal 5
  • Tilapia

    Tilapia

    6 ounces

  • White Rice

    White Rice

    2 cups with 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1 cup

Meal 6

Medium ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
  • Egg Whites

    Egg Whites

    10 whites

  • Uncooked Oatmeal

    Uncooked Oatmeal

    1 cup with 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1/2 cup

Meal 3
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    6 ounces

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet Potatoes

    2 medium potatoes

Meal 4
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    6 ounces

  • Brown Rice

    Brown Rice

    2 cups with 1 tablespoon olive oil

Post-Workout
Meal 5
  • Tilapia

    Tilapia

    6 ounces

  • White Rice

    White Rice

    1 cup with 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1 cup

Meal 6

Low ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
  • Egg Whites

    Egg Whites

    10 whites

  • Uncooked Oatmeal

    Uncooked Oatmeal

    1/2 cup with 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1/2 cup

Meal 3
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    8 ounces

  • Sweet Potato

    Sweet Potato

    1 medium potato

Meal 4
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    8 ounces

  • Brown Rice

    Brown Rice

    1 cup with 1 ounce olive oil

Post-Workout
Meal 5
  • Tilapia

    Tilapia

    10 ounces

  • White Rice

    White Rice

    1/2 cup with 2 ounces olive oil

  • Veggies

    Veggies

    1 cup

Meal 6

What Supplements Gave You the Greatest Gains?


How Did Your Passion for Bodybuilding Emerge?

My passion for bodybuilding came from wanting to improve myself and having the will to not be average. I want to make myself better every day and never settle. If I'm not improving myself in every facet, than I'm not working hard enough. This sport is amazing because there's no off time like other sports. Everything you do throughout every minute of every day counts. You have to stay focused on the goal.

What/Who Motivated You to Be a Bodybuilder?

As a kid I always loved watching cartoons and wanted to be a super hero. As I got older, I started looking at fitness magazines and remember the guys looking like super heroes. I wanted to look like that. I've been striving for that super hero body since.

Where Did You Go for Inspiration?

I go to Bodybuilding.com and look at community and pro videos. Watching the pros lights a fire inside me, so I can hit the gym harder than ever.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I hope to compete at the Arnold Amateurs and at USAs this year and win my IFBB pro card. I also plan to do more fitness magazine shoots. Besides that, I plan on releasing more fitness videos on YouTube so I can continue helping and inspiring people to chase and achieve their fitness goals.

What Is the Most Important Bodybuilding Tip?

The most important tip I tell people is to stay consistent on your nutrition; your body is not made in the gym, it's made in the kitchen.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder?

My favorite bodybuilder is Kai Greene. He taught me that the mind governs your every action. If you feel bad or put out negative vibes, you receive negativity. If you put out positive vibes you get back positivity. Every day is a battle of the mind and if you can win these battles you can achieve your goal and win the war.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

Bodybuilding.com is the reason I started bodybuilding. Without them, I would have never started. They believed in and choose me to be part of their fit body competition. Bodybuilding.com has great articles that taught me how to get ready for my completion. I didn't know anything about bodybuilding diet prep going into my first show. Because of their articles, I place second. They also have the cheapest supplements online. BodySpace is a dream come true because I can talk to likeminded people and get help and encouragement when I need it most.