- Name: Craig Letourneau
- Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Height: 5'5"
- Weight: 200 Lbs
- Years Bodybuilding: 14+
- Favorite Body Parts: Legs, chest, back & arms
- Favorite Exercise: Flat Bench Press
- Favorite Supplements: Protein Powders (e.g., Optimum 100% Whey)
How Did You Get Started?
Well, about 14 years ago, I started to dabble in building my body. I was never into working out with heavy weights, and I only worked out upper body mostly. I was only into it about 3 month's on, 3 month's off kind-of thing. I didn't know that much about it. Then about 10 years ago, I started to read more about it, and met some people who were more into working out, then I started to train better.
About 6 years ago, I got in an on the job accident that crushed my right arm in 6 different places. I underwent extensive rehab on my arm, and physiotherapy to get my strength back. The doctors had always maintained that I would never get back to 100% strength, and that 50% was probably the best I could ask for. From that day forward, I vowed to prove them wrong! I started training intensely, learning more and more about nutrition and working out. I've been working out 4-5 days a week since, and my strength is now about 300% above what it originally was. I started out at 165 lbs 6 years ago at about 12% body fat, now I'm 220 lbs of solid muscle at 8% body fat (off-season).
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
That's a tough one, there are so many that have worked for me, but I guess my favorite that produced the most consistent gains was this one:
- Flat Bench Press, 4-5 sets (incl. warm-up), 6-8 reps
- Incline dumbbells, 3 sets, 6-8 reps
- Incline dumbbell Flyes, 3 sets, 6-8 reps
- Cable Flyes, 3 sets, 6-8 reps
- Dips, 3 sets bodyweight to failure
- Bent over barbell rows, 4-5 sets (incl. warm-up), 6-8 reps
- Reverse-grip Hammer strength pull downs, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated rows (slow reps), 3 sets, 10 reps
- Dumbbell pullovers (or cable pullovers), 3 sets, 10 reps
- One-armed machine rows, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated dumbbell press, 4 sets (incl. warm-up), 6-8 reps
- Smith machine Military Press, 3 sets, 6-8 reps
- Side dumbbell laterals, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Rear delt pulls, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Upright rows, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Side Trap raises, 3 sets, 15-20 reps
- Close-grip bench press, 4 sets (incl. warm-up), 8-10 reps
- Skullcrushers, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated dumbbell extensions, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Cable push-downs, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Preacher dumbbell curls, 4 sets (incl. warm-up), 10 reps
- Standing bar curls, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Seated Hammer curls, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Concentrated cable curls, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Leg extensions, 3 sets for warm-up, light weight
- Squats, 5 sets (incl. warm-up), 6-8 reps
- Leg Press, 3 sets, 6-8 reps
- Stiff-legged deadlifts, 3 sets, 10 reps
- Leg curls (machine), 3 sets, 10 reps
- Calf raises, 5 sets, 20-25 reps
Tell Us More About Your Training.
I ALWAYS TRAIN WITH THE HEAVIEST WEIGHTS THAT I CAN HANDLE! I stress the word 'handle' because I see so many people in the gym that lift weights they can't handle, maybe to impress people, or for whatever the reason, and it more often than not turns into serious injuries, or equipment damage. I always maintain CONTROL of the weight that I am doing. If I lift off and feel I can't control the weight, I simply rack it, and take some off. No one is going to make fun of you or bug you because you aren't lifting as much as they are, if they do, then they belong in a Jr. High school gym so they can relate to people of their own mentality.
I also like to change up the exercises I do about every 2-3 months, just to shock the muscles, and try and stimulate more growth. I feel it is necessary to do this, as your muscles will eventually get used to the same strain that is put on them, and not react as well to produce new muscle growth.
The above workout usually takes me about 1¼ hours to 1½ hrs. If I hurry some days, I can get out of there in an hour.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
I'd have to say creatine and protein. When I first started working out hard (6 years ago), I was taking about 20g of creatine everyday, and about 6-8 scoops of whey protein a day. I gained about 35 lbs of muscle in 2 yrs on creatine/protein. Now I'd have to say that food, and extra protein, (Optimum 100% Whey, EAS Simply Protein, Muscletech Nitro-Tech) are the best and most important parts of growing into a muscular physique. I always maintain about 4500-5000 calories a day in the off-season to achieve growth (40% Protein, 40% Carbs, 20% fat).
I've also been impressed with Biotest Mag10. I've recently tried in, and put on an extra 10 lbs in about 3 weeks, and my strength also was improved. It's probably one of the best new supplements out there! Glutamine works good, so does Hydroxycut (for leaning out). Be very selective when you are purchasing supplements, there is a lot of garbage out there! I know, I probably bought most of it before!
Why Do You Love Bodybuilding?
I didn't think I would like it at first, I just did it because people have been asking me "why I haven't competed" for years now, and I finally had some time & money to do it. But once I got on stage, I felt completely at home. It was like I 'belonged there'. I had a great time posing, and hearing the crowd erupt on different poses, and hearing people chant my name, it was a gratifying experience. It finally paid off, the years of training, the years or learning, the thousands of dollars on food & supplements, and the total commitment to making a better body. I felt that competing and winning the Alberta Men's overall title, was one of the greatest accomplishment's that I had ever achieved. After my first experience in bodybuilding, I can now say that I'm hooked for life!
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
My future plans are to continue to grow, lift more, and always improve. I've got to work on my posing a bit more, and learn the mandatories perfectly. I want to compete at the Canadian Nationals next year, the overall winner gets IFBB pro card status! Then I can play with the big boys! But that is still a dream. I realize there is a lot of hard work and determination to get there, but I'm willing and able, and one day, I WILL GET MY PRO CARD!
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Nutrition! Make sure that you eat enough, and eat well. Most people I see in the gym have been going there for years and haven't changed their physique one bit. (Sound familiar?) If it is someone I know, I always try and preach nutrition to them, but I always hear them say, "I'm not hungry all the time" or "I don't have time." I then ask them "Why are they wasting their time at the gym then?" If you're not willing to learn how to eat properly for muscle recovery, then chances are you will never grow!
You must take in the proper amounts of protein, carbs, and fats to put on some muscle. I use 40-40-20 in the off-season, and I weight 220, and take in about 4500-5000 Calories a day of mostly good food (not processed, not fried, not buttered etc.). This is the best advice I can give anyone who has been going to the gym and not seeing any results, or someone who wants to start going to the gym and see the results.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
In order: LEE PRIEST, ARNOLD (of course), DORIAN YATES, SHAUN RAY, FLEX WHEELER, RONNIE COLEMAN, KEVIN LEVRONE.