When it comes to winning pro shows, Dexter Jackson is no stranger to getting his name called out as the champion. With 10 pro victories already under his belt, "The Blade" was destined to capture the Sandow—the only trophy that had eluded him all these years.
A victory at the 2008 Olympia would not only mean that Dexter would bank his 11th pro victory, it would forever immortalize him as one of the greatest bodybuilders to walk the face of the earth. Everybody that packed into the Orleans Arena—including the athletes—on Saturday, September 27, 2008, for the Olympia finals knew that it was Dexter's night.
Destroying the stacked Olympia line-up the day before during pre-judging, Saturday's night show proved to be just for Dexter's fans and for the judges to confirm what they already knew—a new champion was going to be crowned that night.
Dexter's Pre-Contest Workout
- Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 20-30 reps
- Squats: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Hack Squats: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
Tuesday: Chest & Calves
- Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- T-Bar Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Barbell Deadlifts: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Thursday: Shoulders & Hams
- Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline Lying Side Laterals: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Rear Delt Raises: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Leg Curls: 5 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 4 sets of 10 reps
Friday: Biceps & Triceps
- EZ-Bar Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dips: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Rope Pushdowns: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Ab & Cardio Routine
- Crunches: 3 sets of 50 reps
- Knee-ups: 3 sets of 40 reps
- Cable Crunches: 3 sets of 30 reps
Abs are worked every other training session or approximately 3 times per week. Dexter does 30 minutes of cardio 2 times per day (AM and PM session), 6 days a week.
When it comes to training, Dexter Jackson keeps it simple, even when it came to prepping for the biggest competition of his career.
Dexter is a veteran of the sport, but even with all of his success he knows the importance of adjusting his training program to get the best results. Case in point, early on in his career Dexter had never done cardio and would rarely do any ab exercises.
But as he was getting up there in age, he saw the need to add cardio and abs to his pre-contest program for the first time—and that adjustment won him the Olympia crown. Dexter knows his body and is not afraid to mix things up if it means he'll make improvements each and every time he hits the stage.
If you are a pro or amateur bodybuilder or just want to get in shape, the same rules apply across the board—pay attention to what works for you and what doesn't and never be afraid to mix up your program. It worked for The Blade.