This year's Mr. Olympia will boast two men hungry for a top-six finish — and with classic physiques and momentum on their side, Toney Freeman and Dennis Wolf could surprise a lot of veterans in doing just that. Here's an excerpt from the September 2007 issue of Flex Magazine detailing the methods to their training madness.
Mass With Class
Big Men, Small Waists:
How Top Olympia Contenders Toney Freeman And Dennis Wolf Train To Achieve The Holy Grail Of Bodybuilding.
A lot can change in a year. When Ronnie Coleman won the 1998 Mr. Olympia, it was after finishing ninth in 1997. Günter Schlierkamp soared all the way from oblivion (15th) in the 2001 Olympia to a surprising fifth at the 2002 Mr. O and then first, ahead of Coleman, at the Show of Strength three weeks later. And Jay Cutler vaulted from a distant eighth in the 2000 Olympia to a close second in 2001.
The two most likely candidates to make a great leap forward at this year's Olympia are Toney Freeman, seventh last year, and Dennis Wolf, who didn't even place last time. Although Freeman, at 41, will be one of the oldest men onstage and Wolf, at 28, will likely be the youngest, the two share similar aesthetics — a winning combination of size, structure and shape.
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Toney Freeman & Dennis Wolf At The 2006 Olympia.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.
Leading up to the most anticipated Olympia in history, we analyze how these X-men train for both mass and class and how you should do the same.
1. Basic Base:
Both Freeman and Wolf do at least one free-weight basic lift for each bodypart, and they typically do these first in their workouts, when their strength and energy are greatest.
For example, Wolf starts his chest training with bench presses and biceps routines with barbell curls. Freeman begins shoulder sessions with seated overhead barbell presses (superset with upright rows) and his back routines with T-bar or barbell rows.
Dennis Wolf Wallpaper
2007 Keystone Pro Winner.
Photo By Isaac Hinds.
Week #63 - 5/29/2007
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2. Quality Quantity:
Although they both make free-weight standards the early focus, they also do isolation and machine lifts to accentuate separation and shape. Freeman even discovered a special exercise — pec-deck lat contractions (see "Freeman's Back Story," FLEX, July 2007) — to bring out more inner back density and detail. Wolf also favors mechanical exercises to etch in details; he uses, for example, cable crossovers for chest and one-arm reverse-grip pushdowns for triceps.
It's not enough to simply cram on mass as quickly as possible. Like a sculptor adding clay but molding it, too, train for quantity and quality in every workout.
For eight more insights into the training of Freeman and Wolf, pick up the September issue of Flex, on newsstands August 13.