Need Help? Customer Support 1-866-236-8417

Hardcore Off-Season Training For Lean Mass, Part 2!

If you're looking to put on slabs of lean muscle then follow me, and I will give you the run down on hardcore training, diet, and supplementation for the off season. Check it out!

Part 1 | Part 2

Article Summary:
  • The off-season is the perfect time to go through a quality bulking phase.
  • My training stays mostly the same during my mini-cutting phase.
  • I do add a fat burner into my supplement routine during phase 2 of my off season training.

I am having so much fun this Off-Season. Everyday I am looking forward to my training from the moment I wake up till the time I first touch the bar. I am itching to make improvements.

In Part 1 of this series I laid out the structure of my Off-season schedule. I am happy to report that I was able to reach my body weight goal of 220 lbs, and I am definitely starting to improve the areas I was focusing on (mainly the Chest, Shoulders and Arms). Now I am ready for my mini-cutting phase to get back down to 210lbs.

I really believe it is critical for Natural Bodybuilders to do small bulking phases and cutting phases to take advantage of the benefits of each. While bulking,you can really move a lot of weight and pack on that dense, lean muscle mass. And while cutting, you can get rid of the unnecessary body-fat and improve your cardiovascular strength as well.

Lets get down to business. Here is a lay out the workout split for my phase 2 training:

Off Season Training-Phase 2

  • Day 1: Upper Body
  • Day 2: Lower Body
  • Day 3: Cardio/Abs
  • Day 4: Arms
  • Day 5: Shoulders
  • Day 6: Deadlifts/Calves
  • Day 7: Chest/Back
  • Day 8: Cardio/Abs

I kept the 8 day split, but I switched around the back end of the split just to mix it up. I am a big believer in mixing up workout splits to confuse the body into new growth. As this is a cutting phase, I will be performing 10-15 minutes of cardio post-workout. I really find that my cardiovascular health improves so much during my cutting phase that I actually get strong with my leg workouts during this phase even though my calories are down and I am losing weight.

Details: Exercises, Sets And Reps Of All Workouts

Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Drop Set - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.

Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics. You should always take your post-warm-up sets at least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently past that point.

With each workout I start with 5 minutes on the treadmill just to get the blood flowing, speed is between 3-3.5 mph and the incline is at level 5. Regarding weight training, I warm up with several lighter sets then move to my working sets. I will only list my working sets, but make sure you warm up properly.

With Each Workout I Start 5 Minutes On The Treadmill To Get The Blood Flowing With Each Workout I Start 5 Minutes On The Treadmill To Get The Blood Flowing
+ Click To Enlarge.
Author, Alex Stewart: "With Each Workout I Start 5 Minutes On The Treadmill To Get The Blood Flowing."
Day 1: Upper Body

Dip Machine
Dip Machine
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Dip Machine
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Dip Machine.

I like to focus on compound movements with this workout. Since last time, I will be switching Dumbbell Shoulder Presses for Smith Machine Presses because I use the 90s and they are a pain to get in place with a spotter, and when I workout alone they are just dangerous. My gym doesn't have a regular military press station, so I will use the Smith Machine. So far, things have worked out very well. I keep the rest periods at around 60 seconds

Day 2: Lower Body


I basically kept this workout the same minus the squat pause sets in the "Hole," because I found that it was hurting my knees. My intensity with my leg training is at 90% now, as I am trying to focus on bringing my upper body into balance. This will help my symmetry for my future shows as my legs have always outshined the rest of my body. I don't like giving 100% to my workouts, so I am looking forward to the day that I bring up the upper body enough so I can get back to "balls to the wall" leg training.

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Arms

Spider Curl
Spider Curl
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Spider Curl
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Spider Curl.

I have found that if you combine heavy and light pump sets with barbell curls you get a much better pump. This is the reason for the staggered rep range with this exercise. Regarding my triceps, I need to start out with some rope extensions instead of the Dips because my left elbow has been bothering me. To finish the workout, I added some hammer curls to focus on the forearms and the lower bicep.

Day 5: Shoulders

Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Butterfly.

Example of Dumbbell Side Lateral:

I line up a pair of 50 lbs, 40 lbs, 30 lbs and 20 lbs Dumbbells in a line. I take the first pair (50s) and perform 10 reps, then on the final rep I hold it as high as possible for 10 seconds. When that is finished, I squeeze out one more rep.

After I perform that set, I drop the weight and immediately move on to the 40s and perform 12 reps. Again, on the final rep I hold for 12 seconds and after that I squeeze out one final rep, drop the weight then move on to the 30s. I perform 15 reps then hold for 15 seconds on the final rep as before. Then I perform one last rep then move on to the 20s where I do 20 reps, hold for 20 seconds on the last rep and squeeze out one final last rep. That is set 1, and I take a rest and do that 2 more times.

As I said above, I ditched the Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses for Smith Machine Presses and things are working out very well. I continued doing the crazy side lateral drop-set which I have been able to see some great improvements from.

I like using the Plate Loaded Shoulder Press because the arms are unilateral so I get the dumbbell feeling without the dangerous bells to balance over my head. I really enjoyed the Wide Grip Upright Rows so much on Upper Body day that I decided to add them to my shoulder day as well. I am really starting to enjoy shoulder training and getting that into second gear to make those improvements needed to get to the next level.

Smith Machine Bench Press
Smith Machine Bench Press
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Smith Machine Bench Press
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Smith Machine Bench Press.
Day 6: Calves

This is going to be the exact same as phase 1, but I am sure the numbers will come down a little as I start to lose weight. Deadlifts are one of those exercises that take everything out of you. When you are eating limited calories it is extremely hard to maintain your strength with this exercise but I will do my best.

The Alex Show, Episode #1: Introduction & Back Workout!

In his first video show episode, natural bodybuilder Alex Stewart performs a serious back workout, performing and providing commentary on exercises to increase back thickness, naturally!
Watch More From This Series Here.

Day 7: Chest/Back

I love this workout. It's a little long, but the pump and my intensity are amazing. I like to use a higher rep range in this workout to really pump up the muscles with maximum blood. Back and forth from a chest exercise to back exercises keeps the entire upper body full of blood.

I Like To Use A Higher Rep Range In This Workout To Really Pump Up The Muscles With Maximum Blood
+ Click To Enlarge.
I Like To Use A Higher Rep Range In This Workout To Really Pump Up The Muscles With Maximum Blood.

Day 8: Off

On my 2 off days I usually perform a short Abdominal Workout:


Repeat the cycle again from Day 1.

That is how the training is going to go down. Now it is time to speak about the diet. After all the food I was putting down in phase one I am excited to cut down on the portions. You heard it from me, I am happy to diet. Just like the bulking phase, I take my diet very seriously but I do allow myself to go out to eat with friends. I have to make healthy choices when I eat out, though.

I don't drink or like sweets so that makes things easier, but I love everything else. I do have to make sure I don't go overboard when I am out with friends.

Off Season Diet-Phase 2

I started this Cutting Phase at 220lbs and my goal is 210lbs.

Meal 1: Upon Waking

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5: Pre-Workout

Meal 6: Post-Workout

Meal 7:

The above food comes out to around 3000 Calories. On days that I don't hit the weight I want, I will just get rid of Meal 7.

You Heard It From Me, I Am Happy To Diet
+ Click To Enlarge.
You Heard It From Me, I Am Happy To Diet.

Supplements Cutting Stage-Phase 2

I listed the Protein Powders I take above in my diet. I take my Magnum MultiVitamin from Betancourt Nutrition upon waking and again with meal 4. I take 3 Scoops of Bullnox from Betancourt Nutrition 20 minutes before my workout. I take some BCAA Chewies and Glutamine Chewies from Betancourt Nutrition during the day. I do add a fat burner during this phase, Ripped Juice Extreme from Betancourt Nutrition. It gives me a great energy boost while on limited calories.

Well there you have it, a little glimpse in my Off-Season training during my cutting phase. I am having a blast during this Off-Season and that means great workouts and tons of improvements.

Keep following along to see if I can get myself back down to a lean 210lbs before I make the jump back up in the 220lbs range. As always if you have any questions or comments drop me an email and I will do my best to help you out:

Recommended Articles

Share This Article: