Olympia Prep (2 of 3)
Wassup muscle nerds!
In an attempt to avoid the boring complacency of a typical blog, I try to add a little value into each of my blogs by giving you something you can USE.
This week, my favorite HIIT cardio regiment.( well, second to Wingates, but they weren’t an option in Venice).
First things first.
I was sitting around 293 when I got to Venice at 5 weeks out. My mood was perfect, energy was great, and I was pumped to work with the man again, Charles Glass. I arrived to Venice on a Sunday and got right to work first thing Monday morning.
I woke up to a view of the pacific ocean and Venice Beach, a bodybuilders dream.
I decided to make Monday leg day because I had missed legs on Saturday due to a guest posing. 8am comes and im sitting in my favorite chair… the leg extension! Venice has a great cybex eagle piece that faces the door that usually serves as a warm up for my leg sessions. I wasted no time and got straight to work. 8am can be a social hour in Venice Golds if you let it. Its quite busy and everyone wants to chat about the previous night, especially on Mondays. So, on go the headphones and to work I go.
The reason im telling this story is because what happened next set the stage for an awesome workout. Charles walks up and says “lets go!” I hadn’t planned to meet Charles that day, but when he saw me stroll in, he told his next client that he had double booked by accident and headed straight over to start the workout with me.
As if that didn’t get me a whole lot more motivated for legs, the man whose name is synonymous with greatness was then also standing right behind me as well….Arnold! One word…..BOOM! Needless to say, legs were crushed and I couldn’t see nor stand when I left the gym that morning.
The next few weeks went smoothly. Every workout with Charles was building on the last. I was getting better and better each day. Confidence was growing and Charles, who is a very quiet man most of the time, was getting excited.
At this point I was doing HIIT Cardio in the evening, 20-30 mins, and 40-50mins of cardio in the morning (either after meal one, or after weight training depending on the bodypart).
My HIIT regiment of choice was:
Level 5- 5 mins(warm up)
Level 6- 3 mins
Level 7- 2 mins
Level 8- -2mins
Level 9- 1 min
Level 10- 1 mins
Level 11- 1min
Then drop back to level 6 and repeat 2-3times. The 2nd and 3rd times through I would usually start at a higher level(level 7) and go one level higher on the top end as well(12).
This was one of the simple techniques I used that seemed to work well because of the massive accumulation of lactic acid in the last few minutes. It sucks!
I used this method every other time I did HIIT. The other HIIT days were the typical 1min high, 2-3mins low and repeat.
By 3 weeks out I was right on target and just needed to tighten up a few more lbs.
Things were looking better than ever.
For anyone that has ever competed at a very high level at anything, you know that as the event approaches your mind is in constant pursuit of a way to be “just a little better”, work just a little more, eat just a little less, be just a little more perfect.
I think I got caught up in this mental struggle and wanted to be just a little extra shredded for the Olympia. Instead of just working a little harder like I normally would. I decided I would drop the carbs a bit. Well, being a large guy to begin with, my body needs calories to train. The issue I have is that im very stubborn. I can run on literal fumes for weeks and still have all the energy I need for amazing workouts. Especially when im training with the legend, Charles Glass.
Sounds like a good thing, but sometimes has become my downfall. I drop the carbs/cals a little too low and flatten right out. It can sometimes take days to recover from over depleting. Since taking time off is not an option, and neither is really high calorie days when youre approaching two weeks from the Olympia, you suck it up and hope your body holds on and doesn’t get too tired/depleted.
Well, im not 100% sure, but this may have been the exact case. I just wasn’t able to load as well once the final week came around. My body didn’t fill out the way it typically did.
As far as training goes for the last 5 weeks, I did 2x/day weight sessions about 4 times a week, and double cardio the other days. Since my condo was about 5 blocks from the gym, getting in there 3 times a day was just a matter of a little stroll down the road.
For those of you wondering how heavy I train going into the last few weeks before a contest, the answer is as heavy as I can handle while using only “safe” exercises.
No heavy squats or deads. Although, I did do both, just lighter toward the end of the workout and less often. The main consideration to keep in mind at that point is that you simply don’t have the calories to build muscle. The goal is to stimulate, volumize, squeeze in some extra hardness and detail, while burning calories and stimulating protein synthesis. Save the hard, muscle building stuff for the offseason.
Ive been getting numerous emails a day asking me to blog more often, give you guys more valuable information you can actually use. Well, im happy to do so, just make sure you take the time to comment below so I know what you think, what you want to see, and that youre actually reading them.
Also, take a minute to use those MEDIA SHARE buttons. The more people we get following the blog, the more likely I am to do them all the time. Supply and demand peeps
Love and focus,