Getting It Right

Words: Kerry DULIN

Every leg workout has squats as the core lift. If you have access to Manta Rays, cambered bars, oversize bars, bands, and/or chains, feel free to use them. If not, the good, old fashioned full squats work fine.

You’ll find front squats, reverse squats, box squats, etc., throughout this workout schedule, and where you see any of those variations, especially box squats, do box squats.

Box squats are performed to below parallel and you must ensure that you do them properly. We use good mornings as the supplemental movement for every leg workout, and for most back workouts —

these are critical to back and leg development and strength. The sets and reps may vary from workout to workout. Yet, the exercise is crucial to your success on this programme. A lot of trainers don’t espouse leg extensions and leg curls: if you have a glute/ham machine, use it instead of leg curls, and if you’re not going to do leg extensions, replace leg extensions with kneeling body raises.

You’ll also see that most non-leg workouts also contain a squat/lunge section. In the process of performing this routine, I felt that when I took a rest day, it often became too long between squat workouts, so I added some. Essentially, if I perform a leg day, then I take a day off, and when I come back, I’ll do the chest workout and the squat/lunge routine as well. I won’t do one on back day, because squats are right around the corner the next day. I don’t do squats two days in a row, but I don’t let five days go by between squat workouts either.

I have shoulder workouts paired with legs, so that the nine workout rotation includes three shoulder workouts. Keep in mind that your shoulders get a lot of work anyway; so, if your shoulders are telling you they’re tired, let them rest. Note when you performed less than you expected, so the next time through you’re not expecting miracles out of your shoulders.

On chest and triceps day, you don’t see a lot of triceps specific movements. The reason for that is pretty simple. Like shoulders, triceps get a lot of work in most chest movements. Once you’ve done the recommended workouts for three rotations, and if you really feel that you need more triceps workout, add an exercise, or two, and see how it goes. I include lat work on chest day, as the lats are such huge supporting muscles for the chest that they simply need to be worked as antagonistic movement when the chest is warm and worked as well.

Back workouts include biceps. This makes sense as both muscle groups involve pulling motions, and the heavy back work is supported by arm strength. There are lots of lat pulls and rows here as well. The back strength increases I have seen and I won’t fail to continue to use them in my routines. I really believe that forearms in general routines get enough work without specialising them. In strength and power routines, however, the amount of work the back gets in dead lift movements is dependent on grip strength, which, in turn, is determined by forearm power. So, do your forearm work.

Make sure you critique your workouts. For supplemental and auxiliary work, don’t sweat adding weight every time. Concentrate on getting all the sets and all the reps. If the time comes that it truly feels easy, then go up a small way. We’re not really interested in how much you can curl; we’re interested in making sure your biceps can support the grip that holds the bar with the 600lb weight that the back is capable of dead-lifting.

We don’t care about how much you leg curl. We are interested in making sure the hamstrings can support the quads that are capable of squatting 700lb. We don’t care how much you French press. We are interested in making sure the triceps can support the pecs when you bench that 400lb.

KERRY DULIN, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition at 41. Now 62, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has what he calls ‘a manageable programme,’ 12+ top trophies to show for his fitness endeavours and a brace of health and fitness websites. He lives in the US [This article is published by special permission from the author. ©Kerry Dulin].

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