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Hardcore Bodybuilding Training Workouts

By Frank Pinto

Everyone I know says they train "hard core". Well, having trained in gyms from the east coast to the west coast and having worked personally with Mike Mentzer and other pros, I must say I see very few people training hardcore. We've all got the same guys in our gyms, you know them, you may be one of them. We see them year after year doing the same weights and being the same size. Ouch, that's gotta hurt! If I were going to be the same size and strength every year, I'd take up bowling. I saw a guy in the gym where I do personal training, he must have had at least 12-inch arms -maybe- and he was doing biceps. I watched in amazement, he did more sets and more exercises in this workout than I do in month. Now, granted I'm no famous bodybuilder, just a 53-year-old guy who works his ass off, but I do have 19-inch arms, cold.

If you want to grow, if you want to get stronger, there are certain things you must do. In this article we're only going to talk about one item. That is the Hard Core workout. At some other time I'll go into the importance of correct exercise form.

Okay, first off, if you're going to train hard you CANNOT train long. You are either a marathon runner or a sprinter, not both. So let's assume you are a bodybuilder, after all, you are reading Jon's newsletter. As a bodybuilder you should have two goals, that is to get big and get strong. Before we get into the actual workout, remember, size comes from getting stronger. The biggest guys are the strongest ones for the most part. Ronnie Coleman, who's bigger? God maybe. The guy can dead lift 700 without straps! That's not a typo. Dorian Yates, if you've never seen him work out, do yourself a big favor and buy "Blood and Guts", it's well worth the price of admission. To see Dorian at 300 lbs., handling the weights like he does, is inspiring. We're not going to get into all the factors of strength and power lifting vs. bodybuilding, but as a rule if you want to get bigger you had best get stronger.

Ready to work? Lets start with chest and biceps. We're going to be using the one set to failure method, a method that will produce results and yet is misunderstood by almost everyone. Let's start with incline presses either on a machine or free bar. I like to use a Hammer incline press, so I'll give you my routine. I put a 45-lb. plate on each side and do about 15 reps. Rest about 2 or 3 minutes and do it again. Next I'll add another 45-lb. plate for 15 reps. Now I'm warmed up and ready to work. Load it up to 410 for my work set. I tell my partner I want to do a rest pause set until negative failure. My first rep feels like I made a mistake, man, it's heavy. I keep the pace at about a three second negative with a pause and squeeze at the top and a pause at the bottom. At rep 5, I'm sure I'm through, but I know my partner is going to work me harder. So I dig down deep and come up with 3 more clean reps. The ninth rep will not go, my partner helps me get it up and I do a 5 second negative, not a 5 count, but 5 SECONDS! I put the weight down and count 15 seconds, my partner helps me get the first one up and I do 5-second negative. I manage to get the next one by myself and do a 5 second negative. A third rep won't go, so my partner helps and I do a 5-second negative. Rest 15 more seconds and go again. Partner helps get it up and I do a 5-second negative. Partner helps get the next one up and my 5-second negative turns into a 1-second negative; I can't even slow it down. I'm done, end of exercise.

The next exercise is Hammer Wide Chest done in the same manner. Except we only need one warm up set. Next some incline flies with 90 lb. dumbbells. No rest pause here, just failure and some forced reps. Last one is the fly machine because you can get a super contraction on this. Again one warm up then one set to failure with a forced rep or two. If you do it correctly, you cannot do rest pause on every set, every work out. You'll be over trained in a very short time.

Chest is spent, 4 work sets, that's all folks. If you can do more you weren't trying hard enough.

Now biceps. Start off with dumbbell curls, a couple of warm up sets. Then grab the 60's, being sure to keep the reps slow and controlled with no swinging or kicking. Again the negative part is very important, keep it at about a 3 second negative. I hit failure at about 8 reps and my partner helps me get 2 more. That one's over, all done. Next exercise, Hammer machine curls. No warm up is necessary. Put on 100 lbs. and do one arm to failure, again keeping the reps slow and controlled. 9 reps is all she wrote on this one…RIP. Next is one arm dumbbell curls over the straight side of the preacher bench, nothing fancy. By now don't have much left, ego wants to use 50's, however 35 lb. dumbbells seems to be a better idea. 11 reps to failure. I'm done, outta here, through, finished.

That's it 7 exercises one set of each. Doesn't seem like a lot, but it will kick your butt and make you grow. Next time we'll do back. That will be real FUN.


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