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Hey Ray, thank you!
Ive been there, trust me. Abs have been a stubborn thing for me to develop, but they’re for sure improved this time.
I honestly think it boils down to time, consistency, and maturity in development.
As far as exercises go, I train them fairly low volume, but high frequency. I try to hit 5 sets minimum following cardio on non leg and back days via 2 movements either straight sets or a superset fashion. Off training days I’ll tend to do more excercises and sets. Movements I stick to are lying leg raises, rope crunches, ab rollouts, hanging leg raises/knee raises. 12-15 rep range.
No real scale number that we are seeking. Whatever merits the best look.
<p style=”text-align: right;”>Hey Ben! First off, thank you for all the support you have shown me just through our interaction on social media alone, it really is appreciated!</p>
Because I know you like detailed responses for genuine curiosity…
This 2-day split isn’t something we are particularly programming for a specific reason right now, as we have in the past, rather just a choice as my training partner has to train at a certain time and Matt J trains at a certain time so this gives me opportunity to train with them both during the short time I have left here.
I’ve not incorporated it yet due to us all being able to train our main sessions at the same time this weekend and things are going/progressing well.
But to answer your question in specific, my current split is
Sun Quads, Mon Delts, Tue Arms, Wed Hams, Thurs Off, Fri Chest, Sat Back, Sun Quads
So for this particular one if I were to do double sessions while still keeping the first the same for the sake of my training partners split, if I train chest session 1 I would do delts session 2, back session 1 Arms session 2, and so forth.
First session being primary and second session being a reduction in intensity and nothing to failure, rather just a pump session.
We’ve incorporated them in times past in different ways and splits, and I honestly really enjoy them. If I were home by myself and given the option to do them, I definitely would, and set up the split a bit differently.
And of course being in a prep environment we want to do what’s best for progress sake there and not run me into the ground so we would assess and make judgment calls as needed, which to answer your question about second cardio vs second training there wouldn’t be a need for both.
Hopefully this covers what you’re looking for. It’s not something that needs to be overthought in programming at this time, rather just a choice to enjoy time with people around me and the environments. And base things on how I’m responding.
Antonin – good question
I was fortunate enough to learn and adapt a lot of methods from Matt throughout our entire 5 years together where he trusts me enough to handle my own training – I am forever learning but here is some of my own opinions based on what I’ve learned from him and through experience..
For my back training, well any body part for that matter, movement selection is very important to me in that in my mind I am envisioning how I want my physique/shape/symmetry to look, what movements will target the intended muscle properly, never doing two movements back to back that will hit the exact same area in the same way, and what variation will give me the most bang for my buck.
I credit myself on having a really good mind muscle connection, and making any movement I perform as hard as possible on the muscle itself, so with back in particular I really focus on driving the weight with the intended section of my back that I am emphasising with that movement vs just moving from point a to b. Keeping tension on the muscle throughout the entire ROM, controlled eccentrics, concentrics with intended explosiveness, hard contractions, good stretches and minimal momentum.
For me personally in my back training, I am someone who does not need a lot of upper back/trap emphasis, so I mostly focus on lats and mid back, and secondary upper back.
I have movements I alternate, but A typical back session I like would look something like this
1.Wide Neutral grip pull down OR pull up – really try to initiate lower lats in this by pulling as low as I can while remaining upright and not swinging
2. Bent over smith machine row – I focus on pulling more to my belly button vs high, and eliminate a lot of trap involvment, but still getting some upper back width/thickness work in, while staying as close to parallel to the ground and as strict as I can
3. T bar row – using a close neutral grip handle attachment – again staying as parallel as possible to floor as I can and moving the weight through a contracted back throughout the entire ROM and not my arms
4. Dumbbell Pullover – lying on a bench, I arch pretty hard on these because I really like the connection I can get with my mid back that way and not just my lats
5. Rack Pull – for these I personally prefer right at the knee, and here I initiate my lats and keep them contracted throughout the entire lift and again arch hard at the contraction and allows me to smoke my total mid back and lats and not shrugging weight up with my traps
6. Dead stop single arm row either dumbbell or a plate loaded machine – dead stop reps but not releasing tension
I hope this offers you some insight! Thank you for the question!
Hanna – currently yes, my food stays the same on off days
I know Matts reason has always been due to fueling recovery. However, if I had intra training carbs/pro via a shake, those would be removed on off days.
I think it would boil down to person dependant based on how high calories are and if they’re so high that off days your weight is increasing or you’re just consuming unnessesary amounts for limited activity, then I think a decrease on off days whilst still consuming enough for recovery, would have its place.
Matt can weigh in on his thoughts!
Hey guys! Sorry to those that may not like lengthy videoes lol that one turned out longer than expected, whoops!
For the most part, yes my training stays relatively the same as in I have some main movements that I keep in each session via heavy straight sets / rest pause sets. If I change anything it would be just another variation of the same lift, but overall my total volume and effort remains the same. Train as heavy as I can within my given rep range, bring the intensity, and go to muscular failure. I’m all about getting the most out of every rep/set/day and whatever merits the best session in that moment! I can get more into depth on my thought process behind training in a future video!
Joe – I will make a post as soon as they are available!
Thank you all for the comments and even those of you who have reached out to me via Instagram messages in regards to this. The support really is appreciated and I look forward to sharing this process with you all as something that isn’t just a single Olympia prep, but something Matt and I have been working at approaching 5 years now.
If you have any questions at all regarding me, please feel free to ask them, or even if I trigger a thought in your mind through something I say in a video, by all means share it!