September Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding In September

September Bodybuilding

Here we are in September, the Mr. O is around the corner and do we really wonder who is going to win? Bodybuilding has come so far but we still have a long way to go. Team IB Liftin wants to rally the fans, weekend warriors, the hardcore gym rats, and all who are interested in the iron game to do what we can to improve the sport of bodybuilding. We need to start from the ground up. The sport seems to be split between the natural athlete, the supplemented athlete, and the everyday person just trying to improve. Team Ib Liftin says we are all on the same team. We all must eat right, train with intensity, and have the discipline to keep coming back to the gym.

Whether you are a power lifter doing sets of three’s or a bodybuilder doing sets of fifteen we should pull for each other and help each other reach our own potential. Lets stop trying to beat each other and start trying to improve our own game.

This article is going to outline a sample program to help “all” improve their size, shape, and conditioning. This program is divided up into five weight workouts per week.

  • Monday is quads & hams
  • Tuesday is chest & abs
  • Wednesday is arms & calves
  • Thursday is back
  • Friday is shoulders & traps

The barbell will become your best friend. The concept for this program is power movements with the barbell first; every supporting exercise is only to make the first power movement stronger.

Day One: LEGS

We start with the big daddy of them all SQUATS!

The first exercise each day will be your one power movement. You will do 5 sets and the reps for your first exercise will be 15, 12, 8, 6, and 3.

“When we squat we squat to the BUCKET.” Start with a weight you can handle for 15 reps then on each consecutive set go up ten pounds. The key to this entire program is this; if you can handle 80% of your reps without a spot then you go up 5 pounds the next workout. If you go up in one set you go up in all sets.

Our next exercise is:

Barbell Lunges. Do 4 sets of 8 reps. If you can do more than 8 reps the weight is too light. You will do 4 sets of 8 reps with the same weight. If you do 80% of all reps and sets without a spot then go up 5lbs next week.

Now on to Hamstrings, first exercise is:

Stiff Leg Dead Lifts. Same program as squats, 5 sets, 15 reps, 12, 8, 6, and 3 going up ten pounds on each set.

Next we will do:

Lying Leg curls 4 sets of eight reps. Same rule applies if you can do more than 8 reps go up in weight. If you do 80% of all your sets and reps then go up 5lbs next work out.

Now our last exercise is:

Leg Extensions. We save this for last because we really want to fill the legs with as much blood, oxygen, and nutrients as possible. Do 3 sets with 15 reps, on your 4th and final set do a triple drop set, going to failure on each drop set. As soon as you are done stand up and flex your quads for 60 seconds take 120 seconds rest in between each flexing set. Do 3 flexing sets total.

Along with this your nutrition is 75% of your entire program. So get some help and eat to win.

You are a champ, why you say, because you are a doer not a couch potato. Be the best you can be, always get better, always do more reps or more weight, never stay in the same place. In this life we either get better or worse, you will never stay the same.

We want to unite all people interested in improving their physique. TeamDixon will be writing articles that will help you on your way to your dream physique. Our next article will cover chest and abs.  Any questions or comments please feel free to e-mail us anytime; if we can help we would love to. As always have a great day and an even better workout.

Chest Day

Building a massive chest

Arnold Side Chest

Now it is time to talk about the mighty chest! Who doesn’t want a massive chest or at least a strong sexy one? If you don’t want a slab of beef on your chest or at least an impressive chest stop reading, NOW. O.K. if you are still with us let’s get down to business and build some huge pectorals (called “pecs”) Every pushing movement, especially in sports require a strong chest.

You have probably heard it, “that to build a great chest, you need to do incline bench press.” That is true, but I have never seen a guy who could flat bench press 500lb with a small chest. So with that said this program centers around the flat bench press.

A few pointers on your bench press form:

#1 Have your feet planted firmly on the ground and do not move them at all during the movement.

#2 Arch your back as much as possible; you should be able to see daylight between the bench and your lower back, keep legs tight while pressing your heels in the floor, and chest high – Always.

#3 The bar should touch the highest point of your chest on each rep, furthermore the bar should travel in the exact line each and every rep, the more you have to stabilize the bar the more strength you lose.

#4 Tighten up your stomach, it will help stabilize your body.

#5 Finally, your entire body should be flexed and tight. As you bring the bar down take a huge breath, pause at the bottom, and hold your breath as you push the bar up, exploding off the chest and extending at arms length. Exhale at the top of the movement and repeat.

#6 Always use a spotter.

 

Day Two: Chest & Abs

As always we start with our power movement, which is the flat bench press. You will do 5 sets and the reps as always for your first exercise will be 15, 12, 8, 6, and 3 adding weight each set. It is ideal to add twenty total pounds on each progressive set. As a beginner you might start with five or ten pound increments, it depends on you strength level. If you can handle 80% of all your reps and sets with no spot then go up five total pounds the next week. Once again if you go up on one set you go up on all sets. One of the keys to this program is finding the right weight increments. Take a few weeks to dial in the right poundage’s for yourself. It will make all the difference in the world.

Note: You can emphasize your pectorals more if your elbows are away from your sides on the movement.

 

The second exercise will be the incline dumbbell press.

Pick a weight you can handle for eight-reps. Do four sets of eight reps.. Make sure you go all the way down with your dumbbell presses; you should almost touch your shoulders squeezing at the top.

 

The third exercise will be incline flies.

You will do three sets of fifteen reps. On this exercise we want to really stretch the pecs out. Just because it is flies does not mean it should be light. If you can do more than fifteen reps then you need to add more weight.

 

We will finish the chest off with two sets of push-ups to failure flexing the pecs in between each set. Flex your pecs for 60 seconds then rest for 120 seconds and repeat.

 

Before we get into the ab workout let’s clear up a few myths first and foremost, and list the abdominal functions.

Myth #1 Crunches or any other abdominal exercise will give you a 6- pack.

Truth: The key to accomplishing a 6 – pack is losing body fat, not ab exercises.

Myth #2 A 6 – pack means that you have strong abs.

Truth: Wrong, Wrong, And Wrong. A Strong abdominal is strong with fat or without fat.

Myth #3 Abdominal muscles are different then the other muscles.

Truth: Abdominal muscles are like any other muscle and you must work every part of your torso for complete fitness – including your back.

Myth #3 – Anyone can achieve washboard abs.

Truth: Not everyone will achieve washboard abs – genetics play an important role.

Abdominal Functions:

  1. Stabilizes – Creating a good posture for your bench press.
  2. Strong abs and Back are crucial for preventing lower back injury and pain.
  3. Everything we do, walking, bending, standing, reaching, and lifting involves abs and back.

Keep the Core Strong

If these exercises are too easy: Pay attention to your form

Abs should be done at-least two to three times a week. With this program you will only do abs on chest day. This way you are sure to include them each and every week. Along with this there are many ab classes and fun ways to train your abs. Now to our ab exercises:

This is to be done as a giant set; lay down on your back and place your hands flat down by your sides and do reverse crunches, this exercise is exactly like crunches, except your knees come toward your face instead of your face going toward your knees. Your hips should barely come off the floor while flexing your lower abdomen. Do fifteen reps. Immediately place your hands across your chest leaving your feet and knees up and do fifteen regular crunches, don’t try to raise your lower back off the floor. Instead, simply crunch your trunk by pulling your ribs toward your hips.

Without stopping do fifteen reverse crunches super setting with fifteen regular crunches.

Take sixty seconds rest and repeat this three times.

Remember: You should be exhaling and tightening your abdominal for the entire movement on every contraction.

Stick with trunk flexion movements for effective abdominal training (crunches and reverse crunches)

IFBB

IFBB Stories from 2000

99 Mr Olympia

One day after the 2001 Mr. Olympia, Shawn Ray was already putting his money where his mouth is. At the conclusion of a fiery exchange between competitors and judges, Shawn boldly stated, “I challenge the IFBB to pay All the athletes an appearance fee for qualifying to compete in the largest bodybuilding show in history!”

See, not since 1988, has every bodybuilder in the Mr. Olympia received a paycheck for qualifying and competing in the Main Event. That year everyone received $1,000.00 just for showing up. This would be Shawn’s first Mr. Olympia as a rookie 22 year old, as he would go to place an auspicious 13th place.

Fast-forward 14 years to the year 2002:

At the recent Night of Champions in New York City on May 18th, Shawn Ray and Shari Kamali would be Co-M/C’s for the event with 3,000 screaming New Yorkers in attendance and a bodybuilding field of approximately 29 competitors. Included in the audience were notables like Flex Wheeler, Dexter Jackson, Dennis James, Chris Cormier, and Dorian Yates!

The irony of these notable stars in attendance is that they were all there to contribute donations of prize money for the 2002 Mr. Olympia that had been raised by none other than Shawn Ray himself! After the press conference of the 2001 Mr. Olympia, Shawn drew first blood by vocally taking a stand for his fellow competitors regarding issues like;

New Judges, Rotating Judges, Judges showing their individual scores, Instituting Computerized Scoring, as well as everyone in the contest receiving prize money!

Now, Shawn brings to the contest in New York checks from the afore mentioned athletes to the tune of $12,500.00 and promising another $12,500.00 Olympia weekend for a total contribution of $25,000.00 towards the athletes not in the top 10 of the Mr. Olympia!

Shawn begins to inform the packed house of the goings on in the industry when he clearly and eloquately states:

“I have just been informed by the Pro Division President, Mr. Wayne DeMilia, that the IFBB and Powers that be have refused the monetary contribution of$25,000.00 from the pro athletes. I had $5,000.00 dollar contributions from 6-Time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, Kevin Levrone, Chris Cormier and myself along with $2,500.00 dollar contributions from Dexter Jackson and Dennis James. They are all here to present the checks but with the refusal to accept the additional money, there is nothing they can do. However, this is only the beginning for me, the fight has just begun!”

A chorus of boo’s poured from the auditorium, as the show began to take shape. Shawn was over heard stating at a seminar the day before that he was going to be taking an affirmative stand towards the way things have been handled by the federation. Also, he stated that and those people running things needed checks and balances to ensure the integrity of the sport so he can look out for the athletes coming up behind him because they will one day be the future of bodybuilding. Strong words from one of the sports most consistent bodybuilders in the world!

This refusal of the prize money certainly raised a few eye brows, as well as a few questions like:

Why would the IFBB not accept the prize money, which surely would be a tax right off for the athletes and more prize money for the show?

How can the sport move forward if the federation refuses the athletes to work within the structure of the organization?

Who benefits from the prize money being rejected by the federation, surely not the athletes placing below 10th ?

Finally, what is the difference if the money came from competing athletes as opposed to former athletes, the money is still green isn’t it?

Now, this is where we have to ask ourselves as fans, “Do they really think we are that stupid to believe that only 10 of these guys are deserving of prize money when we all know the Parking Valet, Security Guards, Ticket Takers and Ushers are getting paid for their time during the event?”

These pro’s put people in seats, they are the reason the sponsors contribute money for booth space and why fans fly from all over the world to support them. Not everyone is here to see Ronnie Coleman win consecutive Mr. Olympia titles, no offence to Ronnie but it is true! Gunther Schlierkamf has a strong following and is a huge hit in Europe! Mike Matarazzo has a zillion fans that pay to see him compete! Are you telling me that 5-Time Masters Mr. Olympia Champion Vince Taylor didn’t have at least 20 people there to see him at an average ticket cost of $200.00! Do the math!

All the athletes have fans buying tickets to the show to see them compete therefore, all of them should get paid for competing!
This is where and why professional bodybuilding holds itself back. Simply put, the federation has a hard time dealing with free thinking athletes like Shawn because in the long run someone who can organize a thought and raise money for a cause could ultimately wind up becoming a threat to the industry as we know it. There is no Union in professional bodybuilding because every good idea coming from one of the athletes gets shot down without reason or explanation! I say fight on Shawn and continue to rattle the Chains of Change! The idea and the support of your peers are sure to be heard, as they have not fallen on deaf ears! The purpose of paying these hard training, sacrificing bodybuilders is noble.

In a Billion dollar industry you would think by now that the guy in last place should be getting a minimum of $10,000.00 and the Mr. Olympia would be the Million Dollar Man!

If this sport is to be taken seriously by the world, then I say,

“Pony up the money and let Cream rise to the TOP!”

Legs for bodybuilders

Legs how to get them

Squat

If you want bigger legs, plain and simple, YOU HAVE TO SQUAT. Sure we’ve all had our grueling workouts with leg-extensions and leg-presses; but squats are the king, and will always be the king of all leg exercises. Besides their potential for building leg size and strength, squats produce an overall anabolic effect by increasing muscle mass throughout the entire body. Squats improve coordination, motor skills, and increase metabolic rate. Anyway you look at it- SQUATS RULE!!!


Some people avoid the squat altogether because they have a misconception that it’s a dangerous exercise. A popular excuse for not squatting is, “it’s hard on the knees.” The truth of the matter is there is no greater exercise for the rehabilitation of the knees than the squat, which, when properly done, is extremely safe and very productive. Go light on the poundages if you have to. Keep the bend of the knees shallow at first, if you must, but avoiding the exercise altogether would be completely stupid. So now, hopefully, I’ve established that squats are the superior leg exercise.


Let’s take a look at some of the mechanics involved in squatting. Squatting with and overly wide stance, leaning forward on the descent, and buckling the knees all contribute to bad form and injury. To squat correctly and safely, you must keep everything loose, this includes the shoulders. Work on developing flexibility through the back and hamstrings, and you’ll be surprised how much your squat can improve. The wrong squat stance is a common fault. To do the squat correctly, the feet should be spaced at the width of your shoulders, flare your toes outward just a little, keep your back straight and slightly arched, and your head upright. As you descend, concentrate on keeping your chest high. Keep a steady tempo on the way down and on the way up. Don’t pause or bounce from the bottom position. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, NO SISSY SQUATS! Come back up in one smooth motion. As you return upward, think of your shoulders pulling slightly backward. This mental image will avoid the tendency to slump forward. This is your perfect squat.

Tom Platz Squating


The next topic we will discuss is squatting myths. What one expert swears to, another rejects. A lot of experts will give their opinion with no facts. I just received my PRO CARD, and not too many people can say that. I will give you my opinion. There is a lot of misconception between the front squat vs. the back squat. Some insist that the front squat will encourage more growth within the quads, but I don’t think there is any evidence as to why this would be so. The legs are still straining in the same direction regardless of where the bar is placed. Front squats do produce more pain, but not in the legs! Forearms, clavicles and the rotator cuffs all take a beating when the bar is placed in front of the body. The next misconception to discuss is on the matter of knee wraps. Unless you’re planning to do a one-rep max, leave the wraps at home. They allow you to lift heavier, but in doing so, they put excessive pressure on the knees, causing abrasion and erosion between the vastus medialis and the patella. DO NOT USE KNEE WRAPS!!!
Some enthusiasts believe elevating the heels on a plate may produce greater growth in the lower front quads. It will to a degree, alleviate some of the stress from the glutes, and less glute recruitment equals more quad activity. Elevating the heels will stress the knees and compromise balance. For the nominal benefits the practice produces, the drawbacks make it seem hardly worthwhile.


I would estimate that lifting belts could be seen on 75% of the lifters in the gyms throughout the U.S. I believe that they may do more harm than good, in that the belt can dig into the ribs, causing a tear in the pleura membrane. A lifting belt can also restrict breathing. I would advise to only use a lifting belt if you have or have had a back injury, or if you are going heavy, otherwise, a belt may weaken your back.


The final topic I will discuss is the Smith Machine squat. This exercise is inferior to a free-style squat because the machine balances the weight for you, removing many of the assisting stabilizer muscles from the equation. One advantage of using the Smith Machine is you can use much heavier weight with relative safety. Much the same can be said for the leg-press and the hack squat machine. Both can help your overall leg development, but we’re talking raw leg power, not supplementary leg exercises.


I personally think legs are the toughest and most grueling body part to train, and there is no tougher exercise than the squat. Use the wrong form, and squats can result in too much pain for too little result. Done correctly, people might just be calling you “Quadzilla” with time.