Let’s face it… Everyone wants to look good but the science and origin of Bodybuilding came from necessity. Whether it was the need to be stronger and faster to feed the village or protect your family, Bodybuilding was derived from athletics. Time to take the blinders off from your 4 sets of 12 bro reps and get into the real methods of past and modern science. Strength, Speed and Conditioning are many of the small details to be covered with the end all being one Jack3d and Shredded freak who not only looks strong, but plays the part as well!
For most Bodybuilders, unless they are in contest prep, 99.9% of training sessions are focused around Muscular Hypertrophy. Muscular Hypertrophy, better known as tissue enlargement, is stimulated from force output resulting in those thick muscle bellies and crazy striated glutes! What is the best way to develop force output you might ask? Absolute Strength training! Many of the greatest and largest Bodybuilders started in humble beginnings within the Athletic realm and maintained their progressions throughout their lifetime. Big Ron squatted 800, not because it got there by working 4 sets of 8-12… he earned it by training like an athlete! The key foundation to an athletic program is a consistent Strength progression of main movements such as Squat, Bench and in today’s case Deadlift! One of the most dominant movements in weight training, the Deadlift is largely a complex movement with huge emphasis on posterior and back engagement developing both Glute/Ham as well as Lumbar Spine, and Thoracic Tissues.
Moving down the chain, Absolute Strength movements such as the ‘Big 3’ provide the force but as an athlete it’s just as important to work the isolated tissues as much as it is to work complex movements. This may start to look a bit more familiar, as bodybuilders derived a majority of the smaller tissue work from overall assistance work done by athletes to help strengthen weaknesses and build solid joint foundations. Seeing as how our main movement is a rather full bodied movement with a “back half” emphasis, our next breakdown is going to focus on the Athlete’s Thoracic region. To do this, it’s time to break out the Tried and True with some Bent Over Rows, Forward Head Shrugs and Pull Ups (Cable/Band Pull Downs if Pullups aren’t possible). Key being with pullups being the exception, these are performed free-standing and Bilateral with Dumbbells. Why do we do this? An athlete is only as strong as their spine, and maintaining and forcing neutrality keeps the core strong and spine healthy.
Lastly, not a single athletic program would be complete without conditioning to keep you lean, build cardiovascularity and strengthen you even more. With appropriate application of conditioning, we not only get faster but stronger as well utilizing heavy loads or fast movements. Because Deadlift is a Posterior Chain and Core dominant movement, it would only be fitting to get in some solid distance sprints. Sprinting for distances and for time improvement with integrated rest periods applies that force we talked about before, develops your lactic acid threshold and VO2 max improving recovery and allowing you to train harder, and also forces spinal bracing for a stronger and more defined core.
Here’s what it looks like in Workout Form:
Jack3d of All Trades | Day 1
70% 5x3 w/ pause at knee
Bench Supported Bent Over Row 5x20 (20 being difficult)
Forward Head Shrug 3x20 (20 being logical for neutral spine)
Banded Lat Pulldown 100 reps (Slow Tempo at moderate weight)
100m Sprint for Time x 10 (Rest 30 sec btwn each)
As you can see, very simple but very effective. Utilizing all basic principles of overall performance. With appropriate application of nutrition and recovery can result in some massive back and glute gains!!
Written by Rob Saeva of No Coast Strength and Conditioning
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