Olympia Training Seminar with the 212 Showdown Champ


SISSY SQUAT STATS: 3–4 sets, 15–20 reps

■ Lewis’ Take: “The sissy squat is a pretty difcult exercise to nail, but once you’ve got the motion going, it burns deep. It’s an exercise that you probably will use every other workout once you learn it.”

■ Do It Right: Lewis has two different options to choose from he prefers the sissy squat station (as shown in the photos), but his coach, Neil Hill, introduced him to a free-standing alternative that does well in a pinch. “Neil has me hold a weight plate or dumbbell with both hands, arms straight and 90 degrees from my body,” he explains. “I lean slightly back and squat down. The weight I’m holding acts as a counterbalance.” For the squatapparatus-aided version, Lewis simply locks his legs into the supports and leans back while squatting as deep as he can go before bringing himself back upright.

■ Intensity Tip: “Just drive hard from the bottom, through your legs, and push for failure. Rest for a breather at the top to get more total reps per set. This exercise is a mental test of will.”


ONE-LEG SQUAT STATS: 3 sets, 15–20 reps per leg

■ Lewis’ Take: “This exercise really finishes the job—that’s it, mate. Call it a day.”

■ Do It Right: This move is similar to the quad stretches Lewis performs at the beginning of his workouts, but with one key difference: foot placement. Facing away from a flat bench a fair distance away, he places one leg up and back so that the top of his foot rests on the bench. What’s a fair distance? “My mistake when I was first learning this exercise was that my front leg wasn’t far enough away from the bench,” he says. “You have to put the leading leg far out and not keep it underneath your body. It’ll be scary at first because it’s outside of your comfort zone. Usually when you squat, your legs are directly under your torso. But having it out ahead of you means you get a maximum stretch and drive on that working leg.” From a standing position, you’ll bend your front knee as you drop your hips straight down your lead knee should reach at least 90 degrees before reversing to a leg-straight position. Repeat for reps, then switch legs.

■ Intensity Tip: Although Lewis doesn’t recommend doing so until you’ve mastered the form, you can hold a weight plate at your chest, or dumbbells at your side, for added resistance.

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