Since turning pro at the 2003 Canadian Championships, where he won the superheavyweight class and the overall title, Frank McGrath hasn’t competed a lot, but his physique is one of the better known in the IFBB ranks. This is due in no small part to the series of Universal Nutrition’s Animal Pak “Journey” advertisements that continue to run in magazines and hang framed on gym walls. As awesome as the physiques of a Phil Heath or Kai Greene are, it’s easy to imagine that these ads featuring McGrath have inspired countless more people to get into the gym and stay there.
“It’s weird to think that,” says McGrath, “because I’m just a normal dude who likes to train. I think a big part of what drew people was the story that went along with each photo. People related to the stuff I wrote, whether it was having problems with a woman, having no money, or being injured.” Everyone’s had those kind of problems, but most guys don’t talk about them. The average bodybuilding video or advertisement depicts a top pro busting his butt in the gym, then cruising around for 24-year-olds in some luxury ride. “There was a time I was poor,” McGrath recalls. “I’ve worked out having to wear the same clothes for days in a row. I remember getting ready for a show, and I had to drink protein powder all day long because I couldn’t afford food. Maybe people read about that, see the images, and think, ‘Hey, he did it, why can’t I?’ ”
Today the Canadian, who calls Toronto home, is targeting his biceps. “When I train arms, I train triceps first because I see them as an area that needs improvement,” explains McGrath. “My biceps and forearms have always responded.” This 5'11", 240-pounder mixes his routine up frequently. Here, we’ll follow him through his latest arm workout to see how he trains his upper limbs.
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