Futebol—aka soccer—is not just the national sport of Brazil— it’s the national obsession. The youngest of two boys, Brazilian native Eduardo Correa excelled at soccer and earned his way onto a prestigious teenage team. When he began toiling with weights to improve his futebol fitness, he realized quickly he liked barbells more than checkered balls. Naturally strong, he competed as a powerlifter. And, when his rapidly expanding musculature slowed his quickness, he gave up the soccer pitch for the gym. At 19, he entered and won his first bodybuilding contest, and his future came into focus.
Despite his youthful foray into powerlifting, hoisting the heaviest metal was never a priority for Correa. From the beginning, weights were only a means to an end. He wanted to be a bodybuilder. “Don’t worry about the amount of weight,” he says. “Keep the focus on getting a full stretch and contraction. Your strength will improve with time.” His reps vary, depending on the exercise, but he almost never goes under 10, and he sometimes goes as high as 20 on a routine’s final set.
As for the three powerlifts, typically the only one Correa still does with a barbell is the squat. But you would never confuse this for a “power lift.” He prefers to squat (for sets of 12) last in his quad routine, after his legs are pre-exhausted with other exercises. This limits the number of plates he can use, and it allows him to better target his quads. He does bench presses with dumbbells or a machine (for sets of 12 to 15). And, because his back depth is superb, he seldom needs to deadlift. Nevertheless, he explains the “bodybuilder way” of pulling deads, which helped thicken his rear shots nearly seven years ago. “Too many people just pull,” he says. “I always focus on contracting my scapula back from start to finish to target more my inner back.”
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