Contest Prep 101, Part 1

An effective protocol for getting your body ready for competition.

 TRAINING 

The goal when preparing for a contest is to keep every ounce of muscle you worked so hard to accrue during the off-season. In order to accomplish this, you must continue to train intensely but also vary your methods so that you are stimulating every pathway responsible for hypertrophy. At 12 weeks from a competition, I normally begin utilizing a workout protocol I developed around the year 2000, known around the globe as Power/Rep Range/Shock, or P/RR/S for short. While I cannot go into detail in this article about the specifics of this program and why it is so effective, I can provide you actual sample workouts that can be used for the first four weeks of prep. I should mention that you can change the exercises from the ones I list below when necessary, but make sure to stick to the rep range, rep tempos, rest periods, and basic structure. Weeks 12 to 9 will have you training in the first phase of P/RR/S: power. 

CONTEST PREP WEEKLY WORKOUT

 MONDAY 


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  • CHEST
    • Flat Dumbbell Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Smith Machine Incline Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Incline Dumbbell Flye | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
  • BICEPS
    • Alternating Dumbbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/1/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Preacher Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
  • FOREARMS
    • Seated Barbell Wrist Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Hammer Curl | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 2-3 min.
  • ABS
    • Seated Crunch Machine or Cable Crunch | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Lying Straight-Leg Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: Max | TEMPO: 3/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.

 TUESDAY 

  • QUADS
    • Leg Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Hack Squat | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 4 min.
    • Single-Leg Leg Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 4 min.
  • HAMSTRINGS
    • Seated Leg Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Single-Leg Lying Leg Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
  • CALVES
    • Calf Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 2-3 min.

 THURSDAY 

  • BACK
    • Cable Row (underhand grip) | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Wide-Grip Pullup | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • T-Bar Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/X | REST: 4 min.
    • Deadlift | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 4 min.
  • ABS
    • Weighted Hanging Bent-Leg Hip Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Weighted Incline Situp | SETS: 2 | REPS: 10-12 | TEMPO: 3/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.

 FRIDAY 

  • SHOULDERS
    • Seated Bent Rear Dumbbell Lateral | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Seated Dumbbell Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3-4 min.
    • Barbell Upright Row | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
  • TRAPEZII
    • Barbell Shrug | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/1/X | REST: 3 min.
  • TRICEPS
    • Incline Overhead Dumbbell Extension | SETS: 4 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 4/0/X | REST: 3 min.
    • Weighted Triceps Dip | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 3/0/X | REST: 3 min.
  • CALVES
    • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.
    • Standing Calf Raise | SETS: 2 | REPS: 4-6 | TEMPO: 2/0/1 | REST: 2-3 min.

 FLEX 

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