If Cutler likes free-weight squats so much, why didn’t he do them for four years, from 1998 to 2002?
CUTLER’S ANSWER: The only reason I didn’t squat for years was because they make my thighs grow too much, and I wanted my upper body to catch up with my lower body. I started doing squats again when I began preparing for the 2003 Olympia. The last time I’d done them was 1998. Returning to free-weight squats has been a pleasure. I enjoy getting under the bar and pumping up some real weight. They’ve added more quad sweep, which I was known for early on when I first turned pro. Now that my torso has caught up, I’m able to really grow my lower body again. Squats have also hardened up my glutes and added more size to my hamstrings. Overall, squats added more muscle.
Which two of the following exercises does Cutler sometimes add to his quad routine?
A Adduction-machine squeezes
B Sissy squats
C One-leg presses
D Roman chair squats
CUTLER'S ANSWER: A and C. Before I started squatting again, I was doing one-leg presses and adduction machine work in every quad workout. I still use the adduction machine from time to time, but I have to be careful that my upper inner thighs [which this machine targets] don’t get too big. Now I’m more focused on my outer thighs. If I do one-leg presses, it’s to add some more detail. Again, these tend to hit the inner thighs more, which I’m not so focused on now. Doing leg presses one leg at a time takes a lot of the hips out of the movement. People don’t realize how much of their thigh power comes from their hips. You have to look for ways to minimize hip action in order to focus completely on your quads.
In addition to weight training, what other activity does Cutler credit with dramatically increasing his leg growth?
C Cardio training
D None of the above
CUTLER’S ANSWER: B. I’m a big advocate of stretching. I think it’s an essential part of recuperation and growth, and I put a lot more time and effort into it than most guys. When I’m preparing for a contest, I stretch for 20 minutes every day after my morning workout. My wife, Kerry, is a yoga enthusiast, and she helps me with a lot of stretches. For legs, I do a nearly full split daily to stretch my hamstrings and inner thighs. I also extend each foot behind my glutes to really stretch my quads.
In addition, once per week, I get deep-tissue neuromuscular therapy, which really works the muscle fibers and helps release the fascia. Before a contest, I’m in the sauna twice per day, and I do a lot of stretching in there, too, because with all the heat and humidity the muscles are more relaxed and you can get into a really deep stretch without as much tension. It’s all done to recuperate from previous workouts and limber up the muscles, tendons and joints for the next workout. To maximize gains, you have to put at least as much effort into recovery as you put into your workouts.