Between 1999 and 2007, Jose Raymond won his class at an unprecedented nine national-level NPC contests. However, none of those trophies were for divisions heavier than middleweight, so you can be forgiven if you thought he would stumble in the 202s against a host of former light-heavies. (Never mind the fact that both Kevin English and Dave Henry graduated to the pros as middlemen.)
Raymond delayed his pro debut by a year to muscle-up. Then he finished 2009, his rookie IFBB Pro League season, on a high note (sixth at the Olympia 202 Showdown) only to roar back this year, kicking glutes and taking names. Competing in six 202 shows, he won two, was runnerup in two more, and his lowest placing was a fourth at the O 202. Part of the reason is that Raymond has maintained the abs and tight waist of a “little man” even as he has grown into the 202 class.
He told us how he does it.
JOSE’S AB CLASS
“I work abs once or twice weekly in the offseason and three or four times weekly precontest”
“I like to do moderate reps for abs. A lot of people go too light for high reps and they lose the intensity. I’m not trying to burn fat, I’m trying to build muscle. For example, I increase the weight every set on rope crunches.”
“Supersetting hanging leg raises with seated knee raises lets me continue hitting my lower abs even when I can’t do anymore of the hanging leg raises.”
JOSE RAYMOND’S AB ROUTINE
|Seated knee raises||3||10-15|
|Hanging leg raises||3||10-15|