HARDCORE ROUTINES

Hardcore routines from the hardest-training bodybuilders of all time
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On page 158 of the July issue of FLEX magazine we start to countdown the top 10 hardest-training bodybuilders of all time. (If you have an opinion on this, we encourage you to express it in the FLEX Forums.) And now we're offering the routines that helped put them on the list.

ROY CALLENDER’S BACK FROM ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Barbell pullovers 10-15 10-12
Behind-the-neck pullups 8-10 8-10*
Front chins 8-10 8-10*
V-handle chins 8-10 8-10*
Front pulldowns 8-10 8-10
Behind-the-neck pulldowns 8-10 8-10
T-bar rows 8-10 8-10
Seated cable rows 8-10 8-10

* Weighted

BRANCH WARREN’S CHEST WORKOUT

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Incline barbell presses 3 8-10*
Barbell bench presses 3 8-10*
Dumbbell bench presses 3 8-10*
Incline dumbbell flyes 3 8-10*
Weighted dips 2 20-25†

* Sets typically include one to three forced reps. Even precontest, Warren uses over 400 pounds on the first two exercises.

† These are drop sets, performed with heavy chains around his neck, shedding a chain each time he reaches failure.

RICH GASPARI’S LEG ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Leg extensions 4-5 12-20*
Leg presses 4-5 8-12†
Hack squats 3 12-15
    superset with Sissy squats 3 12-15
Smith machine lunges 4 12-15
Lying leg curls 8 10-15
Seated leg curls 4 12-15

* Last two sets are drop sets followed by negative reps.

† Last set is a lengthy drop set, consisting of 90-pound drops and 5-6 reps per drop.

JOHN DEFENDIS’ TRICEPS ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Lying triceps extensions 10 10-15
   superset with Pushdowns 10 10-15
Seated triceps extensions 8 10-15
    superset with Weighted bench dips 8 10-15
Close-grip bench presses 8 10-12
Behind-the-back pushdowns 8 10-15

CHRIS CORMIER’S CHEST ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Incline barbell presses 4 12-6*
Flat dumbbell presses 4 8-12*
Incline flyes 3 8-10*
Cable crossovers 3 8-12*

NOTE: This was a typical Cormier routine in the ’90s.

* Often includes two or three forced reps.

RONNIE COLEMAN’S BICEPS ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Barbell curls* 4 10-12
Seated alternating dumbbell curls† 3 10-12
EZ-bar preacher curls 3 10-12
Cable curls 4 10-12

*Up to 225 pounds

†Up to 100-pound dumbbells

CASEY VIATOR’S SHOULDER ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
One-arm machine side laterals 4-5 8-12
Behind-the-neck seated presses 4-5 6-8
Dumbbell side laterals 4-5 8-10
superset with Upright rows 4-5 6-8
Machine rear laterals 4-5 8-15
Machine presses 4-5 6-8

DORIAN YATES’ BACK WORKOUT

EXERCISE WARM-UP SETS SETS REPS
Hammer Strength pulldowns 2 1 8-10*
    or Nautilus pullovers 2 1 8-10*
Underhand barbell rows 1 1 8-10*
Hammer Strength one-arm rows   1 8-10*
Cable rows   1 8-10*
Back extensions   1 10-12
Deadlifts 1 1 8

* Sets were typically extended with forced reps, negatives and/or rest-pause reps.

TOM PLATZ’S LEG ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Squats 8-10 30-6
Hack squats 5 10-15*
Leg extensions 5 10-15*
Lying leg curls 6-10 10-15*

* Sets typically extended far beyond failure via forced and/or partial reps.

DAVID HENRY’S BICEPS WORKOUT

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Hammer curls (warm-ups) 1-2 10-12
    (working) 1* 9-15

NOTE: This workout is preceded by back training and followed by extreme stretching.

* The working set is performed rest-pause style with two rests, thus reaching failure three times. At the conclusion of the set, he holds a static contraction.

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