I am shocking my calves with tri-sets every other workout. Here is the routine:
(5 of these tri-sets in 16-6 rep range)
• Toe raises on hack squat machine
• Standing calf raises
• Standing reverse toe raises on a block
Is this a good routine or just overkill? My calves are currently 16 inches cold. They grew half an inch in the past four months with my ‘normal’ workout.
I would try to push the reps past 20. Calves are one body part that typically responds better to higher reps, due to their high percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers. Don’t lower the weights to get the higher reps— just rest a few seconds every time you hit failure if you have to. This would be the rest-pause technique. The combination of high volume, higher reps, and heavy weight will help tremendously to stimulate growth in the calves, which can be a notoriously stubborn muscle group.
I’ve started using the FST-7 system for a couple of months now, and I’m loving it. In one of your videos on MuscularDevelopment.com, you mentioned something about Mark Alvisi and his prep— how he tends to harden up in the bottom half of his body first, and then his upper body starts sharpening up a bit later. You also noted how you have to be careful with his diet and carb intake, or his legs could lose size and look stringy.
I have the opposite problem. My upper body gets really lean very fast, and I can appear to have 5 percent body fat when looking at me from the waist up. But my legs and glutes still look soft. I have very well-developed quads, and they get lean eventually, but I still tend to carry a lot of body fat in my glutes and hamstrings. What do you recommend when prepping for a show, as far as dieting and training goes, so I don’t start losing size in the upper body— as I diet my ass off to get the lower half ready?
The real key here is to never let yourself get too heavy in the off-season. If you can stay within 10-15 pounds of your competitive weight, you won’t have to work so hard to get lean. Any time you have an excessive amount of fat to lose, you run a serious risk of losing lean muscle tissue along with that fat. By keeping your body fat lower in the first place, you will be able to dial in your legs while at the same time maintain the size and fullness of your upper body.
You should also look into a yohimbine-based fat burner. I’m a big believer in using yohimbine to get rid of stubborn body fat in the lower body. Usually it’s women who have problems with shedding fat there, but there are also plenty of men out there with similar issues.
How many exercises should be done when training in FST-7 style for beginners, intermediates, and advanced trainers? And do they all use 7s for all body parts, or is that something that you do more of as you become more experienced?
Beginners should do just two ‘base’ exercises, which would be compound movements, plus one isolation exercise done in FST-7 style. Using chest as an example, you might do incline dumbbell presses and flat dumbbell presses for your two base exercises, and incline dumbbell flyes for your 7s. A beginner should only use 7s for one body part a week, typically the area that needs the most improvement.
Intermediate trainers will do three base movements plus one isolation exercise for 7s. They should do the 7s for no more than two given body parts per week. Advanced trainers will also do three exercises in standard style, plus one movement for 7s, but they can now do 7s for all body parts. Also, advanced trainers might do a compound movement rather than an isolation exercise for their 7s.
What is the best fish to eat for bulking, and the best fish for cutting?
Due to its high caloric content as well as the amount of good fats you’ll find in it, I recommend salmon as the top choice for off-season bodybuilders. If you’re trying to lean out, tilapia is the best choice. It’s a smaller fish with far less calories and a lower fat content, and its smaller size also lends itself to smaller serving sizes— important when you are attempting to stay in a caloric deficit. Tilapia is also less likely to have the dangerous levels of metal toxicity that you often see with tuna.
Of course, too much of any one fish over time can be a bad thing, so it’s not advised that you eat either salmon or tilapia for all your meals every day. Another piece of advice I can offer is to buy your fish fresh whenever possible. Fresh fish tends to be less ‘fishy’ smelling and tastes better too. If fish ever smells overly ‘fishy,’ chances are it’s not very fresh and you shouldn’t buy it.
I’ve heard you talk before about protein shakes versus amino acids, and that you prefer your clients to take aminos. Why is that?
Amino acids get into your system much faster than protein shakes do. Most people tend to use shakes as meal replacements instead of eating solid food. As I have pointed out before, the human body simply processes real food better than protein powders. Time after time, I have noted that the more shakes a bodybuilder drinks as opposed to consuming more whole-food meals, the flatter and softer his muscles appear to be. Every time I have an athlete stop drinking shakes and eat all whole food, it’s never long before he takes on a fuller and harder appearance.
The best thing about amino acids is that you can take them 30 minutes before a meal to help keep your body in an anabolic state, and then eat the meal itself. All the athletes I’ve worked with who do this have been very impressed with the results.
I know you advocate the use of GlycoCarn. I’m curious what dosage is ideal, and when you should take it?
This is one product that I have witnessed some very significant results with. Bodybuilders experience lower lactic acid levels, increased recovery, and pumps that literally last all day— as opposed to the hour or two (at most) you will see, even with the best arginine-based nitric oxide products. We’re also experimenting with another application of GlycoCarn that nobody has thought of previously, and I will update you on that next month.
The doses I’ve seen as most effective have ranged from a gram and a half to 5 grams, depending on the bodyweight of the individual. A 120-pound figure competitor will obviously not need to use as much as a 250-pound bodybuilder. Typically, athletes will take half the dose before workouts, and the remainder during the workout. For more information on GlycoCarn, visit their website at http://www.GlycoCarn.com
My First Supplement
It’s commonly known among my clients that I have been designing my own supplement formulas for some time now. Until recently, any talk of making these products available to the public was just that, as I had been too busy with other projects and job responsibilities for several years to devote the needed time. But recently, I teamed up with a company I’m involved with named Evogen to develop the first of several formulas for athletes. This flagship product is called EvoP1-Alpha, and it’s designed to be used both pre and post-workout. It’s one I tested successfully on a wide range of athletes, ranging from local to professional bodybuilders as well as figure, fitness, and bikini competitors.
Ingredients include ultra-soluble BCAAs, several forms of L-glutamine, creatine pyruvate, and a profile of B vitamins as an anti-stress pack. The formula comes pre-dosed with the exact amounts of each nutrient designed to elicit a truly sick pump while training, and then get you started on the recovery process immediately after the workout. I was adamant about acquiring only the highest-quality ingredients so the absorption rates are sky-high.
Best of all, EvoP1-Alpha is stimulant-free. The problem with most nitric oxide products is that they’re loaded with caffeine. So you may feel a heck of an energy kick working out, but the vasoconstricting properties of the caffeine cancel out the vasodilating effects of the other ingredients. Sadly, the end result is that you hardly see any difference in your pump. That’s definitely not the case with my product!
Another huge advantage to EvoP1-Alpha is that it contains zero carbs. Other products of this type often contain sugar, so using them while dieting would be counterproductive. EvoP1-Alpha is versatile and suitable for use, whether you’re in off-season building mode or trying to shred up for a contest. You can visit http://www.EvoGenNutrition.com for more information.
Visit http://www.hanyrambod.com or http://www.fst-7.com for previous articles, news, an interactive forum, video clips, and member profiles and blogs. You’ll also find updates on my current clients and who is preparing for upcoming contests. Free registration gives you full access to all of it. And now, due to popular demand, FST-7 shirts are finally available!
Origanlly posted on Musculardevelopment.com