Getting My Kicks On "Route 66"
Sunday, September 7, 2008
"Get Your Kicks on Route 66," often rendered simply as "Route 66," is a popular song and rhythm and blues standard, composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup. It was first recorded in the same year by Nat King Cole, and was subsequently covered by many artists including Chuck Berry in 1961 and The Rolling Stones in 1964. The song's lyrics follow the path of the U.S. Route 66 highway, which used to run a long distance across the US, going from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. There was even a popular TV show in the early 60's with the title, "Route 66."
I chose the name of my new Journal because like the song's title, "Route 66," I will be 66 years-old the next time I step onto a bodybuilding stage and I plan to "Get My Kicks" along the way by having a fun time preparing for my next Professional competition.
My final contest of this year was the 2008 NPA Nationals and Masters Universe in Ft. Lee, Virginia on June 28. I won my fifth Best Poser award at the show and placed 2nd in my age group. I had also placed 2nd at the 2008 FAME Masters Pro World Championships in Toronto, Canada two weeks earlier.
While I entered both events in my best-ever condition, in each case I was bested by a man who was less conditioned than me, but was several pounds heavier. Not one to lick my wounds and cry "foul," I was determined to get to work to bring my own "bigger" package to the stage next time.
I am in my third month of a lean mass gain program designed to add as much muscle as I can while keeping the usual accompanying additional fat in check. I am eating more (clean diet) and am lifting very heavy (for me) in the gym. My weight on June 28 was 140 pounds. My weight this morning is 165 pounds. I will stay around this weight until it's time to cut for my show. I believe I can come in hard and lean at around 150 pounds, 10 pounds more than I did this year.
I was around 6% body fat on stage for my last two shows. I was cut and defined, but, small. I may have to give up a few percentage points in fat in order to "look" bigger at 150 pounds. I'll make that decision when the time comes.
Since February 1st, I have been a full-time Certified Master Fitness Trainer at the Birmingham, Alabama YMCA. I average around 28 hours of personal training sessions each week. Five of my clients are training with me to prepare for their first bodybuilding competition. I have one middle weight and four heavy weights. Their ages range from 24 years-old to 50. I have all of them working the same training plans that I am using for my own training. I always tell my athletes I don't make them do anything I can't do. They are all preparing for a local NGA contest next May in Birmingham. It's possible that I will have all five of my competitors on stage in the Novice Class.
The plan we are currently using was designed by my friend and fellow bodybuilder, Sean "Sully" Sullivan of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It's called "The Widow Maker" and it's a buster:
The Widow Maker Power Workout - A Four Week Training Plan
The purpose of this plan is to grow lean, hard muscle mass by lifting heavy for several sets with little rest in between, using the same weight load and then doing a Widow-Maker set of many reps for the same exercise.
Here is the Plan:
Keep the same weight for all 6 sets, but you may lose a rep or two at the end. For example set 1 - 4 you get the 6 reps, set 5, 5 reps and the last set 4. Pick a good weight and don't lower it even if it means 2-3 reps total on the last set.
On the high rep sets don't just do them light and go through the motions, go heavy and hard. For example on the 50 reps of squats pick a weight you can only get 20-30 reps with and then just take 2-3 deep breaths and bang out 4-6 more reps, breath and do more until you get the reps in. This is the Widow Maker set!
The rest between sets is 60-seconds and do a few warm-up sets before you begin the exercise
Stretch or Pose the working muscle between sets for 20-30 seconds.
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press – 6 x 6, 1 X 20
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press – 6 x 6, 1 X 20
High Pulls (wide grip upright row, but you pull to the forehead) – 4 x 4
Heavy Laterals – 3 x 8
Press Down – 4 x 10
Decline Dumbbell Extensions - 4 X 8
Leg Press – 6 x 6, 1 X 40
Squats – 6 x 6, 1 X 30
Hack Squat – 6 x 6, 1 X 20
Leg Curls– 5 x 8
Leg Extensions – 4 x 10
Reverse Grip Barbell Row – 6 x 6, 1 X 20
Medium Grip Pull Down – 6 x 6, 1 X 20
Dead Lifts – 6 x 6, 1 X 30
Barbell Curls – 4 x 6
Preacher Curls – 4 x 10
Lunges - 6 X 6, 1 X 20
Seated Leg Curls - 6 x 6
Wide stance Squats (feet out wide, toes pointed out) - 6 X 6, 1 X 50
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Dead Lifts - 6 X 6
Step Ups (Step up, one leg at a time, on a high bench or aerobic step) 6 X 6
Calves and Abs work is done twice a week. Pick one exercise and do 5-6 sets of as many reps as you can do for each.
Do Cardio on off days from weights, 20 minutes of HITT or intervals. Do 5 min warm-up and 5 minute cool down so total time is 30 min with 20 being interval or HITT.
Needless to say, we are all walking around sore as hell. This is a great plan.
I hope you follow my progress on "Route 66" and enjoy the ride. Thank you for your interest.