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By Lee Hayward

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I have been receiving a lot of e-mail with questions on my views about bodybuilding, how I train, eat, etc. Through this article I should be able to answer most of these questions.

First off, I am a natural bodybuilder, I have no intentions on using steroids. If you do that, it's your business and I am not here to condone steroids or promote them. To me they are just not worth the health risks or the money. I have been bodybuilding since I was 14 years old. I started out at a chubby 140 lbs. Now, at the time of this writing, I am 5' 6", 200 lbs. and 6% body fat. I have competed in several local bodybuilding contests. I entered my first contest at age 17 and I was hooked. I love being up on stage showing off all of my hard work. It is a natural high for me. My present goal is to compete in and win some of the local bodybuilding contests. I have already won my weight class, now I want to win the overall.

In my opinion there is no right or wrong way to train or eat for bodybuilding. I feel this way because you will see many people who are in fantastic shape and they all have their own unique way of training and eating. One person may get huge and ripped by eating a high protein, high carbohydrate, and low fat diet. Another person may get huge and ripped by eating a high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate diet.

When you look at the training routines of Arnold, he did 20+ sets for every body part, six days a week, twice a day. There is no question that Arnold was a fantastic bodybuilder. Then you have Dorian Yates who trains every other day and does only a few sets per workout. There is no question that Dorian is a fantastic bodybuilder.

Question: Who is right?

Answer: They both are.

I like to follow the KISS rule (keep it simple STUPID!). My philosophy is if it isn't broke don't fix it. With my training I get the best results by sticking to basic heavy lifting. I do have a couple of special shock routines that I will use once every few months to add variety to my workouts (ie. the "Blast Your Bench" program.) But I mostly focus my workouts around the 3 basic exercises; the bench press, squat, and dead lift. I usually do one of the basic exercises and a few other assistant exercises that work that bodypart. I will choose different assistant exercises each workout. However, I usually always do the core exercises (bench, squat, and dead lift) because I find that they are the best exercises for building overall mass.

A sample chest workout would be:

  • 5 sets of bench presses
  • 3 sets of dips
  • 3 sets of incline dumb bell flyes

A sample leg workout would be:

  • 5 sets of squats
  • 3 sets of leg curls
  • 3 sets of leg extensions
  • 3 sets of standing calve raises

A sample back workout would be:

  • 5 sets of dead lifts
  • 3 sets of chins
  • 3 sets of hammer strength seated rows

That is it, nothing fancy but it gets the job done. Each workout I try to get one more rep then I did for my last workout or I will add a few pounds and try for the same number of reps. I used to do things such as forced reps, negatives, etc. but I find that they caused me to over train. Now I just do straight sets. I have tried various other workout routines, but I get the best results from workouts like I described above.

As for nutrition I don't worry about counting every once of food that goes into my mouth. During the off season I focus on 2 things with regards to nutrition:

  1. Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
  2. Eat a meal every few hours.

I don't worry too much about fat or calorie intake during the off season. Now that doesn't mean I eat all junk either. But if I feel like eating some pizza, cookies, or some other tasty treat I will eat it with out any guilt. After all I am human!

However, when I am getting ready for a contest all the tasty treats stop. I get into my "tuna fish and brown rice is delicious" mode. I will eat a diet that is high in protein, moderate carbohydrate, and low in fat. I will try and eat 1 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight. I also do at least a half-hour of aerobic exercise each morning before breakfast to help accelerate the fat loss.

That about covers the basics of my training and nutrition. I am currently working on writing a program that covers my entire years training in great detail. From gaining muscle mass in the off season to trimming down and getting ripped for a contest. This program will cover everything including; weight training, aerobics, nutrition, supplementation, posing, and tips and tricks that I use to prevent muscle break down, and increase my metabolism enabling me to burn fat and get ripped faster. When I have this program finished it will be available on this web site. I'll keep you posted.

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