It’s time to talk about something that some Physique athletes have been rumored to avoid – leg day. Some competitive fitness athletes think it’s unnecessary to train legs since they aren’t directly judged during the spectating. However, legs still are a big part of your overall physique. If you have worked hard to develop your upper body, you don’t want to give up on your lower half and look out of balance. If you look at many of the top IFBB professionals, you will see that nearly all of the best go out of their way to train legs with just as much intensity as they do any other body part.
Back development and strength is crucial in any type of physique competition, as well as life in general. With that being said, you need to focus on both thickness and width in your back when training. There is constant focus given on creating that great v-taper, but you also have to make sure that your physique does not disappear when you turn to the side, and that there is detail, and not just width from the back. Also, from a functional standpoint, many people suffer from lower back pain. Strengthening those muscles while using proper form to prevent injury can help alleviate that issue. Here is a workout that should help put focus on both.
While traveling to compete in Physique shows across the country, I've learned a few things about maximizing my time spent for the weekend.
1. NETWORK – Introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Take photos with your fellow competitors. Get social media going, especially Facebook / Instagram. You would be surprised at how small this world is. I run into some of the same people all over the country.
You have probably heard about the “If It Fits Your Macros” (or IIFYM) trend which has been increasing in popularity within the fitness and bodybuilding world. It’s not surprising that the concept was embraced and developed by people within the industry who were sick and tired of adhering to monotonous, restrictive meal plans in which the vast majority of foods were labeled as evil and forbidden. On a personal note, I jumped on the IIFYM bandwagon as well because I was fed up with avoiding certain so-called “bad” foods and also dealing with metabolic burnout from years of caloric restriction. What surprised me was the positive manner in which my body responded to taking in maintenance calories as opposed to constantly functioning at a caloric deficit which only served to slow down my metabolism.
Many thoughts crossed my mind watching the Olympia this weekend. Great competitors with incredible physiques, upsets, questionable calls, well deserved victories, and what happened to the camaraderie?
So I was in the middle of prepping my pre/post workout meals and an idea came to me. I always eat the same sweet potato recipe and haven't changed it... until now! Thanks to my sponsors Ali's All Natural and Cavegirl Confections, I was able to add some major flavor into the mix! Below is how to make my latest creation...
Can you tell us a little about the show in which you most recently competed?
Just recently took 2nd place at Pittsburgh Pro Masters Championship 2014. It was my 5th show this year (4 in 12 weeks) and the culminating show of my rookie season where I had four top 10 finishes, a master’s win, and scored 1 point for the Olympia.
How many times have you heard someone say that they’re hitting the gym because they have a vacation coming up or because they want to fit into a wedding dress or look good at a reunion? Oftentimes these goals are explained in fairly general terms. The sentence normally starts with “I want to…” or “I just need to…” and ends with one of the following:
Recently, I jumped back on the NPC stage for the first time since July of 2013 where I was in the second callouts of Team Universe. Many would say that this was the best I have ever looked in the two years I have been competing in Men’s Physique. After I came off the stage with my first place trophy, which was the first time getting 1st, I had people asking a lot of questions. The most asked question during my birthday weekend (Aaaw yeah, hello 30!) was “Jay Hall, how much did you weigh on stage?” My answer was simple: “I have no idea.”