The Pros Speak Out about Explosive Muscle Growth
To become a professional in any field requires hundreds, if not thousands of hours of dedicated effort – all with the singular goal of becoming the best one can be in one’s chosen pursuit.
Unlike many other disciplines, the ultra-competitive arena of bodybuilding (whatever the category) requires that a complete lifestyle overhaul be undertaken. Every waking moment will have a bearing on training, recovery and results, so nothing can be left to chance when preparing for the stage.
Having reached pro status, the intensification of training and routine incorporation of all factors necessary to lifting one’s game must be taken a step further. Because the body has been subjected to every conceivable training protocol over many years, or even decades, the athlete must continue to be creative in how they execute their mission, to ensure that progress is ongoing. Once a routine is longer effective in boosting progress, new approaches must be tested and, if found valid, incorporated on a consistent basis.
Upon entering the pro arena, the competition between athletes becomes ever more intensive.
Among elite-level competition there can be no halfway measures, no easy solutions. Everything, from training to nutrition to supplementation and much more, must be perfectly on point.
For a professional to stay in the game and to ultimately become one of the best ever, the body must continually be forced to adapt, overcome and improve.
This article will show you how an elite bodybuilder trains for competitive excellence. In it you’ll see how four of today’s biggest stars – both open bodybuilding and bikini – think differently to build and refine their most desirable attributes.
Each of these ALLMAX sponsored athletes and Olympia-bound standouts are known for their intelligent and methodical approach to building lean muscle. It’s hoped that you can learn from their time-tested examples.
In addition, because supplementation remains a major determinant of success for pro athletes – both aspiring and established alike – each athlete’s complete supplement stack will also be provided.
To develop a pro-calibre body of work of their own, the reader is encouraged to learn from and incorporate the following workouts and supplement strategies. Emulate the champs and the progress you’ve always wanted will take care of itself.
Perennial Olympia standout Steve ‘Kingsnake’ Kuclo needs little introduction to both bodybuilding insiders and fans alike. Known for his recent size and shape improvements along with the stellar physique he has displayed at all stages of his career since turning pro in 2011,
Steve has tried and seen it all.
Weighing in at 280lbs of well-conditioned muscle, the long-time ALLMAX athlete remains one of the larger competitors on today’s IFBB pro roster. Here is how his Explosive Muscle Growth continues to bring up his signature lower half.
Steve says he has been “working hard at improving my legs and they have come up strong this year.” One of the key things he does is to switch up his rep ranges and exercises every 2-4 weeks to
“keep my body guessing and keep the workouts exciting.”
He specifically recommends that we time our rest periods, as he believes most people take longer between sets than they realize “Timing your rest periods will ensure your intensity and work volume is increased.”
For the following workout, all exercises are four sets of 15 (for straight sets) with a 60-second rest between sets and two minutes between exercises.
Quads and Hams:
- Lying Leg Curls
- Free Bar Squats (alternated every other week with Hacksquats)
- Vertical Leg Press
- Leg Extensions
- Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
- Sissy Squats
- Five sets of 25 per movement
- Reverse Glute Ham Machine
- Five sets of 20 per movement
- Standing Calf Raises
- Seated Calf Raises
- 10g glutamine
- 10g AMINOCORE,
- 1 scoop IMPACT PUMP (and 1/2 a scoop of IMPACT IGNITER if in need of an energy boost).
- 2 scoops CASIEN-FX in water. Steve makes this his nightly “pudding” treat by using only a small amount of water.
- One serving of ZMX
Note: Steve takes ALLMAX Digestive Enzymes with all protein-heavy meals (“pretty much each meal”) to allow for the efficient processing of the mammoth amounts of protein his physique requires.
Josh achieved pro status by taking out the 35+ category at the 2016 NPC Universe, proving that age is no barrier to bodybuilding progress. He’s now firmly established himself as one of the more shredded 250lb competitors you’ll ever see on any pro stage, as demonstrated by multiple top-three finishes and
an Olympia qualification in 2018 (his first O since turning pro).
He’ll be at the Olympia again in September, this time representing ALLMAX Nutrition at the EXPO, but not onstage (he’s currently taking time off to improve for next year’s Arnold Classic). When he does again hit the stage, he will again display what has always been one of his most prized muscle groupings:
his massive quads and hams.
But he’s not finished with them yet. With the following Explosive Muscle Growth plan, he’s working hard to make them better than ever.
- Seated Leg Curls: 2×15 (warm up), 4×10-15 (for the last set after reaching a 10-rep failure, tack on 10 partials from the top, stretched position).
- Squats: 2×15 (warm up), 4×10-12.
- Leg Press: 4×15 (for the last set do two drop sets of 15 reps each, so last set becomes a double-drop of 15+15+15).
- Hack Squats: 3×8 (1.5’s, where each rep is all the way down then half way up then all the way down, then all the way up).
- Leg Extensions: 3×12 (hold the flex for two seconds on each rep).
- Lying Leg Curls: 4×10-12 (for the last set do two drop sets of 10 reps each, so last set is a double-drop of 10+10+10)
- *For drop sets, the weight is reduced by 20-30% for each drop.
- *For hack squats, use a close stance to focus more on the outer sweeps.
Upon rising (pre-cardio)
- 1 scoop of Pina Colada A-CUTS
- 1 scoop of Acai Berry Cytogreens
- 10g of Glutamine
- 3.2g of Beta-Alanine
- 2 scoops (100g carbs) of CARBION
- 2 scoops of PM AMINOCORE
- 1 scoop of PM IMPACT PUMP
- 10g Glutamine
- 5g Creatine
- 2 scoops of Cookies and Cream HEXAPRO
- 1 scoop of PB Choc ISOFLEX
- 2 Digestive enzymes with every meal
One of today’s premier bikini athletes, Jennifer Ronzitti is currently a glute striation or two away from winning her division’s most prestigious prize, the Bikini Olympia.
Having consecutively achieved top six placements in her last three outings
Jennifer is doing all she can to prepare for the 2019 O, an event many are expecting to be one of the biggest bikini-shows in Olympia history. A true professional, Jennifer is not satisfied with being among the best – instead, she wants dominate her division.
While you’ll not find a more balanced bikini body on any pro stage, Jennifer, like any good pro, does have certain standout areas, most notably her glutes and hamstrings. Here’s how her Explosive Muscle Growth took them from world class to Olympia worthy.
- Hip Thrusts: (complete descending reps as weight is increased): 15/12/10/8
- Leg Abductor Machine: 4×15
- Leg Press: Feet placed wide at the top of the plate: 3×15
- Bulgarian Split Squats: 3×12 for each leg
- Glute/Hamstring Extension (Using Back Extension or GHD): 3 x 15 (be sure to keep back rounded and chin tucked).
Despite being relatively new to the pro bikini scene, Monica Ellis has wasted no time in positioning herself as a legitimate Olympia contender and one to watch come September 14. Rather than taking it slow, the exclusive ALLMAX athlete got to work contesting 12 pro shows during the 2016-2018 seasons, gradually building her name and physique to where she is now regarded by many as a
top pick for 2019 Olympia top-honors.
A big believer in hitting each of her spectacular muscle groupings from a variety of angles in order to present her most balanced physique come show time, the three-time San Antonio Pro winner does not skimp on training volume, nor does she sacrifice correct form and intensity for weight.
Though her physique is as balanced and aesthetically pleasing as any of today’s pro bikini physiques,
Monica is renowned for her striking delts, an area she has worked hard to make a signature part of her highly-competitive package. Here’s how her Explosive Muscle Growth is impressive grouping from all angles.
- Standing Military Press: 4 sets 12 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Press: 4 sets 12 reps
- Dumbbell Raises: 4 sets 12 reps
- Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raises: 3 sets 15 reps
- Upright Barbell Row: 4 sets 15 reps
- Side Lateral Raise: 3 sets 20 reps
- Reverse Machine Fly’s 3 sets 20 reps
To become a professional bodybuilder is one thing. To successfully compete among the world’s best is quite another. As each of the above-profiled athletes has found,
to become a standout among standouts
requires a combination of different training factors, each specifically utilized to keep the body growing and improving, to impress the judges each and every time they enter the bodybuilding fray.
Perhaps the most important attribute any pro athlete can foster is the ability to apply complete focus when using resistance to shape muscle. Complete focus means staying in the zone, the mental flow-state so necessary to establishing and maintaining
high-level performances – both mental and physical.
Such focus is needed when striving to keep tension on a target muscle, grind out those final few growth-inducing reps, and establish the mind/muscle connection so crucial to establishing, enhancing and maintaining complete muscle-fiber recruitment.
To achieve exponential progress, the pro bodybuilding athlete must be committed to adopting what works best and discarding what does not. This means being open to alternative ways to trigger more lean mass. Sometimes the body requires a fresh approach, an additional, or completely different,
stimulus to make further gains possible.
A willingness to be creative, to up the intensity with new movements and strategies, pays big dividends when it comes to bringing the new and improved package needed to move further up the pro pecking order.
A pro competitor does not compete to make up the numbers. The very mindset that made pro status possible is the same mindset that drives each bodybuilding pro to aspire for the number one spot in their respective division.
With such a high level of competition,
to not expect the winner’s medallion may mean settling for mediocrity, which, in all likelihood, will have a negative impact on training and general contest preparation. By expecting the very best, the athlete will be driven to work harder and longer – to do all that is necessary to make winning a reality.
If by some chance they do not win, such an athlete will, at the very least, be in their best-ever shape and another step closer to ultimate victory.
The best supplements, taken consistently, continue to make a big difference when it comes time to prepare for the stage. With the most bioavailable ingredients, superior supplementation takes over where whole foods falter in providing specific performance-enhancement and growth factors.
Take pre-workouts, a product each of the above-profiled athletes takes religiously,
to boost training performance and enhance muscle gains.
The best of such products, IMPACT IGNITER, packs so many individual ingredients into one small serving that in terms of both cost effectiveness and potency (not to mention the fact that many such ingredients can only be found in the most desirable ratio in this product), there can be no whole foods substitute.
In short, staying competitive at pro level requires every conceivable advantage. Because the top pros are afforded the opportunity to take the right supplements, free of charge, the quality of their physiques can be vastly improved – often from contest to contest.