Subremer

Olympia-Caliber Muscle

Olympia-Caliber Muscle
Per Bernal

The gap between a good and great bodybuilder comes down to work ethic and an acute understanding of what does and doesn’t work in the gym, a trait that is acquired through thousands of training sessions. To commemorate the Mr. Olympia competition— on Sept. 14 and 15 (go to mrolympia.com for more info)—we’re offering training wisdom from the eight reigning O champs. We can’t promise you’ll look like them, but you will be on your way to a bigger and better you.

1. MR. OLYMPIA: PHIL HEATH

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 7
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “A lot of guys think that you have to hammer it out at the gym every single workout. Ideally, you want to do that. But you have to keep in mind that your body may not be recovering as fast, and you might be doing more harm than good.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Back
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Behind-the-neck lat pulldown

2. BIKINI: ANGELICA TEIXEIRA

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 1
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “Even when I don’t have a lot of time, I can target my shoulders with a dumbbell circuit workout that hits all the deltoid muscles. The key is to keep up the intensity by avoiding breaks between exercises.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Delts
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Bentover rear-delt raise

3. CLASSIC PHYSIQUE: BREON ANSLEY

  • OLYMPIA WINS:
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “On the hack squat, I connect with every rep because it’s fixed. The key for me is to push through my whole foot, not just my heels. When I do this, I always feel my quads working.” 
  • BEST BODY PART: Quads
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Hack squat

4. FIGURE: CYDNEY GILLON

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 1
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “My training is based on what I need at the time. If I need better legs, I’ll emphasize them. I don’t need arms, so I stopped training them altogether.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Hamstrings
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Walking lunge

5. WOMEN’S PHYSIQUE: JULIANA MALACARNE

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 4
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “The squat is the very best exercise for building your legs and butt. I wouldn’t feel like I had a complete leg workout if I didn’t squat.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Glutes
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Barbell back squat

6. 212 OLYMPIA: FLEX LEWIS

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 6
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “Even when I’m going heavier, I’m always getting at least 10 reps. To me, I need to have a good working set of 10—if you get to eight, you know you can force out the next two, or you have a spotter there to get that extra two.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Chest
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Low-pulley cable crossover

7. MEN’S PHYSIQUE: JEREMY BUENDIA

  • OLYMPIA WINS: 4
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “I emphasize optimizing pumps in the gym. The elements of my training include tempo manipulation, rep-range manipulation, and minimizing rest in between sets.”
  • BEST BODY PART: Biceps
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Straight-bar spider curl

8. FITNESS: OKSANA GRISHINA

  • OLYMPIA WINS:
  • TRAINING ADVICE: “I have always created my own routines. They come from things that are important to me and shape who I am.” 
  • BEST BODY PART: Shoulders
  • TRY THIS MOVE: Single-arm upright row

 

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