Since I graduated college in 2002 my fitness goals have been the same. No longer needing to train to play football I needed another avenue for training as I have it in the blood and couldn’t just give it up. So I turned to bodybuilding. Since then I’ve taken myself from a 225lb football player to a 285lb bodybuilder. But like they say the more things change the more they stay the same.
For those who don’t know I work in the armed security industry and recently took another position as an officer at a nuclear facility in Florida. Needless to say the transition from a gated community to a nuclear facility called for an increase in mental and physical intensity. As I learned the position I found out that instead of my normal 9mm and a gun belt I’d have a rig that looked like this minus the helmet
All together another 40lbs was added to my body weight which puts me at the 325 mark. At 5’8″ that of course over time would cause issues for my knees and back. I had to address this but how? I realized that I would need to change training styles as constantly looking to get bigger would not serve me well anymore.
I figured before I was a bodybuilder I was a football player and they are some of the most finely conditioned athletes on the planet. This would be my new but at the same time old method of training. I found a book called “A Chance to Win: A Complete Guide to Physical Training for Football” It’s the detailed training program of the Virginia Tech Hokies, one of the most physically prepared college football teams in the nation.
So today was the first day and this is how the training went. First of all there were some mental adjustments I had to make. I approached bodybuilding with a calm scientific approach as I was solely looking for optimum muscle contraction. Numbers made no difference to me. I let my body dictate what happened. This on the other hand was different. Unlike isolation exercises in my bodybuilding training. I had all compound movements and I had to bring out an anger and fury I haven’t used since football. It actually was a little strange at first!
Abs were first 2 sets of 20 of hanging leg raises which was easy but there were these Hokie stack crunches which were 20 regular crunches, 20 to each side and 20 to include all three variations! That was one set by itself…and I had 2 of those!
Next I moved to the push press which is the jerk part of the clean and jerk.
I had one warmup set of 5 and 3 working sets. I managed to do 135, 185, 205 and 225lbs. I can tell this is a movement I’ll excel in already!
Next were lateral squats. Only 2 sets of 6 with 65lb but that’s because it’s new to me and felt very awkward doing it for the first time!
Onto squats. Normally I do 4 sets of 15 so when I looked at the program calling for one warmup set of 10 and 2 of 20 reps. I said “Too easy” while wondering why they called them “Man Makers” I found out at about rep 16 of the first set while fighting the urge to pass out! I guess anything is hard with the right combo of exercises!
Then came Kazmaier Shrugs named for legendary strongman Bill Kazmaier. I did these with 10 reps at each grip with 135lbs. Shrugs are easy for me but by this point the gas tank was runing low!
Next was pullups and by this point I was like WTF. I’m TERRIBLE with pullups to begin with but by now it was going to be a different kind of hell. I managed to do the 3 sets of 5 I was supposed to anyways through sheer will and not wanting to fail.
I ended with Romanian Deadlifts. I do pretty well with these also but by now I was running on more will power than actual energy. I use dumbbells for these as they feel more natural motion wise for me. I did 3 sets of 6 with 75, 95 and 105 dumbbells.
And that was it besides the 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill doing random elevations. There are plyometric drills they prescribe in the book but I’m waiting till I come down in size a little to go hopping around. By then I’m also hoping to get a prowler to help with the plyo section of training. That’s day damn 1! I’ll keep updating with more workouts as they change as well as changes in the phases of training as it is a periodization program.