By Brandon Curry, IFBB Pro
[Q] What are your favorite training techniques for getting your legs dialed in before a contest?
[A] Basically, you try to consistently pick up the pace heading into the contest. I use a lot of supersets, giant sets and a little rest-pause. Shorter rest periods (you’re trying to get in and out of the gym fast) contribute to a bit of a cardiovascular effect. I also like to use a technique called occlusion training (see below). Typically I use a knee wrap just below the ham/glute tie-in. We warm up with the leg extension occluded to fatigue the fast-twitch fibers at the lowest intensity possible. It works better at low intensity with 12–30 reps or about 30% of your max weight. From there I go right into walking lunges with the occlusion. I wouldn’t do it for more than two exercises. You can get deep muscle tissue damage without really exhausting your nervous system, a good effect because you don’t want to be fully spent going into a contest. The pumps will be ridiculous! That’s a technique that’s worked really well for me.
[Q] Does anything change with your chest training precontest to really etch in that detail?
[A] As your prep goes on, your pace picks up and you add new techniques — stuff to prevent stagnation from setting in. I may change to dumbbells instead of barbells. My energy level isn’t ideal because I’m not eating enough calories. Lifting heavy isn’t first and foremost on my mind as much as efficiency of movement. These days I find myself working with different ranges of motion for my chest. If I’m using the pec-deck or cables, I work through the lower half of the range of motion from peak contraction to halfway down. After 2–3 sets of fatiguing that portion, I do more through the other half of the movement to work on the stretch. I do it to totally fatigue the muscle fibers through each portion of the rep to exhaust the muscle early on.
[Q] Is there an idiot-proof way to manage your cardio schedule to drop bodyfat fast?
[A] Yeah, definitely — start slow and be progressive. You start with the least intense form of activity that you like. Let’s say it’s walking. Start with 30 minutes at a slow pace. As you become conditioned, you’ll be able to walk farther or faster in that time. If you’re not seeing the results you need, you increase the speed, make it more intense, go longer or add sessions. If you start too intense or by doing too much, you’ll likely just end up overtraining yourself. Be sure to allow your body time to adapt to changes in your program. Then continue to challenge yourself to reach new levels.
Brandon's Favorite Get-Ripped Supps by BSN
“This is a great fat burner that helps me increase my metabolism.”
“It’s a BCAA-based supplement that helps me hold on to lean muscle. I can take it anytime during the day or during workouts to provide more energy.”
Lean Dessert Protein:
“When I’m not perfect in my diet, this helps make up for my lack of quality nutrients and provides me with quality protein and essential fats.”
“This has D-aspartic acid, which is a testosterone booster and beta-alanine, which gives you a good boost during training.”
“The preworkout standard!”
How Occlusion Training Works
Occlusion training involves placing a compression device, such as a wrap or tourniquet, on your arms or legs and working out. Japanese research shows occlusion training restricts blood flow to muscles, increasing lactic-acid levels, in turn boosting growth hormone levels and supporting conversion of slow-twitch muscle fibers into fast-twitch muscle fibers.
>> Brandon says:
“Don’t wrap it around your neck — it will not give you bigger traps!”