AtLarge Nutrition athlete Ryan Celli is preparing for the bodybuilding pro qualifier, the NPC North American Championships this coming weekend. Ryan is a truly unique athlete in that he has also been a professional powerlifter and has held multiple records in the sport.
Ryan hitting a rear double biceps a few days ago
Ryan will be competing as a middleweight in the Men’s Open, Masters 35, and Masters 40 classes. He is coming off a win of the 35 year old class at the NPC Men’s Nationals just a few weeks ago. We wish him the best of luck. Get that Pro Card Ryan!
Optimal, Not Brutal: Conditioning for Fat Loss and Weight Class Management
By Julia Ladewski
The off-season lifter usually takes one of two approaches:
Eat so much that they get fat, bloated and completely out of shape
Use that time to clean up their diet and drop some body fat
No matter the general approach, one thing is consistent for most lifters, no cardio! Most lifters all fear that they will forfeit their strength gains and or lack the energy to really give it their all for their strength sessions.
No matter which of the two general approaches above you tend to take, these conditioning tools are an excellent way to either keep from adding excess body fat, or to optimize your conditioning for strength sports.
The plan is to keep it short and sweet. The goal is to condition without compromising the absolute strength adaptation. In addition, we make it a double whammy by utilizing weak point training as well.
Conditioning Circuit #1
Prowler sprint 20 yards
20 Kettlebell swings
Prowler sprint 20 yards back
Cable pulldown abs x10
X-band walks x10 each way
REPEAT 4 times
(Prowler sprints can be exchanged for prowler walking if you don’t want to fry your legs too bad. Change the angle and the way you step to hit more quads, hamstrings or glutes)
Conditioning Circuit #2
Backward sled drag 30 yards
Forward sled drag 30 yards
Suitcase carry 30 yards, right arm
Suitcase carry 30 yards, left arm
30 Band Goodmornings
REPEAT 4 times
Conditioning Circuit #3
Kettlebell Swings x20
Med Ball Slams x20
Farmer’s walk x 20 yards and back
Prowler push (walk), low handle 20 yards
Prowler sprint, high handle 20 yards
REPEAT 4 times
Exchange some of the exercises to target your own weak points. They should be exercises that are not overly taxing, but ones you can still manage good work without much soreness to follow.
Hamstrings – leg curls, glute ham raises, single leg RDL, glute bridges, swings
Low back – back raises, Reverse Hypers, band goodmornings, swings
Quads – goblet squats, various lunges, TKE’s
Upper back – face pulls, rear flyes, band pull-aparts
Triceps – pushdowns, close grip pushups
Shoulders – front raises, side raises, various overhead presses
Core/abs – planks, leg raises, v-ups, Turkish get-ups, stability ball crunches and knee tucks, farmers walks, waiter carries
Julia Ladewski is a certified strength and conditioning coach, elite powerlifter, and national physique competitor. She is an online strength, fitness and nutrition coach, writer and speaker.
This is officially my first blog and I’m excited to share this new experience with AtLarge’s customers and fans!
First, let me tell you a little bit about me. I began competing in powerlifting 3 years ago (yea, still an amateur) with my best competition lifts being a 295 squat, 180 bench, and 305 deadlift. My numbers have been up and down over those 3 years, but never where I wanted them to be. For example, my ultimate goal was a 200 bench and I’ve only gotten a taste of 190. Powerlifting is definitely a self-rewarding sport, but can be a very frustrating one as well. My 190 bench was a 10 lb PR and I’m still complaining. What a meathead .
I’d have to say that without my gym, Idolmaker Physique and Performance, none of my strength sports and iron game exploits would be possible. Idolmaker has helped to improve me as an individual, has presented me with many opportunities, and has even led me to the great people at the world famous Westside Barbell (whom I now consider to be family).
Yessica performing a Strongman medley
You saw the title of this blog, so you might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned Strongman yet? Powerlifting preceded Strongman, and I wanted to give a bit of my background prior to delving into my new strength sport of choice .
You see, when a challenge presents itself, I’ve gotta take it! Randy Scoates, owner and head trainer of my aforementioned Idolmaker gym, runs a gym that is focused on exactly what he sells, physique and performance. That fact means we have a wide variety of members ranging from athletes doing strength and conditioning for their sport of choice, to competitive powerlifters, to competitive bodybuilders and beyond. Michael De La Pava is one of those athletes. He is a former Strongman competitor turned powerlifter. Michael also happens to own THE Strongman gym in Miami, The Battleaxe. He was the push that got me to give the sport of Strongman a try.
Yessica doing Strongman style squats
I remember watching Strongman on ESPN thinking, “Man, its pretty cool to say you can lift a freakin’ semi.” I may never be able to lift like Jouko Ahola, but I have always wanted to!
I was convinced, on short notice, to compete in my very first Strongman comp last year. The competition included a 110 lbs axle press, ATV deadlifts, truck pull, and Atlas/keg load. ALL of it was new to me! I loved it!
Yessica doing some upper back assistance work
Editor’s note: Yessica is a part of the new breed of women who clearly demonstrate that strength is beauty! If you are a woman and want to be the best version of you that you can be, watch this blog and do what Yessica does.
Yessica cleans up nicely
For the next 10 weeks I will be sharing my training regimen, progress, and hopefully inspire you to do a competition yourself! Here’s a few movements we did this past week. I like to call it cardio, but it’s volume for the cool kids ( I mean…it’s more than 5 reps, bro).
On July 18 of this year former record holding powerlifter Ryan Celli won the middleweight division of the NPC Masters Nationals bodybuilding competition.
Ryan was an absolute standout as a powerlifter at various times having both the best raw and equipped totals and or individual lifts. What many don’t know is that he was a bodybuilder before he ever ventured in the powerlifting arena.
Years of incredibly heavy lifting have taken its toll on Ryan’s body. The injuries and wear and tear have forced him to train differently, more like a bodybuilder, so returning to bodybuilding was a very natural transition.
The transition paid off, BIG! The NPC Nationals are the top amateur bodybuilding competition in the world. The Masters division is no exception, and winning it is quite an accomplishment. We at AtLarge Nutrition want to congratulate Ryan on his accomplishment.
Ryan’s AtLarge Nutrition Supplement Regimen:
BCAA+ – 2 scoops every training session (7 days per week)
ETS – full serving every evening before bed (7 days per week)
We have come to a legal agreement with our former supplier of our award winning Nitrean+ Dutch chocolate, vanilla, and Opticen+ chocolate (our amazing post-workout shake). The agreement will have us receive WEEKLY shipments of the products thus preventing the pre-order delays we have been experiencing the past year or so.
Long story short, we are bringing back 3 of our best sellers and will have continuous stock of them. Order yours now and get BACK on the road to Optimize Your Body!
The Aesthetic Lens for the Strength Athlete
By Julia Ladewski
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “Man, my shoulders/arms/chest/legs could use a little size”? Have you ever taken a long, hard look at your programming and wondered why your bench/overhead press/squat/deadlift have stalled? As athletes of the strength game I think we’ve all done that. Sometimes we take a stab in the dark as to how to fix it and sometimes we have a legitimate plan. It’s easy to look through the strength lens to fix the aesthetic problems, (e.g. my bench is weak, so if I build that up, my chest will get bigger) but have you ever looked through your aesthetic lens to fix your strength problems (e.g. my quads are small, so if I bring those up, it will help my squat)?
This basic concept came to me recently. Last May and June I competed in a figure show and two physique shows. Considering I only had three months to prep and diet I fared well, but also learned some very important lessons in the process. As I look back on my pictures I can see two distinct areas that were lagging behind – my shoulders and my quads. “If I ever do another show,” I thought, “I’m definitely going to need to bring those areas up.” As I slowly transitioned out of bodybuilding training back to powerlifting I realized that my raw squat wasn’t where it should be, and my bench press had stalled. I put 2 and 2 together and realized my aesthetic weaknesses were also my strength weaknesses. I can distinctly remember thinking,“If I can bring up my shoulders and quads now, I bet my lifts will improve as well.” I’m sure this concept is not new, but I think my revelation is one that can help a lot of strength athletes who have never considered it. Consider the young man with no lats. I bet his bench suffers, particularly off the chest.
How about the middle aged mom with poor posture and no upper back? I bet she has trouble keeping position in the squat. The meathead dude with no glutes? Can’t lock out a deadlift.
Matt Mendenhall didn’t have any aesthetic weaknesses
Needless to say, I decided to address my weaknesses. My normal powerlifting template was a 4 day a week plan that followed a conjugate style of training. I had 2 lower body sessions and 2 upper body sessions. I had to find a way to add my shoulder and quad specialization to what I was already doing. What follows is how I incorporated more quad and shoulder volume into my training and how it has helped my geared powerlifting as well.
Lower Body Max Effort Days:
After completing my max effort squat or deadlift for the day I performed one of the following for 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps:
• Front Squat (shoulder width stance)
• SS Yoke Bar Squats (shoulder width stance)
• Manta Ray Squats (shoulder width stance)
• Leg Press (shoulder width stance)
Upper Body Dynamic Days:
After completing my speed bench, I performed one of the following:
• Floor Press
• Benching with a Catapult/slingshot
• Dumbbell press
While those movements definitely added volume to my bench, I decided to move my shoulder work to the day after my upper body dynamic day. This allowed me to do a little more volume than I would if I kept it on bench day.
Extra Shoulder Day:
This day had an overhead press exercise followed by accessory shoulder work done Mountain Dog style.
• Overhead press
• Swiss Bar overhead press (varying grips)
• Dumbbell overhead press
• Arnold press
• Side Laterals (reps, slow eccentrics, chains, etc)
• Partial Side Laterals, heavy
After a few months of consistently doing the above I noticed that not only had my raw strength increased, my shirted bench and geared squat were on the rise as well. In March of 2013 I squatted 413 in full gear, and in November (after focusing on my weakness) I squatted 375 in just briefs. At the same meet in March I shirt benched 275. Just a few weeks ago I doubled 260 (which will be my opener in March), and hit 280 for an easy single.
Try this approach yourself. Take a long hard look at your aesthetic weaknesses and see what you can take away from it to help your strength gains. Devise a plan and be consistent with it. Your results will soar to new heights.
If you missed out Black Friday offering here is one last chance to save big. We have a limited stock of BCAA+ back live (our new supplier should be ready in early January) and if you haven’t yet tried our most amazing protein supplement yet, Nitrean+ BLACK Series; now is a great time.
We haven’t done a sale promotion in some time. As most of you know, we had a major issue with our primary supplier for the past 6 months and their lies and failure to meet contractual agreements finally forced us to (recently) seek new suppliers. The process is long (at least 10 weeks) and not easy as any switch results in changes to products and great care must be taken. We thus still have some of our products not live for sale as we await the launch of their new versions (some will have added ingredients to make them even better).
As you may also know, we have finally launched our new Nitrean+ BLACK Series. It is no exaggeration to say it is the absolute best (in terms of efficacy) pure protein supplement available today. No other product can match it for net retention and thus potential utilization AND it has more leucine on a gram for gram basis than any other protein powder.
Take advantage of our Black Friday sale and save big while trying our Nitrean+ BLACK Series protein (or any of our other products)!
Don’t forget to check out our new offerings as well, Westside Performance Nutrition’s CONJUGATE and TRICORE.
CONJUGATE™ – two servings about 40 minutes prior to training
TRICORE™ – on training days take two servings during your training session. On off days take two servings with your Creatine 500.
Creatine 500 – 5g per day 7 days per week. Timing is not particularly important.
Nitrean+ BLACK Series – 1.5 servings in milk or water post-workout. One serving in water or milk before bed.
Include at least of one of each product above in your cart and use the code Westsidestack to save 15% off your cart total!
The use instructions above supercede all label or website recommendations.
As you may know we are now offering two Westside Performance Nutrition supplements (CONJUGATE™ and TRICORE™) in addition to our own products. Our affiliation with Westside Barbell and its owner Louie Simmons goes back many years. In fact, the Westside team has been using our Nitrean series of protein supplements as well as other key AtLarge Nutrition supplements for nearly a decade now.
When Louie and his team decided to begin offering their own supplement line I wholeheartedly endorsed it because I knew that like everything else Louie does it would be nothing but the best.
After extensive research of my own I have decided to offer the aforementioned two Westside Performance Nutrition products. Through my research I saw how they could be used in conjunction with AtLarge’s products to truly optimize training results and the net result of that is the stack of products and how to use them you see above.