Wednesday Back workout

/ Posted 02.08.2012

Today Briesen came in during her lunch hour for a fast and furious back workout.  Since she’s limited to a 30-35 minute workout all of our rest periods were about 30-45 seconds between sets and 1-2 minutes between exercises.

Close grip chins 2 sets (she reluctantly agreed to do them….she’s never done pullups or chins before) I got 8 on my first set and 6 on the second.  Much better than a couple weeks ago!

Wide grip pulldowns. 4 sets 7-10 reps

Seated cable row 4 sets 8-10 reps

High Pulley Row 3 sets 8-10 reps

One Arm DB Row 2 sets 8-10 reps

I got a fantastic pump in my lats!  Last week I did some deadlifts after Briesen left to go back to work.  Today my hamstrings are way too sore.  I will get my deadlifts done on Friday.

Backstage pic with Briesen

Backstage pic with Briesen at the South Texas Classic

Filed Under: Back, Photos

Breaking News!!!

/ Posted 11.16.2011

Going into the IFBB Pro ranks I knew exactly what I would be up against.  Although I’ve competed in (and won) non drug-tested shows for 16 of the 29 years that I’ve been a competitive bodybuilder, up until the time I stepped up to the IFBB Pro division I usually wasn’t competing against the very best bodybuilders in the world.  In the 202 and under weight class I’m giving up 20-30 lbs to many of the competitors…most of whom are shorter than me, and are among the very best bodybuilders in the world (otherwise they wouldn’t be IFBB Pros).  When I heard the news that the IFBB was changing the weight class to 212 lbs and under, I realized that my chances to be competitive would be further diminished.  Fortunately, starting in 2012 the IFBB is adding Pro Men’s Physique to the contest schedule.

So, I am officially announcing that in 2012 I will be competing as an IFBB Pro in the Men’s Physique Division.  My move to Men’s Physique has been approved by the IFBB Pro League office.

I feel that on the Pro stage my body is much better suited to the look that is winning in Men’s Physique.  Although I love bodybuilding and I love doing posing routines, I also like to have a chance to win….or at least be competitive.  I believe that I will be very competitive in the Pro Men’s Physique Division!  This is the look I plan to bring to the stage in 2012:

Men's Physique look...minus the water and the dude in the background

In other news, we have a great turnout for the NPC Texas State Natural Championships which will be held this Saturday.  We have nearly 150 athletes registered and we’re looking forward to a fantastic show.  Contest details can be found at   Entries will be accepted up through the weigh-in on Friday evening.  We have online ticket sales and online registration on our website.


Some Good News and Some Bad News

/ Posted 11.01.2011

Good News:  My new E-book, The Texas Shredder Mass Workout is selling like freakin’ hot cakes and they’re on sale right now.  Just go to

Good News:  Look up at the right hand corner of your screen and you can download my Ironman Ab Training vid and my Ironman Bench Press program for free (I think).

Good News:  Haloween is fun.

Diana and I decked out for Haloween

Good News:  Although it’s alot of work, it’s fun to judge and have booths at the bodybuilding shows.  This past weekend we did both at the NPC Central Texas Showdown.  Congrats to all of the athletes!  And, congrats to Bob and Laura Johnson who have done a terrific job growing this contest over the past 3 years!

With my client and bikini competitor Rosemary Calcese

Melanie Lewis, Diana Hurley, Briesen Cooper, and Rosemary Calcese at the Shredderbuilt booth

NPC competitor Giovanna Medina and IFBB Pro Bernadette Galvan at the NPC Texas Championships

Good News:  My head is not mis-shapen!  Well…not too much

Bleach the eyebrows and put a white shirt on me and you have Mr. Clean!

Good News:  At this point we have well over 130 athletes (not counting crossovers)registered for our NPC Texas State Natural Championships.  With 18 days to go we have surpassed our goal of 125 and I think we will hit our dream number of 150 competitors.  The theater should sell out and the house will be rockin’ for the final NPC Texas contest of 2011.  To purchase tickets, enter or sign up for a booth online go to

Now the Bad News:  I’ve had trouble with my right wrist off and on for years, as I injured it in a bicycle wreck 17 years ago.  I visited a hand specialist who told me after viewing the x-ray that it looks like I have a torn ligament that he can’t repair.  The best option was to have it scoped and clean it up, but it’s not going to fix it.  He said, “think about an old car engine that isn’t running well.  You can take it apart clean it all up and put it back together.  It will run better for a while, but it’s still an old engine.”



/ Posted 10.21.2011

Hey!  Here I am with an update….after months! 

Shredderbuilt booth

Here’s a photo from our Shredderbuilt booth at the NPC Texas State Championships last Saturday.  Me, Briesen Cooper, Sheryl Lau and her cute little daughter Kenzie.
The photo was taken during prejudging.  Diana was at the judges table test judging.  She did very well and needs one more round of test judging to get her NPC Texas judging credentials!
For those of you who haven’t seen me with the shaved head and are wondering about it, my girlfriend, Diana was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer.  I told her that if she had to have chemo and would lose her hair that I would shave my head too.  We ended up having a party at the Lucky Lounge in Austin, Tx and had our heads shaved on stage by Rebecca Thomas, owner of Adara Salon.  Rebecca is also the granddaughter of one of my favorite musicians, Willie Nelson!

Done with the head shaving

One of the few things that has been appealing to Diana since she started chemo is Italian food.  Being the ultra-supportive boyfriend that I am, I have eaten quite a bit of Italian food for the last 8 weeks.  It’s not so good for your waist line!
Not only has my eating been considerably off, I have not been training very hard because I’m  nursing some injuries.  I re-injured the adductor that I tore back in April, and I’ve been feeling pain during training in the spot where I had the small pec tear in March.  Right now I’m getting skinnier and fatter at the same time.  But, don’t worry!  It will all heal and I will be ready to go for the 2012 season!
Filed Under: Demos, Photos

Leg workout and NPC West Texas Classic

/ Posted 03.28.2011

Diana's Favorite Pose

We had a great weekend at the NPC West Texas Classic in Lubbock, Texas.  But, before I get into that I need to report on my training.  My legs are still burning as I sit here typing! 

Last week I was very inspired by Diana.  One day she was pressed for time during her leg workout and decided to speed up the process by doing 2 sets of 50 reps on the leg press, rather than her usual 4 sets of 15.  She said her legs were on fire and were sore for days.  So, I decided to try a leg workout that I haven’t done in probably a decade.  10 or 11 years ago I got on a kick where I did sets of 100 reps with 450 lbs on the leg press.  My buddies got wind of it and for a while it was a weekly running contest to see who could get the most reps with 450.  The most I ever did was 127 reps in one set, but I haven’t done that workout for probably about 10 years.  So, last Monday I posted on Facebook that I was going to atttempt a set of 100 reps with 450 lbs on the leg press.  I figured that would put extra pressure on me to not wimp out, as people would want to know how many reps I did.  I started with 90 lbs for a set of 20 and added 90 lbs each set until I got to 45o.  At 540 lbs I dropped it back to sets of 10 and contiued to add 90 lbs per set until I reached 810 for 10 reps.  Then I pulled 4 plates off of each side to leave me 450 lbs on the leg press machine.  I got psyched up and went for it.  At about 45 reps my legs were burning like crazy, but no way I was going to stop!  When I got to 60 I knew there was no possible way I was going to get to 100, but I had to crank out some more reps.  I just kept telling myself, “just 5 more”! At 75 there was nothing left and it was all I could do to push weight up high enough to re-rack it.  Disappointed that I didn’t get to 100, I imposed a “penalty set” on myself.  I rested for about 5 minutes and hit it again.  About 30 reps into the set I realized that I wasn’t wearing my Amourbite mouthpiece and was wondering if it would make any difference.  I racked the weight at 65 reps.  I went back to my office and pulled out my Armourbite.  Out of morbid curiosity I had to do another set.  As fried as my legs were at that point, I still cranked out a third set of 60 reps!  I followed that we 4 sets of squats, 4 sets of leg curls and 5 sets of standing calf raises (I could barely keep my legs straight).  Needless to say, my legs were still sore on Friday.

My client showed up unexpectedly and I had to get back to work.  Trained clients for 5 straight hours.  Now I have to get to dinner with some friends. 

To be continued tomorrow!

Filed Under: Legs, Photos, Posing

Mondays are for leg training

/ Posted 02.07.2011

As I’ve done nearly every Monday for the last 29+ years, I trained legs.  The leg workout is the most demanding, but it’s also my favorite.  I got my workout started about 2pm and was training solo.  I started with an easy 5 minute ride on a spin bike and then headed straight to the power rack for squats.

My warm up was 4 sets of super deep squats 95X10X10, 135X10, 185X10

Next I set the pins in the power rack at a level to stop me at what I would consider a half squat.  Here’s a pic:

My definition of a half squat

 I wanted to go considerably heavier than what I’ve been doing the last couple months without hurting my back (which has really been bothering me for a couple months but felt pretty good today).   My goal was to get the feel of some heavier weights and next week I’ll take them deeper.

Half Squats  225X5, 275X5, 315X5, 365X5, 385X1, 405X1 (these weren’t max reps…just getting the feel of the heavier weight again)

I performed the half squats with a 6 second count on the way down.

Then I dropped the pins to a level where I could go to parrallel.

Parallel Squats 315X6X5 (6 seconds down again)

Pulled the pins so I could go super deep

Deep Squat 225X10 (3-4 seconds down)

Leg Press 270X15, then I did the next 5 sets with just a 30 second rest  450X10, 540X10, 630X10X10X10

Leg Curls 30 seconds rests and 3 seconds on the down stroke 45X10X10X8X6

Leg Extensions 30 second rests with a pause in the contracted position and 3 seconds down  90X10X10X10X8

Had difficulty getting the post workout protein drink down.

Filed Under: Legs, Photos

LA Fit Expo

/ Posted 02.05.2011

It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks, but thanks to a rare snow day things slowed down a little bit yesterday.  I was glad that it snowed so I would have a valid excuse to sleep in, and I was happy that it warmed up enough so I could get out of the house and to the gym shortly after noon!  It was the best of booth worlds!

But, I want to back up and talk about last weekend and my trip to LA for the LA Fit Expo.

Me and Diana with Jamie Eason

Me and Diana with Jamie Eason

 Diana and I arrived at the Luxe hotel on Friday mid-afternoon.  After a nice late-lunch/early-dinner we settled in for nap, after which we headed down to the Convention Center to help the Ironman crew set up the booth.  Helen worked us really hard, but Ironman has such a great staff that it was really fun.

Me and Jamie Eason

Me and Jamie Eason

 On Saturday morning we arrived at the Ironman Magazine/ booths about 15 minutes before the expo opened.  I spotted Jamie Eason at the booth just one aisle over and I told Diana that we had better go speak to Jamie and get a photo with her before the expo opened.  It was a good decision.  The entire time the expo was open the line for the booth was ridiculously long!  In addition to Jamie, had some more friends of ours…Michelle Hanson (2010 Tx Shredder Classic Figure Overall Champ), Amanda Harris (aka Barbie Barbell), Shelsea Montes (IFBB Bikini Pro), and Nick Scott (bodybuilder/ballroom dancer extraordinaire).

Once the expo opened it was non-stop action at the Ironman Magazine booth for 2 days!  I was so busy autographing magazines, answering training questions and just chatting with fans and friends that I never got out of the booth to see any of the rest of the expo.  I know it sounds really lame, but by the end of the weekend my spinal erectors and hamstrings were extremely sore from signing autographs!

Me and Brian Hartley from

Brian Hartley from Awesome Product!!

We even had super heros in our booth!  Ingrid and Heather attracted a lot of attention….as you can imagine.  I felt compelled to take a break from my busy schedule and get a photo with them.

Ingrid and Heather

Super Heroes Ingrid and Heather

I felt really fortunate to get to meet Danny Hester who was doing demos of his GFlex at the Ironman booth.  Danny has easily one-upped the TRX system.  It’s not even close.  Danny gave me a quick primer on the GFlex and sent one back to Austin with me.  It has so many applications everyone should own one!!!

Danny Hester's GFlex

Working biceps on Danny Hester's GFlex

And, Diana and I debuted my Texas Shredder Contest Preparation Guide to the Stage DVD at the Fit Expo.  They’re now available at and soon on our new website

Shredder DVD

My Texas Shredder Contest Prep DVD

I finally got to meet Greg, my taller look-alike.  Maybe we’re brothers and my dad doesn’t know about him?  Greg and I looked a lot more alike before he shaved his goatee.

Me and Greg

And it’s always great to get to visit with the Ironman readers!


Prince is an aspiring young bodybuilder!

Prince's mom is so cute!

One of the super cool moments of the Fit Expo for me was finally getting to meet Ironman writer and great natural bodybuilder Eric Broser and his beautiful girlfriend Robyn Balliet.  Eric took the light-heavyweight title at the Ironman Naturally.  They’re a really nice couple and we’re hoping they come to Austin for the Texa Shredder Classic on May 7th.

Eric Broser and Robyn Balliet are an awesome couple!

Although we didn’t get home until almost mid-night on Sunday, then the alarm clock went off at 4:50am on Monday, it was such a fun weekend that it was well worth the lost sleep and all the work.  I highly recommend the LA Fit Expo!  It’s such a blast and such a wonderful way to kick off the bodybuilding season!  Thanks to John, Michael, Helen, Terry, Corky, Warren, Steve, Jonathon, Ruth, Lonnie,  and the rest of the outstanding  people on the Ironman Magazine staff working my butt off for 2 days flys by way too fast.  I can’t wait for next year!!!


It’s Alive!!!

/ Posted 05.06.2010

Me and my buddy Cecil “CBX” Ballard at the Texas Shredder Classic   

  No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world….I’m still alive and kickin’.  Yes, I realize how long it has been since I posted a blog.  Rather than make excuses I’ll just say that I have the New Motion Machines NPC Texas Shredder Classic in the rear view mirror and I’m now in contest training mode preparing for my IFBB Pro debut at the Europa Super-Show in Dallas, August 13-14.  Getting ready to compete in bodybuilding is so much easier and so much more fun than promoting a show.  However, promoting the Texas Shredder Classic is much more profitable, so I guess I’ll keep doing it!

     I started dieting last Monday (April 26th).  The diet is not that hard for me, but not being able to have a glass of wine when I get home from work really sucks.  Last week I got all my workouts done, even though I was still buried under a huge pile of Shredder wrap-up work.  I was weak though.  The week of the Shredder Classic is always really hard on me physically.  I don’t get much sleep, I don’t have much time to train, I miss a lot of meals, and setting up for the show is physically exhausting.  This week I’m feeling much better.  I had a great leg workout on Monday and a pretty good chest workout on Tuesday.  Today I had an excellent back workout.  I started with a few sets of light squats for warmup and I threw in some box jumps just because I like to do them.  I just found out this morning that the Hyde Park Gym Push-Pull Meet will be held June 26th.  I want to reclaim that title so I started my back workout with deadlifts.  I haven’t deadlifted off the floor in weeks, but they went pretty well (I didn’t hurt myself).

So here’s the workout:

Squats 3 sets 10 reps

Deadlifts 6 sets…10, 8, 6, 6, 3, 6

Partial deadlifts 2 sets 15, 12

Close Grip Chins 4 sets maximum reps

Box Jumps between sets of chins 18″X6, 19″X5, 23″X5, 24″X3, 26.5″X5X3

Wide Grip Pulldowns  4 sets  12, 8, 8, 6

One Arm DB Row  3 sets 8 reps

Filed Under: Back, Photos, Uncategorized

More from prejudging day

/ Posted 11.14.2009

I couldn’t go to bed without posting some photos that I took today.  Hopefully someone took some of me onstage and I’ll have them up tomorrow, if so.

Gaspari Nutrition was a huge part of this show.  Here I am with Flex Lewis, Rich, Ted and another huge guy whose name I unfortunately forgot in my dieted down state.



Here’s IFBB Pro Cathy LeFrancois also with Gaspari Nutirion


With Stephen from Australia


Sean and I got a quick photo with the girls who were handing out the contest programs.


Sean Ferguson during his pump up


I don’t think I’ve mention how disgusting it is that people here will light up a cigarette just about anywhere.  People have been smoking freely in the hotel lobby, in the resturaunt, in the contest venue, but the kicker today was when I walked back stage and one of the competitors was taking a break from pumping up and lit up a smoke backstage….and sat down to smoke it right next to his buddy who was pumping up!!!!  I’m so ready to get back to a smoke-free environment!  But first….I still have some business to take care of!!!!!


Prejudging day in Bialystok

/ Posted 11.14.2009

I was set my alarm to get up at 7am, but with the time change I’m having some difficulty staying asleep.  I got to bed about 12:30 last night, but still woke up at 6;30 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I went to breakfast about 7:15 and ran into my friends from the UK and had a very nice conversation at the breakfast table.    My buddy Sean is trying to convince me to compete in the IFBB Classic Bodybuilding World Championships in Madrid, December 11-14.  It sounds like something that I would like to do, but all the expenses of traveling to shows and missing work is adding up….real fast!!!  In fact, I couldn’t be here at the Masters World Championships were it not for the generosity of Ironman Magazine publisher, John Balik, who sponsored my airfare for this trip.

Here I’m picture with British Classic Bodybuilder Sean Ferguson.  We’re discussing the possiblity of having a seminar at his gym in Dorchester just before the World Classic in December.


Here with IFBB Vice President from Sweden Thomas Ivering



Well, I’m off for a short walk and will be heading to the venue for prejuding in just a couple hours.  Last night at the weigh in I was sizing up some of my competition.  While there are some very formidable competitors in my division it’s nothing like the lineup in Qatar, so I think I’ll be right up there in contention for the class title.  I’ll post again after the prejudging.