High Volume Delt Day!

/ Posted 07.17.2011

I hit the gym on a Sunday (my normal day off) this week to train delts with Aaron “The Delt Man” Reed. Aaron is a giant 6’7″ natural bodybuilder who is going to be traveling to Las Vegas in two weeks to earn his pro card in the new Men’s Physique Division at the NPC USA Championships. Aaron’s training style is high volume with lots of sets and reps. My normal training style is heavy resistance and high intensity for 6-10 reps. After taking one look at Aaron’s huge and striated deltoids, I couldn’t resist the invitation to join him for a shoulder workout and see what his training method was all about.

We started off with a basic compound movement to build mass and strength. We choose the Standing Military Press today, taking the barbell out of the power rack. I appreciate Aaron setting the pins low enough for me since he is almost a full foot taller than I am. My left rotator cuff has been bothering me for the last month so I only did one set with 135 pounds for 10 reps and two more sets with 155 pounds for 8 reps. Aaron went up to 185 for his last two sets.

After the heavy presses, we went over to the dumbbell rack and did three sets of Front Lateral Raises. I normally don’t do this exercise but I got a great pump in the anterior delts and it was fun to watch my shoulders blow up in front of me. We did three sets of the Front Lateral Raises, bringing the dumbbells up to eye level. I started with the 35 pound dumbbells for 12 reps and then two more sets of 10 with the 40’s.

Next up was Standing Side Lateral Raises for the side delts. This is where the workout really got interesting! Aaron devised a giant giant set consisting of a total of NINE SETS of Side Lateral Raises. Talk about a BRUTAL set!! Aaron calls this invention of his “Hell” and I soon found out why. Here is how it went. We started with the 10 pound dumbbells for 20 reps, went right into the 15 pound dumbbells for 15 reps, then the 20 pound dumbbells for 12 reps, followed by the 25 pound dumbbells for 10 reps and finally the 30 pound dumbbells for 8 reps. But, hold on, we weren’t finished yet. After the set with the 30’s, we immediately grabbed the 25’s again for another 10 reps, then the 20’s for 12 reps, the 15’s for 15 reps and finally the 10’s for another 20 reps. All in all, 9 total sets in one for a grand total of 122 reps!

The first set was incredibly tough and my delts got a gigantic pump from this giant giant set. But, by the time I got to the second and especially the third set, my delts were more pumped than I can ever remember them being. They were so enlarged that they made my arms look small. After the third set, I raised my arm to brush the hair off my forehead and I had to laugh because I could barely raise my arm.

Now that our side delts were fully pumped and annihilated, we moved onto the rear delts. Aaron has a way of training rear delts that was new to me. Instead of keeping his elbows slightly bent during the movement, he locks his elbows and turns the dumbbells so his little finger is facing the ceiling. By locking the elbows, I could really isolate the rear delt during the exercise and not feel the muscles in the upper back as much. I had to go much lighter than normal in order to keep the elbows locked but I could really feel the difference in the rear delt muscles.

By this time, I was getting exhausted but we went over to the pec deck machine to finish off those rear delts. Facing the machine, we did three drop sets for 8-8-12 reps. I started off with 160 pounds for 8 reps, then dropped the weight to 130 pounds for another 8 reps and finished off with 85 pounds for 12 reps. I had to drop the weight for the last set because my rear delts were super pumped.

Finally, we finished off this high volume delt day with about three sets of upright rows using the cable. Our delts were so fried at this point that we just used a moderate weight for 10-12 reps and that was plenty. That damn Giant Giant Side Lateral Delt Destruction Set completely killed my delts today. It should be interesting to see how sore I am tomorrow from this high rep, high set experiment. Thanks to Aaron “The Delt Man” Reed for a great workout and check out Aaron in two weeks at the USA Championships in Las Vegas. At 6’7″ and 245 pounds with delts that resemble Don Howarth’s, he’s not easy to miss.



Filed Under: Uncategorized

Paddle Boarding in St. Pete

/ Posted 07.11.2011

Summer is in full swing out here in Tampa, Florida! Because I moved here in late August of 2010, this is my first official summer in Florida. It’s different than I thought it would be. I expected it to be brutally HOT because that is what I was warned by every Floridian since I moved here. However, although the humidity is definitely high, it’s nothing like Vegas in July when the temperature can hit 120 with 100 at night. The temperature out here in Florida is normally in the 90’s but it never gets higher than that.

I have been surprised by the frequent raining. It seems to rain every day and, even if it doesn’t rain, there are plenty of threatening clouds overhead to make it look like rain. The pattern seems to be beautiful sunshine in the morning followed by clouds and rain in the afternoon and evening. Because of this weather pattern, I decided to try some summer water activities early this Sunday morning.

I figured since I’m only 30 minutes from the beach and the ocean, why not take advantage of this beautiful location and start getting in some extra physical exercise while I’m at it. I’ve got my choice of jet skis, kayaking and water boarding. I’m not ready to give actual surfing a try (unless it’s on a computer) but water boarding is more my speed. I’ve seen people doing it on the ocean and today was my day to try it.

I took a class at 10 am on Sunday to learn how to paddle board. As can be expected, the most difficult thing about paddle boarding is keeping one’s balance. Whenever a boat passed us in the ocean, the resulting waves created quite a challenge when it came to staying on the board. However, after the first fall, the anticipation of falling goes away and it becomes easier to focus on the actual technique.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’m pretty good at paddle boarding. I was going much faster than anyone else in class (it must be the lats! ;) and I wasn’t tired or sore anywhere. I thought my core would really be sore but it didn’t really wipe me out. I guess my frequent HIIT cardio sessions on the stair master are paying off. I think I fell about 4 times but that’s OK. It’s like anything else in life, the more you fall, the more you have to get back up and keep trying. I’m looking forward to trying paddle boarding again but maybe I’ll hit the kayak next weekend.

Filed Under: Cardio, Photos

Rick Schaff Video: Hansen Training at PowerHouse

/ Posted 07.06.2011

Filed Under: VIdeo

Training Back and Biceps

/ Posted 07.06.2011

I had my good friend Rick Schaff come to the gym with me on Friday, July 1st, 2011 to shoot some footage of me training back and biceps. At this point in my training, I’m still staying really lean after doing a couple of photo shoots in May and June. I shot with Mike Neveux on May 12th and then with Ian Sitren in Palm Springs, California the following day. One month later, I did a photo shoot with my sponsor Optimum Nutrition on June 17th and then shot with Tony Mitchell from OAMG on the same day.

Since my last photo shoot, I have been allowing myself some cheat meals on the weekend (usually Saturday and/or Sunday) and then getting back on my regular diet on Monday and staying on the diet throughout the week. This is allowing me to have more energy and strength for my workouts without adding any fat to my waistline. I’m keeping my diet at about 225 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbs and 40 grams of fat during the week. Sometimes, I add a high carb day but this depends on how lean I am from the cheating on the weekend. Most of the weight gain I get from cheating is the sodium in restaurant foods. It’s amazing how much water I gain from just one meal in a restaurant. I know it’s water because the weight gain and waist increase are back to normal after only one day back on my normal diet.

When I was dieting for the photo shoots, especially in the last week leading up to the shoot, my strength would just drop dramatically. Using 225 pounds on Barbell Rows, for example, felt 50 pounds heavier than the actual weight. Although I want to stay lean throughout the year because I am contemplating competing again in the fall and I want to be ready for more photo shoots, I can’t stay that lean or diet that hard all the time because I will inevitably lose muscle if I have such low energy that I can’t even do an effective workout. Just one or two cheat meals on the weekend provide me with so much more energy and strength during the following week.

I have been training by myself for the last couple of months because my training partner has to have surgery on his neck soon. As a result, I can not do the the forced negatives form of training that I was using leading up to my photo shoot with IronMan in May. It was difficult at first getting used to training solo but I’m becoming accustomed to it now. When I train chest, I do barbell bench press or incline barbell bench press in the Smith Machine because I don’t want that damned barbell falling on my neck or sternum. I am still doing pause squats (holding the bottom position for 2 seconds) by myself and that’s been going good. I am gradually getting stronger each week since my last photo shoot. This is important because I want to train heavier in order to hold onto my muscle mass over the next couple of months.

I am planning on getting really ripped for the Mr. Olympia weekend in mid-September because I may have some photo shoots scheduled for that weekend and I’m going to shoot some video footage with Wayne Gallasch from GMV Productions. Wayne will be in town shooting the Mr. Olympia contest and he is going to do some video shoots on that Sunday. After that weekend, I will get off my diet for a few days and then think about possibly competing in early November.


Filed Under: Dieting

Having Fun at the Tampa Bay Pro Show!

/ Posted 07.02.2011

I had a great time attending the 2011 IFBB Tampa Bay Pro Show promoted by Tim Gardner out here in my new home of Tampa, Florida. Matt Midyett, the owner of the Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa, was one of the sponsors of the show and he was kind enough to hook me up with a pass to see the show. Matt and myself hung out with 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout during the prejudging. Samir was on hand to receive an award for his contribution to bodybuilding and Powerhouse Gym at the evening show. Samir is a Bodybuilder’s Bodybuilder and he still really loves the sport. It was fun to see him backstage with all the pro bodybuilders ready to go on stage. Samir was telling all the guys how to stand and how to pose and some of these poor guys were getting exhausted from Samir’s posing lessons before they stepped out under the lights. LOL

After the prejudging was finished, Matt, Samir and myself went out to lunch and were joined by Matt’s beautiful wife Gina, Shawn Ray, photographer Rick Schaff and beautiful fitness model Sherry Goggin, who was in town to see the show. It was great talking bodybuilding with Shawn and Samir, two awesome bodybuilders I grew up admiring and reading about in the magazines when I was coming up in the sport.

At the evening show, more bodybuilding legends were in attendance. 1982 Mr. Olympia Chris Dickerson, a Florida resident, was also there watching the show. Lee Labrada was also at the show to receive the Ben Weider Lifetime Achievement Award. They couldn’t have picked a more worthy recipient than Mr. Mass with Class himself. Lee was gracious and eloquent in his acceptance speech after receiving his award. Samir also received an award from Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa owner Matt Midyett for his contribution to the sport of bodybuilding and his support of the Powerhouse Gym chain.

As for the show itself, Marius Dohne pulled an upset in beating contest favorite Hidetada Yamagishi. Frank McGrath took third and qualified for the Mr. Olympia contest after coming back from a car accident a year ago that almost took his life. Mark Dugdale moved from the 202 class to the open class and placed 4th at this show with his classy physique. The upset of the night was Tampa resident Marcus Haley taking 5th place after recently taking second at the Orlando Pro Show about a month ago. Marcus was visibly upset at his placing and the audience didn’t agree with the decision either.

All in all, it was a great night. Being an old school bodybuilder myself, the highlight was seeing and talking to the legends of the sport like Chris Dickerson, Samir Bannout, Shawn Ray and Lee Labrada. It’s great to see these gentlemen all in good health and still supporting the sport that they love. Congratulations to promoter Tim Gardner for putting on a great show and I look forward to next year’s event.

Filed Under: Contests