Bodybuilding Training - Bodybuilding Pre-Contest Training Routine

Hugo Rivera's Personal Bodybuilding Pre-Contest Training Routine

Hugo Wins The 2001 Typhoon Bay
Hugo Wins The 2001 Typhoon Bay. Hugo Rivera

The routine below shows you how my periodized pre-contest bodybuilding training routine looks like at 10 weeks out from a bodybuilding show.

Growth Phase Routine 

(Weeks 1-5; Started 10 weeks prior to the show)

For my pre-contest training I like to split the body up in 5 days as this allows me to add more exercises for each body part and thus attack it from all angles. During this phase, I just train from Monday to Friday for 5 weeks.

The purpose of this phase is at the very least to retain every single bit of muscle as one loses body fat so the routine is lower in volume, uses heavier weights and has longer rests in between sets.

Notes

  • This routine uses modified supersets. Each pair of exercises represented by the same letter is a modified superset. In this type of superset, perform the first exercise (for example, A-1), rest 90 seconds, perform the second exercise (for example, A-2), rest 90 seconds, and then go back to exercise A-1. Continue this pattern until all sets are done, then move to the B exercises.
  • If an exercise is listed as a single exercise, then just rest 90 seconds in between sets.
  • You may change the order of modified supersets and the pairing of exercises as well from workout to workout in order to avoid staleness.
  • Abs may be trained separately before morning 45-minute cardio session in superset fashion with no rest in between sets.
  • Cardiovascular exercise is performed twice a day for 45 minutes at a time. Once in the morning before meal 1 at around 6 am and another time after the workout around 12 noon, or later on in the evening if my schedule does not allow me to perform it immediately after my weights (which I hit around 11 am when preparing for a contest). My choices of cardiovascular exercise are either walking on the treadmill, recumbent stationary bike or the elliptical rider.

    Workout (A) Chest/ Rotator Cuff/Calves/Abs

    CHEST & CALVES
    A-1) Incline Bench Press 3x10,8,6
    A-2) Calf Raises on Standing Machine or Leg Press (Toes In) 3x15-20
    B-1) Chest Dips 3x10,8,6
    B-2) One Legged DB Calf Raises 3x15-20
    C-1) Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3x10,8,6 (alternate with BB Bench Press every other workout)
    C-2) Calf Raises (Toes Out) on Standing Machine or Leg Press 3x15-20
    D-1) Incline Flyes (alternate with Across Bench Pullover every other workout) 3x10,8,6
    D-2) Seated Calf Raises 3x15-20

    ROTATOR CUFF
    E) External Rotations 3x12-15

    ABS
    Twisting Crunches on Swiss Ball 3xFailure
    Knee-Ins 3xFailure
    Swiss Ball Crunches 3xFailure
    Hanging Leg Raises 3xFailure (alternate with Side Crunches every other workout)

    Workout (B) Hamstrings/Lower Back/Abs 

    HAMSTRINGS

    A-1) Single Legged Leg Curls 4x10,8,6,6 (alternate with Lying Leg Curls)
    A-2) Lunges (press with heel) 4x10,8,6,6
    B-1) DB Stiff Legged Dead lifts 4x10,8,6,6 (alternate with Wide Stance BB Deadlifts)
    B-2) Seated Leg Curls 4x10,8,6,6

    LOWER BACK
    C) Bent Knee Dead lifts 3x10,8,6

    ABS
    Same Ab Routine from Workout (A)

    Workout (C) Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps/Abs 

    SHOULDERS

    A-1) Bent Over Lateral Raises 3x10,8,6
    A-2) DB Shoulder Press 3x10,8,6
    A-3) Upright Rows 3x10,8,6

    BICEPS & TRICEPS
    B-1) Preacher Curls 3x10,8,6
    B-2) Close Grip Bench Press 3x10,8,6 (alternate with Alternating DB Curls every other workout)
    C-1) Incline Curls 3x10,8,6 (alternate with Concentration Curls every other workout)
    C-2) Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3x10,8,6 (alternate with Overhead One Arm Triceps Extensions every other workout)
    D-1) Biceps Chin-ups 3x10,8,6
    D-2) Triceps Dips 3x10,8,6


    ABS
    Same Ab Routine from Workout (A)

    Workout (D) Quads/Abs 

    QUADS & ABS 

    A-1) Leg Extensions 4x12,10,8,6
    A-2) Lying Leg Raises 4xFailure
    B-1) Squats 4x10,8,6,6 (alternate with Front Squats every other workout)
    B-2) Swiss Ball Crunches 4xFailure
    C-1) Wide Stance Squat 4x10,8,6,6
    C-2) Hanging Leg Raises 4xFailure
    D-1) Leg Press (feet together) 4x10,8,6,6
    D-2) Modified V-Ups 4xFailure

    Workout (E) Back/Traps/Forearms/Abs

    BACK & TRAPS 

    A-1) Wide Grip Pull-ups to Front 3X10,8,6
    A-2) Shrugs to Front 3x15-25
    B-1) Close Grip Pull-ups (Reverse Grip) 3X10,8,6 (alternate with Medium Reverse Grip Pull-ups every other workout)
    B-2) Shrugs to Back 3x15-25
    C-1) Close Grip Pull-ups to Front (Palms facing forward) 3X10,8,6
    C-2) DB Shrugs 3x15-25
    D-1) Low Pulley Rows 3X10,8,6
    D-2) Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls 3x20-25

    FOREARMS
    E-1) Hammer Curls 3x10-12
    E-2) Barbell Wrist Curls 3x20-25

    ABS
    Same Ab Routine from Workout (A)

     

    Loading Phase Routine

    (Weeks 6-10; Started 5 weeks prior to the show)

     

    For the Loading Phase, depending on how I feel, I may just train every day just going from one Workout to the next. The minimum is 5 days of weight training per week. The purpose of the loading phase is to maintain muscle and help to define it. This is accomplished by the fast pace of the routine along with the higher repetition protocols that are used and the several angles of attack for each muscle. This routine is very high in volume and is tailored for my specific recovery capabilities (which have always been really good). Therefore, you may wish to alter the volume of the routine a bit down if you take longer to recover from workouts.
     

    Notes

     

    • Rest 1 minute in between sets. You can pair exercises for the same muscle group and perform them as a superset in order to increase the pace of the routine. For instance, all of my abs and calves exercises are performed as a big giant set. I also like to pair exercises like an incline bench with chest dips. Feel free to experiment with exercise combinations.
    • You may change the order in which exercises are performed to avoid staleness.
    • Abs may be trained separately before morning 45-minute cardio session. You can do them one after the other in superset fashion with no rest in between sets.
    • Cardiovascular exercise is performed twice a day for 45 minutes at a time. Once in the morning before meal 1 at around 6 am and another time after the workout around 12 noon, or later on in the evening if my schedule does not allow me to perform it immediately after my weights (which I hit around 11am when preparing for a contest). My choices of cardiovascular exercise are either walking on the treadmill, recumbent stationary bike or the elliptical rider.

       

      Workout (A) Chest/ Rotator Cuff/Calves/Abs

      CHEST
      Incline Bench Press 3x8-10
      Chest Dips 3x8-10
      Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8-10 (alternate with BB Bench Press every other workout)
      75 Degree Incline DB Press 3x12-15
      Across Bench Pullover 3x8-10
      DB Flat Bench Flyes 3x12-15 (alternate with DB Incline Bench Flyes every other workout)

      ROTATOR CUFF 
      External Rotations 3x12-15

      CALVES
      Calf Raises (Toes In) on Standing or Leg Press Machine 3x15-20
      One Legged Calf Raises 3x15-20
      Calf Raises (Toes In) on Standing or Leg Press Machine 3x15-20
      Seated Calf Raises 3x15-20
      Calf Raises (Toes Out) on Standing or Leg Press Machine 3x15-20

      ABS 
      Partial Sit-Ups (go up until your torso is 30 degrees from floor) 3xFailure
      Knee-Ins 3xFailure
      Twisting Crunches on Swiss Ball 3xFailure
      Lying Leg Raises 3xFailure
      Swiss Ball Crunches 3xFailure
      Hanging Leg Raises 3xFailure
      Modified V-Ups 3xFailure
      Bicycle Crunches 3xFailure

      Workout (B) Hamstrings/Lower Back/Abs 

      HAMSTRINGS 

       

      Single Legged Leg Curls 4x13-15
      DB Stiff Legged Dead lifts 4x12-15 (alternate with Wide Stance BB Deadlifts)
      Lunges 4x8-10
      Seated Leg Curls 4x8-10
      Leg Press (Feet High on Platform) 4x8-10
      Lying Leg Curls 4x10-12

      LOWER BACK 
      Bent Knee Dead lifts 3x10

      ABS 
      Same Ab Workout from Workout A
       

      Workout (C) Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps/Abs 

      SHOULDERS 
      Rear Delt DB Rows 3x12-15
      Bent Over Lateral Raises 3x8-10 DB Shoulder Press 3x8-10
      Lateral Raises 3x8-10
      Upright Rows 3x10-12
      Military Press 3x8-10

      BICEPS 
      Preacher Curls 3x8-10 (alternate with Alternating DB Curls every other workout)
      Incline Curls 3x8-10
      Biceps Chin-ups 3x8-10
      Concentration Curls 3x12-15 (alternate with High Pulley Cable Curls every other workout)

      TRICEPS 
      Close Grip Bench Press 3x8-12
      Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3x8-10 (alternate with Overhead One Arm Triceps Extensions every other workout)
      Triceps Dips 3x8-10
      Triceps Pushdowns 3x12-15 (alternate with Rope Pushdowns every other workout)

      ABS 
      Same Ab Workout from Workout A

       

      Loading Phase Routine 

      (Weeks 6-10; Started 5 weeks prior to the show)

      Workout (D) Quads/Inner/Outer Thighs/Abs 

      QUADS 
      One Legged Leg Extensions 4x15-20
      Medium Stance Squats 4x8-10
      Wide Stance Squat 4x8-10
      Leg Press (feet and legs together) 4x15-20
      Lunges (Press with toes) 4x8-10
      Two Legged Leg Extensions 4x15-20

      INNER/OUTER THIGHS 
      Abductor Machine 3x15-20
      Adductor Machine 3x15-20

      ABS 
      Same Ab Workout from Workout A

      Workout (E) Back/Traps/Forearms/Abs 

      BACK 

       

      Wide Grip Pull-ups to Front 3x8-10
      Close Grip Pull-ups (Reverse Grip) 3x8-10 (alternate with Medium Reverse Grip Pull-ups every other workout)
      Close Grip Pull-ups to Front 3x10-12
      Reverse Grip T-Bar Rows 3x8-10 (alternate with Regular Grip T-Bar Rows every other workout)
      Low Pulley Rows 3x8-10
      Stiff Arm Pull downs 3x10-12

      TRAPS 
      Shrugs to Front 3x15-25
      Shrugs to Back 3x15-25
      DB Shrugs 3x15-25

      FOREARMS
      Hammer Curls 3x10-12
      Barbell Wrist Curls 3x20-25
      Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls 3x20-25

      ABS 
      Same Ab Workout from Workout A