Erik Fankhouser Jan '13
One of my favorite
 body parts to train is shoulders. I always enjoy training shoulders because I always get a massive pump in my delts, and they can take tons of volume before they tire out. I have tried many combination exercises to shock the hell out of my delts. Over the years I have discovered that my shoulders respond best
 to higher reps, dropsets,
and combination exercises. With that being said, this is how I came up with a sick exercise that will help build your delts. I call this House builder “Around-the-worlds.” I like to throw this exercise in the mix at the end of my shoulder session to polish them of just right.

Here is how it goes. I stand with one dumbbell in each hand just like you would if you were getting ready to do a standing DB curl. Curl the DBs up to your chest, press them overhead, and then take them down like the negative part of your side raise. Then curl up again, press over-head again, and let them down in front of you like the negative part of a front raise. Together those count as one rep. Curl, press, negative side raise, curl, press, negative front raise.

The key to this exercise is to go as slow as possible on the negative. It should take you a four-second count to lower the weight on the negative parts of this exercise. I like to select a weight that I can get 12–15 reps with good form. This exercise focuses on the negative, which, with some exercises, we neglect from time to time. So this will help you get the most out of your shoulder training and help you grow huge delts.

I saw in one of your FLEX online videos that you do your cardio on many different pieces of equipment for short periods of time. Why do you do this, and do you think this works well for others, too?

Cardio and I have a love-hate relationship, I guess you could say I love to hate it but hate to love it.

I am a big believer that you need to do cardio during your contest prep, and I think it is something you should do year-round to keep your heart healthy. During my contest prep, yes, I do cross-training with my cardio. I always switch up the equipment I use and I always change the time, levels, and pace. If I am going to do 30 minutes of cardio I will pick three different machines and do 10 minutes on each piece. I find that I can go at a more intense pace for 10 minutes, then switch machines and go another intense 10 minutes, and so on, compared with just going 30 straight on one piece. I like to do intervals on the machines, changing up the speed or incline. I like to split up time on the StepMill, stepper, upright bike, elliptical, and treadmill. The only time I will do 30 straight is if I am walking outside. Sometimes I wake up early and go walk outside.

House, after your shows do you just go crazy like I sometimes do and eat some normal-people food, or do you eat clean all year?

This question is perfect for me right now, mate. I have been dieting all season long and have tons of cravings for all the foods I have avoided for months. I would say it is normal to crave foods after a long, hard contest diet. My wife will buy my foods that I say I want after my shows. She puts them away so they will be waiting for me when I get home. I text her pictures of foods that I am craving so when she goes to the store she can pick them up. It is fall right now, and it is my favorite time of the year because of all the good foods of the season. I have been stocking up on anything pumpkin to eat after this show. I love pumpkin stuff and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My show is over in October, so I will get to enjoy all of the foods I have been waiting for. Some of the foods that top my list this year are pumpkin-flavored Pop-Tarts, Dairy Queen pumpkin pie blizzard, pumpkin spice Hershey kisses, pumpkin cheese cake from the Cheese Cake Factory, pumpkin pancakes, and good ol’ pumpkin pie and pumpkin rolls. I can’t wait to come home and enjoy the holidays with my family. I already told my kids I am eating all their Halloween candy! LOL – FLEX