Training

The Big Rock

French strongman Morgan Aste returns to bodybuilding.

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FRENCH BODYBUILDER MORGAN ASTE WANTS THE U.S. BODYBUILDING SCENE TO KNOW ONE THING: LOOK OUT

The super-heavyweight won the 2014 IFBB French Championships and placed ninth at the 2014 Arnold Amateur Europe. In 2015, Aste looks to make an impact on the American bodybuilding scene. “My first U.S. contest will certainly be in the NPC during the summer,” says Aste. “My goals in bodybuilding are to get my pro card, participate in the Mr. Olympia, and have a long career.”

So, who is this 352-pound mass monster?

A native of Lyon, France, Aste participated in several sports before he even started lifting weights, including soccer, handball, judo, boxing, and Muay Thai.

“I noticed I had better physical abilities than the other boys, and I was constantly asked if I was lifting weights, so I started lifting when I was 16 years old,” says Aste. “My strength gains were spectacular, and when I was 20 years old I competed in my first bodybuilding contest to see how I was doing compared with the other guys.”

At age 20, Aste weighed 195 pounds and started working out with trainer René Même, the creator of the MACS 7 training method. Même has been Aste’s personal trainer ever since.

“MACS 7 is based on the interaction between various modes of muscular contractions and different training techniques,” Aste says. “It allows for short muscle-building sessions without overloading the skeletal system.”

After competing in a few more bodybuilding competitions in his 20s, Aste made the switch to strongman to make a statement that bodybuilders could hold their own in strength sports.

“I convinced myself that a lot of people were considering bodybuilding a sport for getting big muscles, but without strength,” Aste says. “I wanted to compete with the strongmen to prove that bodybuilders were powerful and able to lift very heavy weight.”

Bodybuilders dabbling in powerlifting and vice-versa is a feat achieved by some athletes—for example, Matt Kroczaleski, Johnnie Jackson, and Stan Efferding have competed in both arenas—but Aste is a prototype: He can switch gears between bodybuilding and strongman.

Click "Next Page" for Morgan Aste's strongman and chest training routines >>

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