He started competing as a bantamweight. He turned pro, unceremoniously, as a light-heavy a dozen years ago at the North America. He didn’t win a pro show for another four years, but Dexter Jackson has done a lot of winning since then. Of current pros only Jay Cutler has more pro victories, and it’s a close race (Jackson has 12, Cutler 14). Both Mr. Olympias own three Arnold Classic trophies.

Here, Jackson highlights the negative halves of reps and serves up a chest routine that includes the slow, controlled reps he’s found so valuable in his journey from bantam to Mr. O.


“I wasn’t meant to be a big guy. The way I built my mass was by lifting heavy year-round. I also think it pays to focus on the negative. Never forget that lowering the weight is half the rep. Always control the weight on the negative half of a rep to stimulate maximum muscle growth. If you’re just lowering the weight in a hurry to build up momentum to push it up again, you’re really shortchanging yourself.”


Bench presses 4 10-6
Incline dumbbell presses 4 8-10
Dumbbell flyes 4 8-10
Cable crossovers 3 10-12