Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Before they become champions, athletes need to learn how to lose. For Jeff Seid, it took a long time to get the experience firsthand. Up until last year’s inaugural Men’s Physique Olympia Showdown, the 19-year-old’s career had been a charmed one, paved with victories and placings no lower than sixth.
Seid won the overall in the 2013 NPC Physique Jr. Nationals to become the youngest pro in the 67-year history of the IFBB and less than three months later, he won the Valenti Gold Cup, his first professional show, automatically qualifying him for the Olympia. The biggest stage, though, proved to be the one that humbled him, and after an 11th-place finish there, he’s hungrier now and training harder than ever before.
“Being on the Olympia stage was a pretty cool moment that I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life. I couldn’t walk two feet through the expo without having someone come up to me and want to take a picture or something,” Seid says, adding that the thrill of just being there won’t be enough next time around. “Winning the 2014 Olympia is the plan.”
At 6 feet, 205 pounds, and 6% body fat (he never goes above seven), Seid has built considerable mass while maintaining a totally ripped and athletic look. He weight trains six days a week, pushing failure in every workout. He says his willingness to push beyond the pain barrier almost every day has paved the way for his early success.
“I like to go to failure as often as I can,” Seid says. “Let’s say the goal rep range is 12 reps. If you pump out 12 reps and you can get 15, why stop at 12 when you can do more? Going to failure is important because the last couple of reps is when you see the most gains. I don’t wait to use it late in the workout. I go to failure early, in the middle, and at the end of my workouts.”
Seid’s cardio is intense, too; he does HIIT because he says it burns more fat and spares muscle, and boosts the metabolism for 24 hours afterward. His HIIT workouts are performed every other day for 10–15 minutes on a stationary bike, starting at Level 5 for 30 seconds, increasing speed to Level 15 while keeping the RPM over 100, then going back down to Level 5. It’ll be interesting to see in the years to come if Seid is able to keep up the frenetic pace and still make gains; frequently pushing muscles to failure may bring on fatigue. But for now, it’s working for him, and he’s more jacked than any 19-year-old has a right to be.
So, are you up for Seid’s all-out approach to arm training? Think hard before you answer: It’s 12 different exercises and a staggering total of 46 sets, all performed as supersets. Be judicious with the poundages as you’re not likely to finish if you go too heavy early on. If you can complete the Jeff Seid challenge, we guarantee you the monster pump of your life—not to mention something to tell the grandkids.
|Monday||Chest, Triceps, Calves|
|Tuesday||Back, Biceps, Calves|
|Thursday||Chest, Shoulders, Calves|