“Da Bull” was going to compete in the Olympia 212 Showdown in Orlando.Read article
Legend holds that half a century ago, you could hitchhike to Hollywood, rent a studio apartment, and get discovered bench pressing at your local gym. Nowadays? Forget it, kid—rack up half a million YouTube subscribers and get back to me. The only people getting picked out of a
crowd in L.A. these days are suckers and soon-to-be Scientologists.
Unless you’re Damien Patrick.
Not long ago, the classic physique competitor was catching a workout at LA Fitness in Santa Monica when an exec at Fitplan approached him to contribute his image and expertise to the app, which features the fitness wisdom and workouts of athletes and fitness legends like Alex Rodriguez and Mike O’Hearn.
Little did the exec know, Patrick does, in fact, have half a million YouTube subscribers. “He was just going off of what I was doing in the gym,” Patrick says. The contract was practically inked before he had finished his set. “It was the L.A. dream.”
Don’t call it luck, though: If anyone has put in the sweat equity to build and market his physique, it’s Patrick, who, at 5’11” and 230 pounds, spent the past three years transforming himself from a men’s physique competitor to a rising contender in classic physique.
Along the way, he also produced and starred in nearly 300 YouTube videos on fitness topics from bulk dieting to back workouts. They’re more than the usual beefcake BS: Patrick’s expertise—accrued from years of training everyone from athletes and A-listers to dads and grandmothers—shines through in every frame. His posts average close to 400,000 views apiece.
One key point of focus for Patrick’s recent transformation: his legs. Patrick’s wheels were less of a priority in men’s physique. “In classic physique, it’s all about symmetry,” he says. “You have to focus on all the details.”
To that end, his leg workouts are high-volume, moderate-weight affairs, focused on bringing maximal blood into the muscles. “I trained heavy my first two or three years,” he says. “It never really worked for me. I like it more when it feels like a sport: Your heart rate’s up, you’re moving fast.”
Lower weights aren’t just better for physique competition, he argues—it’s a healthier approach in the long run. “I want to be able to walk in 20 years,” he says. “I’m playing for the long game.”
That’s exactly what you’ll do in this twice-weekly program, which is based on Patrick’s leg day for the Fitplan app. “It hurts,” he concedes. “But it works.”
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