Muscle & Fitness is dedicated to covering the full fitness landscape, regularly introducing fans to new trends in training, nutrition, gear and technology. Muscle & Fitness is the essential training partner.
Check out classic physique competitor Steve Laureus's bicep workout.
Old school training is the name of the game when it comes to Steve Laureus's biceps. The IFBB Professional League Men's Classic Physique athlete utilizes moves inspired by athletes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman to pump up his arms. Try his workout, and you'll see why. #FlexFriday
In our cover story, we preview one of—if not the—most-anticipated movies of the summer, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. We also talk to Dwayne Johnson’s trainer, Dave Rienzi, to find out how The Rock got into such great shape for the role. Warning: these workouts are not for the faint of heart. His back routine sounds downright torturous, and you’ll have trouble walking to the car if you attempt his leg day.
Speaking of leg day, Stranger Things star Andrey Ivchenko walks us through his lower-body routine while discussing the third season of the hit Netflix show. We keep up the heat with workout tips from powerlifter Stefi Cohen, 1970s tough guy Martin Kove, and the Muscle Doc Jordan Shallow. Entrepreneur Jas Mathur also discusses dropping 250 pounds and his Limitless line of supplements.
You’ll be inspired by the story of Garrison Redd, a Paralympic powerlifter who didn’t let a gunshot wound that left him wheelchair-bound keep him down. WWE Superstar Roman Reigns also discusses his comeback from leukemia earlier this year and how he felt working alongside his cousin, The Rock, on Hobbs & Shaw.
We have plenty of delicious recipes to help you keep that beach bod until the end of summer, and an in-depth look on whether GMO (genetically modified organism) foods are as dangerous as most people would have you believe.
And since Muscle & Fitness includes FLEX, you'll also get the latest bodybuilding news, as well as even more workouts and nutrition tips. As Mr. Olympia rapidly approaches (have you bought your tickets yet?), we showcase workouts from past Mr. O's. We also look back on the tragic story of Andreas Münzer, an iconic bodybuilder whose stay at the top of the bodybuilding mountain was cut short.
Whatever your goals are, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need right here in Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.
Powerlifters and bodybuilders are like quarreling brothers. Some differences they can never fully bridge and yet, for better or worse, they remain closely related. They do many of the same exercises. Bodybuilders squat, deadlift, and bench press, just as powerlifters may crank out sets of triceps extensions, barbell rows, and dumbbell yes. A few bodybuilders—most especially Johnnie Jackson, Stan Efferding, and, in his early years, Ronnie Coleman—have combined powerlifting and bodybuilding to great effect. They’ve ended the tiff and used a lower-rep, power-intense approach to bodybuilding to become both stronger and larger.
Raising The Dead
The powerlifting and bodybuilding connection has been long and strong. Two-time Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu started as a European champion powerlifter in the ’60s. His best reported lifts of a 750-pound deadlift, 665-pound squat, and 525-pound bench press are remarkable when you consider the 5'5" Sardinian strongman competed at around 185 pounds. Though not quite as strong, his best friend Arnold Schwarzenegger also powerlifted competitively, deadlifting 710 in his last meet in 1968 when he was already Mr. Universe.
Let’s zero in on the deadlift, because unlike the squat and the bench press, deads have had an uneasy relationship with bodybuilding. In fact, if you look at the routines of most champion bodybuilders before the mid-1990s, deadlifts are rarely there. To dead or not to dead was one of the chief things that separated powerlifters from their bodybuilding brethren, and it was mostly the rare hybrid powerlifter-bodybuilder who pulled weights from the floor yet also worked to widen his back. But with the 14-Olympia-win string (1992–2005) of Dorian Yates followed by Ronnie Coleman, both of whom included deads in their workouts and had arguably the two greatest backs ever to unfurl, deadlifts became very much a bodybuilder thing.
And so they have been ever since. Following Yates’ lead, some bodybuilders do deads last in their back routines, so they don’t need to go so heavy. But a power-bodybuilding routine places a premium on increasing strength in the three power lifts, and thus schedules each of them—squats for legs, bench press for chest, and deadlifts for back—first in their respective workouts.
Pavel Ythjall / M+F Magazine
In addition to focusing on the three power lifts, the other thing that distinguishes power-bodybuilding is its emphasis on heavy sets of relatively low reps. Most sets should be in the six-to-eight-rep range. Strength is the goal, not the pump, so skip techniques like dropsets and supersets. Instead, rely on forced reps or cheating to eke out another rep or two. Watch power bodybuilders Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson charge through a brutal session, and you’ll quickly understand that—on exercises like pulldowns, dumbbell laterals, and EZ-bar curls—they’d rather loosen their form to keep a set going than stay strict and miss out on that extra rep. After all, it’s those extra reps over the course of a workout that are crucial to growth.
Pyramid at least one exercise in each routine, progressing to an apex set of 4–6 reps. The three power lifts are ideal candidates for pyramids, as are military presses, barbell shrugs, EZ-bar curls, and close-grip bench presses. Throughout each workout, emphasize free-weight basics, and select the exercises in which you can move the most metal. So close-grip bench presses and lying EZ-bar extensions are better choice for triceps than one-arm pushdowns or dumbbell kickbacks.
Per Bernal / M&F Magazine
The now-46-year-old Johnnie Jackson has competed in 12 Olympias while also powerlifting competitively at an elite level. He explains his philosophy in combining the two iron sports and how a continuous quest for power has led to continuous growth. “Over the years, some exercises have come and gone in my routines, but I’ve continued to use powerlifting and power movements for bodybuilding. I don’t think you can be a consummate bodybuilder without them. Anyone who goes only for the burn will never build impressive mass or thickness because his criteria are subjective. I want an objective goal. Powerlifting gives me that. Show me the numbers. My personal record for a given lift is the one I have to break. If I exceed it, that proves I’ve grown. There is nothing more motivational than that. If you’re not testing your limits, it’s hard to be aggressive and have a good workout. I want to bring everything I’ve got to every workout to get both stronger and bigger.”
Power Bodybuilding Tip Sheet
Emphasize free-weight basics like barbell rows, military presses, and dumbbell incline presses.
Continuously strive to use heavier weights. Switch in a different exercise if you’re not progressing.
Do mostly straight sets, but have a spotter assist you with forced reps.
Work calves and abs with sets of 10–15 reps.
Power Bodybuilding Basics
Include the three powerlifts— squats, deadlifts, and bench presses— in your workout program.
Do the powerlifts first in your leg (squat), back (deadlift), and chest (bench press) routines.
Pyramid the powerlifts, going as low as four reps.
Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Tom Cruise is ready to fly—again. The first Top Gun: Maverick trailer has been released, putting the audience into the sky right alongside Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
The movie was originally set for a 2019 release, but was pushed back to 2020 so director Joseph Kosinski could work on getting the most high-tech equipment he could shoot fighter jets in action. From the first trailer, it looks like he’s succeeded. Tom Cruise surprised the Hall H crowd at Comic-Con in San Diego with the trailer for the film. The movie is being put together by Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer, bringing Top Gun to a new generation of fans.
The new trailer shows off Maverick in action in the skies along with the supporting cast of Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and Jennifer Connelly. The plot of the film details the battle between new drone technology and the need for pilots like Maverick—summed up by Harris’s character saying to Pete: “Your kind is headed for extinction Maverick.” “Maybe so sir, but not today,” Maverick responds.