Two legendary Mr. Olympias of the past couple of decades are pictured below, Ronnie Coleman (left) and Jay Cutler (right). (Bill Comstock photo).
The two had very similar training regimens with one glaring difference—Ronnie leaned much more toward heavy poundages because of his powerlifting background, while Jay used lighter weighs and higher reps. Here’s a most-muscular comparison…
It’s interesting that both used what we call X-Rep-Only sets, or X-O. Those are partial-rep sets, moving the weight from the semi-stretch point up to the halfway point or just above.
For example, on bench presses the bar usually moved from above the chest, not touching, to just above the halfway point on the stroke.
Again, Ronnie would often use excessive weights, doing only doubles or even singles on many exercises, while Jay kept his sets at 10 reps and higher.
In case you haven’t followed bodybuilding, Ronnie ended up needing multiple back surgeries and had to use a walker after he retired. Jay is still going strong, no major injuries whatsoever.
Now we’re all for challenging weights in the gym every so often, but there’s no need to make a habit of doing singles and doubles with joint-crushing, spine-mushing poundages. It’s just not necessary to get huge. We’ve discussed the latest research proving that. Also, you can ask Jay—as well as many other legendary Olympia winners such as eight-time Mr. O Lee Haney: “Stimulate, don’t annihilate”.
For more on how Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler trained from an X-Rep and X-Only perspective, see…
Jay Cutler—Chapter 5: Mr. O’s Wild X-O Workouts, X-Rep Update #1, available HERE
Ronnie Coleman—Bonus Chapter A: Analyzing Mr. Olympia’s Workout from an X-Rep Perspective, Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building, available HERE
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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