I have been training for seven years now. I started weight training in high school (age 16) to gain strength for wrestling and crew, and then I fell in love with the weights. It wasn’t until I saw my first bodybuilding magazine with Victor Martinez in it that I said, “Woahhh!!! I want to look like that!” I then joined a gym that was run by IFBB Pro Jason Greer and he really helped to point me in the right direction, and answered any questions I had, really a great guy. Also his mother worked at the gym as well and she was a driving factor for him to compete, so she saw me as a little Jason and wanted to see me do well. She attended my first few shows, and even drove me to one when my family couldn’t make it. If it wasn’t for those two really helping me out, I’m not sure where I would be today.
As a newbie the mistakes that I made were probably the same as everyone else, poor diet, periodization, and training duration. When it came to diet I knew I had to eat every two-three hours, but I didn’t know what I should be eating. I was just shoveling food in my mouth like there was no tomorrow. When it came to training, I didn’t have a set plan, I would just walk into the gym and train for hours, not realizing that I needed to rest and eat. I just loved to train, so I would spend all my time in the gym.
I would tell people to breakdown their day, and prioritize their tasks. This way you can eliminate the things that are most time consuming and replace them with more productive tasks (program design, meal prep, cardio, workouts etc.). When it comes to being consistent, if you manage your time correctly that’s half the battle. I feel like the other factor is motivation; many just seem to lose the motivation to continue training because they are not seeing the desired progress. Just remember that all great things take time, and that you should focus on doing your best each day. If you do your best each day, you will be surprised at the long term progress you will make.
The music I listen to when training varies depending on the style of training I am doing or which body part I am training. If I am training back or legs (typically require more intensity) I listen to metal, and if I am training to focus on form, bringing out detail, or a strong body part I usually listen to Frank Sinatra or classical music. This just keeps me calmer and helps me to focus on what I am doing, allowing me to get better contractions and lift with proper form.
I think about all those that doubted me and said that I wasn’t going to become a bodybuilder and that I would never win a show. I think about my competition and how hard they train, and that I need to train just as hard if not harder to beat them. I also think about all the great people that send me messages and emails letting me know that I am their motivation and their inspiration, and I don’t want to let them down.
When doing my nutrition I plan for the year. I set a goal weight to reach and calculate for that weight, making sure that each meal equates to the necessary totals for that goal. I believe that consistency is key, so if I keep the diet on point and train intensely I will get to where I need to be.
Pertaining to training, I will analyze my physique and see where I need to improve upon the most, and then stick with some core movements for that area. For example I needed to add more thickness to the upper chest (much like every bodybuilder) and in order to do this I would include three incline movements in my chest routine: incline press (barbell or dumbbell), incline cable fly, and an incline free-weight fly usually superset right into dumbbell pressing.
I used to bulk up, but that wasn’t very practical. I wasn’t able to see how my body was really changing and I would always be tired from just carrying around a lot of weight. Now I prefer to stay lean year round and adjust my portions as I meet desired goals. This way is much less stressful on the metabolism, it’s also nice to see exactly where the changes are being made.
When it comes to cardio I prefer HIIT or Steady State cardio. I usually do HIIT after a weight training session and for 10 minutes. I don’t have set time frames that I would sprint for, I just sprint as long as I can, rest until I catch my breath, and then spring again. When doing Steady state, I will usually do this fasted or late at night before I go to sleep; if I chose steady state over HIIT I will perform it at 50% heart rate max.
When doing cardio I prefer to use an elliptical, this way I can set the incline to target the glutes and hamstrings.
Monday: Chest and Biceps (Mainly a pressing day)
Wednesday: Back (Rowing and Rack Pulls)
Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
Friday: Rest or Weak Body Part
Saturday: Hamstrings and Back (pull downs)
Abs and Calves are done three times a week randomly.
Cardio (3-5 times a week): Cardio will be done either post workout or a second session later during the day. If I feel like I have lot of fat to lose I will do fasted cardio in the morning first thing.
Reps and Sets
Currently I am sticking within the 6-8 rep range with roughly 4-5 sets per exercise. I recently became a Muscle Mania Professional Bodybuilder so I need to pack on some size. Sticking within this rep range has allowed me to pack on some serious size and thickness to my physique. When lifting I am not just moving the weight from point A-B, I focus on controlling the weight and making sure I am contracting the tissue through the concentric and eccentric phases. A lot of people will implement this style of training when getting closer to a show to help bring out separation, I figured why not train like this year round and develop an amazing physique.
When getting ready for a show my diet is very simple. All meals (and I mean all meals) become fish, sweet potato, and broccoli. Fish is high in protein and high in fat as well, this will allow my body to mobilize more fatty acids because it recognizes that there is a constant supply of healthy fats and no longer needs to hold on to the stored fat. Sweet potato acts a natural diuretic, allowing me to hold less water and making my water depletion phase a lot easier. Broccoli just has great health benefits test booster, detox, and cancer prevention just to name a few benefits. This is what I found works best for me.
Favorite bodybuilders include: Arnold, Franco, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, and Victor Martinez.
1. Take things one day at a time. Make sure you are doing your best each day to achieve that end goal.
2. Find motivation to keep going, follow an athlete or an inspirational speaker, anything that can help give you that extra push you need.
3. Diet is key! If you are eating for your desired physique you will get it.
Born: 01/15/1991 Weight: 180lbs, Height: 5”8
Julian Navarro's facebook page: www.facebook.com/juliannavarroofficial