Overtraining. I, like many newbies, felt like more was better. More weight, longer workouts, more workouts. When I shortened my workouts and allowed each bodypart to rest is when I began to see significant is better.
If you’re just training to be healthy and finding it difficult staying consistent I would say get it done before you start your day. I hear a lot of people say they are so tired after work or get so busy that they skip going to the gym. Make it the first thing on your to do list each day and that will eliminate those issues. If you’re a competitor, I would say treat it like a job. To make the improvements to compete at the highest level, even if you’re a genetic freak, you need to give your training & meal plan the same dedication as you do your job or business. There are many of us that people consider genetic freaks but what separates the best from the rest is who’s willing to work harder when you’re off the stage.
Free weights allow for a full range of motion and force you to pay more attention to using proper form. Machines allow you to go heavier in certain exercises without as much worry of risking injury. I use both free weights & machines and really have no preference since I try to get the most out of every set regardless.
Inside the gym I’m proud that I get the most out of every workout. I feel my success in competitions and modeling are built rep by rep and pound by pound. Outside the gym I’m most proud of having people view me as a role model. I try to live a life based on doing the right things and treating people the way I would like to be treated.
I spend all day in a gym since my store is located inside of one but as far as my training I try not to train any longer than an hour.
I typically don’t do cardio until I get closer to a show because I train at a high enough intensity to keep my heart rate up and burn more calories than if I did cardio anyway.
I primarily like to remain in the 6-8 rep range. I use weight heavy enough to fail within that range and it helps recruit both Type I & II muscle fibers allowing me to get a little better density since I’m typically a hard gainer
My split & workouts change constantly but typically I do a 3 day on, 1 day off split and split each day into 2 workouts to keep them under an hour.
Day 1 – Quads (am); Hams/calves (pm)
Day 2 – Chest (am); Delts (pm)
Day 3 – Back (am); Arms (pm)
Day 4 – Rest
I stick with a lot of basic multi joint exercises (bench press, squat, deadlift, etc) to begin each larger muscle group workout and then finish with more isolation exercises (cable crossovers, leg extensions, single arm seated rows, etc). I shoot for 2-3 working sets where I fail between 6-8 reps. If I pick a weight and go over 8 reps then I count it as a warm up set.
Cardio I don’t do too often but if I do it is typically some low intensity cardio post workout or prior to breakfast. I also do some boxing when my buddy has an opening to have me hit the mitts with him for 30 mins to switch it up. Something I include that a lot of guys probably do not is bikram or power flow yoga. It helps me gain better flexibility as well as sweat out a ton of toxins each time I do it. Plus the classes are usually packed with cute girls :)
That is also something that varies from shoot to shoot and show to show. What worked one time won’t necessarily work the next. Sometimes I’ll keep carbs all the way through and slightly reduce them leading into a show as long as my body tightens up as planned. Other times we will cycle my fats and carbs. Sometimes we will go with a traditional carb, sodium and water deplete/load. I feel our bodies are very adaptable so if you stick with the same routine you will not always get the same results. We choose to keep my body guessing and I have a lot of top professional eyes watching how my body progresses throughout the entire process.
I have never done a bulking phase. Besides competing I do some acting and modeling so there is no off-season for me. Most jobs are last minute and the first thing they ask when they call is “are you in shape?” If you say you are but show up out of shape they will never call again and if you always tell them to only call around your next show then your phone will also stop ringing. I typically stay in the same condition I step on stage so that I’m always ready for any call.
I don’t have a lot of cravings because my body is conditioned to not eat them so when I do now I get nauseous or a headache within 5 minutes. I do allow myself to indulge on occasion which helps me avoid binging. I think everyone should probably give themselves at least one cheat meal or cheat day per week. If you’re doing all the right things the rest of the week it won’t hurt you and may actually help you in the long run.
I think about what a friend told me long ago. She has a pretty ridiculous competition resume and told me that if I want to be a champion then I’m going to need to do what champions do. I never want to step on stage thinking I could have done a little bit more.
My favorite athlete is Hines Ward, wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The guy never takes a play off and does it with a smile.
My favorite bodybuilder is Jay Cutler, not for what he does on stage but for the person he is off stage. He has to be one of the most genuine & nicest people in the industry. I know he meets a ton of people all over the country but somehow he always remembers my name and approaches me to talk & gives me lots of encouragement and advice.
My favorite fitness model is Greg Plitt. The guy is the epitome of what a fitness model should be. He is in shape year round and treats himself like a business. His success speaks for itself.
Hopefully in the near future I would like to earn the right to call myself an IFBB Pro in Men’s Physique. I work my ass off every day and want to be able to step on stage in the pro ranks and have people feel I belong amongst the best physiques in the world. In the future when people think of the category Men’s Physique there will be a few names that will be represent what that should be and I want mine to be one of those names. Outside of competing I would like to become a better actor & get more prominent roles if possible. I’m not very good at it right now but I’m willing to make a fool of myself and learn along the way.
I almost always have this bag I take everywhere that has all my supplements in it. The two supplements I use every day are Dymatize BCAA & Glutamine powders. I have them in my water anytime I train to help prevent muscular breakdown and recovery. I also take a multi vitamin, vit D 3, Calcium/Magnesium, Zinc, USP Labs Super Cissus (best joint formula I’ve ever tried), EFAs, B-50 & Arginine/Ornithiine. If I need extra calories throughout the day then I’ll add in Dymatize Iso 100 Chocolate but I was just told they have cookies and cream so I’ll be trying that next!
Facebook Athletes Page: facebook.com/Bobby-Ashhurst
Twitter: @bobby_ashhurst , @NutriFitbobby