Arm Day for Big Guns

By Logan Franklin

Q: I am thinking about having a training day just for arms. If I do that, should I still give them a little work on other training days, or do you think blasting them on their own once a week is enough? They haven’t grown in a very long time!

A: If you have a specific arm day, I don’t think you need to “double tap” them on other training days. Triceps are getting worked on chest day, and biceps get hit on back day whether you want them to or not. If you train them correctly on that one day, squeezing the muscle on every rep, I believe that’s all you need. I went back to having an arm day a couple of years ago when I decided I wanted to see how good they could get, and it’s a fun day. I don’t know how everyone doesn’t have an arm day! Finally, I would suggest focusing more on recovery in terms of consistent good nutrition and quality sleep rather than simply working any muscle group more often in hopes of making gains.

Do Waist Trainers Work?

Q: I see a lot of Men’s Physique and women’s Bikini competitors using waist trainers and swearing by them, but do they actually work? The competitors I’ve seen using waist trainers all had tiny waists anyway. I’ve yet to see a guy with a big gut come out and say they took 4 or 5 inches off his waist! What do you think, and have you used them?

A: To be honest, I have no idea if they actually work. I tried one years ago during a prep, I think it was either 2016 or ’17 when I was still competing in Men’s Physique, just to see if it gave me that extra edge. I didn’t notice any difference. I just felt like Batman with his utility belt compressing everything in the midsection. Obviously, anything that is compressing and putting pressure on that area is going to be uncomfortable. I think the best way to make your waist smaller is to eat smaller meals, never eating to the point where you are uncomfortably full. Train with a belt. Make sure you keep your core engaged in movements where you’re supposed to. Practice vacuums at least every other day, and train abs regularly – and correctly, making sure you are feeling your abs contract and stretch. All these things will help you keep your waist smaller and tighter. I’m not sure waist trainers work, or at least not for the reasons they claim. My guess it that by the device forcing you to keep everything sucked in, you’re unintentionally pulling a vacuum the entire time you wear it.

Olympia Prep With My Son

Q: In your first “Road to the Olympia” video, you had your son in the gym with you. Some of the YouTube comments seemed concerned that he should not have been around heavy weights for his safety. Was your boy ever in danger of having a 45-pound plate fall on his head?

A: Had I been training in a public gym with a bunch of idiots, that would definitely have been a concern and I wouldn’t have him on the gym floor with me. I train at the private gym Lee Labrada has for his son Hunter and a few others. A lot of the time I’m the only one in there, or else Hunter might show up with just a couple of other guys. The day I shot that video, I was watching my son by myself for a week. I don’t really have any help from his grandparents. It’s always just Marissa and me doing the whole grind: no daycare, no babysitters. I had to bring him with me that day to stay on track preparing for the Mr. Olympia. Had there been a ton of other people there I wouldn’t have been comfortable having my son in there because I can’t trust them to have his safety as their top priority. I train very methodically, slowly and under control, squeezing the muscle throughout the entire movement as opposed to throwing the weight around. If I trained like that, I wouldn’t want Reese near me. I will say that some of my top sets where my intensity is 100 percent have made him cry because he rarely sees his dad in that state!

Diet Soda, Sugar-Free Gum: Ugh

Q: Are diet sodas and sugar-free gum OK to have every day when dieting, or do you feel they interfere with the fat-loss process in some way?

A: I may not be the best person to answer this. I haven’t chewed gum since shortly after I got out of the military. I chewed gum in high school, and then I chewed it day and night when I was in the U.S. Army. What got me out of the habit was when I started competing, I noticed I wasn’t drinking enough water like I was supposed to. I doubt it has any effect on fat loss. I do know that it can interfere with your digestion because your mouth keeps producing saliva and various enzymes, making your body think you’re eating. And I suspect it’s not good to have all those artificial sugars in sugar-free gum on a regular basis. As for diet soda, I’ve never had one in my life. I prefer water. And if I chew anything now, it’s only going to be food, not gum.

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