Steve Cook believes that one of the keys to building a classic X-frame physique isn’t just focusing on your strengths— it’s picking out your weak points and making those a priority above everything else. For this IFBB pro Physique champion, that usually means devoting an entire day to those areas, what Cook likes to call “weak point training.”
“My weak point training usually involves some type of some deltoid work, especially exercises targeting the medial head, and also abs or calves,” he says. “I’ll train calves up to four days a week and alternate high-rep days (12-20) with lower-rep days (8-10).
“Abs are always high reps for me, around 15 to 20. Besides cable crunches, everything is typically bodyweight exercises. I don’t do a ton of weighted exercises because I don’t really want to overdevelop the muscles in the abdominal region. My goal is to have a tight waist. Some people have strong, powerful abs but that doesn’t necessarily translate to an aesthetic physique.”
|Seated Dumbbell Press||4||12-15|
|Wide-grip Upright Barbell Rows||3-4||10-12|
|Leaning One-Arm Cable Lateral Raises||3-4||12-15|
|Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raises||3-4||12-15|
|Cable Rear Delt Flyes||3-4||12-15|
|Oblique Cable Crunch||3||15-20|
|Rope Cable Crunch||3||15-20|
|Standing Barbell Calf Raises||3||8-10|
|Seated Calf Raises||3||21*|
|*7 reps toes pointed in, 7 reps toes pointed out, 7 reps neutral stance|
While most of Cook’s training is geared toward building muscle and burning body fat, he still tailors his workouts and lifestyle toward maintaining a functional, athletic physique.
“I always tell people to stick with the basics— bench, squats, deadlifts, work in some cleans and a few different types of presses,” Cook says. “Do those movements often with a lower rep range— around six to 10— and then mix those in with auxiliary lifts. On those auxiliary lifts, you should really slow down, focusing on the contraction and isolating the muscle you are trying to work.”