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Muscle & Strength recently held a contest which allowed thousands across the continental United States to enter for a chance to win a one-on-one training session with 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler.
While many worthy contestants entered to win the once in a life time opportunity, only one came out victorious.
Our winner, Mr. Dylan Kozen, is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. We had him come down to the Muscle & Strength headquarters for a day we’re sure he’ll never forget.
Moments after arriving in South Carolina, Jay hopped in the car to surprise our winner by picking him up from his hotel room. Before going into the hotel, Jay asks everyone what they think Dylan’s reaction is going to be. At that point, we really had no idea what was going to happen.
After walking up four flights of stairs, Jay and the M&S team approach Dylan’s room. Jay knocks on the door a couple of times and stands out of sight from the winner’s peephole.
An unsuspecting Dylan opens the door to find the bodybuilding legend ready to train. In shock, Dylan slams the door in Jay’s face before putting on his shoes and getting ready to go.
Honestly though, it broke the ice for Jay. Jay always wants people to feel comfortable around him. Even though he’s been featured in many films, been on the cover of dozens of magazines, and won 4 Mr. Olympia contests, deep down Jay is just a normal guy.
The two drive down to M&S Headquarters and, after a few meet and greets, hit the gym.
On this day, Dylan and Jay trained arms. Dylan comes from a powerlifting background, while Jay (obviously) comes from a bodybuilding background. The contrast in styles was perfect as Dylan was able to learn a lot from Jay that will be transferable to adding size and strength to his powerlifting style.
Jay preaches the fact that everybody’s body is different. What works for some, may not work for others. In the same light, what works one week might not work the next.
You have to find what is ideal for you from a training aspect, even if that might change week to week.
Some think that weight training is just getting in the gym and throwing weight around. Jay states that it’s not necessarily like that. It’s a lot more calculated. You really have to think about each workout and the fatigue/stress your body is under to ensure steady muscle growth week to week.
Another tip Jay gives is changing up your workout routines to assist in continual growth. That’s why it was great that Dylan came from a powerlifting background. Both bodybuilding and powerlifting entail similar mentalities. It’s about adding muscle, building strength, and increasing your conditioning.
The best way to do that is by switching up your methods from time to time. Powerlifting involves more compound movements, lower rep ranges, and longer rest periods. Bodybuilding on the other hand involves a little more isolation, higher rep ranges, and shorter rest periods.
Utilizing both during planned periods allows you to gain multiple benefits from weightlifting.
One thing both Jay and Dylan both really agreed on was using weight training as a means to alleviate stress. There’s just something about getting under a bar, cranking out the reps, and getting the blood pumping when it comes to relieving stress.
Jay uses this method himself. He even remembers the exact date he joined a gym and why. It was on his 18th birthday. Being the youngest of 7 kids, he had the mentality that he was coming into his own as a young adult. During this time he was looking for a job and going to school for criminal justice.
Jay used bodybuilding as an escape from the stress of his everyday life. Lifting gave him the means to work through everything else that was going on in his life.
The experience reminded Jay of the importance of lifting with other people. Jay typically trains alone and having Dylan there reminded him that having a lifting partner is very beneficial.
For example, having the right group of guys that you lift with will push you to lift heavier. It adds in a sense of friendly competition to out lift the next guy. It also pushes you when you see your buddy putting up outrageous numbers, making you fight to get to that level.
In Jay’s case, it allows him to be honest about his rest periods. Jay likes to keep his rest periods short, with about 45-60 seconds rest in between sets. When you’re lifting with another person, it speeds up the rest periods between lifts.
Jay doesn’t like to use the thin bars most gyms have. Instead, Jay uses Fat Gripz to make the bar feel larger. This allows him to target the forearms in addition to the biceps. Although, it does put your ego in check as you will need to use lighter weights to keep a firm grasp on the bar.
Jay mentions there are core movements he likes to implement for specific muscle groups. For triceps, it’s the dip and close grip bench press.
Jay likes to focus on time under tension while isolating muscles. To do so, he focuses on targeting the muscle during each lift, performing rep ranges of 10-12 reps, and limiting range of motion to really hone in on the muscle being worked.
The big takeaway Dylan learned about isolating muscle groups is limiting the range of motion. For instance, on tricep rope pulldowns, he learned that leaning a little bit forward and focusing on the tricep lockout enables you to lift heavier while also isolating the tricep.
Jay and Dylan had an epic workout together. The great thing is everyone learned something from the experience.
Dylan was introduced to a different style than he was used to and it allowed Jay to elaborate on his area of expertise throughout the workout. Jay pointed out several different training tips such as changing up your workouts, focusing on your workouts every day, using weight lifting as a stress reliever, and finding reliable training partners to help you push yourself.
A special thank you is in order to Dylan for coming out to spend the day at the Muscle & Strength headquarters and to Jay Cutler for flying out, sharing his training tips, and helping us host our competition’s winner.
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