The CrossFit Games are about finding the fittest on earth through a series of physically demanding events. But CrossFitter Joshua Al-chamaa felt like a different challenge. After completing a CrossFit workout with professional bodybuilder Eric Janicki, he agreed to try a leg workout for bodybuilders.
You start with a Bulgarian split squat pace and do 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each side. “We’re going to try to get really good depth and keep the chest open to have a good time under tension,” explains Eric. “We’re not just trying to get through the reps like bang, bang, bang. We’re slowing the pace, using less weight, and you’re going to get more burns.”
Eric goes first and demonstrates the correct form and pace for the exercise. Then it’s Joshua’s turn. “Then I should surf,” he says. “I don’t think that’s going to happen … It doesn’t matter how good I am at CrossFit, I’m not that good at bodybuilding.”
Next are 3 sets of 10 tempo barbell squats. “I feel a little more confident about this,” says Joshua, noting after his first sentence how much this exercise is about engaging the core of stability.
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Eric follows with 3 x 1-minute laps on the quad extension machine and repeats the exercise at a slower, controlled pace to maximize time under tension. And just when Joshua thought they were done, it’s time for another exercise; the Tempo leg press.
“This is one of the hardest exercises I do,” says Eric. “The pace in the eccentric is tough. Now add pace to the eccentric and concentric … it is extreme control. “He assigns 3 sets of 10s to Joshua, each rep being a 6-countdown and a 6-count-up, and is very impressed with his performance.
“Tempo is a whole new ball game,” says Joshua.
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