The New York Pro 2021 was already a major event, but two victorious athletes made the competition even more memorable. The Open winner, Nick Walker, got a lot of attention for valid reasons, but another man who shaped his place as an Olympic contender was the 212 competition winner, Nathan Epler.
The 27-year-old presented himself to the competition, measured himself against Olympic competitor John Jewett and secured victory for this year's Olympic qualification in Orlando, FL, in October. At Epler, the feeling wasn't quite there yet.
“It's pretty surreal to be making my professional debut, my rookie season. Obviously I knew what I had, the potential was there, and I knew we could be a contender. Obviously there's always a bit of doubt, you know, as a beginner, and you don't know if you're going to get noticed and things like that. So I just had to stick with my guns. "
The "we" he was referring to in his testimony was referring to his wife Alexa and his trainer Matt Kouba. “My trainer is an enormous asset. He's also a professional, an open bodybuilder. As for my wife, she's a great advocate, she's my rock and she's my # 1. She's with me every day and pretty much pushes me every step of the way. "
Quad training from Epler
One reason for Epler's success on stage is the development of his quads. So it should come as no surprise that this is one of his favorite body parts that he works out. "That has been one of my strengths for years," he said confidently. They are separated more and more deeply and definitely more mature. "
His favorite workout for quads is an example of why they are such a dominant part of his body. After a few minutes of stretching the hips and knees and back stretches to prepare the lower back, he gets to work. He stresses that he calls this a high level of difficulty workout. Do not go into this workout lightly. It gets intense quickly thanks to a kit he calls "the dirty 30".
Leg extension and the "Dirty 30"
Epler likes to start off with an isolation exercise to prepare the quadriceps for the onslaught ahead. He likes to start training with leg extensions. “It warms my knees and joints very, very well. It also carries a ton of blood and nutrients to the cells, preparing them for the compound movements.
After two moderate "extension sets" of around 20 to 25 repetitions each, he performs the last set with the cool name. As you can imagine, it's 30 reps, but they're not all done the same.
“There are three segments with 10 repetitions each. The first 10 is at the top of the repetition with a two-second pause. The second 10 reps are normal, continuous reps and the last 10 reps are with a negative 3-second value. So you
actually hit the top and take a three second negative on the way down. It's high volume, but also high intensity. ”Allow yourself a two-minute break after this sentence. "The quads will feel devastated afterwards."
After Epler has finished the Dirty 30, he makes his way to the Sled Hack Squat machine for three sets. The first is a warm-up set with about 60% effort so that the joints can get used to the movement. The last two are what he calls "all-out" sets.
“When I say everything I mean that they almost lead to failure or failure. I like to hit failures in the 10-14 rep range. ”Epler likes to keep his feet about 12 inches apart with his toes sticking out slightly. He also wants you to focus on being in control of the weight.
"Control it all the way into the hole during the repetition, then explode upward."
The third exercise of the day is the leg press. He'll use a wider, straightened-toe foot position here than in the hack squats to hit both the drop of the quad and the adductors. “I usually do two sets of emotions because it's so difficult to deal with. I do the first set of about 12 reps each, adding weight in between. The second set is about six to eight repetitions. Again, not the maximum effort just yet, it's just that you don't want to jump hundreds of pounds without preparing for it. "
The two sets of work are done in a rep range of 15 to 20 and go to the verge of failure. "However, be in control of the weight, even with the higher repetitions." Due to the amount of work he has already done, he does not find the use of knee braces necessary to do this. He understands when others think they should.
"When you get to the point where you're doing super heavy weight for 15-20 reps, you can definitely put on knee sleeves or wraps."
Dumbbell lunges with adductor machine superset super
The native Indian finishes his quad training with a superset. He starts with lunges and ends with adductors, which is a unique combination, doing two or three supersets of 10 to 12 reps per leg for the lunges and 20 reps for the adductors. assembly kits are necessary here.
“The lunges hit the lateralis, the outside, the glutes and the hamstrings. The adductors get the inside of the thigh, so you get the best of both worlds, ”explains Epler. He also shares one final hack for this move.
“Do every fifth repetition in the middle for five seconds. It's pretty tough. "
Why not squats?
There is an elephant in the room and Nathan Epler wasted no time talking to him. He cast a lot early in his career, but he feels like they're not helping him much today.
“I mix in Smith machine squats every now and then or even a safety bar. However, I can't get enough for the money doing barbell back squats. I've had back pain before. You also need to have good mobility in your ankles and knees while squatting. To keep my body healthy, safe and develop my quadriceps, I've just found better ways to isolate quads. "
As the owner of Epler Elite Training and Nutrition, Epler is now all-in at the Olympia 212 Showdown 2021 thanks to his win at the beginning of the season. Until the Olympics he will not play any other show. w that he has this experience and this achievement, he feels more confident. “I just wanted my chance and I knew we could have the potential to fight if I stay, keep my head down and follow everything up to the T and really push myself to the next level. Everything about Orlando now. "
Epler's quad routine
- Leg extension – 2 warm-up sets of 20-25 repetitions. 1 work set with a total of 30 repetitions (The Dirty 30).
- Chop squats – 1 warm-up set of 10-14 repetitions. 2 working sets of 10-14 sets.
- Leg press – 2 warm-up sets of 12 and 8 reps. 2 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
- Dumbbell Lunge Superset with Adductor Machine – 3 supersets of 10-12 repetitions or 20 repetitions. *
* Hold every fifth rep in the middle for five seconds.
+ Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.