Making Changes : Winning the Gateway Classic

Matt Potak
The result of training by Milos Sarcev.
3 Months of intense training and dieting paid off as on the night of April 28th, I was standing on the podium as the winner of the 2008 Gateway Classic - Bantamweight division. After the 2007 Ancient City Classic, where I placed third, I went right back to work. I spoke to some of the judges and trainers and I was told that my conditioning needed to improve. At that time I thought my conditioning levels were great, and wouldn't get any better. So I looked at countless photos and decided I had to fully commit to getting my conditioning levels better than ever before. How was I going to do this? I realized that I would have to try something new.

The Gameplan

I started to write up a game plan and at the top of my list was CONDITIONING. Coming in more ripped than I could imagine. I knew by doing this my off season was going to have to change and I couldn't get as heavy as I was normally. Instead I stayed within ten pounds of my contest weight all winter. For dieting I stuck with my usual carb cycling program and my training program changed from a heavy DC routine to more Milos Sarcev's training. Why I made the change to Milos training? I always remember hearing that when pro bodybuilders need to improve conditioning levels, they go to one place. Milos Sarcev's gym.

I remember watching a video of Milos training a large group of bodybuilders. They were all lifting really slow and the weights were very light. I noticed that all of these guys had world class physiques ("Silvio Samuel":, "Johnie J": After watching the video I noticed that Milos stressed the importance of time under tension, and using slow-controlled movements to drive more blood to the muscle, it was very intriguing. I decided to make the switch and see for myself if the program would create good results. I focused more on doing drop sets and tri sets to keep the time under tension high, as well as my heart rate. With Milo's training I was able to train more frequently because the routine wasn't as demanding on my CNS.

During my first Milos training routine I did Legs. I did a Tri set of Squats to Leg Ext to Leg press each was 12 slow reps each with very light weight. After the first initial set I thought to myself "_It's harder than it looks_." The slow reps were a huge shock to my system. For years of training I never did slow reps. I always thought in order to build muscle you had to lift heavy and fast. I would always look at videos of "Ronnie Coleman":, "Jay Cutler":, and "Dexter Jackson": (They lifted fast and heavy). After a few weeks of Milo's training I had to cut back on cardio, because my bodyfat levels were lower than normal. With Milo's system my heart rate was always high during my weight training workouts. Consistently going from exercise to exercise was great for my cardio and it became good enough. Here's an example of how I used Milos training for legs;

Leg Day:

Quads (4 total sets supersetted)

* Leg Ext 1 set of 15 (slow controlled)
* Squat 1 set of 12 (slow controlled)
* Hack Squat 1 set of 12 (slow controlled)

(4 total sets supersetted)

* SLDL 1 set of 15 (slow controlled)
* Leg curls 1 set of 12 (slow controlled)
* seated Leg Curls 1 set of 12 (slow controlled)


* Just pick 3-4 exercises per muscle group and superset them.
* Use anywere from 8-20reps.
* I would recommend starting with 3 sets then work up to 4.
* Keep the reps slow and controlled, but proceed with caution!
* Stretch the muscle you worked after the sets are complete.

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The Result

The hard work paid off. For three months of this type of training I came in at the lowest bodyfat I've ever had and was the leanest I had ever been. I took first in my class (Bantamweight) and competed in the overall in the 2008 Gateway Classic in Lake City, Florida. After a few months I kept the same program and won first place in the Ancient City Classic Bodybuilding Championships in St. Augustine Florida as a Light Weight. I now realize that making little changes in your training program will help you with your goals.

Matt Potak

Matt Potak is a wrestling and football coach at the high school level. He is also a personal fitness trainer in the St Augustine, Florida area. He can be reached at m_potak AT yahoo DOT com.

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