Arnold’s best friend and at the same time his most fierce competitor, Franco Columbu, was known by his incredible muscle development. Franco had one of the best developed chests in the business at his prime. In fact he had one of the best chests ever, even by today’s standards. Read more to see his 14 day training routine.
Franco had a really unique training split that not many of us can handle, the guy was incredibly strong and had incredible genetics. Here is what he says about his training:
“Train each body part twice a week, as hard and relentless as possible each time. Every second week, I’d dead-lift after my leg routine. My dead lift workout was 300 for five reps, 400 for five reps, 500 for five reps, 600 for two or three reps, 650 for one rep and 700 for one rep.”
Franco Columbu’s training and nutrition tips
Training – Avoiding Injuries
Injuries are the plague of all athletes. They can be disabling or just annoying but they all have one thing in common – they’re preventable. The best way to prevent the possibility of injury is to follow five simple steps:
1. Warm up properly
Never just begin to train. Approach it. Prepare the body for what is to follow. Don’t allow yourself to be goaded into contests or rushed into training before the body is properly warmed up. If it’s cold weather, dress warmly and warm up longer. Don’t warm up by lifting weights. Start with calisthenics for around 10 minutes and get the oxygen enriched blood coursing through your body.
2. Train properly
By proper training I don’t mean just the way you might train each bodypart – although that’s very important. What I’m referring to specifically is the sequence in which the exercises are performed. Since blood is a great builder and protector, it’s good to keep it in a specific area for as long as possible. For example, if you exercise the chest, a good area to follow would be the shoulders, not the calves.
Many biceps injuries occur when the arm curls start the arm routine. This is because the unnatural positioning of the hands with the palms facie up on a rigid bar puts an excessive pressure on the elbow joint. Never start an arm routine with a barbell – no matter what you’ve heard.
3. Don’t ever fatigue your muscles
The body has an incredible language all its own. When we’re young, we “listen” through instinct. It’s only as we get older that we start to lose contact. After a while we start to rationalize. We tend to do things out of habit. If we train a certain length of time with a particular weight and number of sets, we have a tendency to get off a “death bed” if necessary to do the workout. The body is saying “no”, “do less”, or “nothing.” When you ignore the message you are apt to get injured and whatever training you do won’t give you the results you are working of. Now this doesn’t mean to cater to laziness. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know the difference.
Most gyms can be broken down into two segments. There are members who socialize and there are the champions. From the moment you enter the gym you should visualize what you are going to do. While actually training, look in the mirror and watch the muscles work. If you don’t, you’ll be prone to injuring yourself and getting only a muscular mouth.
5. Proper nutrition
Food is the fuel we use to keep going. Without the right combination we falter and don’t reach an optimum level of performance. Since we all have different and very special needs, the subject can be complex. It deserves your greatest attention.
Franco Columbu’s Training split
His training split was based on a 14 day period as opposed to a 7 day period like the usual bodybuilding splits.
Day 1 – Chest and shoulders in the AM, arms in the PM
Day 2 – Back in the AM, legs in the PM
Day 3 – Chest and shoulders
Day 4 – Arms
Day 5 – Legs in the AM, back in the PM
Day 6 – Chest and shoulders
Day 7 – REST
Day 8 – Arms in the AM, legs in the PM
Day 9 – Back
Day 10 – Chest and shoulders in the AM, arms in the PM
Day 11 – Back in the AM, legs in the PM
Day 12 – Chest and shoulders
Day 13 – Arms
Day 14 – Rest
Franco columbu used to train his abs on days 3, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12, and in the PM on day 1.
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Franco Columbu’s Chest Workout
Bench press – 3 sets x 15, 10 and 4 reps…superset with cable crossovers – 3 sets x 20 reps
Dumbbell flyes – 3 sets x 20, 15 and 6 reps…superset with cable crossovers – 3 sets x 20 reps
Incline bench press – 3 sets x 15 reps
Barbell pullovers – 3 sets x 25 reps
Dips – 3 sets to failure
Cable crossovers – 3 sets x 25 reps