Brett Wilkin takes us through a hellacious hamstring and calves workout 8 weeks out from the 2022 Arnold Classic.
Despite many work-related travels and the holidays, Brett has remained laser-focused on preparing for the Arnold Classic. His physique is progressing as expected, and he's feeling confident with the package he is bringing to the stage. So much so that he is documenting his entire competition prep, including training, supplementation, nutrition, and his daily thoughts, to put together a bodybuilding e-book for his fans which can be purchased later this year on the HOSSTILE website.
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Brett Wilkin’s Bodybuilding Supplement Regimen
- 1 Scoop HOSSTILITY stim pre-workout
Brett uses HOSSTILITY on more intense training days, especially during a fat loss diet when his energy levels are low. With 300 mg of caffeine and nootropics like Alpha GPC and Huperzine to help get him in laser-focused and in the, it’s the best pre-workout powder to help him push through intense training sessions. Add that to the pump, endurance, and strength boosting ingredients and this complete all-in-one pre-workout is perfect for any bodybuilder.
- 2 scoops INTRA[R3] intra-workout
Brett mixes 2 scoops of intra-workout powder to sip on while he trains. With 20 grams of carbs per scoop, all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), including 6 g of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), PeakO2 mushroom complex for endurance support, and key electrolytes, INTRA[R3] intra-workout helps him push through even the toughest workouts when energy levels are low.
Brett Wilkin’s 7 Killer Exercises for Hamstrings & Calves
Brett trains hamstrings on a dedicated day, separating them from his quad workout. After years of training, he has found that his quadricep muscles develop much faster than his hamstrings, and splitting off his hamstrings from his quads training allows him to focus on maximizing muscle growth. He starts every hamstring workout with calves, usually combining two movements in a superset to target both the soleus and gastrocnemius.
Leg Press Calf Raise superset with Standing Calf Raise
Brett begins the superset with heavy calf presses on the leg press machine. He then immediately performs a set of standing calf raises. He goes lighter with the weight on standing calf raises, focusing more on volume and peak contraction. He does this by holding the contraction for 2 seconds at the top of the movement before slowly returning to the starting position. He performs 4 sets of 15-20 reps for each exercise.
After completing his calf superset, he moves on to hamstrings. He always performs 2-3 curling exercises for hamstrings before moving on to heavier compound exercises like stiff-legged deadlifts or Romanian deadlifts (RDLs).
Standing Leg Curl
Brett's first curling exercise is the standing leg curl, also known as standing hamstring curls. This exercise allows for complete isolation and contraction of the hamstring muscles. He uses higher reps on this exercise to help drive as much blood into the working muscles as possible. After completing his top set, he increases the intensity using pre-exhaust for a nasty marathon set. He does 10 reps, followed immediately by another 10 partner-assisted reps to increase the resistance, and then finishes with 10 more reps of 3-second holds at the bottom of the movement.
Seated Leg Curl
The next exercise, seated leg curls, is performed on a Flex Hamtractor machine. This is Brett's favorite machine for seated hamstring curls, and he uses it every hamstring workout to hit the hamstring from a slightly different angle. He keeps the weight light and focuses on maximizing the muscle contraction, controlling for a count of 2 on the concentric portion of the movement, then squeezing at the bottom for a count of 1.
After working up to his top set, he uses stretch pause (rest-pause set up) for his last set. He performs 10 reps, then stretches his hamstrings for 15 seconds while resting at the top, and repeats this 3-4 times.
Once he is done with curling isolation movements, he moves on to heavier stretching compound exercises.
Machine Stiff Legged Deadlift
Brett performs stiff-legged deadlifts in a belt squat machine. This machine allows for a better stretch on his hamstrings because the platform elevates his toes slightly. He uses heavier weight while doing this exercise to really burn out the hamstring muscles.
Next up, he focuses on his adductors using an adductor machine to target the inner thigh muscles for more well-rounded legs. The key with this exercise is to use a full range of motion and not move through the reps too fast. He squeezes for a second at full contraction, returns to the starting position under control, and maximizes the stretch in this position. The set is performed using heavier weight, and then he lightens the weight and reps out to failure.
The last exercise, single leg presses, is performed with his feet placed wider and higher on the platform to focus on the hamstrings. Brett uses lighter weight on this exercise and focuses more on isolating the muscles for maximum contraction to finish off his hamstring workout.