On his first trip outside of the US, the only place that Vincenzo “Mass” Masone wanted to go after an eight hour flight was to the gym. All “Mass” needed was a kick from his preworkout and the desire to make a statement. The 300+ lb monster got right to work by delivering an explosive back workout that could be felt in all of Germany’s corners. Take a good look.
Discomfort—It’s Part of the Game
For a 300lb bodybuilder flying in coach, 8 hours in the air can be quite brutal. Ask Vincenzo Masone. Between your shoulders getting hit with the flight attendant’s beverage cart or leaning into your neighbor’s seat, sitting for 8 hours seems like an eternity. 3800 miles from home, with limited resources in terms of structured meals and a six hour time difference can spell out potential issues for any serious competitor.
Landing at 7:30AM (six hours ahead of the East Coast) after sitting on a plane all night could take the wind out of the most hardcore bodybuilder’s sails. Vin states exhaustion and dehydration are two major roadblocks that one can encounter during long trips. Not only are you not going to be ready to take care of business, you are at risk for potential injury due to dehydrated muscles. The best option would be to catch up on some sleep and recover a bit before it’s time to get serious.
Miles Away but Right at Home
At first sight, Mass wasn’t quite sure about the local Cologne gym “Simply Fitness”. It was copasetic with smooth equipment and mainstream music. Hell, it even smelled fantastic in there. While he could get the job done anywhere, it’s not his preference. Seeing the concern in his eyes, the manager showed him the downstairs—the room that not many knew about. The dungeon. And suddenly, it was like he was home.
Inside These Four Walls
This is where he wanted to be. There was no one else around. Free weights and heavy dumbbells lined the perimeter of the basement. There were framed Animal posters drilled into the cinderblock walls that were splattered with a yellow coat of paint. Heavy metal and hardcore hip hop rang through the speaker system. This area was not pretty but it was the kind of playground an Animal athlete would thrive in.
Back it Up
Before anything goes down, Vincenzo had to take his preworkout which consisted of Nox3 and Stak washed down with RageXL. Waiting for the products to infiltrate his blood stream, Vin begins to warm up. There is no one way to go about training--especially a body part like back that is large and requires targeting different angles with varying intensities. On this cold morning, he chose to start with wide grip pulldowns followed by behind the neck pulldowns. Amidst sets of pull downs, he supersets preacher curls, using both inside and outside grip—back and forth. On deck, was an off ground T-bar row machine. It had a fixed handle both for close and wide grips. A piece of equipment that is not found at most gyms, Vincenzo felt the need to put it to use. The workout concluded with a one arm row machine for a few sets, to really exhaust his back.
Picking and Choosing Your Battles
Bodybuilders can be some of the toughest sons of bitches on the planet. They force feed or they starve. They endure hours on treadmills trying to bring body fat so low that you can see their internal organs. They beat the shit out of themselves day in and day out in the gym. They often train around injuries. With all that being said, a good bodybuilder also needs to be a smart bodybuilder. He must know when to hit the gas and when to pull back. He needs to pick and choose his battles. Mass knew he had a long day of traveling that left his body in a weakened state. Training with extreme intensity or excessive volume could do more harm that good at this moment. He also recognized his remaining schedule and who arrives the following day.
Attack Dog Mode
It was no secret to Vincenzo who’s turf he was on. He was thousands of miles from home in Germany, the home base of Roman “Rex” Fritz. Roman, IFBB Pro and one of the most intense and aggressive bodybuilders on today’s circuit, was expected to arrive the next day to train with Masone. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that Roman’s laser focus on his training is borderline abusive. Psychologists may even consider it clinical—a form of masochism. His style of training “Attack Dog Mode” speaks for itself. With this knowledge looming over Vin’s head, he chooses to not destroy himself on his first day overseas but rather get a good night sleep and begin to prepare to train with one of Germany’s best.
John Jewett's experience separates him from the pack. He understands more than just training specific movements--he also knows how they relate to each body part. Check it out as he smashes back in "The Animal Underground."
Derek Lunsford has been Mr. Worldwide of late. After landing in Germany for FIBO in April, Derek found himself wandering around Birmingham, England for the BodyPower Expo. Take a look at what went down in Derek's world as he flew across the pond to England.
A massive back is a status symbol among bodybuilders. Much like the ever-coveted big legs, having a back that turns heads is an indicator that an athlete has put in the heavy-duty work. You don't acquire a thick cobra backside by doing sissy movements, half repping, and training lightly. You have to put some elbow grease into it. Shawn Smith shares some tips for building a massive back.