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Jay Cutler Workout Routine

Massive Quads with Jay Cutler

When the Night of Champions winner Jay “Big Beef” Cutler hits the leg room, it’s lights out. His approach is basic brutal big weight. “You have to do the hard work to get hard size,” says Jay. Here’s his take on 4 basic leg exercises, each of which resides in his master plan. “I go for the big burn on these,” says Jay. “If I can walk away after finishing, I haven’t done enough.”

Squats
“Squats are always first in my leg routine,” says Cutler. “It remains the classic mass builder, so you want all your strength able to come fresh into the movement, because you want the most results out of it. It’s also the hardest exercise for the legs; you have to combine a full range of leg strength with balance.” Jay doesn’t add any special twists to the squat: “It works perfectly for me as it is.” But his approach to sets is interesting: After 2-3 warm-up sets to get used to the full range of motion and to orient balance, Cutler will do another 2-3 sets at a full working weight that sees him get 8-12 reps—whatever it takes to get to muscular failure—from each set. Sort of. Jay doesn’t do a true drop set of equal or near-equal reps with lower weight, but he’ll re-rack the bar, pause 5 seconds, and do as many more reps as he can. It’s usually 1-3.

Hack squats
Hack squats, another mass builder, come second in Jay’s leg workout. Since his legs are already warmed up from the similar motion of the preceding squats, Cutler does what he calls “a feel set” of 8- 20 reps, “which allows me to feel how the muscles are used, slightly differently, and to get comfortable with that. I go below parallel on the hack squats, in order to develop as best I can the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. It’s also really good for the teardrops and the outer sweeps.” Hack squats also offer some good opportunities to change foot position and the way that affects development. Because the weight is on a slide, balance isn’t quite as critical, so you can change foot position without having to worry about that.” After 1-2 “feel sets,” Jay will do 8-12 reps, re-rack for a just a moment, and come back for a true drop set of 3-5 more reps.

Dumbbell lunges
“I do these year-‘round, because they allow me to develop a lot of detail in the off-season,” says Jay. “Most pros will limit lunges to the time they’re preparing for a big contest.” Jay uses dumbbells that weigh 40-45 pounds in each hand, and his lunges see him take a step with one leg, return to the starting position, and then do the same with the opposite leg. “I’m not real big on walking lunges, for 2 reasons,” says the Night of Champions winner: “It’s far more difficult to keep your chest erect and your head up, which is essential to the movement, and you’re constantly having to make sure you have clear sailing ahead, or you have to stop your forward movement.” Some fast calculating confirms his concerns: Jay does 9-11 reps. At 30″ of forward movement per lunge, that would work out to 90 to 110 feet of needed clear straight-ahead runway.

Leg extensions
This quad exercise sees Cutler do 2 “feel” sets with 60 pounds or so of weight before moving up to higher poundage. He keeps the reps over a wide 8-20 range, reducing the weight after each, pausing a few moments to perform a true drop set at the same rep range. He’ll keep this up for sets of 8-20 reps in each of the drop sets within 2-3 master sets. In total, his reps may range from 64 (2 master sets x 8 reps in each of 4 drop sets) to 160 (2 master sets x 20 reps in each of 4 drop sets). “I go for the big burn on these,” says Jay. “If I can walk away after finishing, I haven’t done enough.”

Monday:

Delts
Delts Dumbbell Side Laterals     3 sets x 12 reps
Dumbbell Press                           3 sets x 8-12 reps
Side Lateral Cable                       3 sets x 8-12 reps
Front Raise with Olympic Bar    2 sets x 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals     3 sets x 10 reps
Triceps
Triceps Cable Extension              4 sets x 15 reps
Single Arm Extensions                3 sets x 15 reps
Close-Grip Bench Press               3 sets x 8 reps
Superset: French Press                 3 sets x 8 reps
Dumbbell Kickbacks                   3 sets x 12 reps
Dips                                                3 sets of 15 reps
Traps
Traps Shrugs                                  4 sets x 12 reps
Abs
Abs Crunches                                 3 sets x 20 reps
Rope Crunch                                  3 sets x 20 reps
Hanging Leg Raise                        3 sets x 12 reps
Leg Lifts                                        3 sets x 10 reps
Tuesday:
Back:
Back Wide-Grip Pulldowns         3 sets x 10 reps
Dumbbell Rows                           3 sets x 10 reps
Bent Over Barbell Rows              4 sets x 10 reps
Deadlifts                                       3 sets x 12 reps
Close-Grip T-bar Row                 3 sets x 10 reps
Behind-the-Neck Pulldowns        3 sets x 10 reps
Seated Rows                                 3 sets x 10 reps
Hyperextensions                           3 sets x 10 reps

Wednesday: Off

Thursday:
Chest
Chest Incline Barbell Press   5 sets x 10-12 reps
Flat Dumbbell Press              3 sets x 8-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Flye           3 sets x 10 reps
Cable Crossovers                   3 sets x 12 reps
Decline Bench Press             3 sets x 8 reps
Biceps
Biceps Straight Bar Curl         5 sets x 15 reps
Single Arm Dumbbell Curl     3 sets x 12 reps
Single Arm Preacher Curl      3 sets x 10 reps
Hammer Curl                            2 sets x 12-15 reps

Forearms
Forearms Reverse Curls    6 sets x 15 reps
Abs
Abs Crunches                        3 sets x 20 reps
Rope Crunch                        3 sets x 20 reps
Hanging Leg Raise              3 sets x 12 reps
Leg Lifts                                   3 sets x 10 reps
Friday:
Quads
Leg Extensions                     3 sets x 20 reps
Leg Press                                4 sets x 12 reps
Squats                                      4 sets x 6-10 reps
Lunges                                    3 sets x 8 steps per leg
Leg Extensions (heavy)     4 sets x 10 reps
Saturday:
Hamstrings
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curl         6 sets x 12 reps
Romanian Deadlift                         3 sets x 10 reps
Single Leg Hamstring Curl         3 sets x 12 reps
Leg Press (feet high and wide)  3 sets x 12 reps
Calves
Calves Standing Calf Raise         4 sets x 10 reps
Donkey Calf Raise                          2 sets x 10 reps
Seated Calf Raise                            3 sets x 10 reps
Abs
Abs Crunches                                 3 sets x 20 reps
Rope Crunch                                  3 sets x 20 reps
Hanging Leg Raise                       3 sets x 12 reps
Leg Lifts                                           3 sets x 10 reps
Sunday: Off
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