My Split Leg Work Epiphany

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— Plus a very raw video about that and Pattaya, Thailand sexpat stuff…(now age restricted)

Before the 8-week Phases I and II of AJAC’s “Achilles” Program, and after, with 8 more weeks to go.

I debated whether to write this post first and then create a video summarizing some of the highlights, or to produce the video first and then write a post providing greater detail on certain aspects of the video. I’ve decided on the latter. This raises the question: Do you read the post first or watch the video first? Well, that’s up to you. I will say that a lot of the content in the video is not covered in this post. This post is primarily about the workouts, specifically one of Alexander Cortes’s many programs. This particular one is called “Achilles,” which is patterned after the preparation that Brad Pitt underwent for his film role of that name.

In the video:

  1. Overview of the workouts and split-leg work specifically
  2. What’s the one true workout methodology?
  3. Shout out to Anthony Colpo for his specific advice
  4. How about testosterone replacement therapy?
  5. What synergies arise when TRT is done in conjunction with hard-ass gym training and chasing young pussy?
  6. Do you even remember what it was like to be a teen male obsessed with pussy?
  7. The early post-pubescent social-sexual development of males vs. females
  8. Judeo-Christian ethics/culture juxtaposed with Thai Buddhist ethics/culture in a sexual context
  9. The truth: “I want to fuck you, come on your tits, and call you my girlfriend.”
  10. No refuge for prudes, self-righteous, virtue-signallers, white knights, wankers, betas, or otherwise all who are inferior wannabes in every material way.
  11. Does your man cheat, and if so, does he do it “too much?”

… And more….

The before and after photos show the progress before I started this program and after I had been working with two of his other programs for a few months, and then after roughly getting through the first half of it. It’s a 12-week program with four bonus weeks, so 16 weeks in total if you complete the entire regimen. The photo was taken after eight weeks, phases one and two. And I’m only halfway through the program!

I think those who know what they’re looking at will agree that this is rather remarkable progress for a 62-year-old guy, who will be turning 63 in about six weeks.

In terms of the overall, here’s what the three phases, 12 weeks of Achilles look like, plus the bonus 4 weeks.

Phase I (Weeks 1-4)

“You will do 20 total sets for all Upper Body Muscles. This month is an Acclimation phase. Do NOT do sets to positive failure, leave 1-2 reps in the tank on all sets. I suggest keeping these workouts faster paced. Take 3 minute breaks between exercises, but keep the rest periods short (1-2 minutes) between sets.”

Phase II (Weeks 5-8)

“You will do 12-16 total sets for all Upper Body Muscles, but now we emphasize progressive overload more, and I want you to take sets to positive failure. Volume is lower to adjust for fatigue.”

Phase III (Weeks 9-12)

“You train each muscle group once a week. Volume is at 8 sets, and I want you to aim for heavier weights or more reps every week on all exercises. Set PRs on everything you can.

Optional Phase IV (Weeks 13-16)

“The Man of Bronze program is an optional one month extension to the Achilles Program. This program is for those individuals who have gotten truly awesome results and want to make one final four week push to maximize their muscle gains.

“The Man of Bronze Workouts are less in exercises, but very intense in the volume. You will be doing A LOT of sets. And the goal here is to get the workouts done as FAST as possible, lifting the heaviest weights possible.

“While the workouts might end up being short, the density of each workout is a very powerful stimulus. PLEASE do not do anything extra. Only do what is given

“During this month, I recommend ZERO cardio. You should still train abs of course. But outside of the workouts, do not do any additional cardio.”


So, you can see the progression. What does it look like in terms of my actual workout logs, apples to apples (same day 1 of each week, phases 1-3)?

Feel free to poke around to see exercise-to-exercise progression over those roughly 2 months. (I did try to go from 60Kg for 9 on the incline bench yesterday right to 70 (22 pound jump). I got 2 reps. So, I just canned that and did 5 reps at the same 60, again, which would have probably logged as 7 or 8 without that bout at 70. I’ll try again next week.)

I thought I’d kill it on the converging or inner chest press, and when I didn’t remembered that duh, it’s the last exercise and this is a pure chest day.

All in all, I love mixing it up like this, but I especially love jonesin for 1RM records in a short workout like this, where raw winded fatigue isn’t an option.

Incidentally, I’m not a big warm up kinda guy and stand to be scolded for that. On the other hand, so long as I’m yet to enter high-risk injury territory (I’ve got a ways to go before I’m into that range of weight), I don’t mind set #1 being a bit “stiff.” It’s quite often that set #2 is my easiest set, not #1. That said, I did warm up on incline bench yesterday, first just pumping the bar alone in various ranges, angles, elbow position…then a few light-work reps at 40Kg, then getting to work at 60.

… So, what is it about this split-leg stuff? Let me go back a little bit first, back to the old days, you know. You hear it’s all about squat, squat, squat. So, you know, I did lots of squats and lots of incline leg presses. I love incline leg presses, but I hate squats. I love deadlifts so I figured I have a body that’s pretty good at deadlifts and one that sucks at squats. Now, I haven’t tried squats in a long time. None of the programs I’ve done, including Alexander’s programs that I’ve tried, include regular back squats, so I don’t know. I suspect that I’m probably a lot better at them than I used to be, and I’ll tell you why.

From the first program that I did, to the second one, and now this one, it includes stiff-leg deadlifts, which I had never done before. I forget what I started at, but at this point, I do four sets of 10 reps at 80 kg, and I rattle them off. Yes, the third and fourth sets are a bit taxing; you’re using a lot of muscle there, but it’s about the posterior chain and, of course, the hamstrings. Having done that now, I’m kind of satisfied. I’m not really interested in progressing on the weight because it feels right, and I haven’t felt what you would call a sore back in months. It just doesn’t exist; I have no back issues. Even when I was a young man, I can remember if you’re doing dishes and just bent a little bit over the sink—I can remember this in my house in Japan when I was like 25 years old—your lower back starts to hurt. I just did dishes yesterday and didn’t even think about it till now, and I’m over twice as old. So, I’m telling you, if you have back problems, man, learn how to do stiff-leg deadlifts, start light but build up on those, and kiss your back problems goodbye. So there’s your friendly public service advice for today.

Again, thanks to Alexander for that. I never even thought of doing stiff-leg deadlifts before. Then, what happens in the longevity program? Alexander has these reverse weighted lunges where you’re holding dumbbells. Instead of stepping forward on the lunge, you step back. At first, I was having such difficulty with the balance part of it. It’s annoying, right? I did a few without weight, like holding onto the back of a shoulder press bench, and did them that way. Then, I saw these people doing Bulgarian split squats, so I thought that could be an acceptable alternative. I even reached out to Alexander on Twitter and asked if Bulgarian split squats were an acceptable substitute for the reverse weighted lunges. He said yes.

So I started doing that, and now let’s get to Anthony Colpo. On my last program, the four-day-a-week one, I did every routine in video, and Anthony, who was gracious enough as a personal trainer, watched each of those and emailed me a great critique. What really stood out was the split. He noticed the Bulgarian split squats and told me, as an avid cyclist, he’s very big into independent legwork. You can read up on the Bulgarian split squat and a lot of the stuff, and it’s like people don’t realize how powerful it is because your body weight itself is pretty important when you go to one leg. So you can be a lot less injury-prone. It’s a little bit tough on the knees, but I’m overcoming that, and you get a lot more bang for the buck, I think.

Anyway, the first exercise is seated leg curls, which doesn’t interfere too much. I get those out of the way, then I go immediately to weighted step-ups. I was like at 10 kg, holding a 10 kg dumbbell on your lifting side, which kind of balances out because your other leg is free and your arm is free. That’s four sets of 20 reps, 10 per leg. But then, Alexander Cortes has you doing weighted lunges, and we’re not talking just piddly stuff here; we’re talking four sets of 15 reps. I couldn’t get through them even non-weighted. Just lunges, right? So I noticed this guy in the gym, Alain—he’s Asian, from New York, and really well-built. When you see that gymnastics build—really super well-proportioned and muscular—he’s got great quads. He was walking past me doing lunges with 20 kg in each arm. I introduced myself, and he said he did not get the great hypertrophy in his quads until he started doing these weighted lunges.

That was interesting because when you talk to people who actually do stuff like Anthony Colpo, and now Alain, who you see doing the work right in front of your eyes, you double down on getting thinbgs done right. So I finally got through a non-weighted routine of the lunges, all sets, all reps. I mentioned this to Alain, and he suggested trying 10Kg dumbbells, reducing the reps to 10 or 12 per side, and doing them first before the step-ups. I tried that, and wow, what a difference! I’m going to keep at it because this new phase of the program has them on a leg day with 20 reps but only two sets.

After I did that, I doubled the weight up to 20 kg for the step-ups and still got through the four sets. All in all, it was a pretty good success, and I’m starting to see growth in my legs, pretty rapidly too. So this is all for the good, and I’m looking at the split-leg stuff. Thanks to Anthony Colpo, Alexander Cortez, and Alain—I don’t know your last name—but you guys have really been a help. It’s really great when you get information from guys who really know their stuff and they’re not just talking about this being the one true thing. You find out what works, what you can really get behind and go for. Wow, you do it, and you’re off and running.

Thank you again, gentlemen.

… Now to the video and by the title alone, you can tell that I discuss a few other things. The setting is great. Imagine sitting where I’m sitting, and in more ways than one.

Oops… Well, I think I’ll just let that age restriction stand unchallenged. It’s probably because of how I titled it.


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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, lifestyle...to philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

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