Six Muscle Building Workouts From Top Physique Athletes Featuring IPL Pros Zyrian Apurillo, Alex Sigala, & Nick Torgerson
Michael Brooks Photography
Three men, each at the top of his game, offer up some top tips for how to pack on quality muscle. The focus? Chest, Legs, back and shoulders.
ALEJANDRO SIGALA: IPL MEN’S ATHLETIC PRO — BACK & LEGS
My philosophy is always lifting slow and controlled and constantly changing up my routine. I do a mix of heavy and light days. Through my experience, this is what I feel works best for me, personally. Changing my routines and implementing new exercises keeps it fresh.
BACK: I always start with some back stretches and light cardio for my warm-up. All of these exercises I preform slow and controlled, with minimal breaks in between sets and exercises. The following is one of my favorite back workouts.
Back Workout: Pull Ups (3 sets till failure) | Deadlifts (4 sets, light weight, high reps x 15-20) | Front Cable Cross (4 sets, high reps, low weight x 15-20) | Lat Pull Downs (4 sets, high reps, low weight x 15-20) | Bent Over Rows Or Seated Row (4 sets, high reps, low weight x 15-20) | Back Extension with weight (4 sets, high reps, low weight x 15-20).
“Slow and controlled movements with minimal rest in between sets and exercises.”
LEGS: I have really focused on growing my legs this past year. My philosophy for training legs is very similar to how I train my back and the rest of the muscle groups. I really focus on slow and controlled movements, incorporating new exercises as well as frequently and consistently training them. Most importantly, growth comes from what you’re eating and consistency inside your diet. In addition to diet, I train legs 2-3 times per week, mixing heavy and light days. Slow and controlled movements with minimal rest in between sets and exercises. The following is one of my favorite leg workouts.
Leg Workout: Body Weight Warm-up | Lunges Weighted using dumbbells (alternating 10 on each side, 20 total per set) x 4 sets | Leg Press (close and wide stance) 10 reps x 4 sets | Squats, Close Stance 10 reps x 4 sets | Leg Extensions 10 reps x 4 sets. | Leg curls 10 reps x 4 sets | Sumo Dead Lifts 10 reps x 4 sets.
ZYRIAN APURILLO: IPL MEN’S ATHLETIC PRO CHAMPION & IPL MEN’S SPORTS MODEL PRO — SHOULDERS & LEGS
SHOULDERS: My philosophy for building shoulders is to focus on isolating them.
Shoulder Workout: My shoulder workouts are mainly composed of cables and free weights, ranging around 25-35lbs. And calisthenics workouts, such as Shoulder Presses, Shoulder Raises, Rows, Push-ups and even Burpees. For reps with weights I focus on 12-15reps. For calisthenics I focus on “do it till failure“, rest in between, and then repeat. My gym times for shoulders are at least 2x a week for at least 30-45 minutes.
“…if I properly build the largest muscle on my body, it will promote growth in all areas in my body as well.”
LEGS: For or my legs, I strongly believe that if I properly build the largest muscle on my body, it will promote growth in all areas of my body as well.
Leg Workout: So, for building my legs, I focus on heavy lifting; Barbell Squats, Deadlifts, Leg Presses with 12reps max. And, I make sure to focus strictly on my form with my exercises because I believe having proper form promotes optimal results.
NICK TORGERSON: PL MEN’S SPORTS MODEL PRO — CHEST & SHOULDERS
CHEST: My philosophy when training this muscle group is to stick to the foundation workouts like bench press, dips, and cable flies. Hitting all the angles is also important to have a well-developed chest.
Chest Workout: Flat Bench Press: 1 warm up set; 5 working sets. Lowering the reps each set and increasing the weight | Cable Flies: 2 working sets (low to high), 2 working sets (mid to mid), 2 working sets (high to low). Not too heavy when performing these, as this is an isolated workout. | Incline Machine Press: 4 working sets. Lower the reps each set, increasing the weight. | Machine Flies: 4 working sets with moderate weight, squeezing pecs together at the top of the motion. 1:3 pace when doing these: 1 second positive, squeeze, 3 second negative. | Dips: 3 sets to failure. Not going past a 90-degree angle with elbow.
“Having broad deltoids is what will set you apart from the competition on stage and give you a better V-taper appearance.”
SHOULDERS: Having broad deltoids is what will set you apart from the competition on stage, and give you a better V-taper appearance. It is made of up three heads: anterior, medial, and posterior. Training all three is crucial when trying to develop a well-rounded shoulder.
Shoulder Workout: Lateral Dumbbell Raises: 1 warm up set; 5 working sets with a slight bend in the elbow, with weight I can hold at the peak of the movement. | Reverse Peck Deck: 4 working sets for the posterior deltoid. 12- 15 rep range. | Behind the Head Press Smith Machine: 4 working sets. No less than 5 reps. | Front Barbell Raise: 4 working sets with moderate weight and the grip shoulder width apart. | Reverse Cable Fly: 3 sets to failure, squeezing the muscle hard at the peak of the workout.