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The Abel Files
Scott Abel is one of the premier strength and conditioning coaches in Canada. He's trained over 300 bodybuilding and fitness champions.
QUESTION: Scott Welch told me he once saw you train legs at Pitbull gym back in your prime, and he said you were without a doubt the hardest-training bodybuilder he’s ever witnessed. What’s the hardest workout you’ve ever had in your life?
ANSWER: Well, my “prime” was indeed a long time ago. But I was known for my scary intense training. But I’m glad Scott said “hardest” and not “strongest.” These terms seem to get confused in the modern training environment, leading people to believe that the guy with the heaviest lift has the best physique. This is not true. But here’s the thing about answering this question properly, and most people don’t get it. It’s not just what the written workout brings to you, but what you bring to the written workout. Back in the day, guys noted for being hard trainers couldn’t carry my gym bag for a week. That’s the truth. I left more than my share of pros on the floor immobile or losing their lunch all over the place. It wasn’t a mission. It was just my training intensity and pace. I always likened going to the gym like going to an amusement park. In my mind, I’d conjure up the word “Intense-City” like a place I was going to visit. So intensity was mentally linked to that place. Having said all this, there’s no one hardest workout because I could squeeze more effort out of a workout than most trainees doing the same program. And that’s what develops a body. Recent research has borne this out by the way. But one MET session I did in the sand was 10 of my famous Quad Blasts in an hour. That was deadly, both at the time and for days afterward. But that is just one that comes to mind. Another one was 2 sets of leg press of 50-100 reps, followed by 2 sets of leg extensions for the same reps. This one is more muscle-induced; the former, metabolic and muscular.
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