Modified Push/Pull Workout

Modified Push/Pull Workout

by Dustin Holston

If you are looking to increase strength, muscle size, and get a great all around workout, check out this Modified Push/Pull Workout.



A push/pull workout separates muscle groups quite different than most workouts. It isolates muscle groups that must “push” to be used vs. muscle groups that needs to be “pulled”.


Chest- Push (you push the bar when you do bench press)

Back- Pull (you pull yourself up doing pullups, you pull the bar when doing deadlifts)

Quads- (Squats you push up, leg press you push)

Hamstrings- (Pull when you do stiff legged deadlifts)

Dustin’s Modified Push/Pull Workout

Day 1: Heavy Push

Day 2: Heavy Pull

Day 3: Shoulders and Abs

Day 4: Pump Push

Day 5: Pump Pull

Day 1: Heavy Push (weights are examples)

Bench Press: Bar x 15, 135 x 15, 185 x 3, 225 x 3 x 6

Inclined DB Press: 80 x 8 x 3

Pec Deck Flies: 130 x 8 x 3

Weighed Dips: 45 x 6 x 3

Squats: Warmup, 135 x 10, 225 x 5, 275 x 3 x 6

Walking Lunges: 3 sets

Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10

Day 2: Heavy Pull (weights are examples)

Wide Grip Pull-downs: 170 x 6 x 5

Close Grip Pull-downs (revere grip): 170 x 6 x 3

Seated Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10

Stiffed Legged Deadlifts:  315 x 3 x 5

Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 10

Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15

Inclined Biceps Curls: 5 sets of 8


Day 3: Shoulders and Abs

Lateral Raises: 5 sets of 10

Frontal Raises: 3 sets of 10

Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 10

Rear Delt Flies: 3 sets of 10

Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of 15

Standing Rope Crunches: 3 sets of 15

Day 4: Pump Push

Bench Press: 5 sets of 15 reps

Close Grip Bench: 3 sets of 15

Inclined DB Press: 3 sets of 12

Leg Press: 5 sets of 20

Leg Extensions: 5 sets of 20

Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15

Dips: 3 sets of 15

Day 5: Pump Pull

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10

Yates Rows*: 3 sets of 15

Light Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15

Leg Curls: 3 sets of 15

Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 12

21’s- 3 sets

Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 12


Post Workout

It is vital after a grueling workout to have a post workout shake with simple sugars and easily digestible protein. I prefer the Post Workout Stack from 1st Phorm. Check it out here:


The idea is to increase weight on heavy bench press, heavy squats, and heavy deadlifts every week or 2. It will becoming increasingly difficult to do. Cardio should be done as often as possible, but only after your workout and for 15-20 minutes maximum. I like to vary my speeds with a little HIIT. I actually use this workout when I’m bulking and cutting.

*I am not a medical professional, please speak to a doctor before starting any diet or workout program.


Questions or Comments?


Let me know!


Dustin Holston

Kevin Levrone is BACK! Will Compete at 2016 Mr. Olympia



The Maryland Muscle Machine is back!


Earlier this year I said that I thought that Kevin Levrone might be making a comeback. I was hoping that he would compete at the first ever Levrone Pro Classic in Poland. I was wrong. Then at the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Show, Kevin shocked the world to announce that at 52 years old, he will be coming out of retirement and competing at the 2016 Mr. Olympia.


The IFBB can give special exemptions to bodybuilders who didn’t qualify for the Mr. Olympia. The last I can remember was Gunter Schlierkamp in 2002. This means that Kevin can focus on growing into the 2016 Mr. Olympia (something he is famous for) and not having to contest prep multiple times.



Kevin doesn’t need to compete, he wants to. Kevin also has a supplement company that will benefit from his exposure.

Can he win?

I’m not a hater, but I don’t think Kevin will win. It wouldn’t surprise me if he finished in the top 10. I’d be shocked and super happy if he finished in the top 5. There are a few good things going for Kevin. Kevin has taken years off from the normal “regiment”. Kevin didn’t need to take a lot of drugs and famous for taking months at a time off between shows. His genetics will allow him to grow into the contest. Last reports said he was 250 pounds!


Funny Kevin Story?

Kevin is known to be a little different when it comes to training and dieting. One of his secrets was to drink vodka mixed with coffee the night before contest to dry out. Before the 1997 Russian Grand Prix, Kevin had Ronnie try the concoction and Ronnie actually beat Kevin the next day!



How well do you think he will do? Can he win?


Dustin Holston

Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist

Rest Between Sets: How Much is Needed?


How much rest is needed between sets?

This isn’t an easy answer. The easiest way to formulate an answer is to determine what are your goals.

Strength vs. Hypertrophy (size)

When strength training, you should be focusing on 1 of 2 outcomes: To become stronger or to get bigger muscles. Although there are some correlation between the two, it isn’t direct.

Let’s look at the above photo. On the left, Eddie Hall, one of the world strongest men and holder of the record for the most weight ever deadlifted. On the right is Big Ramy, a top 6 bodybuilder in the world. Eddie Hall focuses on strength training to maximize effort in short bursts (one rep maxes, etc.) while Big Ramy focuses on hypertrophy and the maximum amount of growth for the muscle.

Rest to Gain Strength:

Studies have shown that when lifting 50%-90% of one rep max, rest 3-5 minutes between sets to maximize strength. This break also had benefits of reducing injury when lifting heavy weight. 

Rest to Gain Muscle:

To promote hypertrophy, resting between 30-60 seconds with moderate rep schemes were optimal (8-15 reps). This also allowed you to maximize the effects of Growth Hormone. 

Nutrition to Maximize Effects of Both:

Whether you are training for strength or size, quality nutrition and supplementation can add quality muscle and strength gains. MegaWatt V2 by 1st Phorm is a great supplement to get you ready for the gym. This preworkout includes doses of creatine, beta alanine,  agmatine sulfate, caffeine, and more to get your ready for the gym. Post workout nutrition such as Ignition + Phormula-1 will help your muscles grow and repair post workout by feeding carbs, protein, and amino acids to the muscles.

Order MegaWatt V2 from 1st Phorm and receive free shipping!

Order Phormula-1 + Ignition from 1st Phorm and receive free shipping!


What works for you?

Sound off below!

Dustin Holston

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Who Will Win the 2016 Arnold Classic?


If you read my 2015 Arnold Classic prediction you saw that I hit the nail on the head and predicted Dexter Jackson to win his 5th Arnold Classic. I predicted the remaining top 5, but had them out of order. Branch Warren surprised many and pushed Dexter.  Dexter will not be competing, so we will not have a repeat champion!

I will be at the 2016 Arnold Classic and will be posting photos and result analysis.

Who will win the 2016 Arnold Classic?

The surprise of the year happened when Kai Greene put his hat into the ring. Kai hasn’t competed at the Arnold since 2010. He has won 2 and is looking for #3. Kai is the odds on favorite, but who will win the 2016 Arnold Classic?

#1. Kai Greene

No one really knows the condition Kai Greene is currently in. The photos and videos he has posted has shown him in a hoodie. If he comes into the condition and size he is known for, no one can beat him.

#2. Justin Compton

Last year I picked him to be second, and I will keep him at second this year. Justin Compton is the future of bodybuilding. He is still young. It is scary because he keeps growing. If anyone on stage can compete with Kai’s size, it is Justin.


#3. Cedric McMillan

Cedric didn’t have a very good 2015. He dropped out of the Mr. Olympia at the last minute, and struggled getting in shape in other contests. Cedric has the dream physique and has Arnold Schwarzenegger’s backing, but his conditioning is always a little off.


#4. Evan Centopani

Evan is a top tier bodybuilder, and if he nails his conditioning to match his size, it will vault him into the top 2 or 3. Evan took some time off last year and has been really working on his diet eating quality foods and such. I hope he nails it.


#5. Branch Warren

A couple weeks ago I predicted that Branch Warren will fall off this year. I actually had Josh Lenartowicz at #4. I think Branch will finish in the top 5 in the Arnold, but do believe he is on the downside.

Dark Horses:

  • Josh Lenartowicz has the size and conditioning to be in the top 4. Just hasn’t competed against the best of the best yet.
  • Johnnie Jackson has looked really good in prep pictures. Johnnie is a humble dude and one of my favorite bodybuilders.
  • Fouad Abiad is a top tier bodybuilder but from prep pictures I’m not sure if he will be ready.
  • Toney Freeman is the king of social media pictures. He would win every competition if it was online. His conditioning is insane right now, but I’m not sure how it will look in Columbus. Toney turns 50 this year and I want him to compete in the Olympia.

Not Ready Yet:

  • Cody Montgomery is the youngest Mr. USA in history. His conditioning is top notch but doesn’t have the size yet to compete with the big dogs.


2015 Bodybuilder of the Year Awards

This is Team Nutrition Train’s 1st Bodybuilders of the Year Awards where the winners get absolutely nothing but the prestige and honor of winning this such lowly award.


The categories:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • Surprise of the Year
  • Disappointment of the Year
  • NPC Bodybuilder of the Year
  • Pro Bodybuilder of the Year

Rookie of the Year

Nominees: Dallas McCarver, Kim Jun Ho, Michael Lockett

Winner: Dallas McCarver

Dallas is the new X-Frame that bodybuilding desperately needs. While Cedric can’t get into shape, and Toney Freeman is running out of time, Dallas is young and is still growing.


Surprise of the Year: 

Nominees: Dexter Jackson, Branch Warren, William Bonac

Winner: Dexter Jackson1874-dexter-jackson-237_final

Branch came back gnarly and shredded in 2015, William Bonac is the new giant killer, but Dexter wins Surprise of the Year. Dexter won the Arnold for his record fifth time, then finished second to only Phil Heath in the 2015 Mr. Olympia.

Disappointment of the Year:

Nominees: Cedric McMillian (for failing to get in shape), Kai Greene (for failing to sign a document to compete in the O), Zane Watson (Arrested)

Winner: Kai Greene

Sigh, the pictures heading into the O showed Kai Greene primed and ready to take on Phil, but unfortunately the documents were never signed and Kai did not compete at the Mr. Olympia. Many say that he was “banned”, in which he was not. He was given a document to sign and it didn’t get signed. It was probably over negotiations of his likeness, his new supplement line, or who knows what. Overall he was a huge disappointment to his fans.


NPC Bodybuilder of the Year:

Nominees: Cody Montgomery, Sergio Olivia Jr.

Winner: Cody Montgomery

Although Sergio looked great getting his pro card, Cody Montgomery is on a roll! 3 x Teen USA, Youngest Mr. USA in history, Cody has steamrolled the competition and expects to make his 2016 debut soon.


Pro Bodybuilder of the Year:

Nominees: Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson, Flex Lewis, Jose Raymond

Winner: Dexter Jackson

I can hear people say “but Phil won?”. Phil did win, but he competed only once. Dexter is in his mid-40’s and won the Arnold Classic for the 5th time, and finished 2nd at the Mr. Olympia, 7 years after winning his only Mr. O. Phil winning his 5th Olympia is impressive and puts him 1 behind Dorian Yates, 2 behind Arnold, and 3 behind Ronnie and Lee.


2015 Mr. Olympia 212 Showdown Preview

The 2015 Mr. Olympia is coming from Las Vegas and will be aired exclusively through brought to you by Amazon on September 18th and 19th!

Jose Raymond

Although many of you are overly excited about the Open Class (Phil Heat, Dennis Wolf, Big Ramy), the 212 competitors, in my opinion showcase the best of conditioning.

Will Flex Lewis win #4? Can Jose Raymond take the crown? Can Guy Cisternino, Aaron Clark, Eduardo Correa, David Henry, or someone else surprise?

Also keep Baito Abbasour in your thoughts, he lost his battle with an illness last month and passed away.

Here is the list of Qualifiers: 

Abbaspour, Baito Iran
Adzievski, Oliver Sweden
Ahmad, Ahmad Iraq
Almohsinawi, Khalid Kuwait
Auguste, Al USA
Cambal, Marian Slovakia
Cambronero, Alejandro USA
Cisternino, Guy USA
Clarida, Shaun USA
Clark, Aaron USA
Correa, Eduardo Brazil
Delev, Dobromir Bulgaria
Dixon, Charles USA
Henry, David USA
Jackson, Tricky USA
Kim, Jun Ho Korea
Kang, Kyung Won Korea
Lewis, Flex Swansea, Wales
Raymond, Jose USA
Richardson, Craig USA
Rivera, Marco USA
Watson, Zane Canada
Yamagishi, Hidetada Japan

Top 6:

6. Aaron Clark

5. David Henry

4. Hidetada Yamagishi

3. Guy Cisternino

2. Jose Raymond

Champion: Flex Lewis

Charles Dixon

Dark Horses: Jun Ho Kim has a tiny waist and has a true x frame in the 212 division. Craig Richardson could be fighting for a top 5 place if he brings his “A” game. Charles Dixon will be the biggest of the 212 pounders, and if his condition is on, look for him to finish in the top 5.

Like my picks? Hate my picks? Sound off below!

Lift Heavy My Friends,

Dustin Holston

Certified Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist

Who Will Win the 2015 Arnold Classic Brazil?

Who Will Win the 2015 Arnold Classic Brazil?


List of competitors:

Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
Juan Morel
Cedric McMillian
Victor Martinez
Lionel Beyeke
Brandon Curry
Marius Dohne
Fred Smalls
Toney Freeman
Jose Luis Rodriguez Oyola
In my opinion, the Arnold Brazil is one of the 3-5 best events in the world for quality bodybuilding. This list includes 3 people that finished in the top 10 at the 2015 Mr. Olympia, including the 310 pound beast, Big Ramy! The list also includes Cedric McMillian who has been considered the protoype when it comes to classic bodybuilding, and the original X-Man Toney Freeman who at 48, still is bringing it!

The top 10

10. Jose Luis Rodriguez Oyola

Jose won the Arnold Amateur in 2014 which gave him a pro card and qualified him for the Arnold Brazil. Jose is working with Dennis James and may have a bright future in the sport, but it is too early to tell. Give him a few years and he may place better.

9. Marius Dohne

Marius has an interesting story where he almost died a few years ago. Now he is back. Marius looked good last year and was overlooked in a few events, but a few weeks ago he finished 10th in an extremely weak lineup in Orlando.

8. Toney Freeman

Toney is one of my favorite physiques in bodybuilding history. Known as the X-Man because of his small waist, Toney has lost a lot of size over the past 12 months. Toney is 48 years old, and although he looks like a man that is in his 30’s, I’m afraid that his physique isn’t going to allow him to be winning any major shows.

7. Brandon Curry

Brandon has a great physique and is still young. He placed decently at the Arnold and Arnold Australia this year. I saw a picture of him recently and he didn’t look dialed in.

6. Fred Smalls

Fred knows how to fire up the crowd. Fred has a balanced physique but can get lost. Fred needs to come in dialed in to place higher.

5. Lionel Beyeke

Lionel should have won this event last year. He was in great shape and has everything that should have won him the title. Unfortunately Lionel looked horrible in Columbus. Hopefully he will dial it in and can compete for the title.

4. Victor Martinez

Victor looked great at the New York Pro, and almost took home the title. I think that the bodybuilders between the 5th-2nd spot could go in any order, which makes it difficult. Victor is a fantastic bodybuilder and a legend.

3. Juan Morel 

Juan won the NY Pro and finished 2nd at this event last year. Juan is young and has a chance to be a top 5 threat in any competition.

2. Cedric McMillian

Every time I get on the Cedric bandwagon, I leave disappointed. Known for having one of the best physiques in the world, Cedric tends to allow his conditioning to hold him back. Cedric has a top 2-5 Mr. Olympia physique if he ever dials it in. If not now, when Cedric?

1. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay 


The man, the legend, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay is expected to weigh 310 pounds when he steps onto stage. Big Ramy is working with the guru, George Farah, and fans are looking for a sharp and huge Big Ramy. The one complaint everyone has with Big Ramy is that he doesn’t come in sharp. If he comes in sharp, he can compete with anyone in the world. I think this event is Big Ramy’s.

Like or hate my top 10? Comment below!

Lift Heavy My Friends,
Dustin Holston
1st Phorm
Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist