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Psycho-Burst Training Review

Rob Ccolacino Training Review

This no-nonsense, get-in-the-gym-and-go DVD was filmed at the New Haven Gold's Gym, where Colacino has trains. Colacino achieved national recognition at the NPC Nationals, and has kept a high profile since then. Suffice it to say that Colacino is a serious threat on the bodybuilding horizon, and getting a close look at his training methods should help any intermediate or advanced lifter with bodybuilding aspirations. Beginners shouldn't attempt training like this, but might consult it for future ideas. It would be a good idea to see the DVD before attempting Colacino's methods.

The DVD demonstrates Colacino's workout for all major body parts. There are no transitions between the exercises, no fancy visuals or soundtrack -- just what's playing at the gym at the time. Colacino is off-season here, at around 280 pounds, and wearing a goatee he shaves for contests. He wears a T-shirt and gym shorts as he does his routine in the sweaty confines of a first-class facility. Nothing is polished or slick in this video; it's a real workout by a real bodybuilder.

The first exercise is for the biceps. Colacino does standing alternating dumbbell curls with 55-pounders in each hand, then the same exercise while sitting on an upright bench facing a mirror. As we see the workout, Colacino tells us in dubbed-in narration what he's doing and why. Lighter warmup sets precede the last one. In the final and most intense set, he describes the way he holds the dumbbells halfway up in a stationary position to failure, and then halfway down, again held to failure. You can see him squirming as his arms are about to give way, and Colacino cheerfully admits, "It's very painful, but that's all you need is that one hard set, especially that last rep, and you're wasted and done, all over." The exercise works, as proven by the arm poses he does for us after blasting his biceps.

Moving to the shoulders and upper chest, Colacino does an incline bench press with a spotter. First we get the warmups, then the last set -- where he holds the barbell directly overhead for as long as he can, then lowers it to his chest, doing as many small reps (just off his chest) as he can. Of the pump he gets doing them, he says, "There's no better feeling in the world."

For his traps, Colacino uses a shoulder-shrug machine. This one's important for him because the crab shot, his trademark pose, makes the traps look they're about to explode. For the final rep, he holds the shrug as long as he can. "Never stop till you just can't take anymore," he tells us. The value of each exercise is predicated on the last rep in this training technique.

For the back Colacino does barbell bends, leaning over and pulling a barbell held in front at waist level back up. He moves on to a hacksquat machine, describing his sets, reps, weights, and his customized "one rep" variation on the standard exercise. He doesn't worry about how many reps he gets, but pushes each exercise to the breaking point with his "bottom reps" -- for the hack, going all the way down and then bouncing up a quarter of the way over and over to failure.

For chin-ups, Colacino lowers himself all the way down to a suspended position below the bar, holding it around ten seconds, and doing this four times in a row. He does mini-chinning movements, as many and as fast as possible. Then he does a quarter rep up, holding again at the bottom for a chinning version of his "bottom reps." He cautions us not to do the "bottom reps" in the warmup sets -- only in the last, intense one. He says, "I know when it's time to stop; you have to find out for yourself."

Next up are the legs. Colacino hits a leg curl machine for his hamstrings. On the last rep, he does mini-curls, bouncing the backs of his ankles against the weighted padding at full extension, holding it as long as he can, then doing "little rocking reps" as long as he can, up to 100 if possible. This stretches the muscle to the fullest extent, but don't expect to walk away from the leg station without discomfort.

For the calves, donkey calf raises on a machine are next. Colacino describes doing 30 to 40 reps at each pin position until he's finished the entire stack of weights. He says, "I go to the range of motion that causes the most pain. That's the way I know it's working."

For triceps, we get a "rope pressdown." This is an extension exercise with a cable held with a horseshoe-shaped rope grip. For the last rep, he holds the grip at the bottom of the movement and squeezes it to exhaustion. Then he lets it halfway up, holding it again to exhaustion. The "bottom reps" go down about an inch, and are either pistoned out, or one and hold, one and hold, to exhaustion. "That's very painful -- that's very good," he reports. The de Sade Training Academy may be calling him soon.

The followup triceps exercise is the "overhead rope." Again with a cable and rope grip, he leans over while holding the cable behind his head, pushing it directly down so that it clears his head. Right at the point that the knots on the rope hit the top of his head, he stops and does his "little reps." Then he pushes the rope to full extension and holds the position as long as he can stand it. "Those little reps are killers," he says, admitting it's hard to breathe in that position.

For his shoulders, Colacino does dumbbell laterals. Sitting on a bench, he raises the dumbbells on each side at the same time (using the arms like wings). His special variation on this exercise incorporates mini-reps with the weights held halfway up on each side, till they fall out of his hands. "That's how I know I'm done," he notes.

Next for shoulders come "high rep laterals" on a machine that makes the bent elbows push the weight up on both sides in a curving motion. Colacino pumps out as many fast reps as he can, and each time he's at the gym the level of failure gets reset by what the body can do that day. (He mentions that if he's doing the incline bench, this exercise isn't needed, as the bench work hits the front delts.)

The last exercise shown is the rear delt barbell, where the 'bell is held behind the back at waist level. He does four to five sets of six to eight reps, going from 315 to 405 to 495 to 600 to 675, doing his mini-reps at the end as usual.

This gym repertoire requires a focused, committed lifter to confront his maximum strength and endurance on a daily basis. Those who can follow it should greatly increase their muscular development. Having a high pain threshold helps, but any experienced lifter has faced that already.

The DVD concludes with backstage video at the April NPC USA contest in Hartford, Connecticut, where Colacino (in tight competition shape) took fourth in the super-heavyweight class. We see him get last-minute posing advice from a friend, then walk onstage in a prejudging lineup. Colacino is on the money for this show, offering freaky size in his back, solid legs, barndoor shoulders, and snaking veins in his biceps. In upcoming NPC shows, the world should be his oyster, which he'll pry open not with a sword but his own bare hands.

Get your copy at Psycho Burst Training System .

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