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Bodybuilding 101


By Jesse James- Harbinger Ambassador


What is Bodybuilding?



Here is a quick crash course to better understand Bodybuilding. The sport of Bodybuilding can sometimes be confused with Men’s Physique. Bodybuilding is broken down by weight class and men’s physique is by height classes.  You must be an active NPC member to compete in any class. Let me provide the breakdown between the two classes, if you are looking to compete, and what each class is required to do on stage. Please visit the websites below for references or information, if you’d like to step on stage with the NPC (National Physique Committee).


Bodybuilding vs Men’s Physique


First let’s see what the classification is for each class. *According to the official NPC website, www.Npcnewsonline.com, bodybuilding rules for:

Posing Suits requirements,

Posing Music,

Onstage expectations,

Backstage access,

Competitor’s health,

and weight class breakdowns, are very long so to get a detailed list on all of the follow mentioned rules, please visit: http://npcnewsonline.com/npc-bodybuilding-competitor-rules/.


Men’s Physique is slightly different than bodybuilding as they are in board shorts instead of posing trunks and extreme muscularity is marked down. *The judges here are looking for muscularity and body conditioning, a competitor must display proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity and overall condition. Men’s physique competitors do not have personalized stage music as bodybuilding do, but stage presence and personality is key here.

For a complete breakdown as well on all rules and expectations please visit the site here: http://npcnewsonline.com/npc-mens-physique-rules-regulations/. I would like to point that I compete in Texas so what the judges look for may vary than your state or region, so I would advise anyone looking at competing to check with their local judges. For females looking to compete, there are four classes you can compete in as well: Bikini, Figure, Fitness, and Bodybuilding. To get a complete breakdown on each class and their requirements you can view that information here: http://npcnewsonline.com/ then click the RULES tab and each division you would like more info on.

This website is the national register of shows but for Texas shows visit: http://www.npctexas.org. Lastly, if you’d like to see actual stage videos from my competitions please check them out my website or YouTube channel: http://www.JesseHuerta.com


The Typical Workout



Now that we are familiar with the differences between bodybuilding and Men’s Physique, let’s look at a typical workout if you are a beginner. I, myself, break down my workouts per body part and do usually 2 to 3 body parts per day. My example workout will be Monday through Thursday with Friday being a cardio day if you’d like to get an extra workout in before that delicious cheese cake you are about to devour this weekend.

Make sure to use your Harbinger or Human X Gear weight belt, lifting straps, or wrist wraps whenever possible to get more out of your workouts!

All Sets & Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps






Monday (Shoulders/Biceps/Calves)

1. Shoulder Barbell Press aka Military Presses ( I usually do a warmup set here – 1 set of 15 reps/light weight)
2. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
3. Bent Over Rear Lateral Raise
4. Weight Plate Front Raise (choose weight accordingly)
5. Cambered Bar Curls (wide grip)
6. Hammer Curls
7. Seated Calf Raises
8. *Optional – Cardio 20 minutes on elliptical if you are trying to lean out

Tuesday (Back/Abs)

1. Deadlifts ( I usually do a warmup set here – 1 set of 15 reps/light weight)
2. Bent over barbell row
3. T-Bar Row
4. Dumbbell shoulder shrugs
5. Lat Pulldowns or Wide Grip Pull Ups (Perfect with the HumanX weighted vest)
6. Landmines
7. V-Ups
8. Roman Chairs

Wednesday (Quads/Hamstrings/Calves)

1. Leg Extensions ( I usually do a warmup set here – 1 set of 15 reps/light weight)
2. Squat Rack (make sure to go 90° or parallel to your knees)
a. Superset with standing calf raises between sets.
3. Hack Squat (wide stance)
4. Lying leg curls
5. Straight Leg dead lift
6. Seated Calf Raises
7. *Optional: Cardio 20 minutes on the stair stepper if you are trying to lean out

Thursday (Chest/Triceps)

1. Incline Barbell Press (I usually do a warmup set here-1 set of 15 reps/light weight)
2. Barbell Press
3. Decline Bench Press
4. Pec Deck
5. Close Grip bench press
6. French Press
7. Cable extensions

Friday (optional: cardio)

Cardio 30 minutes on the elliptical. HIIT, 5 minute warmup (Speed 3.5, Incline 3)
Minutes 6 – 29 (Speed will vary, incline 1 on all)
Minute 6: Speed 6
Minute 7: Speed 3.5
Minute 8: Speed 7
Minute 9: Speed 3.5
Minute 10: Speed 8
Minute 11: Speed 3.5
Minute12: Speed 9
Minute 13: Speed 3.5 (minute 14 will start at speed 6)
(Speed starts back over to 6 on minute 14 and you will do this 3 times total after reaching speed 9)
Minute 29: Speed 3
Minute 30: Level 0, Speed 3


original_10452327_10153161330445833_3529738686379902283_nHarbinger & HumanX Ambassador Jesse Huerta, aka Jesse James, is a NPC Men’s Physique competitor. Jesse has made a transformation where he started at 135lbs to a staggering 230lbs of muscle. Competitions now have him at around 210lbs in the off season and dieting down to a lean and chiseled 188lbs when stepping onstage. He is a male model that has graced the cover of a magazine, published in print, fitness, music magazines, and comic book. He has done runway modeling for Foleys, Dillard’s, celebrities like Dennis Quaid, Paul Mitchell, and shot with legendary fitness photographer Jason Ellis.