Lean Machine: Cover Model Ben Booker Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

In high school I had to lift for sports but never got serious about lifting until I got in a wreck and broke my back three weeks into football season of my senior year. After about 2 months of bed rest, and 3 months of rehabilitation I began to lift weights to regain some strength. Missing all sports in my senior year, the first thing that I was able to do was bench press. I was 135 pounds when I got out of bed rest and 165 when I graduated. It was during college when I met a guy in the weight room that looked how I wanted to look, so I asked him for his workout. He gave me a bodybuilding book that I read and got his workout out of, it was called “Big Beyond Belief”. I have been on this same program now, on and off, ever since my freshman year in college.

It wasn’t until about 3 years ago, though, that I started combining the nutrition and supplementation that has sent my bodybuilding success through the roof!

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from knowing what I am doing is the next right thing. I am a husband and father of three, and find that in order for me to be the best dad possible I have to have a healthy heart and mind. I still take it one day at a time. I am getting motivation from my wife at the moment, as she has begun doing crossfit and is killing it. When I find motivation, I try to grab a hold of it and not let go.

I have found over the years that bursts of motivation come easy, but it is the continued support and mental strength that is hard to maintain.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I have worked with a hypertrophy workout plan for most of my bodybuilding career. It involves the manipulation of time in between each set, and rep range. It is the only style I have done, and just stuck with it. I mix in a lot of giant sets and super sets to avoid plateaus.

Full Routine:

Note: 90 seconds rest period in between all sets/exercises

Day 1: Back/Chest/Biceps/Calves

  • Seated Reverse Close Grip Lat Pulldown 4×13-15
  • Flat Bench DB Press 4×13-15
  • Single Arm Cable Curls 4×13-15
  • Seated Calf Raises 4×13-15

Day 2: Shoulders/Legs/Abs

  • Smith Machine Shoulder Press 4×13-15
  • Reverse Single Arm Pulldowns (from across the body) 4×13-15
  • Single Leg Press 4×13-15
  • Hanging Straight Leg Lifts 4×13-15

Day 3: Chest/Back/Biceps/Calves

  • Weighted Pushups (45lb weight on back) 4×10-12
  • Single Arm Cable Rows 4×10-12
  • Reverse Grip Bar Curls 4×10-12
  • Single Leg Standing Calf Raises 4×10-12

Day 4: Legs/Shoulders/Abs/Triceps

  • Quad Extensions 4×10-12
  • Squats 4×10-12
  • Arnold Presses 4×10-12
  • Decline Bench Sit-ups 4×10-12
  • Cable Tricep Pushdowns 4×10-12

Day 5: Back/Chest/Biceps/Calves

  • Bent Over Single Arm Dumbbell Rows 4×8-10
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 4×8-10
  • Straight Bar Curls 4×8-10
  • Calf Raises 4×8-10

Day 6: Back/Core/Abs

  • Deadlifts 4×8-10
  • Single Arm Cable Raises (from side to in front) 4×8-10
  • Leaned Over Cable Rope Extensions 4×8-10
  • Wipers (to failure) 4×8-10

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Squats: I believe they are the single most important lift for someone who is looking to add muscle mass. The benefits of engaging the core and activating natural testosterone that allows your body to grow and recover better are just a few reasons why they rule.
  2. Dumbbell Press: I feel it was not until I started using different angles with my dumbbell press that I began seeing great definition in my chest.
  3. Barbell Bicep Curls: The barbell curl hits every part of the bicep. I love to hit failure on an 8 rep range, and then take the muscle even further past that point and do as many half curls as possible.

What is your diet like?

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: Whole Wheat Toast, 5-6 Whole Eggs (fried with non-fat cooking spray), one of the Eggs used for an Egg Sandwich with 1 piece of American Cheese
  • Meal 2: 1 or 2 Protein Bars
  • Meal 3: Chicken Breast, Yoplait Yogurt, Apple and Banana, String Cheese
  • Meal 4: Protein Shake
  • Meal 5: Pasta, 10 oz. of Meat (e.g. Chicken, Fish, Turkey, etc.) and Vegetables (Broccoli, Asparagus, etc.)
  • Meal 6: Protein Bar, Chicken (leftovers) and 4-5 Eggs (scrambled or fried)
  • Meal 7: Casein Protein Shake

What is your supplementation like?

I use a pre workout, which is Lit Up or the rpm drive combo from Applied Nutriceuticals. If you have been following me you probably hear me talk a lot about the Peach Tea Lit Up. That stuff is amazing and plays a huge role in motivation and gains in the gym. IGF-2 and Neovar are always in my arsenal as well. Whey Protein and Casein Protein are a must to achieve my 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound that I weigh a day.

I have tested Applied Nutriceuticals new Cool Down and can’t wait for it to come out. It is an intra and post workout supplement, super stoked!

Favorite Quote?

“Whether you think you can or can’t either way you are right.”

Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/bookerbrother/
Website: http://ben-booker.com
Photography: Michael Neveux Photography & IronMan Magazine