Canadian rapper Drake got his start playing a skinny wheelchair bound kid on the show Degrassi. Today his physique is becoming his calling card.
Drake’s bodily transformation is a testament to hard work and commitment. He’s not the most gifted of guys when it comes to building muscle. Yet he has taken what he has and run with it. And his physique is still a work in progress.
It’s only been in the last year or so that we’ve seen Drake posting workout pictures online. Those pictures reveal that he is sticking to a basic compound training plan. Drake was a skinny kid who was picked on for being underweight. He’d dabbled with weight training in the past, but had decided that he was a hard gainer.
It wasn’t until the end of 2014 that Drake, real name Aubrey Drake Graham, got seriously into gym training. In order to overcome his genetic limitations, Drake relied on some simple, yet fundamental training principles. Let’s check them out . . .
Principle One: Compound Movements
Drake built his workouts around exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. These are his mass builders, creating the quickest and most comprehensive attack on his muscle cells for the time invested. These are exercises that he focuses on:
Principle 2: Hard and Fast
Drake makes his weights workouts short and sharp. A lot of hard gainers make the mistake of training more often than everyone else. This is a big mistake. Remember, your muscles don’t grow in the gym – they need recuperation and nutrition for that to happen. He works each body part just once a week, breaking the body into 3 sections: Chest, triceps, deltoids / Back and biceps / Thighs, hamstrings, calves. That’s 3 visits to the gym on alternate days each week. Each workout takes no more than 40 minutes.
Principle 3: Intensity
Forced reps, Drop sets and Super sets are great ways to make Drake’s sets more intense. Progressive resistance is the key to building muscle and these intensity enhancers help him to make his training progressively harder. He strives to do something every workout to make it harder than your last session. He might add weight (he never sacrifices form though), do an extra rep or reduce the rest time between sets.
Principle 4: Eat More Often
Drake views food as muscle building nutrition. You need to be eating every 3 waking hours. Each meal should be 50% complex / fibrous carbs, 30% lean protein and 20% healthy fats. To work out the size of his meals, he calculates his maintenance calorie level and adds 500 calories to it. He divides this number by six to get his per meal caloric total.
Principle 5: Supplement with Protein
Drake knows that he’s not building muscle in the gym. His workouts are actually breaking his body down, tearing muscle fiber down. It’s only after the workout that the body has the opportunity to recover and regrow.
The fuel that leads to muscle growth is protein. Drake makes sure to get plenty of protein into his system. Within 20 minutes of working out of the gym, he will have a protein shake that will give him 30-40 grams of protein.
Drake also takes a protein supplement before his workout. This shake will also include fast acting carbohydrates to give him the energy he needs to power his way through his workouts. He’ll also include a nitric oxide booster that will give him a great pump and boost his energy even further.
The Drake Back & Biceps Workout
Let’s see how Drake puts these training principles into application in his back and biceps workout. He usually does this workout every Wednesday. He just trains his back and biceps once per week, so he makes sure that he brings maximum focus and intensity to the workout.
Here’s the routine . . .
- Wide Grip Pull Ups – 4 x 5 reps
- Deadlift – 4 x 7 reps
- Cable row – 4 x 8 reps
- Cable curls – 3 x 9 reps
- Barbell curls – 3 8 reps
Even though there are only five exercises here, Drake is working his body to the max. He is going as heavy as he can without compromising his form. For example, he will do his wide grip pull ups with a 45 pound weight plate strapped around his waist.
His reps will be done very slowly, with emphasis on the negative part of the rep. In fact he will take four seconds to lower the weight on each repetition. This increases the time under tension, putting more stress on the working muscle.
This level of hard work on each and every set means that Drake needs to fully recover between sets. That’s why he rests for between one and three minutes on every set.
When he’s working out, Drake is totally focused on his training. There’s no time for checking his Twitter account or chatting with fans. His single minded focus allows him to make that all important mind-muscle connection. By being able to feel the working muscle on each exercise, he will get more out of each and every repetition.
While he’s put his main focus on building muscle, Drake has also been working hard to make sure that the physique that results is as fat free as possible. That means doing cardio conditioning.
Drake’s favorite form of cardio is high intensity interval training. But he didn’t start off with this form of cardio. He used to be one of those guys who’d spend hours on the treadmill doing long, slow cardio. Still he wasn’t losing body fat.
It wasn’t until Drake switched to high intensity training that the fat started to melt off his frame. For him, high intensity training means going down to the track and running sprints. He’ll start with a two minute warm up by jogging around the track and doing a few dynamic stretches. Then he’ll begin the workout by sprinting at maximum intensity for 30 seconds.
Drake will run as if his life depends on it. In fact, in his mind he imagines that he is being chased by a very hungry dog. Once 30 seconds is up (his trainer is standing by with a stop watch), he’ll walk back to his start position. Then he’ll do another sprint.
Drake will continue this sprint training until he’s completed 8 rounds. Even though this will only take him 6-8 minutes, it will burn fat like crazy.
The result of Drake’s dedication in and out of the gym are plain to see. He’s gone from the traditional skinny kid to a buff and bronzed specimen of health and fitness.
And he’s not finished yet.