Celebrity Workouts Workouts

Franco Columbu 14 Day Workout Routine and Diet

Franco Columbu
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Franco Columbu is a two-time Mr. Olympia, taking home the title in both 1976 and 1981. He was also know as perhaps the first powerbuilder. His best lifts include:

  • 525 pound bench press
  • 655 pound squat
  • 750 pound deadlift

Franco Columbu also competed in the 1977 World’s Strongest Man competition, placing 5th.

His training split was very unique, and focused around a 2 week cycle.

“Train each body part twice a week, as hard and relentless as possible each time. Every second week, I’d dead-lift after my leg routine. My dead lift workout was 300 for five reps, 400 for five reps, 500 for five reps, 600 for two or three reps, 650 for one rep and 700 for one rep.”

Franco Columbu’s workout routine breaks down like this:

  • Day 1 – Chest and shoulders in the AM, arms in the PM
  • Day 2 – Back in the AM, legs in the PM
  • Day 3 – Chest and shoulders
  • Day 4 – Arms
  • Day 5 – Legs in the AM, back in the PM
  • Day 6 – Chest and shoulders
  • Day 7 – REST
  • Day 8 – Arms in the AM, legs in the PM
  • Day 9 – Back
  • Day 10 – Chest and shoulders in the AM, arms in the PM
  • Day 11 – Back in the AM, legs in the PM
  • Day 12 – Chest and shoulders
  • Day 13 – Arms
  • Day 14 – Rest

Abdominals were trained in the morning during days 3, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12, and in the PM on day 1.

Franco Columbu 1981 Mr. Olympia Workout Routine

Chest Workout

  • Bench press – 3 sets x 15, 10 and 4 reps…superset with cable crossovers – 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Dumbbell flyes – 3 sets x 20, 15 and 6 reps…superset with cable crossovers – 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Incline bench press – 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Barbell pullovers – 3 sets x 25 reps
  • Dips – 3 sets to failure
  • Cable crossovers – 3 sets x 25 reps

Shoulder Workout

  • Lateral raise – 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Bent over reverse laterals – 6 sets x 10 reps
  • BTN press – 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Alternating dumbbell front raise – 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Cable lateral raise – 3 sets x 10 reps

Back Workout

  • Wide grip pull-up – 6 sets x 10-15 reps
  • T-bar row – 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated cable row – 4 sets x 10 reps
  • One arm dumbbell row – 3 sets x 10 reps…superset with hammer grip pull-ups – 3 sets x 10 reps

Arm Workout

  • Triceps pushdown – 4 sets x 8 reps…superset with standing dumbbell curl – 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Barbell skullcrushers – 4 sets x 8 reps…superset with barbell preacher curl – 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Seated French press – 4 sets x 8 reps…superset with seated incline dumbbell curl – 4 sets x 8 reps

Leg Workout

  • Squats – 7 sets x 20, 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps
  • Leg press – 4 sets x 50, 25, 15, 8 reps
  • Leg extensions – 6-7 sets x 20 reps
  • Barbell lunge – 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Deadlift – 6 sets x 5, 5, 5, 3, 1, 1 reps

Franco Columbu on muscle fatigue:

The body has an incredible language all its own. When we’re young, we “listen” through instinct. It’s only as we get older that we start to lose contact. After a while we start to rationalize. We tend to do things out of habit. If we train a certain length of time with a particular weight and number of sets, we have a tendency to get off a “death bed” if necessary to do the workout. The body is saying “no”, “do less”, or “nothing.” When you ignore the message you are apt to get injured and whatever training you do won’t give you the results you are working of. Now this doesn’t mean to cater to laziness. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know the difference.

Franco Columbu’s Muscle Building Diet

Breakfast

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 piece fruit
  • Large glass of orange juice
  • Yogurt with milk and granola cereal
  • Mineral water with a vitamin and mineral supplement

Lunch

  • Fresh vegetable with oil and vinegar dressing
  • Cooked vegetable
  • Protein, fish, chicken, lamb or liver
  • Wine or mineral water

Afternoon

  • Cheese and fresh fruit

Dinner

  • Same as lunch

Evening

  • Yogurt
Mick Madden
Mick Madden is the primary content writer for Muscle and Brawn.
1 Comment
  • Rob Sep 13,2015 at 11:00 am

    I used to do two a day training for about a year and have recently considered returning to it for a program. I’ll be comparing this to what I was planning on doing and adjusting my program a little. Great, and brutal, program here!

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