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Nathaniel Massiah Workout Split

Nathaniel Massiah Workout Split
Finlay Green
Content Apprentice4 months ago
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Powerlifter Nathaniel Massiah has been hitting some incredible lifts since the age of 14, so while impressive, it’s not all that surprising that he’s already a Junior European Powerlifting Champion.

Amongst all that training he finds the time to craft his workout routines to ensure he is in optimal shape for hitting those bigger lifts.

Surprisingly, most powerlifters try to limit their time in the gym to between 3-5 days, so their recovery is as optimal as possible.

With just four sessions a week, we can guarantee Nathaniel goes hard.

Monday: Bench and accessories

Nathaniel starts off with a couple warm-up exercises:

  • Face Pulls for upper back warm-up
  • Shoulder warmups with a band as instructed by his physiotherapist

Then jumps into the deep end with his workout:

Long pause bench press – 4 sets, 4 reps

  • Engages core, pectorals and triceps
  • Make sure your feet are planted and back arched
  • Arms should be at a 75-degree angle to prevent injury
  • Firm grip on bar and lower the bar to the middle of chest and pause for 2-3 seconds
  • Engage core to drive bar back up

Incline dumbbell press – 3 sets, 8-15 reps

Engages pectorals, triceps and deltoids

  • Bench should be at a 30–45-degree angle
  • Pick a suitable weight
  • To prevent injury your arms should be at a 45-degree angle
  • Back should be arched and feet planted

Lat raises – 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps

  • Targets lateral deltoid muscles
  • Pick a weight suited to you
  • Raise your arms out to the sides up once your elbows are at shoulder level
  • Once at shoulder height, pause and control the movement back down to start position

Seated cable rows – 4 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Engages the upper back, core and biceps
  • When sitting down on the machine, plant your feet securely on the foot platform
  • Round your spine by bending your legs and grab the attachment
  • Rotate shoulders outward to engage lats
  • Squeeze lats and bend elbows until your upper arms are even to your body and pause for 1-2 seconds.

Tricep pushdowns – 3 sets, 12-15 reps

  • Engages lateral and medial heads of triceps and core
  • Set up cable pulley to be just above head height attach any attachment you like and make sure it hangs around chest height
  • Go into a hip width stance and grab the attachment
  • Pin your shoulder blades back and bend knees slightly to engage your core
  • Keep elbows and upper arms to your side throughout the exercise push downwards and fully extend your arms
  • Control back to starting position to complete the rep

Overhead tricep extensions – 1 set, 12-15 reps

  • Engages all heads of the tricep specifically the long head
  • Grab a weight most suitable for you
  • Put the weight over your by gripping the inside surface of the dumbbell plate with your hands
  • Slowly lower the weight behind your head by bending your elbows as far as you can.
  • When you’re at the lowest point, straighten your elbows back overhead, pause and then repeat

Incline bicep curls – 3 sets, 8-15 reps

  • Engages long head of bicep muscle and lats
  • Adjust bench to 45-60 degrees
  • Grab some dumbbells with a weight suited to you, back against bench and palms facing forward
  • Engage lats by rotating shoulders
  • Squeeze biceps and bend elbows until lower and upper arm meet.
  • Control movement back down to complete rep

Cable flies – 2 sets, 12 reps

  • Engages pectorals, triceps and deltoids
  • Set the cables at shoulder height and add single hand attachment on each
  • Grip each attachment facing away from the machine and step one leg forward to go into a staggered stance
  • Bring both handles to your chest and allow them to move towards the machine in an arc to start the reps
  • With the same arc movement, push the handles back in line to your chest.

Nathaniel mentioned, “Monday is the only day that I can dedicate solely to my upper body, so I really go ham on it.” Consider yourself warned...

 

Tuesday: Pause squats, bench and leg accessories

Pause squats – 3 sets, 4 reps

  • Engages the glutes and quadriceps
  • Place your feet hip-width apart and stand straight
  • Lower your legs down as if you're pretending to sit down
  • Pause for 2-3 seconds and straighten your legs to lift yourself back up

Face pulls – 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Engages rear deltoids and rotator cuff muscles
  • Add a rope attachment onto the pulley and using neutral grip, grab the rope so your palms are facing each other
  • Step backwards and go into a shoulder width staggered stance
  • Pull the rope towards your face pulling the rope apart so it doesn’t hit your face
  • Remember to keep your elbows pointed upward

Bench press – 1 set

  • Engages core, pectorals and triceps
  • Make sure your feet are planted and back arched
  • Arms should be at a 75-degree angle to prevent injury
  • Firm grip on bar and lower the bar to the middle of chest
  • Engage core to drive bar back up

Larsen press – 3 sets, 8 reps

  • Engages the pectorals, triceps, core, and builds shoulder strength
  • Lay flat on the bench, grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, make sure it’s full grip for safety
  • Engage your core by pulling your shoulders back and down
  • Take the bar and place over your chest
  • Lift your feet off the ground and bring the bar towards your chest
  • Bring weight back up and repeat

Lying hamstring curls – 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Engages hamstrings
  • Lie face down on the machine and stretch legs fully
  • Make sure the pad is above the heals
  • Flex knees and pull ankles towards posterior
  • Hold briefly and return to original position to complete rep

Bulgarian split squats

  • Engages quads, glutes, calves' core and hamstrings
  • Stand 2-3 feet in front from a knee-high bench while holding a suitable weight
  • Extend either left or right leg towards the bench and place toes on it
  • Square hips and shoulders and lower right knee towards the floor
  • Stand back up into the starting position to complete the rep

Calf raises

  • Engages calves
  • Stand upright while holding two suitable weighted dumbbells
  • Place the balls of your feet onto a platform
  • Rise the balls of your feet as high as possible
  • Pause and control back to start position

Thursday: Stiff leg deadlifts, bench and back accessories

Stiff leg deadlifts – 3 sets, 5 reps

  • Engages glutes, calves, hamstrings and lats
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip make sure you maintain a tall posture with your feet either shoulder or hip width apart
  • To start the upward movement, pull the barbell towards your body while maintaining a neutral spine position and pushing your feet through the floor and push your hips forward.
  • Finish the upward movement by squeezing your glutes and maintaining that neutral position.
  • Once the rep is finished your shoulders should be directly over your hips

Bench press – 4 sets, 3 reps

  • Engages core, pectorals and triceps
  • Make sure your feet are planted and back arched
  • Arms should be at a 75-degree angle to prevent injury
  • Firm grip on bar and lower the bar to the middle of chest
  • Engage core to drive bar back up

Lat pulldowns – 4 sets, 8-15 reps

  • Engages lats, biceps, delts and traps
  • Grab the bar with a standard overhand grip
  • Pull the bar down until it reaches your chin (shifting your back is also fine but make sure to keep your upper torso stationary)
  • While maintaining square shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades
  • Now the bars at chin level, return the bar back up to complete the rep. Make sure you control the return don’t let the weight plates smash back down.

Seated cable rows

  • Engages the upper back, core and biceps
  • When sitting down on the machine, plant your feet securely on the foot platform
  • Round your spine by bending your legs and grab the attachment
  • Rotate shoulders outward to engage lats
  • Squeeze lats and bend elbows until your upper arms are even to your body and pause for 1-2 seconds.

Face pulls

  • Engages rear deltoids and rotator cuff muscles
  • Add a rope attachment onto the pulley and using neutral grip, grab the rope so your palms are facing each other
  • Step backwards and go into a shoulder width staggered stance
  • Pull the rope towards your face pulling the rope apart so it doesn’t hit your face
  • Remember to keep your elbows pointed upward

Cable bicep curls – 3 sets, 10-15 reps

  • Engages the long head of the bicep
  • Adjust the machine to the floor
  • Stand with knees slightly bent, feet planted, back straightened and head steady
  • Curl the weight up towards your chest make sure your forearm is the only part moving
  • Hold for a second and lower back down to the starting position – to remain tension in the cable, stop lowering just before the weights return to the stack

Saturday: Squats, deadlifts and leg accessories

Squats – Work up to a 2 rep PR then 3 sets of 5 reps

  • Engages the glutes and quadriceps
  • Place your feet hip-width apart and stand straight
  • Lower your legs down as if you're pretending to sit down
  • Pause for 2-3 seconds and straighten your legs to lift yourself back up

Deadlifts – Works up to a 2 rep PR

  • Engages upper and lower back, hamstrings and glutes
  • Stand with the middle of your foot under the barbell
  • Bend and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip
  • Bend your knees until they either touch the bar or just before they go over the bar
  • Lift chest up and straighten lower back
  • Inhale, hold it and stand up with the bar

Pendulum squats – 2 sets, 12-15 reps

  • Engages the quads, glutes and hamstrings
  • Set a weight that’s suited to you
  • Get into position by getting your shoulders under the shoulder pads and support your back on the back padding.
  • Grab the handle in front of you and spread your feet shoulder width apart
  • Perform a normal squat as far as you can go
  • Press your heals through the floor to raise back to the starting position

Lying hamstring curls – 2 sets

  • Engages hamstrings
  • Lie face down on the machine and stretch legs fully
  • Make sure the pad is above the heals
  • Flex knees and pull ankles towards posterior
  • Hold briefly and return to original position to complete rep

Calf raises

  • Engages calves
  • Stand upright while holding two suitable weighted dumbbells
  • Place the balls of your feet onto a platform
  • Rise the balls of our feet as high as possible
  • Pause and then control back to start position

Take home message

If you're getting into powerlifting or want some organisation in your powerlifting routine taking advice and following the fitness routine of the European Champion himself isn’t a bad place to start.

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Finlay Green
Content Apprentice
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Raised from a small town, Finlay always wanted to work with computers and was willing to expand his knowledge anywhere he possibly could. When Finlay was introduced to digital marketing and content writing from a family friend he was immediately hooked and wanted to have a successful career in this industry. Finlay started to write blogs for their website in his own time which were mainly easy yet detailed explanations of digital marketing for beginners. During a difficult time in his life, Finlay developed a passion for the gym and wanting to become the best he could possibly be physically. Finlay's incredibly excited having the opportunity to combine his passion for fitness with content writing. In his spare time aside from the gym, Finlay loves to read Japanese manga, binge series' and game.
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