Q&A With IFBB Pro Greg Doucette – Official Guinness Book World Record Holder of Most Weight Sumo Deadlifted in a Minute! (2016)
First off, how did you get into bodybuilding in the first place and what made you want to start this over something else?
I first started lifting weights when I was 10 years old with my father and Twin in the basement. I immediately was addicted and have not stopped since. By the time I was 14 I was winning bench press contests in local meets against adults and was encouraged to keep training.
What are your goals for this year as far as bodybuilding is concerned?
I would like to place in the top 5 at the Toronto Pro and Vancouver PRO.
How many calories do you normally consume when bulking and how many do you consume when cutting?
I NEVER bulk, That’s one of the biggest mistakes people make. I stay in good shape year round. off season calories is around 3500-3800. When I diet I eat on avg. 3000-3300 calories per day.
What BF% do you usually creep up to at the peak of your bulk and what’s the lowest you have ever had to cut down to?
I am about 4% body fat in competition and 10% in the off season.
Which bodypart(s) are you trying to bring up the most this year and why?
I always want all my body parts to improve equally as I am already very symmetrical. I just try to get a little more size in all areas as the only reason I don’t win pro shows is because of a lack of size. AS an amateur it was easy as I competed in a weigh class which limited having to go up against bigger guys.
What is your take on the whole “body dysmorphia” issue that has been getting tossed around in the bodybuilding community? Do you think that its insecurity, the will to succeed, normal for the sport or a bit of the three?
Of course there are many competitors who suffer from body dysmorphia. It happens to many regular people who don’t compete as well. Body dysmorphia is something that slowly creeps up on people. You might of started with a very high self esteem but then over time it gets lowered to to so many comparison with other peoples bodies.
Whats your best tip for getting an extremely strong sumo deadlift and do you contribute a lot of your glute mass to sumo variations?
Certainly my glute developments now comes mostly from sumo deadlifts. It used to come from squats and sumo deadlifts but I had to stop squatting due to hip surgery and the reinjuring of my hip. Sumo if fine but deeper squats hurt a lot.
Do you ever do rack pulls and if you do then whats the most weight that you have ever used on them? If you do them then do you find that they have had some carryover in your deadlifting performance?
On occasion if my legs are really sore I sometimes will do rack pulls. The most I lifted on rack pulls is 765 for a set of 5. I really don’t see much if any carry over as that is not a weak point in my lift.
Whats the most weight that you have ever rowed and do you find that heavy rows helped contribute to your sumo deadlift?
405 for 8 is the most I ever rowed but I would not do it again. My form was bad and so I’d prefer using stricter form. There is not a lot of carryover from bent rows to sumo deadlifts. Honestly the most carry over I get is from having strong legs and a fresh lower back. So something like a leg press actually helps me more than anything else.
Do you happen to do any glute activation work before your deadlifts and if so then what exactly do you do?
What are the biggest mistakes that people make when training to optimize upper back thickness?
The biggest problems is trying to lift too much weight with bad form with too short a time under tension. People need to lighten the weight and use stricter form and really work the eccentric part of the lift.
Do you believe in rounding the upper back on chest supported rows, hammer rows and cable rows in order to get a deeper stretch like Arnold or do you just do them in a strict, upright and erect fashion?
Never do this! 100% against this.
I can’t seem to get my forearms to grow as much as I want them to, what are your top 3 favorite forearm exercises that you dedicate a lot of your forearm mass to?
I do not need to work forearms because they get plenty of work on back day doing all the back exercises.
How many vertical pressing variations do you incorporate into your program when you are trying to bring up your delts?
I do 2 types of overhead presses. one used a pronated grip the other a hammer grip.
What is the bodypart that you genetically blessed with and which one was the hardest and most stubborn to grow?
My abs are the most genetically blessed with. I never train them directly and they are my best bodypart. My calfs are the most stubborn but they have improved a lot over the last few decades.
What is the best tip that you could give somebody who is trying to maximize outer quad sweep?
Do all the exercises your currently doing but try to lower the weight at half the speed that you raise it. also keep the reps high enough so that the sets take 40+ seconds. make sure you train very hard and rest long enough to push with all out effort.
Do you ever incorporate band resisted exercises in your programs?
I do for the big 3 exercises like squats bench and deads but not for the rest. I prefer doing forced reps or a drop set or super set over using bands.
Whats the worst injury that you’ve ever experienced and how did you get over that hump?
Hip injury was the worst. Had to get surgery and stop training the right leg for 6 months. Injured it again so I don’t squat anymore and don’t lower the weight to parallel anymore on leg press. Torn meniscus and Lateral collateral ligament on my right knee also put me out for 6 months. Just had to keep hitting the gym and focusing on the left leg.
How do you get your motivation and who motivates you the most out of all of the bodybuilders out there?
I am driven most by personal improvement. Other bodybuilders do not motivate me. I only want to be better than me not better than others.
How long does it take you to meal prep?
Really does not take much time at all. I just cook everything in bulk. Might spend an hour a week cooking in bulk then 2-5 min per meal on top of that.
How much soft tissue work and stretching do you do per week?
I stretch in total about 30 minutes per week and foam role for 5 min twice a week.
What are your top 3 favorite songs for lifting and hitting PR’s if you had to pick?
This would vary from week to week but usually anything by PITBULL is great for getting me amped up.