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Chasing Abs: IFBB Pro Chase Savoie's Secrets to a 6 Pack

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By: 
Jaime Filer
BA Hon. Kinesiology

Chase Savoie Interview

Chasing Abs: IFBB Pro Chase Savoie's Secrets to a 6 Pack

He’s only 26 years old, but he’s already made a name for himself as one of men’s physique’s fastest rising stars. Chase Savoie won his pro card at the 2014 NPC Nationals, and in his inaugural year as a pro, finished second at his first show ever (which happened to be the prestigious New York Pro in 2015., and then won the Puerto Rico Pro immediately after that. 2016 saw an even bigger year for Chase when he placed third at the NY Pro, won the Puerto Rico Pro again, got fourth at the Toronto Pro, and then earned a respectable 12th at the Olympia. He killed it this year as a competitor while simultaneously building his brand as a fitness model, sponsored athlete, movie star, and father to an adorable little boy. Did we mention he also does it with an incredibly positive attitude and an incredible six-pack?

Speaking of six-packs, summer will be here before you know it, which means tank tops (or no tops) and as much beach time as you can handle. So we decided to pick Chase’s brain about how he diets and trains to get IFBB pro caliber abs.

JF: How did you get into the sport?

CS: I started out playing sports all my life, and after high school, I wanted to find something else that would keep me competitive. Somebody was in the gym and would always tell me that I needed to compete. I didn’t know what men’s physique was at the time, but I looked it up and felt like my body type would be good for it. I didn’t know anything about dieting at the time either, so I did my own diet the first time, and ended up placing fourth at the Greater Gulf in 2013. From there, I just kind of got addicted to it, so I kept on going.

JF: Was being on the Olympia stage something you always wanted and knew would happen, or were you stunned when you qualified?

CS: Olympia was always the goal. From the second I turned pro, I knew I wanted to get on the Olympia stage and be one of the best in the world. I wanted to be the best.

JF: What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for yourself in the sport and in the industry in general?

CS: Short-term goals would be to qualify and win the Olympia; that’s my biggest goal. I don’t expect it this year or the next year, but eventually I want to get that title. Outside of competing, I’ve started doing acting on the side. I was actually just in Jack Reacher 2 with Tom Cruise, and I was in Bad Moms, so I want to do more of that in order to open up more doors for myself.

JF: What are your plans for 2017?

CS: My biggest plan is to compete at the NY Pro; I placed second and third my first two years doing it, and this year, I want to win it. That’s my biggest goal, and then to be top five at the Olympia next year. I’m not going to announce all the shows I’ll be doing, but I’ll say that I’m doing New York and Pittsburgh, which is two weeks before.

JF: You’re already a father, and you’ve got another one on the way. That’s not something a lot of IFBB pros your age have on their plate. How do you balance work, family, and competing?

CS: It’s very, very hard, honestly. I just have to make sure that I’m balancing everything. It’s even harder when I’m a couple of weeks out, and I don’t have the energy to play with my son as much as I want. It’s easy in my off-season, but the last few weeks out before a show, you’re just dead. But my family knows and understands that. We [Brittney] met when I had just won my pro card, and she knew that this is what I wanted to do and how I was trying to make a living. So she’s really supportive, and I’m lucky to have that.

JF: How much do you focus on abs in your training? How important are they to you and the overall balance/look of your physique?

CS: I don’t really train them until about four weeks out from a competition. And at that point, I train them once every other day. I will always focus on super-high reps, and use the weighed ab exercises about once every three training sessions. I’m lucky in that my abs are already developed because I trained them hard growing up in sports. Football and other sports made us train them all the time, with weights and without, so they’re really developed. I guess I get kind of lazy sometimes, but I definitely pick up the slack leading into a show.

Hanging leg raises (straight and twisting variety)

1. Grab pull-up bars using an overhand grip, then hang there with your legs extended and body straight.

2. Flex your hips and knees, bringing your knees up into one side, raising them above 90 degrees at the hip. If you’re doing these straight on, then don’t twist your knees—just lift your legs straight up.

3. Don’t swing. Perform the exercise with control.

4. Return to the starting position and then perform the movement to the other side.

Chase Tip: I usually start off by doing these straight for about 15 reps or so, and then when I fatigue/fail, then I’ll put my knees up and start doing them that way. You can get more reps in. With the twisting ones, I just make sure to get a full contraction. Make sure you get a full range of motion.

Cable lumberjack chops

1. Connect a D bar to the cable at the highest pulley position.

2. With your side to the cable, grab the handle with one hand and step away, wrapping your other hand around it.

3. Step approximately one arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable.

4. With your feet shoulder width apart, in one motion, pull the handle down and across your body to your front knee while twisting your torso.

5. Pivot your back foot and bend your knees to get a full range of motion while maintaining your stance and straight arms. Return to the neutral position in a slow and controlled manner.

Chase Tip: This one feels really good, because it’s one of the only ones that work the serratus and side obliques really well. The rotation feels amazing.

Cross-bench knee-ins

1. Sit on the edge of a bench with your legs stretched straight out and angled slightly towards the ground. Incline your body to an almost 45 degree angle towards the bench.

2. Hold the bench from the sides for stability.

3. Pull up your knees towards yourself, and push your upper body towards the knees.

4. Straighten your legs again and move back to the initial/starting position.

Chase Tip: Make sure your knees touch your chest when you come in so that you’re getting that full range of motion again, then extend them all the way. I make sure my upper body is fully leaned back, and my whole body is stretched out completely.

Jackknife leg raises

1. Lie down on the floor or on a flat bench, face up.

2. On a bench, grab it behind your head and make yourself stable. On the floor, put your arms down beside your hips with palms facing down.

3. With slightly bent knees, raise your legs straight up until they’re vertical and directly above your hips.

4. Raise your hips and glutes up off the bench/floor so that your legs are even higher.

5. Bring your hips back down (but keep your legs straight up), and go back to the start position.

Chase Tip: Lift your hips up as high as they’ll go so that your legs come right above the top of your head, and then do a super, super-slow negative.

Kneeling rope cable crunches

1. While kneeling, grab the rope attachment from cable and lower the rope until your hands are placed next to your face, and elbows are by your ribs.

2. Allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back slightly.

3. Contract your abs and waist and squeeze down so that the elbows travel towards the middle of the thighs, or just on the outside.

4. Let yourself come back up slowly to return to the starting position as you inhale, keeping constant tension on the abs.

Chase Tip: Make sure that everything is stretched out completely, and then get the full contraction and squeeze on the way in. I see a lot of people doing half reps on those, but you have to make sure to go up as far as your stomach can stretch out, and then bring your stomach down all the way to your knees.

 

Sets + Reps chart for abs

 

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Hanging Leg Raises

3

20–25

Cable Lumberjack Chops

4

15

Cross-Bench Knee-Ins

4

20

Jackknife Leg Raises

3

20

Kneeling Rope Cable Crunches

4

12–15

 

Chase on weights for abs:

I’ll do at least 12 reps minimum for abs, even if it’s a weighted exercise. I don’t think weighted stuff makes you blocky—maybe a little bit thicker, but not dramatically.

Chase on Cardio

I do 25 to 30 minutes on a stairmill about four days a week, then up it from there each week. So I will go up to five days of 30 minutes, then six days the next week. If 30 minutes isn’t cutting it at that point, I’ll start upping the time. So I might do two 30-minute sessions a day a couple of days a week, and eventually be doing all my cardio twice a day at 30 minutes.

I like doing fasted cardio just to get it over with, because I don’t like doing it after my workout.

 

Chase on Eating for abs

I start cutting my calories around 12 weeks out. Right now is the heaviest I’ve been in the off-season, which is around 225. But I’ll start cleaning my diet up and doing more cardio before the 12-week-out mark, and drop down to 215. Then I’ll work from 215 and come down to 190–195 in those 12 weeks for the stage.

 

Chase on Supplements

I’m a big believer in creatine, so I always take that year round, whether I’m cutting or bulking. I also take IsoFlex protein for cutting and bulking, glutamine too. I use AminoCore during my workout with Carbion, our intra-workout carbohydrate supplement. I take that when I’m cutting, but cut it out a couple weeks before the show, depending on how I look. I use RapidCuts pre-contest, and AminoCuts right before I do fasted cardio. I take one RapidCuts and one scoop of AminoCuts and put them both together before my morning session. I’ll also take two scoops of H-Vol and two scoops of MusclePrime pre workout even before a contest.

Social Media:

Instagram: @chasesavoie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ctsavoie1
Twitter: @chasesavoiepro