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An Inside Look at Wesley Vissers’ Peak Week Training for the 2024 Arnold Classic

By Presser
February 29, 2024
4 min read

Peak week is the final five to seven days leading to a bodybuilding competition. During peak week, competitive bodybuilders usually reduce their training volume and boost carb intake to increase muscle fullness and minimize subcutaneous (i.e., under the skin) water to achieve a dry and shredded look. (1)

On Feb. 27, 2024, Dutch pro bodybuilder Wesley Vissers published a video on his YouTube channel, sharing his peak week back and biceps workout for the Arnold Classic, scheduled for March 1-3, 2024, in Columbus, OH.

Wesley Vissers’ 2024 Arnold Classic Back & Biceps Workout

Here is a summary of Vissers’ training session:

Check it out below:

[Related: Interview: Lauralie Chapados Is Poised to Three-Peat at the 2024 Bikini International]

Machine High Rows

Vissers uses relatively lighter weight during peak week as the focus shifts from hypertrophy to muscle retention and improving muscle conditioning. He employed a full range of motion and paused at the bottom.

Vissers opined that not training to failure during the peak week prevents excessive muscle fatigue, stress, and inflammation, which can lead to water retention and a loss of muscle definition. 

Lat Pulldown

Vissers used a convergent lat pulldown machine as its line of pull provides him greater muscle engagement and a deeper stretch than a more conventional lat pulldown machine.

It’s all about getting blood in the muscle and priming the muscle for the bigger carb load later this week.

[Related: Interview: Samson Dauda is Prepared to Defend His Arnold Classic Title]

T-Bar Row

Vertical pulling exercises like lat pulldowns promote back width, whereas rowing exercises like chest-supported T-bar rows promote back thickness.

Vissers employed an overhand grip on the T-bar machine and kept his elbows tight to the body as he pulled them behind his midline during concentrics. The 30-year-old fully extended his elbows and protracted his scapula at the bottom for a deep lat stretch. 

Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes & Straight-Arm Cable Pulldown

Vissers grabbed a 40-pound dumbbell in each hand, sat on a flat bench, and leaned his torso to approximately 45 degrees. While maintaining slight elbow flexion, Vissers raised his arms to his sides until his upper arms almost parallel the floor. 

After hitting mechanical failure (where form starts to break due to muscle fatigue), a reversal of his previous training inclination during peak week, Vissers performed partial reps.

Vissers performed straight-arm cable pulldowns using the close-grip attachment. He pulled the handle to his belly button on concentrics and paused at the bottom for increased time under tension (TUT), magnifying muscle pumps. His goal of getting as much blood to the target muscle remained top of mind and will likely pay off with the muscle fullness he’s vying for on stage. (2)

Machine Preacher Curls

Vissers concluded his workout with three sets of machine preacher curls to bias the biceps. He positioned his armpits over the machine’s arm pad and placed the back of his arms flat against the pad to limit the use of momentum. This kind of isometric focus with lower to moderate loads will likely enhance the target muscle activation, thereby boosting hypertrophy. (3)

Vissers will challenge reigning Arnold Classic Classic Physique champion Ramon Queiroz, on March 1, 2024. Former Arnold Classic champion Breon Ansley and 2023 Olympia Bronze medalist Urs Kalecinski are among the top contenders scheduled to compete in Columbus. Vissers is already qualified for the 2024 Olympia thanks to his win at the 2023 IFBB Romania Muscle Fest Pro

References

  1. Chappell AJ, Simper TN. Nutritional Peak Week and Competition Day Strategies of Competitive Natural Bodybuilders. Sports (Basel). 2018;6(4):126. Published 2018 Oct 24. doi:10.3390/sports6040126
  2. Hirono, T., Ikezoe, T., Taniguchi, M., Tanaka, H., Saeki, J., Yagi, M., Umehara, J., & Ichihashi, N. (2022). Relationship Between Muscle Swelling and Hypertrophy Induced by Resistance Training. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 36(2), 359–364. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003478
  3. Calatayud, J., Vinstrup, J., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Brandt, M., Jay, K., Colado, J. C., & Andersen, L. L. (2016). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. European journal of applied physiology, 116(3), 527–533. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3305-7

Featured image: @wesleyvissers on Instagram

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