Craig Capurso

Before you start thinking about skipping leg day this week (again), you might want to peep at the impressive muscularity of the man pictured here. Craig Capurso, football player turned Physique pro, knows full well the value of the squat rack.

“Football did everything for my physique,” he says. “I’m a firm believer that you build a foundation before you build a roof, and I am one of the guys in the industry known for having some solid wheels. That was all squats and power movements.”

The 2012 Bodyspace Spokesmodel Search winner and his sinewy pins have finished in the top five at four pro Physique shows. And with the help of key partners like Cellucor, Capurso has become a powerful brand unto himself.

You were an accomplished running back heading into college at Sacred Heart. Why the switch to defense, and what did that mean for your training?
It was the coaches. When I was a freshman, they saw that I had the potential to start over the senior linebacker in my spot. The opportunity presented itself, and I jumped on it and started all four years. Linebackers are known for having big traps and necks, and I also have that kind of frame. I like looking and feeling like an athlete. I’m not just some skinny guy with abs, as is common in our industry today.

You train more like an athlete than a Physique pro. Is there anything difficult about your show prep?
I pride myself on training like an athlete using the basic principles of bigger, stronger, faster, unlike most Physique pros, who just focus on having a small waist and big shoulders. I have been training all my life for strength, stamina and power. I find it very difficult to purposely sabotage certain areas of my physique — specifically my abdominal area — to shrink it to have a more appealing waistline. I train from the ground up, so squats and deadlifts are true staples of my plan. My e-book, Heavy Volume, goes more into my philosophy of using heavier weight, then moving on to auxiliary-type movements, which recruit as many muscle fibers as the body will allow.

How do supplements fit into your nutrition plan?
I’m a proud Cellucor athlete and have no qualms about recommending any of our products. There are certain ones that are more useful than others — like creatine, BCAAs and whey — but the lines we carry can all be put to use on a custom plan for bulking, cutting or even just maintaining.


Craig Capurso’s heavy-volume approach helps to build dense, striated pecs.

“I use one weight the entire time, and finding this crucial weight is critical,” Capurso says. “I look for 15 to 18 reps on my first try and then expect that to diminish each time. The goal is 100 reps in six to 10 sets. If you go over 10 sets to reach 100, it means you bit off more weight than you can handle. Six sets or under and you went too light. Each set is taken to failure. Rest timing is about two to five minutes — whatever you need to get back into it.”