How to grow solid shoulders like Thirdy Ravena's

Barry Viloria on Feb 11, 2017 01:56 PM
How to grow solid shoulders like Thirdy Ravena's
Build a rounder set of caps—the Ateneo star himself shares how he and his teammates train for it. (Photos by Vyn Radovan)

It’s only been two months since the Ateneo Blue Eagles pulled a Cinderella rise to the UAAP Season 79 Finals against eventual champions La Salle, and Coach Tab Baldwin hasn’t laid off of the boys in preparation for another season ahead. At least, that’s how the team’s forward Thirdy Ravena is digesting things from the newly intensified training program the Eagles are currently following since January this year.

“Actually, it’s more sa off season yung mahirap kasi tuloy-tuloy yung practice and sometimes we have camps as well,” the 20-year-old says as we catch up at a workout sesh at a Gold’s Gym right across Ateneo. The Phenom’s younger brother is on a post-lunchtime break on a weekday afternoon before heading back to campus at 6 for training.

Ravena shares that the new program works around muscle hypertrophy, or muscle growth through focusing on various muscle fibers. He says the program—courtesy of the team’s strength and conditioning coach Andrei Tolentino—essentially translates to working on more reps with heavier weights.

“So, talagang pinu-push niya talaga yung limit ng katawan mo until lumakas ka, until makabuhat ka ng mas mabigat. That’s how Coach Tab wants our training to be. He really wants us to be physically stronger and with everyone in the UAAP, the competition is just getting stronger kasi you need every single advantage you could get. That’s what he wants us to achieve,” he says.

Ravena and the rest of the Ateneo boys are currently on their third of the eight-week program. Their intensified workout will also be fitting given the summer season just around the corner—the perfect time to show off the results of their hard work, we tell the Blue Eagle. Ravena actually didn’t grow up as sporty and health-conscious as the rest of his famed family.

“As a kid, masu-surprise ka kasi ako talaga ‘yung pinakamataba sa amin compared to my brother and my sister. I think it’s ‘cause I got sick. Hindi ko na maalala kasi bata pa ako noon, pero sabi nila I was really big. Nagkasakit ako noon tapos it’s what got me really thin,” he shares.

Ravena admits to being a food lover ever since, living on “steak—medium rare—and pasta but always with meat.” He started with baseball as his sport, until he got frequent nosebleeds from staying out in the sun for too long. He then shifted his interest to basketball, an indoor sport his dad and former PBA player Bong and older brother and two-time UAAP champion Kiefer Ravena.

While Ravena started getting serious about basketball in high school, he developed the same level of interest and passion in fitness, yes, only recently.

“Well actually when you look at my pictures noong high school ako, sobrang payat ko. Ang iniisip ko lang talaga before is basketball pero not until nag-college ako saka ko na-realize na hindi lang pala nadadaan sa skill, kailangan nadadaan din sa strength.”

“Noong first year ako, ‘yung mga binabantayan ko, tinataboy lang ako, so talagang nagkaroon ng wake-up call na parang pag college ka na, mas malaki na ‘yung mga kalaban mo, mas matanda na, mas malakas. You need as much strength as you need para hindi mo na isipin ‘yung kunyari babanggain ako nito or ano, naka-focus na lang yung attention mo sa kung ano ‘yung kailangan mong gawin. Hindi na on the physical side, so everything na iniisip mo is more on the mental aspect of the game.”

Factor in his fast metabolism, and you have a might, in-and-out confident beast. Here, the Ateneo standout gives us a peek at how he himself grows bigger, stronger, and more functional muscles—starting with the shoulders! It’s a team-approved set of exercises you yourself can copy with just a pair of dumbbells, a plate, and a bar!

5x10 shoulder complex

Do 5 reps for each exercise (front raises, lateral raises, shoulder press, tricep extensions, and dumbbell flys) to make a set. Perform 3-4 sets.

Wide-grip pullups (6-8 reps, 3-4 sets)

Overhead lying plate raise (10 reps, 4 sets)

Diagonal plate raise (4 sets)

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