Michal Krizo has turned down the training intensity just a little bit after emerging victorious at his most recent Pro show appearance. But he is still active and tackled a back, shoulder and triceps exercise in the gym.
It’s not an overstatement to say that Michal ‘Krizo’ Krizanek is the face of Slovakia’s bodybuilding community. The 33-year-old bodybuilder has established himself as a worthy competitor in the IFBB Pro League’s Men’s Open division. He now awaits his second opportunity to elevate into the top echelons or Olympia competitors.
Krizo made a name for himself in the IFBB Elite Pro League where he dominated with insane muscularity, sheer size and muscle definition. He eventually made the switch to NPC and kickstarted the Olympia campaign. After earning the IFBB Pro card with a dominant win at the 2022 Amateur Olympia Italy in October, he made a quick turnaround and won the 2022 EVLS Prague Pro. The show was an Olympia Qualifier and Krizo got his first big opportunity to compete on the grandest stage of bodybuilding.
However, competing against the best is easier said than done. In spite of huge expectations, Krizo only managed to secure a twelfth-place finish at the 2022 Olympia. But the relatively inexperienced Krizo gained valuable experience and started the 2023 competitive season with an impressive win at the 2023 Empro Classic Spain Pro that took place from June 16-18 in Alicante, Spain.
He is now taking a break to let his body recover from the intense prep. However, the Slovak is active in the gym and does not want to lose touch with his craft.
Michal Krizo went through a back, shoulder and triceps training session in the gym and answered some interesting fans’ questions as he trained. So without further ado, let’s get to know more about Krizo through the summary of this workout and Q&A session.
Michal Krizo goes through a back, triceps and rear delt workout
Lat pulldowns primarily target the latissimus dorsi, the large fan-shaped muscle in the back. Krizo started his training session with this movement and performed a few good sets to set the tone of the workout.
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
If you want your back to grow, you have to row. While vertical pulls like lat pulldowns build a wide back, horizontal pulls/rows give it the thickness it needs. This results in the overall development of back muscles. Bent-over dumbbell rows work all the pulling muscles in the upper body and hence they should be a part of your back training schedule without a doubt. Krizo got some solid sets of this exercise under his belt and walked over to the seated rows machine.
Seated Cable Rows
Krizo took to this rowing movement next to work the upper posterior chain of muscles. Seated cable rows work latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps as well as spinal erectors, and contribute greatly to building upper body strength. Additionally, it is a potent way of improving upper body posture, especially in people that have slouched shoulders due to prolonged hours of desk/computer work.
The 33-year-old annihilated all the sets of this exercise to shift his focus on working the shoulders next.
Seated Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raises
Rear delts are a crucial muscle group for maintaining postural health, lifting posture as well as aesthetics. However, it is difficult to isolate it unless targeted with specific exercises. This could be the reason why posterior/rear delts often get neglected. Rear lateral raise is one of the best ways to isolate this muscle group. Krizo performed some good sets of this exercise and shifted his focus to working the triceps with the next couple of exercises.
Triceps Rope Pushdown
This isolation exercise served as the first tricep builder in the Slovak’s training routine. Rope pushdown is effective for building strength and muscle while working all three triceps heads. Krizo cranked out a few good sets of the exercise and carried on with his training session.
Seated Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
The long head of the triceps is most active when the arms are overhand and the triceps are in the stretched position. Overhead tricep extension is an isolation movement that works the triceps from a stretched position and helps build size and strength.
There are many ways of performing this exercise but dumbbell and cable machine variations are the most common. Krizo capped his workout with the cable overhead triceps extensions. Cable machines keep the muscles under tension throughout the duration of the movement. Additionally, the cable moves along a fixed axis, which eliminates the need to control the weight. Together, these two factors contribute greatly to muscle hypertrophy. After pushing through some heavy sets of this exercise to add the last bit of stimulus to the muscles, Krizo wrapped up the training session.
Overall, the workout included:
- Lat Pulldown
- Cable Pullover
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
- Seated Cable Rows
- Seated Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raises
- Triceps Rope Pushdown
- Seated Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
Krizanek answers fan questions during the workout
Fans are often fascinated by the sheer size of bodybuilders and rightfully so. Open division competitors are some of the biggest human beings you would ever come across and a fan tried to address his curiosity by asking Krizo about his on-stage and off-season weight.
Krizo stated that he was actually 125 kg (275 lbs) during the 2022 Olympia and might have been 122 kg (269 lbs) at the time of recording the video. However, those are just estimates as the 33-year-old is not obsessed about maintaining a certain weight.
“I am only gonna tell you the estimates for both. Because I didn’t weigh myself because I compete the Open class. I don’t carry a scale with me. It’s useless for me.”
He further stated:
“We don’t know or aim for weight. It’s just about looking better, harder. Also, doesn’t even have to be much bigger. Just more quality.”
Krizo’s favorite cheat meal
A stringent diet that does not necessarily satisfy the taste buds is an inseparable aspect of bodybuilding and the one that’s probably most difficult to adhere to. However, it is equally important to indulge in your favorite food once in a while even if you’re Michal Krizo. But what does he like to eat the most? Here’s the answer:
“It changes all the time but I like rice pasta with quark, vanilla sugar and butter. And what else? This is my favorite,” Krizo answered a fan’s question.
But how often does the Slovakian bodybuilder indulge in his favorite cheat meals? Well, there isn’t a set pattern to it, at least in the off-season. Krizo eats cheat meals pretty much whenever he wants during the off-season.
“I don’t go 100 percent on the nutrition now (during off-season). But I try to eat around 70 percent clean.”
But competition prep is a different story as he restricts his favorite meals to Saturday and does not deviate from his diet for the rest of the week.
What are his thoughts on moving to the USA for training?
Krizo comes from a tiny nation in Eastern Europe. While most people from these and many other parts of the world would jump at an opportunity to migrate to the United States for the perceived benefits of it, Krizo thinks he has everything he needs in his motherland. So when he was asked by a fan if he would move to the USA, Krizo replied:
“Not yet. Not this year… I don’t see a reason (in the future either).”
Michal Krizo attributes improved conditioning to cardio and diet
Michal Krizo’s conditioning came under heavy scrutiny when he showed up for his first pro bodybuilding show – the 2022 EVLS Prague Pro. The Slovakian bodybuilder managed to grab a W at the show but had a lot of scope for improvement in that area. However, he showed up with great conditioning at the 2023 Empro Pro. A fan asked Krizo how much cardio did he do during the competition prep. Krizo replied:
“20 minutes cardio on a stationary bike. I wouldn’t do cardio when I trained legs. Plus, posing for half an hour every day in the evening after the workout, which is even more than doing cardio.”
Incorporating cardio really differentiated Krizo’s 2023 Empro Pro competition prep from his Olympia prep. He also made quite a few changes to his training routine and trained every body part at least twice a week. The results showed primarily in his back. Although he might have had the separation in the back muscles already, improved conditioning made it more visible on stage.
“Also very important was fixing my digestion. That was probably the main issue so that everything works the way it should. If the digestion isn’t good, then the physique won’t be either,” Krizo said while answering a question about the difference in his prep for 2022 Olympia vs 2023 Empro Pro.
What’s next for Krizo? Maintenance or bulk and cut?
Having earned the direct qualification to the 2023 Olympia, Krizo now has to utilize his time in a smart way to improve his standing and become a top contender. But fans wonder – how is he planning to approach the next few months – Whether he will be bulking or cutting? Whether he will just maintain the physique that he now has? Here’s Krizo’s answer:
“It’s off-season now. I’ll be resting until the end of July. Then I’ll jump into diet. I might try to gain a bit at the start, during, maybe the first month. But only quality and then hardcore diet all the way to the Olympia. Tow months of hardcore diet for sure.”
Krizo intends to work a lot on presentation and bring the best version of himself to the 2023 Olympia stage. It will be interesting to see how much ground he covers to go up against the top contenders of the division.
You can watch the full workout and Q&A video here, courtesy of Michal Krizo’s YouTube channel: