|Kevin Levrone - Maryland Muscle Machine DVD Review
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REVIEW OF THE DVD
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Kevin Levrone introduced the DVD and at the beginning it was credited that all music inserted into the DVD was performed by Kevin Levrone and Fullblown. The first song performed was called "Dasvidaniya" by Phillips/Levrone. From what I could tell, Kevin and his group were just as talented as many of the mainstream performers out there. It was proof to me that luck has a large part to do with why some artists become popular and others do not. Without question, Kevin had a good deal of singing and performing talent.
Kevin's first workout was for his shoulders and traps and he was shrugging five plates per side (495 pounds) very quickly into his workout. He took off his top and wore a string tanktop and was looking incredibly huge and conditioned. It was silly how much muscle he had on his frame.
For shoulders, Kevin performed seated behind the neck military press on the Smith machine. He went up to four plates per side (405 pounds) which he performed for five good and deep reps. Without question, Kevin was one of the strongest pressers in the history of bodybuilding. Next Kevin hit some poses in his tanktop and was looking close to the best I have ever seen him - he was definitely looking good enough to do well at the Mr. Olympia which was approaching and he ended up placing second at that contest. Kevin's structure always impressed me and I think he was one of the best 5'9 bodybuilders ever. Kevin proceeded to do front raises and followed those up with some more posing. He arms were looking very large and so was the rest of him. Kevin performed reverse flyes on the pec deck for rear delts - one of my favourite rear delt exercises.
Night time "Cheat-meal" at Mr. & Mrs. Smith's
Kevin had a meal at Mr. & Mrs' Smith's home who prepared the meal for him. It was a beef and rice meal and looked to be a perfect bodybuilding meal.
The next morning, Kevin was in the gym where it was shown that Kevin and Mrs. Smith owned the gym Kevin was training at which looked to be a pretty good gym to me. The song "Pressure" by Rivera/Levrone played in the background which was another good song by Kevin. For Kevin's legs workout, he performed leg extensions and hack squats. He quickly moved up to 450 pound hack squats for reps which he handled easily and with good form. He wrapped his knees and went up to 630 which he handled well for reps. He performed leg presses and quickly went up to over 12 plates per side. He loaded up the leg press as much as it would go and he also put some plates on the top of the machine. Eventually he placed an equivalent of 16 plates per side on the leg press which is the equivalent of over 1,500 pounds when you take into account the weight of the sled.
Next, the song "Distance" by Rivera/Levrone played while Kevin hit another plate loaded leg press machine which hits the quads at a slightly different angle. He then performed some cable crunches for his abs using the full weight stack. He said he did 100 reps on that exercise for his abs. After his set was complete he was shown helping a person at his gym with his posing. The pose that he was helping him with was the front double biceps pose. Afterwards, he performed some cardio on the stepping machine.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith were shown next and they explained Kevin's meal preparation for the Mr. Olympia. They said it took them three hours to prepare his food for the day and two additional hours to clean up the mess. Mr. Smith said that every other week they buy 40 pounds of flounder and that Kevin eats five pounds of meat per day. They said it cost on average between $400-$500 per week to feed Kevin. Kevin eats 25 pounds of beef, flounder, and chicken per week. If you add that up, it appears that Kevin ate closer to 10 pounds of meat per day which seems unrealistic - crazy even. Kevin said he loved them and couldn't do it without them.
Kevin was back at the gym and "What's Done" by Levrone/Philips was playing. It was hamstrings training for Kevin, and he started off with the seated hamstrings curl machine - one of my favourite machines for hamstrings. Some Eminem music then played and Kevin was shown performing some more cardio - this time on the treadmill.
Monday morning, Kevin was in the gym once again. The song "Sally" by Rivera/Levrone played as Kevin started his back workout with lat pulldowns using the standard long bar. Kevin then performed t-bar rows using the stationary t-bar machine and went up to six plates (270 pounds). Kevin then took off his top to perform in a string tanktop, and was looking large as always.
Kevin's next back exercise was plate loaded single arm machine rows using six plates (270 pounds). Kevin's thickness and hardness was truly astounding. Kevin moved on to another plate loaded machine for lats which works in a pulldown fashion. Kevin's gym looked well equipped with all of the best equipment and machines in the country. Next he moved to cable rows and again, the thickness of his delts, chest, traps, and arms showed clearly.
Kevin's next muscle to be trained was biceps and he started off with standing alternate dumbbell curls. He used the 65s and handled them for reps pretty easily. Kevin did some biceps poses and said he was strong and that's why he is big. Kevin joked around a little and then hit some poses in his tanktop for the camera. At this point, I noticed a definite improvement in his conditioning over the previous times when he posed. His delts were looking more striated and his vascularity was showing better than it had been before. Next Kevin said his biceps were 24" and picked up the 100 pound dumbbells to perform dumbbell curls with them. He got four reps per arm which is pretty good for that weight - a weight not usually seen in pro DVDs. Kevin went to the next exercise which was single arm cable preacher curls. Kevin gave some commentary during this section and said that these days a lot of bodybuilders have gotten away from hardcore basic training such as heavy squats and bench presses. I agree that the basic compound lifts are important movements for bodybuilders. The commentary continued and Kevin performed more standing alternate dumbbell curls in the DVD. Again, the striations in his delts were showing. Kevin had gone from 210 pounds and lean to 250 pounds and shredded by the time of the 2000 Mr. Olympia contest. While most bodybuilders blow up during the offseason, Kevin pretty well loses all of his gains and gets small.
Kevin talked about bodybuilding some more. He said that he is all or nothing in a way, and that when he trains for the Mr. Olympia, he has 100% focus on the task. He said he shrinks to 200-215 pounds in the offseason and for four months trains for the Olympia. He said he goes to night clubs and things like that in the offseason, but puts 100% into it when he is training for the Mr. Olympia. Kevin then gave praise to soldiers who went to war to protect freedoms such as his freedom to go to the gym and train. He said he feels like a soldier in the gym, fighting his own battle which is to win the Mr. Olympia contest.
The song "Time" by Rivera/Levrone played while Kevin started his chest workout. He started with flat bench press and warmed up and used 315 pounds in a set which looked like a warmup. He did an easy 405 for four reps and then did 495 for four reps which led me to believe that he definitely could have done more reps with 405. He hit some poses in his tanktop and it looked like he was getting both more muscular and more cut at the same time. Mitsuru zoomed in to showing Kevin put chalk on his hands and on the bar and then zoomed in to the sign which said that chalk was not allowed in the gym...LOL. The song "Poor" by Rivera/Levrone played as Kevin 405 on the incline bench for six reps. Kevin continued to perform sets on the incline bench press and then moved on to the seated machine press and cable crossovers. The Phillips/Levrone Song "Unspoken" played next and then Kevin hit some triceps pushdowns using the medium bar. I should point out that Kevin is most definitely one of the strongest pressers in the history of bodybuilding - others in his league would be Ronnie Coleman, Dennis James, and the lighter and still extremely impressive Bertil Fox. Check out Bertil Fox's Training Part 1 DVD, where he handles 500 pounds on the flat bench with ease:
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Kevin went home to sleep and "Cast Away" by Crest/Levrone played while footage of Kevin in 1997 was shown. He was huge in that footage and had deep cuts and striations to boot. Some footage of Kevin from 2001 posing in his hotel room was shown too, and he was looking great there as well. Kevin was an incredibly complete bodybuilder and really had no weak points - even his calves were pretty good.
This is by far Kevin's best DVD and definitely better than Full Blown, which is a good DVD to see Kevin earlier in his career, and does show Kevin in good size and condition, but not as big and ripped as he is in this one, and also not as strong. I also like the production values and song quality better in this DVD and the format of the DVD is better. This is an impressive DVD because of Kevin's incredible lifts - his 405 pound behind the neck military presses on the Smith machine and his 495 pound flat bench presses are two great examples to illustrate Kevin's incredible pressing power, and he is most definitely one of the strongest pressers in bodybuilding's history. This is Kevin's best DVD and shows him close to his best and is worth checking out. It was filmed around the same time as Ronnie Coleman's "Unbelievable" DVD, and while I think Ronnie's DVD is better, this one is damn good and even better if you are a fan of Levrone.
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