How Do Dexter Jackson’s Workout Routine and Diet Help Him Stay in Shape? – Sportskeeda

How Do Dexter Jackson’s Workout Routine and Diet Help Him Stay in Shape? – Sportskeeda

Dexter Jackson is one of the most famous bodybuilders in the world. He is nicknamed “The Blade”, owing to his sharp physique. He reigns as a five-time Arnold Classic winner and is the 2008 Mr. Olympia Champion. He has also won countless other prestigious competitions such as the Russian Grand Prix and Australian Pro Grand Prix VIII.

While preparing for a bodybuilding contest, Dexter Jackson prefers to keep things simple. He makes certain modifications and tweaks in his exercise regimen to get the desired results.

On that note, let’s dive into The Blade’s workout routine and diet plan when he’s preparing for a competition.

Dexter Jackson’s Workout Routine

Dexter Jackson’s program is a four-day split. He focuses on hypertrophy, or the enlargement of muscle cells with the help of light/moderately heavy weights. He does not train with excessively heavy weights, because he believes that reps performed with moderate and lighter weights establish a much better mind-muscle connection.


Each exercise is performed three to four times in his workout plan. As he proceeds through the sets, he progressively increases the weight. Each of his training sessions comprises five to eight distinct exercises.

Dexter Jackson’s workout routine is unique because he does not include any direct trapezius work in his workout program. He claims that initially when he used to train his traps by performing shrugs, they became so massive and muscular that they started to make his shoulders look small and narrow.

Dexter followed this training split to sculpt his body:

Monday – Quads (Quadriceps)

Tuesday – Chest and Calves

Wednesday – Back

Thursday – Shoulders and Hamstrings

Friday – Biceps and Triceps

Saturday – Rest (light cardio and abs)

Sunday – Rest (light cardio and abs).

Dexter Jackson’s training style

  • He doesn’t go overboard on the compound exercises, choosing instead to do moderately challenging variations (superslow hack squats, supersetted with leg extensions; single-leg presses, etc.).
  • Instead of performing deadlifts with a rounded back, he keeps his waist tight and maintains an arch in his lower back, enabling his lower lats to do most of the work.
  • While performing leg curls, Dexter Jackson squeezes his feet together on both sides of the roller pad to keep more tension on the hamstrings while maintaining a strict form.
  • As he trains his biceps and triceps, Dexter Jackson prioritizes flexing the muscle groups he is training to establish a better mind-muscle connection.
  • He prefers lighter weights for smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps and focuses on specific areas like the peak of the biceps or the outer head of the triceps.

Dexter Jackson’s Diet

Even during the off season, Dexter says he tries to eat clean. At the same time, he has stated that he eats whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He usually eats five clean meals and one cheat meal per day.


This resembles an 80/20 diet rule, where you eat healthy 80 percent of the time and allow yourself to eat whatever you want for 20 percent of your meals.

The following are Jackson’s pre-contest diet guidelines

Meal 1: he eats grits (one packet) with a protein shake (two scoops).

Meal 2: Protein powder — 1 scoop & Meso-Tech — 1

Meal 3 : 2 cups lettuce with onions and ginger dressing, 1 cup miso soup (tofu, onions, daikon radishes, mushrooms, and somen noodles), 12 shrimps in salt, pepper, soy sauce, and butter saute, 1 cup white rice with soy sauce, garlic butter peas and carrots. 1 cup mushrooms, onions and zucchini, mixed and chopped.

Meal 4: (Mid-Day Protein Shake)

Meso-Tech — 1 scoop of protein powder — 1 packet of protein powder

Meal 5: USDA Choice Ground Steak (10 oz) (at Outback Steakhouse)

1 serving of mashed potatoes with garlic, sliced mushrooms, and Cabernet sauce

Meal 6: includes 8 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 6 egg whites

4 slices bacon (turkey) (cooking spray used on the pan)

His cheat meal consists of sugar-free popsicles and almonds.


There is a lot more to the Dexter Jackson workout routine than just lifting weights. He’s also very involved in other popular exercise forms such as jogging.

However, we would like to stress once more that if you really want to get the kind of results that have made Dexter so popular over the years, you need to work with a professional trainer before starting his workout program.

While it’s hard to maintain this workout schedule all year round, Jackson still works hard during the offseason to maintain his body in top-notch shape. Needless to say, you can’t expect the same results if you are not as dedicated and disciplined as he is.

Q. Would you try Dexter Jackson’s workout & diet routine?

Yeah; I would like to give it a go

Sounds crazy!

Edited by Prem Deshpande

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