I unveiled my new muscle blasting “toy” in the last bodybuilding secrets blog post and after a few close guesses and a few guesses that were waaaaay off, somebody finally figured out what this contraption made of wood, black straps and a foam padded dowel is for…. BLASTING THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOUR QUADS!…(only serious bodybuilders need apply….)
The way I “virtually” met the inventor and got my very own quad blaster is a story unto itself… it was one of those “twilight zone” type of coincidences… in this internet age, its pretty wild the people who I end up connecting with…
About three weeks ago, I got an email absolutely out of the blue from some guy named Carlos who (I thought) I didnt know and had never heard of before. He had found one of my natural bodybuilding webpages online, and having found that we both had some things in common (we both had back injuries and were both competitive natural bodybuilders), he emailed me to introduce himself and tell me about this invention of his…
He said it was a piece of equipment made out of wood that made it possible to train legs without any strain on the lower back. I have to admit, having had ruptured a lumbar disk many years ago and having on and off troubles with barbell back squatting, that did pique my interest.
But on the other hand, I get “sales pitched” almost daily from people who want me to promote their stupid weight loss or muscle building pills or their “miracle” exercise machines, so I really didn’t think much of it… i figured this carlos “character” was probably one of those snake oil salesman who just wanted me to promote their junk for them….
In fact, I remember thinking i would “humor him” and I recall specifically emailing Carlos back and saying, “sure I’ll look at your information, but don’t expect me to promote or endorse this contraption….
Not three minutes later I got a reply back from Carlos with an email attachment. His email subject line said, ‘This device dates back to 1974”… and the email said, ‘thank you for looking at this tom, and giving me your opinion. The attachment has a document with the specs for the Quad Blaster. the original plans were drawn up and copyrighted in 1974. My patent was issued in 2000…
When I opened that attachment and looked at the drawing of this device in action I JUST ABOUT FELL OFF MY CHAIR!
This is what I saw
Holy SH*T!!”, I said to myself, “I can’t believe it!!! I used to train on this machine 16 or 17 years ago!!!!! I know who this guy is!”
As synchronicity had it, it turns out that I had trained on the quad blaster extensively back in 1989 or 1990, the first two years I competed in bodybuilding, and I loved it! At that time, i had incurred a serious injury to my lower back and although I could back squat with a barbell, it was risky business, as back strains and spasms from back squatting often put me out of commission for weeks at a time.
Enter the quad blaster!
We had a few competitive bodybuilders at our gym in Pennsylvania back then and one of them was John venditti, who was an excellent natural body builder who competed at the national level. John used to come into the gym carrying a “board” with some straps attached to it, and all heads turned in the gym and everyone stopped to watch when we saw that this “board” was a portable squat machine.
Well, curiosity got the best of me of course, and I asked John what this thing was, where he got it and if I could use it. He explained it was for narrow stance vertical torso squats, and that he got it from his trainer Carlos DeJesus. John was generous enough to let me use it.
Mind you, this was almost 17 years ago…imagine my surprise when carlos Dejesus emailed me to tell me about this quad blaster machine a few weeks ago! I still cant get over the coincidence.
Normally, I dont ascribe any “special powers” to ANY single piece of equipment. In my view, every piece of equipment is just a tool and nothing replaces the basics like good old barbell squats.
But then again, “the basics” were the reason the Quad Blaster was invented… what about the folks who want to do the basics, like barbell back squats, but cant because of lower back problems?
Well, necessity is the mother of invention, and thats how and why the Quad Blaster was invented. You see, Carlos had suffered from severe low back pain, which was eventually diagnosed as a degenerative disc disease. this prevented him from doing ANY barbell back squats, but as a competitive bodybuilder, he knew that leg extensions weren’t going to cut it.
Instead of trying to figure out what exercise could replace squats, carlos asked himself how he could do squats without pain. It was actually by accident how he got the idea. One day, he was standing in front of a railing that was about mid calf in height. The heels of his shoes got caught on the sidewalk edge just beneath the railing and locked his feet into place.
At that moment, there was a group of people passing by, so he leaned back and squatted down to get out of the way and he immediately felt his front thigh muscles kick in and he noticed there was no back pain. He did it again, this time deiliberately. “WOW!” he said to himself, “If I could only get this kind of effect in the gym!”
So, that’s exactly what he set out to do and the quad blaster was born. The year was 1974. By 1979, carlos had the plans copyrighted, and then in 2000, he had the device patented.
With a little help from his own invention, Carlos achieved great success in bodybuilding and became one of the pioneers in drug free bodybuilding, winning the 1981 Natural Mr USA, the 1981 Natural Mr North America and the 1985 Professional Natural Mr. World
Carlos DeJesus, natural bodybuilding pioneer
and quad blaster inventor
I just finished my second workout with this puppy (since 1990 that is), and let me tell you, I felt some “stuff” going on in my quads that I havent felt in years.
If you look at the photos and illustrations, you will notice two distinct characteristics of the quad blaster squat:
first is the narrow stance. in fact, the feet are completely together. This foot position is almost not possible with a barbell squat, as great flexibility is required for narrow stance barbell squats. the narrow stance squat, as many bodybuilders realize, is a highly quad dominant exercise. The wider stance decreases the isolation of the quads. This foot position makes the quad blaster an ideal bodybuilding exercise.
The second thing you’ll notice is the vertical torso. On a regular barbell squat, the torso inclines forward. This is a normal position, required to maintain your center of gravity (otherwise you would fall over). On a smith machine, you can squat with a vertical torso, but the quad blaster is a very different effect
As for resistance, most people will struggle with just their body weight the first time out. A 40-50 pound dumbbell is pretty good resistance even for strong squatters, if the proper form is observed. the dumbbell can be held on the front of the shoulders, much like a front squat (which is my preference). the alternative is to hold the weight behind you as in a barbell hack squat.
Some people who looked at the quad blaster the first time said, ‘Its nothing special, it’s just a roman chair squat.”
Indeed, the roman chair squat is about the closest thing there is to the quad blaster, but mark my words, it is NOT the same thing. They ARE similar, but you have to use the quad blaster to appreciate the uniqueness of the device.
Like a roman chair squat, it does NOT take much weight to get a killer “quad blast” with this device, especially when form is perfect.
Perfect form on the quad blaster means that you keep a vertical torso, or even a very slight lean backwards. As you incline your trunk forward, stress comes off the quads and the hips, glutes and low back take some of the load. It is much more difficult and effective with a vertical torso.
Perfect form on the quad blaster also means (to me at least), continuous tension, non locking reps. If you stand up completely, then all the stress comes off the quads. If you perform 3/4 to 4/5 range reps, this keeps tension on the quads through the entire rep and the entire set.
Unfortunately, this piece of equipment is not commercially available yet. Carlos built mine by hand. Roman chair squats or feet forward, narrow stance smith machine squats would be the closest thing if you dont have your own blaster.
At the present, carlos only builds these one at a time by hand. Carlos said I could give out his email, so if you want more information, contact him at: exercisetherapy1 @ aol.com.
For now, I’m going to gloat and thumb my nose at you cuz I have one and you dont, hahaha. Of course, if you’re in Jersey and you want to “blast quads” with us and share our quad blaster… email me, and come join us… if you think you can hang!!!
Quad blaster start position… notice knees are not locked out, which maintains constant tension on the quads
Quad Blaster Finish Position…notice vertical torso
ADDENDUM: Carlos DeJesus finally has a website and you can contact him about his quad blaster at: www.carlosdejesustotalfitness.com/
Published on 11 March, 2007