Saturday, September 27, 2014

Upper Back Training for Powerlifters, Part Five




Bench Press Peaking Program
by 
Greg Reshel (1994)



Last month, if you recall, we showed you one example of using upper back training to residual effect peak your bench press. This was just one of many residual effect programs we have for the bench press. This month I will show you a different peaking cycle. You will use upper back training to peak your bench press through a straight peak.

Even though chest, shoulders and triceps are the prime movers for the bench press, your upper back is the fundamental stabilizer that allows you to succeed in a heavy bench press. Many times you will lose your bench press at the bottom when your shoulder blades kick out. Other times you will lose the bench press at the 2-4 inch sticking point because you spread your shoulder blades and rounded your shoulders forward as your elbows kick out. Also, you might have lost your bench press near the top because you were not able to rotate your shoulder blades out properly to push the bar toward the rack and a successful lockout. In all of the cases listed above the muscles of the upper back are not up to the task of stabilizing your bench press drive and without stabilization you have no drive and your bench press gives out.

The following program is eight weeks in length and assumes you already have a 330 pound bench press. You may use percentage calculators to convert the numbers for training if your bench press is between 160 and 450 lbs. Outside of those numbers you need a different program. This program assumes you have just finished a period of heavy training on bench press and other chest and shoulder exercises. I assume that you are somewhat tired but not injured or peaked. This eight week program will work you two times per week to push your bench press from 330 lbs to over the 360 mark. Remember, for this workout to be effective, you must have completed at least six weeks of regular and heavy bench pressing with chest, shoulder, and triceps accessory work. This routine will rest the prime movers as it exercises upper back stabilization to peak your bench press with a 5-10% gain.


Day 1

1) Parallel Grip Pulldowns, 3 sets of 8, moderate weight.
Use a straight bar about 3 feet in length with opposing grips. Tilt your head back and look at the overhead pulley as you lean back about 15 degrees and pull the bar to your upper chest. Pinch your shoulder blades together as you pull the bar down. Stretch completely at the top. Note: this exercise should always be light and smooth.

2) Bench Press, follow chart below.

Week 1: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 225x1, 235x2, 235x2, 235x2, 205x5, 205x5, 175x12.
Week 2: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 205x1, 225x1, 245x2, 235x3, 225x5, 215x7, 185x12.
Week 3: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 225x1, 245x1, 275x2, 275x2, 275x2, 245x5, 225x8, 185x12.
Week 4: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 205x1, 225x1, 255x1, 285x2, 275x3, 265x4, 225x8,  185x12.
Week 5: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 225x1, 255x1, 285x2, 285x2, 285x2, 225x8, 185x12.
Week 6: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 205x1, 245x1, 275x1, 305x2, 285x3, 265x5, 225x8, 185x12.
Week 7: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 225x1, 255x1, 285x1, 315x2  315x2, 225x8, 185x12.
Week 8: 135x8, 165x6, 295x3, 255x1, 185x3. (Monday of meet week.)
Contest: 135x8, 185x1, 225x1, 255x1, 275x1,
Open - 305
2nd - 335
3rd - 360

3) Barbell Front Raise, 4 x 7 (this exercise should be light on weeks 5 and 56. Light and drop to 2 sets on week 7, drop totally the week of the meet). Use a barbell held at the level of your sternum with your elbows out and the bar 6-8 inches in front of your torso. Keep he bar 6 inches in front of you as you raise it to the height of your eyes. Your forearms should be nearly parallel to the floor at all times. Your shoulder blades should be pinched back and kept down with your neck long throughout the movement. Lower the bar slowly.

4) Bent Arm Barbell Pullovers, 4 x 8 (this exercise should be light weeks 5,6,7, and drop totally the week of the meet). Use a 6-8 inch grip on a straight bar starting on your chest as you lay on a flat bench with your head slightly over the bench. Keep your elbows bent as you skim the bar over your face and down past your head. The bar should be very close to you at all times. Breathe deeply as you stretch and then pull the bar along the same path to your chest again.

5) Seated Bent Forward Real Lateral Raises, 4 x 12 (drop these on weeks 6,7,8.).
Hesitate at the top and lower full extension every rep.


Day 2

1) Bench Press, follow chart below:

Week 1: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3.
Week 2: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 135x20.
Week 3: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3.
Week 4: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 135x20.
Week 5: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3.
Week 6: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 185x3, 135x20.
Week 7: 135x8, 165x6, 185x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3.
Week 8: 135x8, 165x6, 185x1, 185x1, 185x1. (Thursday of meet week)

2) Standing High Pulley Row to Mid-Chest, 3 x 10 (drop these on week 7).
Face the pulley and hold a straight bar with approximate competition bench press grip at the level of the top of your head. Keep your torso straight, back flat, shoulders back, while you pull the bar in a rowing motion to your mid-chest. Your forearms will be parallel to the floor at all times. Shoulder blades should be held down at all times. Release slowly to full extension.

3) Wide Grip Upright Rows, 3 x 12 (keep this exercise light and drop on week 8) Stand gripping a straight bar with a grip slightly wider than your competition bench while keeping your wrists cocked back at all times. You must stand with your knees bent slightly, back flat, head up, shoulders held back and down at all times. The bottom of the movement will be full extension with your wrists cocked at all times. Raise the bar by puffing your elbows out to the sides and up. Forearms will be nearly vertical. The bar will travel about as high as your lower pecs and then slowly lower to full extension.

4) Vertical Cable Crossover, 3x10 (keep light and drop to one set on week 7. Drop entirely week 8). Stand erect in the center of the cable crossover with back flat and shoulders back. Handles will start at the height of your ears. Raise your rib cage and pinch your shoulder blades together as you pull the handles down in an arc to your hips at the sides. Keep elbows slightly bent at all times. Release and raise the handles with slow control.

These accessory exercises should always be light enough to maintain good form. You should always work smoothly and with control as you focus your attention on your upper back. The accessory exercises will diminish your peak bench capacity while you are training this peaking cycle. However, as you lighten up and drop exercises the last couple of weeks you will recover and be able to handle much heavier weights in good form. This way you will bench heavier in the contest.

Good Luck and Good Lifting!    













Upper Back Training for Powerlifters, Part Four





Part Four: Residual Effect Bench Press Peak
by 
Greg Reshel (1994)


In the last three articles we have mentioned that the muscle groups that stabilize the upper back are important for all three powerlifts and by strengthening them you will indirectly cause all three of the powerlifts to move forward. A deep foundation in upper back training will allow you to achieve a much higher potential in your sport. Simply, you will be capable of much higher lifts and totals. Do not neglect to introduce upper back training into your routines.

Last month we described a 'power bodybuilding' upper back training routine. This month we will present one of three peaking routines using upper back training to help peak for a meet. The first of these articles will cover a bench press peak using residual effect training of the upper back to peak a plateau busting bench press.

You may remember that 'residual effect training' refers to the specific type of training that exhausts a muscle or group of muscles that are key players in a performance movement. The athlete must then allow five to eight weeks for the muscles that have been intentionally fatigued to recover through a very cautious peaking cycle. The other muscle groups must work harder than usual to accomplish this peaking cycle. The exhausted muscles overcompensate in their recovery and are unusually strong at the peak of their recovery for a period of two to three weeks. These two factors result in a carefully planned and timed peak that is far stronger than a performance achieved through a regular peaking cycle. The residual effect peaks are a little more risky for the athlete because of the timing involved. However, the potential for an outstanding performance is incredible and you need to experience it yourself to believe the difference.


Residual Back Training- Residual Effect Bench Press Peak

Note: This workout is designed for intermediate and advanced level athletes that have just completed an off-season program and are fit, healthy, and ready to push the heavy weights. You need to allow 12 weeks for the program. The first six weeks are used as a pre-exhaust period to tire out the lower traps, rhomboids, and teres muscles. The second six week period peaks the bench press motion and allows the upper back to recover. You will be sore and fatigued after the first six weeks but you will not be injured or find it painful to proceed. Do not be afraid to push yourself in the first six weeks and definitely concentrate on the upper back exercises to work them hard and strict so that the proper muscles get the work. You will train every four days in this program. If you are young, less than 35 years old, you will most likely be able to handle this routine as a twice per week schedule. However, the master lifters and athletes with slower natural recovery times may want to allow 5 or even 6 days between training sessions. When you use a 4 day training cycle you will need 12 weeks before the meet to complete the cycle.


Pre-Exhaust Routine:

1) High Pulley Row to Lower Pec Area, 4 sets of 12 reps, heavy weight.
Use a grip on a straight bar that is approximately the same width as your contest bench press grip. Sit on a low stool or on the floor keep your feet out in front of you with your knees bent. Lean back about 45 degrees and keep your back flat, shoulders back, and head up as you smoothly row the bar to your lower pec height. Release slowly to arms' length. Make sure that you squeeze your shoulder blades together and down toward your hips as you're rowing the cable attachment. Keep your chest up!

2) Standing Low Pulley Upright Row, 4 x 8, moderate weight.
Stand about 1-2 feet from a low pulley apparatus. Use a straight or cambered bar attachment with a 6-10 inch grip. Keep your head up as you keep your back flat and lean slightly forward from the hips. Bend and lift your elbows out to the sides to your throat or chin height. Release slowly to arms' length. Remember to always lead with your elbows while keeping your back flat and shoulders held back.

3) Bench Press, warm up as needed to reach your work sets, then follow this chart:

Workout 1
8 x 3 @ 65%, 2 x 10 @ 55%

Workout 2
3 x 3 @ 68%, 5 x 5 @ 60%

Workout 3
6 x 3 @ 68%, 2 x 10 @ 55%

Workout 4
3 x 3 @ 72%, 5 x 5 @ 65%

Workout 5
10 x 2 @ 72%, 2 x 10 @ 55%

Workout 6
3 x 3 @ 77%

Workout 7
8 x 2 @ 76%

Workout 8
3 x 2 @ 80%

Workout 9
6 x 2 @ 75%

Workout 10
3 x1 @ 84%, 5 x 4 @ 60%


4) Barbell Bent Arm Pullover, 3 x 10, moderate weight.
Lie face down on a flat bench with your head hanging slightly over the edge of the bench. Grip a straight bar with an 8 to 16 inch grip and start with the bar on your chest at mid-pec. Lift the bar up and over your head just barely clearing your face and nose and then lower it past your head to the floor. Keep elbows close together at all times. The bar should stop just below your head height. Return the bar to your chest along the same path very close to your face. Use the muscles of your shoulder blades to lift the weight.

5) Seated Bent Forward Lateral Raise, 5 x 7, fairly heavy.


Peaking Routine:

1) Bench Press, warm up briefly but as needed so that you are ready to perform your heavy workk sets following the chart below:

Workout 1
3 x3 @ 70%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 2
Triples to 76%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 3
Singles to 80%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 4
3 x 3 @ 70%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 5
Triples to 80%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 6
Singles to 84%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 7
3 x 2 @ 74%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 8
Triples to 84%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 9
Singles to 88%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 10
Singles to 92%, 2 x 15 @ 55%

Workout 11
Pause singles to 70%

Meet:
Open at 90%, 2nd at 97%, 3rd at 106%.

2) Slight Decline Triceps Extensions, 3 x 12, light to moderate weights.
Stop doing these after the 8th workout.

3) Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes, 3 x 10, light weight.
Stop doing these after the 9th workout.


 The bench press charts give the weights as percentages to make it easier for everyone to try the routine at least once. Get your calculator out and use your current max single as the number multiplied by the percentages to give your working weights. Always take the next even five-pound jump lower than the number you calculate. When in doubt go with a lighter weight than the number you calculate - this is a very aggressive workout routine. 

Note: You must expect that the bench the bench presses you perform in weeks 4 through 11 will be very difficult. They will be more difficult than usual because your upper back stabilizes the bench press and as your upper back becomes fatigued it will get more and more difficult to push the bench press motion. The 92% you push on Week 11 will be as hard as any max attempt because you are not fully recovered from the upper back fatigue. Do not give up. Your strength will be there for your contest if you did not overestimate your current max in the beginning.







 

Upper Back Training for Powerlifters, Part Three






Part Three: Power Bodybuilding for the Upper Back
by  
Greg Reshel (1994)


Last month's article mentioned that the muscle groups that stabilize the upper back are important for all three powerlifts and by strengthening them you will indirectly cause all three of the powerlifts to move forward. A deep foundation in upper back training will allow you to achieve a much higher potential in your sport. Simply, you will be capable of much higher lifts and totals. Do not neglect to introduce upper back training into your routines. 

Last month we described a deep off-season upper back training routine. This month we will present one of the upper back bodybuilding (hypertrophy) routines that we use to increase mass in the upper back stabilizers. This increase in mass will normally provide better leverage for handling the big weights in all three powerlifts. This mass building program is designed for intermediate level lifters, especially those who lifters who have not had a lot of variety in their training routines. Without this variety, most athletes will not maintain mass and condition in the many small muscle groups of the upper back and shoulders.

A 'power bodybuilding' program of this type will produce, restore, and enhance upper back size, strength, and conditioning. Master powerlifters need to pay close attention to programs of this type. After the age of 33 we all move through a growth hormone 'menopause' that signals a dramatic decrease in GH and IGF-1. We all will tend to drop bone mass, drop muscle mass, and store more bodyfat after this point. The GH menopause causes a cascade effect that triggers a large and varied number of 'aging clocks' that gradually decrease metabolic function in a number of areas. Bottom line is that lifters over the age of 35 need to perform increasing levels of work at 30-60% of their max effort. This low load work is designed to increase joint tissue, ligaments, and tendons at the 30-40% level and increase and maintain muscle mass at the 50-60% level. 'Bodybuilding' style workouts of this type - low load and fast pace - will greatly increase cardiovascular condition, local muscle endurance, and mass/leverage related stability of master powerlifters. You do not have to resign yourself to steadily decreasing performance levels after the age of 45. You must work harder at lower loads and allow longer off-season routines to provide the foundation for future gains. Do the work that builds more 'horsepower in the engine' and then watch your totals go up.
  

Power Bodybuilding for the Upper Back

Note: this workout is designed to be accomplished as quickly as possible. Do not use heavy weights, but rather strive to find a weight that requires concentration but one which will not be so heavy that you are in danger of missing any reps. The key is to work this routine in your schedule once a week for 6-8 weeks. Each time you perform the routine you must work faster, with less break or rest between sets, performing the required work in less total time. The first time you do the workout it may take you 60 minutes to complete it. After 8 weeks of practice you should try to complete the same amount of work with the same weights in 25-35 minutes. The upper back muscle groups that we are targeting with this workout need greater size, endurance, and stronger attachments as much as absolute strength to increase our potential in the powerlifts. When you perform the workout with moderate weights and consistently excellent technique in significantly less time you are creating an endurance and stamina foundation in the upper back muscle groups as well as increasing their size and attachments.


1) Smith Machine Upright Row, 4 sets of 8 reps.
Stand with back straight and shoulders back at all times while maintaining a 15 degree forward lean at the hips. Pull the bar up to the collarbone by raising elbows out to the sides. Keep the bar close to your torso at all times. Lower the bar slowly to arms' length. Begin with a light weight and increase weight each set.

Superset the following two exercises. After completing the first two sets of the first exercise move immediately into the first set of the second exercise without resting. Following the first set of the second exercise take a short (30-60 second) rest before continuing through another round of both exercises without resting between the first and second exercises. Continue this way until all sets are completed.

2) Partial Front Overhead Press, 5 x 10.
Stand or sit with a 24-32 inch grip on a straight bar held chin-height about 4 inches in front of your face. Keep your back flat and stomach tight at all times to stabilize your spine. Rotate your elbows forward so that your forearms are nearly vertical and your elbows are under the bar. Press the weight vertically upward so that it stays in front of your head and does not travel rearward to a position over your head. You will stop several inches before lockout with your elbows just slightly bent. Lower the weight slowly to the start position at chin height. This is not an explosive exercise, do not cheat by using your legs or leaning back while performing the exercise. You should feel a lot of effort in your shoulders, shoulder blades, and your mid back as your mid back must stabilize the motion. You will greatly improve your squat and deadlift with this exercise.

3) Behind the Back Upright Row, 4 x 8.
This exercise is not a shrug where most athletes would be tempted to drive their shoulders up and forward. Rather, it is a vertical rowing motion where you attempt to raise the bar to the level of your lower back by raising your shoulders vertically and bending your elbows to lift the bar behind you. Keep the bar close to your body at all times. Do not lean forward. You will be more comfortable and stronger if you look down and move your head forward to allow your traps to work more efficiently. Always lower the bar slowly and with control. Lifters who have a large backside may elect to use a cambered bar (sometimes called a MacDonald bar) to allow a fuller range of motion.          

4) Standing Lateral Raises (Railroads), 2 sets of circuits.
Each circuit involves the following: 
10 reps at 10 lbs
6 at 15
6 at 20
6 at 25
3 at 30
5 at 25
5 at 20
5 at 15
limit at 10.
That's right, you perform all the sets listed with no rest. Wait 1-5 minutes and them perform all the sets listed again. You will hate this exercise but will love the results.

5) Cambered Bar Lateral Rows Lying Face Down on a High Bench, 6 x 6, increasing weight each set.
Lie on a flat bench face down. Position a cambered bar under the bench at right angles to it so that you can grip it properly to perform a rowing motion. Raise the bar by lifting your elbows directly out to the sides so that at the top, when the bar is near the bench, you will be in a position similar to a face down bench pres with your upper arms at right angles to your body and your forearms vertically above the bar. Lower the bar slowly to arms' length. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you raise the bar. Try to keep your chin off the bench as you lift the weight and also keep your traps and neck long as you pull your shoulder blades together and down toward your hips.

6) Standing High Pulley Straight Arm Pulldowns, 5 x 12.
This exercise is best performed using the high pulley from a cable crossover apparatus but will work acceptably from a lat pulldown machine. Face the machine and grab a straight bar attachment with an overhand grip, shoulder width or a little wider. Keep your back flat and your shoulders pulled back at all times. Bend your elbows slightly and then lock them in that position for the entire exercise. Keep the bar at arms' length as you sweep the bar in a smooth arc to your legs. Raise your chest high as you bring the bar against your legs. Slowly return the bar to the top position, about forehead height.

Remember to take as little time as necessary to rest after each set and to work with a moderate weight that will challenge you but will not be so heavy as to risk missing any reps in good control. Cheating these exercises will not help your upper back stabilizing muscle groups as cheating will only put the stress on different groups and will not stimulate the upper back stabilizers to grow.      














 

Upper Back Training for Powerlifters, Part Two






Upper Back Training for Powerlifters
 by 
Greg Reshel (1994)

 Last month's article mentioned that the muscle groups that stabilize the upper back are important for all three powerlifts, and by strengthening them you will indirectly cause all three of the powerlifts o move forward. A deep foundation in upper back training will allow you to achieve a much higher potential in your sport. Simply, you will be capable of much higher lifts and totals. Do not neglect to introduce upper back training into your routines.

I will be describing three different upper back training routines over the next three articles in some detail to try to outline the specific way to perform each of the exercises. The first routine will target deep off-season training and will work accessory movements with heavy weights. While you are performing this off-season training, your powerlifts will decrease because the upper back stabilizers will be fatigued and you will be shaky in your powerlifts.

 
 Don't worry. As soon as you move into another training phase and stop training the upper back as intensely you will notice a tremendous increase in your ability to handle the heavy weights in the powerlifts.

The second routine will target upper back from a muscle hypertrophy (bodybuilding) perspective. You will increase your upper back stabilization by increasing the mass of the muscle groups that stabilize the upper back. In getting larger stabilizers your direct leverage as well as attachment angles may improve allowing heavier lifts.

The third routine will target maintenance of the upper back muscles during a powerlifting strength or peaking cycle. This routine will pump and flush the muscle groups of the upper back so that you will recover between heavy powerlift training sessions. Faster recovery means longer and heavier power and peaking cycles that translate into bigger gains.


Routine #1
Intermediate Level Off-Season Upper Back Training

(Note: this workout is designed to be accomplished as quickly as possible).
Use heavy weights, but you must maintain absolutely strict form and smooth delivery in all exercises. The key is to work this routine in your schedule once a week for 6-8 weeks. Each time you perform the routine you must work faster, with less break or rest between sets, performing the required work in less total time. The first time you do the workout if may take you 50 minutes to complete. After 8 weeks of practice you should be able to complete the same amount of work with the same weights in 25-30 minutes. 

The upper back muscle groups that we are targeting with this workout need greater endurance as much as absolute strength to increase our potential in the powerlifts. When you perform the workout with the same weights in significantly less time you are creating an endurance and stamina foundation in the upper back muscle groups as well as increasing their strength levels. 

The first three exercises are to be performed as a superset. After performing the second set of Shrugs, add in a set of Seated Bentover Lateral Raises immediately after the Shrugs with no rest. After the third set of Shrugs perform the Seated Bentover Lateral Raises and the Seated Alternate Dumbbell Presses with no rest between these sets. Rest after completing the Presses. All further supersets will include the first three exercises in succession with no rest until after the Presses.


1) Barbell Shrugs, 6 sets of 10 reps with moderate to heavy weights.
This exercise is designed to be performed with a slight forward lean of the torso at the hips so that your back is flat, not rounded in any way, and you are lifting your shoulder blades up and back behind your ears with your arms mostly straight and no heaving, hitching, and bouncing of the weights. Hold the bar at arms' length as you shrug your shoulders up as far as possible behind your ears. Always keep your head facing forward and slightly down. Lower the weight slowly. Do not bend your elbows as you shrug your shoulders as the bar is only there for resistance and not to be raised to a certain height.

2) Seated Bentover Lateral Raises, 5 x 8 with heavy weights.
Sit at the end of a bench with your legs and feet together in front of you. Bend forward so that you are folded on top of yourself. Maintain the fully bent forward position and keep elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise movement. Lower the weight slowly.

3) Seated Alternate Dumbbell Presses, 4 x 12 with moderate weights.
Your elbows should be vertically beneath your hands at all times and the dumbbells should start alongside your body outside your shoulders at shoulder height. See-saw motion. The motion of the dumbbells is contained within a vertically parallel path.

These first three exercises are to be performed as a modified superset. After performing the second set of Shrugs, add in a set of Seated Bentover Lateral Raises immediately after the Shrugs with no rest. After the third set of Shrugs perform the Seated Bentover Lateral Raises and the Seated Alternate Dumbbell Presses with no rest between these sets. Rest after completing the Presses. All further supersets will include the first three exercises in succession with no rest until after the Presses.

The following exercises will be performed in pairs in superset fashion so that there is no real rest between the first and second exercises but there is rest before returning to the first exercise of the pair. 

4) Steep Incline Circular Path Front Dumbbell Raises, 3 x 10.
Sit on an incline bench set at 10-20 degrees from vertical with your shoulders squeezed back together and your shoulder blades pressed back tightly against the pad of the bench. Raise the dumbbells simultaneously forward and outward so that they describe a circular pattern in front of your body. At the top the dumbbells should touch head to head with your palms down and our thumbs toward each other. A circular motion, raising up, out and in. Lower the dumbbells in the same path slowly. Always maintain your shoulders pinched back together and your shoulder blades pressed back tightly against the pad of the bench.

Superset with

5) Wide 30-36" Grip Upright Rows, 3 x 8.
Grip the barbell overhand at the appropriate width, cock your wrists back so that your palms face the floor and lock your wrists in that position. Keep your shoulders maintained in a locked back and down position so that your shoulder blades are pinched close together and pulled down toward your hips. Your chest will be thrust forward in this position. Stay in that posture with your back flat and leaning slightly forward from the hips as you raise the bar to the level of the bottom of your pecs. Remember to keep your shoulders pinched back at all times and to keep your wrists locked back at all times. Lower the bar slowly. 

6) Front Barbell Raises From Chin Height, 3 x 8.
Stand or sit with a barbell at chin height and several inches in front of your face. Your elbows should be thrust forward so that they are vertically under the bar. Your elbows should be maintained forward at all times. You may feel line you are squeezing your elbows together in front of yourself to maintain a position with your elbows vertically under the bar at all times. The bar should be pressed to a position several inches in front of your body and nearly arms' length overhead. The bar path is always vertical and the bar never goes rearward to go above your head, but rather stays in front of you at all times. Lower the bar slowly in the same path.

Superset with

7) Palms Down Overhead Flyes, 3 x 12.
Stand or sit with your head thrust forward and your arms outstretched to the sides, and your palms facing the floor. You should be holding dumbbells in your hands with the thumbs facing forward. Your shoulder blades should be pulled back and down so that you are at the bottom of a shrug motion with your shoulders squeezed back at all times. Lift the weights out to the sides and overhead until the backs of your hands are nearly touching and your arms are nearly behind your head with your palms facing outward. Now lower the weights slowly until your arms are again horizontally out to the sides at shoulder height.

8) Chest Supported Elbows Out Barbell Row, 5 x 7.
Lie face down on a bench high enough so that when you lie face down on it your hands barely touch the floor. Place a loaded barbell perpendicular to the bench and underneath it. Lie face down on the bench and grasp the bar with an overhand grip ad your index fingers bout 28-34 inches apart. Raise your head off the bench and press your chest into the bench so that your shoulder blades are squeezed back together and down, shortening your back and lengthening your neck. Lift the bar by raising your elbows out to the sides so that your upper arms are at right angles to your body at all times. Stop raising the bar when it contacts the bench. You may wish to cock your wrists back so that your palms face the floor as this will help you to maintain the position of your upper arms straight out to the sides. Lower the bar slowly until your arms are fully extended but do not release your shoulder blades. They should remain squeezed back fully at all times. 


Remember to take as little time as necessary to rest after each superset and to work as heavy as possible but only with weights that you can handle with good control. Cheating these exercises will not help your upper back stabilizing muscle groups, as cheating in this case will only put the stress on different groups, not stimulating the upper back stabilizers to grow.     
 











Upper Back Training for Powerlifters, Part One






The 'Secret Weapon'
by 
Greg Reshel (1994)





The athlete’s quest for a magic pill, secret weapon or instant success is as old and as earnest as the quest for the Holy Grail. In our sport we are always looking for whatever will give us an edge to better our personal best lifts or win titles. One way is to find out what is the common thread that characterizes the performance of all the great powerlifters of the past and present – male or female, regardless of weight class or lifts accomplished. People like Don Reinhoudt, Bill Kazmaier, Anthony Clark, Jon Cole, John Kuc, Jim Williams, Rick Gaugler, and Dawn Sharon – no name a few.


All the above lifters excelled in all three lifts at an all-time-best-level. What is one common secret of their success? Obviously, argument can be made that all the athletes above are genetically gifted with exceptional leverages, ability to build and maintain muscle mass, and recovery rates that allow phenomenal work volume/frequency. All the above lifters possessed phenomenal back development that enabled them to develop freakish strength and that strength is integrally incorporated into the form and mechanics of their lifts. 

In general, we can identify two groups of lifters by their training philosophy. The first group likes to 'keep it simple', almost taking for granted the edge that they have on their competition, and they get away with setting world records without paying extra attention to further build and strengthen their backs. The second group doesn't leave these things to chance and pays close and detailed attention to their backs. The second group trains their backs from a multitude of angels in a disciplined attempt to create the greatest foundation of back strength and versatility. The difference between the two groups is considerable. Athletes from the first group tend to have either short careers or they peak early in their careers, allowing their genetic gifts to determine their top level of performance. The second group has the opportunity to enjoy a long career with slowly but continuously evolving levels of performance. 

Any athlete looking for a legal edge on the competition cannot ignore the potential benefits of increased leverage and strength through specific back training. Before we get down to what you need to do to develop your full back potential, let's find out what we have to deal with. The musculature of the back os much more than lats and traps! In this article we will attempt to logically break down the musculature of the back into groups. We will then outline key movements that can be employed to train these groups to a level where we can break through our plateaus and chase our dreams. Do not be frightened by the technical terminology. Try to add key movements into your training to strengthen your weak points. 

We can examine the back in terms of the functional groups of muscle. These groups serve to stabilize and locate: 

1) The upper arm (humerus)
2) The shoulder blades (scapula)
3) The hips and thighs (pelvis and femur)
4) The rib cage
5) The spine and neck

The first group is composed of the muscles of the back that function to stabilize and locate the upper arm. This first group includes the lats (latissimus dorsi), and the shoulder rotator muscles: the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major and teres minor. These are all back muscles that should be worked religiously, yes, in a scrupulously faithful manner, both separately and in different compound movements. 

The second group is made up of the traps (trapezius), the rhomboids (rhomboideus major and minor) and levator (levator scapula). 

All of the muscles of these first two groups are situated in your back and work together, as a team, to locate, coordinate, and stabilize all movements of the arms and shoulders. I powerlifting, all three powerlifts are performed with the aid of these two groups of muscles working as stabilizers. A bar will feel lighter on your back as you walk out and perform a squat when these groups are well developed and conditioned. Watch a deadlifter round his shoulders forward and miss a lift and you will know that these two muscle groups are not strong enough to hold proper leverage as he drives through his lift. A bench press is well coordinated, properly tied, and in the groove when these two groups are properly balanced in strength and execution. 

The key is proper balance of strength, size, and range of motion. You need to practice training movements that work in a variety of planes of motion and maintain proper alignment of the shoulder blades throughout these movements to create the conditions where you will see dramatic changes in your ability to perform the big three powerlifts. Working simple and heavy will only work if you have tremendous luck and genetic gifts. No one can find their true peak performance without paying their dues in accessory movements.

This article is devoted to exercises that work muscles of these first two groups and how they can be used. At Power Excel we frequently divide back training into upper back and lower back. If you work out two to four times per week you will probably find it efficient to work these first two groups, the upper back, together with chest and shoulders. As I previously stated these groups stabilize movement of the upper arm and shoulder blades and will be getting serious work in any chest and shoulder workout.

Lats are primarily worked in Lat Pulldowns, Chins, and Rowing motions. The shoulder rotators are worked with pressing movements of all types, dips, lateral raises, front raises, shrugs, and upright rows. The key again is to employ a variety of different motions, angles, and hand positions to fully develop each of the muscles. One key training position is where the shoulder blades are pulled back and held down during the execution of the following movements. This position, where the shoulders are pulled back and at the same time held down toward the hips so that your traps are long, is the strongest functional leverage position for almost every movement and is most certainly the best position for successful execution of the powerlifts. 

A. Lat Pulldowns:

1) Wide Grip (overhand) - 
a. rear, behind head
b. front, sitting straight
c. front, variety of rearward lean angles

2) Medium Grip (overhand) - 
a. partial rear, behind head
b. over head
c. front, to nose
d. front, rearward lean angles

3) Narrow Grip (overhand) - 
a. over head
b. front, to chin
c. front, to chest
d. front, rearward lean angles 

4) Narrow Grip (underhand) - 
a. front, to forehead
b. front, to chin
c. front, to chest
d. front, rearward lean angles

5) Parallel Grip (palms facing each other)
a. wide:
i. rear
ii. front, chin
iii. front, chest
iv. front, rearward lean angles
b. medium:
i. over head
ii. front, chin
iii. front, chest
iv. front, rearward lean angles
c. narrow:
i. forehead
ii. front, chin
iii. front, chest
iv. front rearward lean as you pull, back to vertical as you release

This brief example of the variety of Lat Pulldown movements serves to illustrate the innumerable potential of each of the primary accessory exercises for upper back. Each change in angle or hand position results in a different balance of stabilization in the first two muscle groups. The more angles you work the broader your foundation for power. In simple terms, you will be able to push through a larger 'groove'. You will be able to adjust to changes in balance, equipment, and conditions. This broader power base will allow you to work harder in primary powerlift exercises, and complete more reps with a given weight. You will make renewed gains and complete more contest lifts than would otherwise be possible.

In a future article we will address different upper back training routines guaranteed to improve your foundation and allow you to push harder through a peaking cycle to a higher total.  












   

 














 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Corrective Exercise - Earle Liederman (1959)



"PSST -- want to save $160,000? Don't send your son to college; slip him this book instead. It shoehorns an entire liberal arts education into a cultural history of mirrors that touches on architecture, anthropology, sex, painting, myth, religion, math, science, magic, astronomy, literature, business, espionage and warfare, and travels from the Big Bang to the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman Empires, the waxing and waning of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the discovery of the New World and, at last, space: the final frontier. Anyone who masters the contents of Mirror Mirror need never fear Trivial Pursuit again."
-- Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review, Aug. 10, 2003

"Breezy and conversational, with an aptitude for narrative and an ear for legend."
-- The Boston Globe.






[Note: These same ideas and guidelines can, of course, also be applied to equalizing a strength problem or correcting a mobility issue when certain movements are preferred to the point of creating imbalance.]


When you finish a workout you invariably make a beeline to a mirror, wanting to get a look at those pumped-up lumps. This is but natural for any enthusiastic bodybuilder. But did you ever stop to think that your first view of yourself draws your eyes to your favorite muscles? And I'm willing to bet that's your flexed arms! Next comes that general all-over inspection. Then you don't just stand there viewing your reflection in a sloppy posture. You stand erect and without a doubt accentuate your favorite parts by placing your arms, or chest, in the best possible positions.

Of course, you have some sort of overhead lighting. You wouldn't care to study your body if a light were back of you or at an extreme side, as such would prove disappointing to the vision of yourself.

Next comes your side view reflecting yourself. Your chest is raised and your shoulders drawn backwards to reveal a higher pectoral effect as well as greater chest depth. And your arm is slightly flattened against your lat. You know blamed well that you do these things. Who doesn't do them? Bodybuilders are human beings even though they exist in a different realm from other inhabitants upon this old mud ball.

Now then, it is all well and good to inspect yourself in this manner. You deserve to study the results of your training efforts. But do you honestly allow your eyes to linger upon your defects? Surely there are a couple of places where you could stand a little improvement. There must be at least one section not as large as you wish you had it; yet it gives you the heebie-jeebies to let your eyes devour the unpleasant sight. However, if you consider yourself perfect, possess that Narcissus complex and own no flaws, then for Pete's sake stop reading right here and turn the page as you say to yourself, "Phooey to that guy (meaning this old slob), what does he know about muscles or proportion?" You can then go to sleep peacefully tonight with your left hand on your right biceps and awaken in the ayem with your right hand clutching your throat. Duhh-uhh!

But what I am driving at is this: Instead of admiration when when confronting a mirror, look for faults. These flaws are those unwanted things that too often only other eyes can detect. So study your proportions, become self-critical with your contours, muscle shape, anatomical harmony of all the muscles. Inspect your biceps, for example, to learn if one bicep might be a trifle larger than the other. Or check to see if one pectoral lacks the thickness of the other. Also study your legs to learn if they are matching your upper body sections as to shape and size, and if your lower legs are dwarfed by your upper legs. It would be far better to stand relaxed when studying your whole body for proportion as that would give you the better over-all appearance as others see you most of the time.

Most bodybuilders enjoy working the arms. Strong arms make one feel stronger it is true and yet the one with strong legs and a powerful back is really a stronger person in general. However, I will not be against the enthusiasm for getting the arms as large as possible, but if these arms of yours do become too large in proportion to your deltoids, pectorals, neck, thighs or calves, you then need plenty of corrective training.

This corrective exercising means that you must (and that word MUST is essential) devote more and more attention to those parts which need enlarging and strengthening even to the extent of transferring your training energy from the arms, or any other favorite muscle, to the sections that are below their proper size in order to attain a well-proportioned physique.

Super-enthusiasm should not rule your common sense. It is grand to feel elated over your results and you deserve praise for these achievements, yet you would graduate to greater accomplishments if you went  after a better body than the one you now possess. You should own those smooth harmonious curves [and movements] from head to feet, each of which blends with its attachment near, or under, the next muscle and also be of proportionate size. If one muscle stands out in an admirable lump and the next connecting muscle lacks proper shape, right there you will find your defect which could be rectified by special attention to the inferior part. Makes sense, doesn't it?




Doczi's book is an excellent introduction to the study of proportions and is also a beautiful, poetic expression of the harmony of the universe.


Okay then, all right, it's gonna be okay and she's fine . . . another serious fault most bodybuilders have when viewing their muscles before a mirror is to always assume their best posture, or else they distort themselves somewhat in order to make a certain section appear larger.

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself - 
Ludwig Wittgenstein 

They spread their lats, partly bend their arms, hunch their traps and neck by bending the head backwards a bit, also stand with their toes outward and with slightly bent knees in order to secure more thigh curve. That's all right for personal gratification but you can't go through life that way all the time. Others will see you when your forced efforts are temporarily forgotten and you become your natural relaxed self. And that will make you a different individual from the guy in the mirror.

Let me recommend that you, yourself, become your own worst critic. Pick yourself apart. Look for defects instead of physical virtues and do this for the next few months. You would then form the habit of giving added attention to a muscle or lift that needs work in order to better balance with the whole, and thereby eventually attain a better proportioned, more efficient physique.

This business of bodybuilding is like a fellow who gets a new suit of clothes made to order. He enters his tailor's shop, gets measured or fitted, and all the while he stands erect with his waist drawn inward and his chest raised. Then, when the suit is finished and he wears it, he forgets to always straighten up and so the blamed suit doesn't fit most of the time, but seems a bit wrinkled and saggy. That also applies to bodybuilders who gaze into their mirrors and behold themselves in temporary admiration. And if I may split hairs, let me ask - do you, or does anyone, ever look in a mirror and frown? All look pleasant unless it happens to be a guy who tries to squeeze a pimple at the side of his cheek. Yet he is then looking at the pimple and not his entire face.

The eyes of others see us such as we, ourselves, cannot. The camera also reveals our defects which are sometimes discouraging. We can, however, strive to always better ourselves in every way. This may take time but any time devoted to improvement is not wasted. Each day invites us to have a fresh begining and to forget yesterday's errors.

Any serious retrospection will reveal that the past has been saturated with blunders. No one has ever escaped them. Trial and error seem to be linked with every struggle. Everyone makes mistakes. People make poor investments; they but things not needed; even purchase wrong articles; they frequently journey along wrong roads; select the wrong company; and even marry the wrong person. These things constitute experience. And if we desire to progress and make the most of ourselves we can climb out of blunders and start afresh like the mythological phoenix that arose from its own ashes. And such applies to our bodies. We eat improperly sometimes; think wrongly; and often exercise the wrong way. Yet we can climb and be led by the light of others who have blazed the trails before us.

No musculature is too good for a bodybuilder. He strives and struggles through discouraging months and sometimes a year or more in order to secure a little more strength and a little more muscle than many of the other fellows have. All of them want muscles in a hurry. Larger and larger arms? Yes! Bigger chests? Also yes! But no one should let his super-enthusiasm run away with him. If he does and neglects the attention needed for symmetry, he will, sad to say, develop a physique of disconnected muscles. There are many such builds. And all because of not training the correct way and also by paying too much attention to one set or one special muscle at the expense of the rest of the body. A fellow can roll up his sleeve and show a huge arm and never receive plaudits, but if his legs need more shape, or his abdominals more definition, of his traps or neck better shape, the underdeveloped parts will distract from that big arm.


"In writing Symmetry I discovered its broader meaning. I used to think symmetry as it applied to the human body simply meant your left side matches your right. It does although not exactly and this is called bilateral symmetry, same on each side. I disagreed how judges named round one the "symmetry" round. It was about more than just seeing if the left side matched the right, they were looking for something beyond that, it was more than a match game.
They were looking for balance, equal development of all bodyparts, overall impressiveness, fluid lines. No one area standing out overshadowing all others, not unbalanced development, not freaky but astounding in development, all areas in proper size ratios so as to give the impression of balance aesthetics, beauty. I call this bodybuilding symmetry.
I discovered there were different kinds of symmetry beyond bilateral and bodybuilding symmetry. There was perfect symmetry, like a sphere which looks the same from every angle. There's the quantum mechanics postulate of super symmetry meaning there's an exact match for everything that exists somewhere out there in the vastness of the universe(s). It's really far out. There's time symmetry which I found fascinating. And most importantly is achieving in one's lifetime internal/external symmetry through the process of mirroring."

Perfecting a physique is a struggle. In fact all life is a struggle between opposites. It constitutes also the exchange of one pain for another. Yet for the unconquerable all things obtained are sweet and well worth the while. The search for success is often a wearisome climb but when the goal has been reached it is like standing tiptoe on a mountain top with arms outstretched in thankfulness.  













John McCallum Routines (layouts only)





Bulking Routines

The Time Factor

Press behind neck: 2 x 12
Bent over row: 3 x 15
Bench press: 3 x 12
Curls: 1 x 10
Squats: 2 x 15
Pullovers: 2 x 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Stiff-legged deadlift: 1 x 15
Leg raises: 1 x 25

3 times per week

Squat

Press behind neck: 3 x 12
Squat: 2 x 20
Pullover: 2 x 25

3 times per week

For Size and Strength

Prone hyperextensions: 3 x 10
Squats: 5 x 5
Pullovers: 5 x 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Front squats: 3 x 10
Bench press: 4 x 8
Power cleans: 5 x 5
Bent over rows: 5 x 10
Press behind neck: 3 x 8
Incline curls: 3 x 8 (supersetted w/ presses)

3 times per week
Advanced program

Power Training

4 days per week

Monday/Thursday:
Military Press: 5 x 5 (same weight)
Curl: 5 x 3 (same weight)
Squats: 8-10 sets, starting with sets of 5 and working towards sets of 3, increasing weight on each
Pullovers 8-10 x 10 (supersetted w/ squats)

Tuesday/Friday:
Bench Press: 5 x 3 (same weight)
Snatch: 5 x 3 (same weight)
Power cleans: 5 x 3 (same weight)
Deadlifts: 3-5 x 2 (increasing weight each set)
Situps: 1 x 25

Bulking The Upper Body

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:
Prone Hyperextensions: 3 x 10

Squats: 2 x 15
Pullovers: 2 x 20 (supersetted w/ squats)

Bench press: 5 x 10
Alternating forward raise: 5 x 10 (supersetted w/ bench press)

Flyes: 5 x 10
Side lateral raises: 5 x 10 (supersetted w/ flyes)

Bent over rows: 5 x 10
Rear lateral raises: 5 x 10 (supersetted)

Behind the neck pulldowns: 5 x 10
Press behind the neck: 5 x 10 (supersetted)

Curls: 5 x 10
Dips: 5 x 10 (supersetted)

Incline curls: 5 x 10
Triceps extensions: 5 x 10 (supersetted)

Saturday:
Upright rows: 1 x 10
Curls: 1 x 10
Dips: 1 x 10

Very advanced program

The High Protein - High Set Program

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:

Situps: 1 x 25
Press behind the neck: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight
Bench press: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight
Curls: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight
French press: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday:

Leg raises: 1 x 25
Squats: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight
Pullovers: 15 x 10 (supersetted w/ squats)
Calf raise: 15 x 10
Neck exercise: 10 x 8 front and back
Bent over rows: 5 x 6 (same weight on last 3 sets), 10 x 8 w/ lighter weight

Bulking Up

(This is where the Super Squats program came from)

Press behind the neck 3 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20
Bench Press 3 X 12
Rows 3 X 15
Stiff Legged Deadlift 1 X 15
Pullovers 1 X 20

3 times per week

Softening up for Weight Gains

3 month routine

Month 1

Seated press behind neck 3 X 12
Squats 1 X 30
Pullovers 1 X 30
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 x 20

3 times per week

Month 2

Seated press behind neck 3 X 12
Lateral raises 3 X 15
Bent over lateral raises 3 x 15
Squats 1 X 30
Pullovers 1 X 30
Hip belt squats 3 X 15
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 x 20
Shrugs 3 X 15
Pulldowns to back of neck 3 X 15

3 times per week

Month 3

One arm military press 3 X 15
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20
Hip belt squats 3 X 15
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 x 20
Dips 5 X 10 supersetted w/:
Concentration curls 5 x 10

3 times per week

The Hip Belt Squat Routine

Prone hyperextension 3 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20
Hip Belt Squats 4 X 15
Donkey calf raise 4 X 20
Incline dumbbell bench 4 X 12
Chins behind neck 4 X 15
Stiff legged deadlifts 2 X 15
Concentration Curls 3 X 10
Triceps extensions 3 X 10

3 times per week

The Super Power and Bulk Thing

Dips 3 X 12
Machine Pullovers 3 X 15
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20
Curls 3 X 12
Press behind the neck 3 X 12

3 times per week

The Power Look

Squats 3 X 3, 2 X 1
Bench Press 3 X 3, 2 X 1
Rows 5 X 5
Power cleans 3 X 3
High pulls 3 X 3
Deadlifts 3 X 3, 2 X 1

Specialization Routines

Specialization

Mondays/Thursdays:

Squats: 5 x 5
Hack squats: 4 x 12
Leg curls: 5 x 10
Donkey calf raises: 5 x 20
Machine calf raises: 5 x 20
Front squats: 4 x 8

Tuesdays/Fridays:

Prone hyperextensions: 4 x 10
Power cleans: 5 x 5
Deadlifts: 8 x 3 (increasing weight each set)
Bent over rows: 5 x 12
Chins behind the neck: 5 x 10
Regular chins: 5 x 10

Neck Specialization:

Tuesdays/Fridays:

Prone hyperextensions: 3 x 10
Squats: 5 x 5
Pullovers: 5 x 12 (supersetted w/ squats)
Bench press: 5 x 5
Power cleans: 5 x 5
Bent over rows: 5 x 5
Press behind neck: 5 x 5
Curls: 5 x 5

Mondays/Thursdays:

Shrugs: 5 x 12

Wrestlers Bridge: 5 x 10
Lying neck flexion on bench (face up): 5 x 10 (supersetted w/ bridges)

Side neck extensions on cable machine: 5 x 12 each side

Lying neck extensions on bench (face down) 5 x 8

Building the Grip and Forearms

Mondays/Thursdays:

Dumbell swings: 2 x 15
Squats: 5 x 5 (increased weights sets 1-3, same weight as 3 on 4-5)
Pullovers: 5 x 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Front squats: 5 x 6 (same progression as squats)
Incline dumbbell bench: 5 x 8
Upright rows: 5 x 6
Chins: 5 x 8
Stiff legged deadlifts: 4 x 10

Tuesday/Friday/Sunday:

Reverse curls: 5 x 15
Wrist curls: 5 x 15
Reverse wrist curls: 5 x 15
Dumbbell levers: 5 x 15 each arm
Gripper work as desired

Building Your Calves

Mondays/Thursdays:

Press behind neck: 3 x 10
Curls: 3 x 10
Bent over rows: 3 x 15
bench press: 3 x 12
Squats: 2 x 15
Pullovers: 2 x 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Stiff legged deadlifts: 1 x 15
Leg raises: 1 x 25

5 days per week:

Machine calf raises: 5 x 20
Reverse calf raises (lifting toes): 5 x 20
Seated calf raises: 5 x 20
Donkey calf raises: 5 x 20

Arm Specialization

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

6 Giant Sets:

Seated Press Behind The Neck - 8
Squats - 10
Chins behind neck - 8
Twisting situps - 20
Incline dumbbell press - 8
Calf raise - 15

Run 2 miles

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Curls 5 X 7
Dips 5 X 8
Incline Dumbbell Curls 5 X 8
French Press 5 X 8
Concentration Curls 5 X 10
Triceps Pressdown 5 X 10

Back Work For Bulk

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Prone hyperextensions 4 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Rows 5 X 12
Chins behind neck 5 X 8
Stiff legged deadlift 3 x 12
Power cleans 5 x 5

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Calf raise 4 x 25
Incline dumbbell press 3 x 12
Cuddle situps 2 x 50
Concentration curls 3 x 10
Press behind neck 4 x 12


For a Big Chest

3 month routine

Month 1

Seated presses behind neck 3 X 10
Incline dumbbell curls 3 X 10
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Dips 3 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Chins behind neck 3 X 15
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 X 15
Pullovers 1 X 20

3 times per week

Month 2

One arm military presses 3 X 12
Concentration curls 3 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Bench Press 5 X 10
Flyes 5 X 12
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20 (supersetted w/ squats)
Rows 5 X 12
Pulldowns 5 X 15
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 X 15
Pullovers 1 X 20
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 X 10
Pullovers 1 X 20
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 X 8
Pullovers 1 X 20

3 times per week

Month 3

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Standing Press 5 X 5
Lateral raises 3 X 12
Rows 5 X 8
Chins 5 X 8
Pulldowns behind neck 3 X 15
Prone hyperextension 3 X 12
Incline dumbbell curls 5 X 8 supersetted w/:
French press 5 X 8
Concentration curls 5 X 10 supersetted w/:
Triceps pressdowns 5 X 10
Hise shrugs 3 X 20 supersetted w/:
Pullovers 3 X 20

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Squats 3 sets - 25/20/15 supersetted w/:
Pullovers 3 X 20
Bench press 5 X 8
Flyes 5 X 12
Incline dumbbell press 5 X 6
Suspended ring pushups 5 X 10

Gain Weight To Build Your Arms

3 month routine

Month 1

Press Behind Neck 2 X 12
Rows 4 X 15
Squats 1 X 20
Pullovers 1 X 20
Bench Press 3 X 12
Stiff legged deadlifts 1 x 15 supersetted w/:
Shrugs 1 X 15
Barbell curls 4 X 10
Dips 4 X 10
Alternating Dumbbell curls 4 X 12
Triceps pressdown 4 X 12

3 times per week

Month 2

Mondays/Thursdays

Prone hyperextensions 3 X 12
Squats 2 X 15 supersetted w/:
Pullovers 2 X 20
Dumbbell bench press 4 X 10
Chins behind neck 3 X 15
Chins to the front 3 X 15
One arm military presses 4 X 10

Tuesdays/Fridays

Curls 4 X 12
Close Grip Bench Press 4 X 12
Incline dumbbell curls 4 X 10
Standing French Presses 4 X 10
Seated cable curls 4 X 8
Triceps pressdowns 4 X 8

Month 3

Tuesdays/Fridays

Prone hyperextensions 3 X 12
Squats 5 X 5 supersetted w/:
Pullovers 5 X 20
Bench press 5 X 5
Rows 5 X 5
Presses behind the neck 5 X 5

Monday/Wednesday/Saturday

Cheat curls 5 X 8 supersetted w/
Dips 5 X 8
Close grip curls 5 X 8 supersetted w/
French presses 5 X 8
Preacher curls 5 X 8 supersetted w/
Triceps pressdowns 5 X 8


Leg Specialization For Bulk

Prone hyperextensions 1 X 15
Squats 3 X 12 supersetted w/:
Pullovers 3 X 20
Hip belt squats 3 X 15
Pullovers 3 X 15
Calf raises 3 X 25
Leg curls 3 X 15
Calf raise 3 X 20
Front squats 3 X 10

3 times per week

Cutting Routines

P.H.A. For Definition

Giant sets of 5 exercises

3 Giant Sets:

Squats - 10 reps
Situps - 25 reps
Concentration Curls - 10 reps
Side Bends - 25 reps
Neck - 10 reps

3 Giant Sets:

Bench Press - 10
Leg Raises - 25
Chins Behind The Neck - 10
Seated Twists - 25
Donkey Calf Raises - 15

3 Giant Sets:

Stiff Legged Deadlifts - 10
Cuddle Situps - 25
Press Behind Neck - 10
Bent Forward Twists - 25
French Presses - 10

2-3 times per week

More On P.H.A.

Giant sets of 5 exercises

5 Giant Sets:

Front Squats - 12
Cuddle Situps - 25
Curls - 10
Seated Twists - 25
Wrestler's Bridge - 10

5 Giant Sets:

Incline Dumbbell Press - 10
Situps - 25 reps
Rows - 12
Bent Forward Twists - 25
Calf Raise - 15

5 Giant Sets:

Prone Hyperextensions - 12
Leg Raises - 25
One Arm Military Press - 10
Side Bend - 25
Close Grip Bench 10

Run for 10 minutes

3 times per week

Definition

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

5 Giant Sets:

Front Squats - 8
Incline Dumbbell Curls - 10
Calf Raise - - 20
Twisting situps on incline board - 30
One arm military press - 10

5 Giant Sets:

Incline dumbbell press - 10
Lat pulldowns - 12
Side bends - 30
Triceps pressdowns - 10
Lateral raises - 12

5 Giant Sets:

Chins - 12
Concentration curls - 10
Hanging leg raises - 12
Flyes - 12
Standing french press - 10

5 Giant Sets:

Upright rows - 12
Dips - 10
Seated Twists - 30
Wide grip chins behind neck - 10
Triceps extension - 10

Run for 10 minutes

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Run for 10 minutes

Incline board situps - Max reps up to 100
Side bends - 100 reps per side
Pushups - 25
Leg raises - Max reps up to 100

Trimming Down For That Polished Look

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Prone hyperextensions 3 X 15
Front Squats 4 X 12
Pullovers 4 X 20
Seated calf raises 5 X 25
Leaning calf raises 5 X 25
Rows 4 X 10
Chins 4 X 12
Pulldowns 4 X 15
Seated twists 3 X 100
Leg raises 3 X 100

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Press behind neck 4 X 8
Front raise 3 X 12
Side lateral raises 3 X 12
Bent over lateral raises 3 X 12
Incline dumbbell press 4 X 12
Flyes 4 X 15
Incline curls 5 X 10
Concentration curls 4 X 12
Close grip bench press 4 X 10
French press 4 X 12
Triceps pressdowns 3 X 15
Seated twists 3 X 100
Cuddle situps 3 X 100

Blog Archive