Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category

What is My Body Type? Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
a group of men asking what is my body type?

You could be wasting your time with a great workout routine and proper nutrition if you don’t know how to train and eat based on your body type. When I first started training and reading about body types my first question – what is my body type, was hard to answer. It seemed I was the combination of 2 of them so initially, I struggled to categorize myself. Honestly, your body type category doesn’t matter enough for anyone to be stressed out about categorizing the body type but knowing the details of how to eat and train for each type, at least gave me some direction as I set goals for fat loss and strength gains in my earlier years.

Hopefully, this guide will help you find some answers if you ask the question, ‘What is my body type?’

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How to do Dips

Monday, June 10th, 2024
bodybuilders show how to do dips with plates added

Dips are listed in a Swole post as one of the top 5 best triceps exercises. They can be useful for both chest and triceps training but to make them work for us we have to learn the ins and outs of how to do dips and how to do them properly to work with our personal goals.

Based on the principle that exercises in which you move your body through space are better than the exercises that keep you in a stationary position, dips are better than push ups. It is also easier for you to add weight to your dips than it is to add weight to a push-up.

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Top 6 Ab Training Mistakes

Friday, June 7th, 2024
this ripped couple avoided ab training mistakes

Want thick, dense abs that stand out like a washboard? Want a ripped midsection with veins and shredded striations? No? How about this: Want to look good naked? If you answered yes to any of those, you’ll want to be sure you’re not making any common ab training mistakes.

You will never achieve any of the above goals or personal goals if you train your abs once a week with three sets of crunches for 100 reps, or if you eat like a horse. Avoid these 6 common abdominal training mistakes and your abs will dial in. Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete, or a novice, chances are you are making several of these ab training mistakes in your training right now. Take heed!

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The Top 5 Best Hamstring Exercises

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024
strong hamstrings as a result of the best hamstring exercises

Why do we need to figure out what are the best hamstring exercises? Because serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be able to lift maximum weight off the ground with minimal effort. It makes us feel good to be able to pick up virtually anything and to be able to perform necessary feats of strength in emergencies. Especially when most guys in the world struggle to pick up even 100 lbs off the floor.

The number one way to make all these things happen? Train your posterior chain – hamstrings, lower back, and glutes (your bum) with complex free-weight exercises. Let’s take a look at a few of the best hamstring exercises to focus on effective posterior chain development.

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How to do Pull-ups

Monday, June 3rd, 2024
ripped athlete showing us how to do pull-ups

Pull-ups are very simple but very hard. Most people think they know how to do pull-ups but there are quite a few variations on the proper form that some hardos might frown on, but still count as legitimate pull-ups. To perform a pull-up, hang on to any bar, doorway, tree branch, etc… with your arms straight and your palms facing away from you, and pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. That’s it.

Pull-ups can be performed on anything that allows you to hang with your arms straight and your knees not touching the floor. Beginners can’t typically do a single pull-up, so we need a proper tutorial for increasing pull-up strength.

This post will teach you how to increase your performance with pull-ups using the correct technique.

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How to Squat

Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
how to squat heavy barbell squats

There are many different lifts that a weightlifter can do to increase their strength, speed, and power. All kind of weightlifting is great for your body, but I prefer to not waste time in the gym lifting with tunnel vision, going from machine to machine and seeing little results from my hard work. This is why it is important to learn how to squat!

Instead, I would rather do 3-4 exercises with maximal intensity to wipe out my whole body in order to reap a maximal anabolic effect. The most well known and most dreaded of these exercises is the squat.

Rules to Remember When Performing a Squat

  • Keep the lower back straight and mostly flat; do not round your back!
  • Keep knees pointing out slightly, do not let them creep inwards as you push yourself up.
  • The bar should rest on the upper trap muscles and the rear heads of the shoulders.
  • Push from your glutes (butt), not your knees; your hips should raise first and everything else should raise with them.
  • Fill your stomach with air before descending and keep it tight with your chest out while pushing up.
  • Push up with your eyes focused 30-45 degrees above normal eye level.
  • Try to keep your knees behind your toes to avoid injury.
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How to Deadlift

Friday, May 24th, 2024
man and woman learning how to deadlift

Deadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. This important strength-based exercise works 100% of your legs and posterior chain, and it requires functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, a deadlift will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.

Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation for causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.

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How to Perform Reverse Hypers or Reverse Hyperextensions

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
athlete with a strong lower back from Reverse Hypers

In weight lifting, the lower back does not always receive much attention, unless it is injured. Experienced athletes know enough to include deadlifts, stiff legs, good mornings, glute-hamstring raises, and pull-throughs into their routine, but maybe that’s not always enough. That’s where we introduce a game-changing exercise called Reverse Hypers (aka Reverse Hyperextensions) into our training program.

The posterior chain is used in many pulling and lifting movements, so making it a priority to strengthen the lower back will help prevent serious injuries in the future. Aside from those listed above, one exercise that can help strengthen, rehab, and prehab the lower back, is the reverse hyper. Additionally, the reverse hyper strengthens the entire posterior chain including the hips, spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings.

Let’s take a few minutes to examine why reverse hypers are so good for you, how to perform reverse hypers, and how to execute the movement without specific reverse hyper equipment.

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How to Perform Dumbbell Flyes – Boost Your Training with the Best Chest Exercise

Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
man performs Dumbbell Flyes

The dumbbell fly is a cornerstone exercise in strength training and bodybuilding, yet its significance often goes unrecognized. Dumbbell flyes play an instrumental role in developing chest muscles, increasing strength, improving posture, and enhancing overall wellness. Our comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of the dumbbell fly, shedding light on its profound impact.

We will provide a guide for performing the dumbbell fly and recognizing muscle activation during the exercise. We’ll also explore using this exercise to increase strength or build muscle.  Also, look for our tips on incorporating drop sets into your routine to elevate your dumbbell chest fly sessions to new heights.

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Which One Should You Use – The Smith Machine or the Squat Rack?

Monday, July 24th, 2023
Smith machine vs squat rack

One of the endless fitness debates is the – “squat rack vs. Smith machine.” Along with “wrist wraps or not,” and “squat belt or not”, those are the two topics of conversation bound to cause a serious battle of opinions between gym rats. 

As you might guess, diving into both of these topics will take a ton of time so we will spare you the wrist wraps debacle and squat belt conundrum, and just head on to discussing the squat rack vs. the smith machine. In this article, we will go over the two types of fitness equipment, what they are good for, and why you should consider using one or the other, depending on your training goals. 

So let’s not keep you waiting any longer and dive straight into the topic. 

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The Swole 3×5 Workout – A Fresh Approach to Strength Training

Monday, May 1st, 2023
The Swole 3x5 bent over rows

The Swole 3×5 Workout Routine

If you have been reading weightlifting materials for any length of time, you have probably heard of 5×5 training. It has worked for many trainees. We folks at Project Swole even made excellent progress on a 5×5 program. But with all this 5×5 hype, has anyone stopped thinking there might be an even more efficient way to train? You might want to take a moment to learn about The Swole 3×5 workout.

In my experience, at least for trained athletes, there are benefits to a Swole 3×5 workout routine which include added volume for accessory movements, core training, and conditioning due to the slightly lower workload.

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The Top 5 Best Calf Exercises

Monday, December 5th, 2022
Arnold used the best calf exercises

When you think of calves, you picture the part of your leg that everyone else can see when you’re wearing shorts. Sure, you can have a huge upper body and quads, but if you have the calves of a 10-year-old boy, then people may often chuckle. To get past walking around with cringe-worthy chicken legs, you better employ a few of these best calf exercises as soon as possible to kickstart your calf growth.

Women prefer to have slim, shapely calves, and these exercises can help the females to accomplish their goals too. Ladies, don’t be afraid of training your calves just like men do… strong calves will even help you to walk better in high heels.

Of course, calf development is highly dependent upon your genetics. You can have very strong lifts, but the insertion points of the calf muscles are all that matters. Judges in bodybuilding competitions often do not put a lot of weight on the calves as a judging factor, but they do matter and are always good to have. And let me tell you, for those guys who think calves aren’t important on the beach, the women DO look, and, yes, they DO judge you for it!

Never fear though, if you do not have aesthetically pleasing, low insertion points, you can still bring your calves up quite a bit.

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What Is “The Pump” At The Gym 

Monday, November 21st, 2022
how to get a pump in the gym courtesy of Arnold "The Oak"

How to Get Pumped Up at the Gym

Muscle ‘pump‘ is a commonly used term amongst bodybuilders, and it means pumping up your muscles by doing vigorous exercises. This increase in muscle size is temporary and can be achieved quickly by using lighter weights and higher reps, and by resting only briefly between sets. You see beginner athletes wondering, “what is the pump?” and “how do I get the pump?” – well it’s not that difficult, believe it or not. Getting pumped is much easier than setting a new PR, that’s for sure.

Read more to learn about what the pump in the gym is all about ?

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How to Perform the Anti-rotational Press

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022
Man performing an anti-rotational press.
The Standard Anti-rotational Press

The core performs many important functions, such as energy transfer and stabilization. There are many core exercises that athletes use to make their cores stronger. However, many people who lift as a hobby, and even some professional bodybuilders and athletes, look at the core from a more aesthetic point of view. So, they only do exercises that promise a six-pack rather than highly effective core exercises, such as Anti-rotational Press, which strengthens accessory muscle groups rather than just 6-pack “show muscles”.

One thing to note is that the core is more complex than a six-pack. To optimally maximize core usage, you not only need exercises like crunches and hanging leg raises. You also need to work your inner core; the parts that connect to the lumbar vertebrae (located around the lower back).  

This is where core exercises like the anti-rotational press come in. In general, anti-rotational movements work the core by forcing it to stabilize your body regardless of strong resistance from one side. In the process, they work other muscles in your core apart from the rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles), such as the Erectus spinae, transverse abdominis, and your obliques. 

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The Top 5 Best Triceps Exercises

Saturday, November 12th, 2022
Arnold uses the best triceps exercises.

We frequently end up having to answer questions about which exercises are the top 5 best triceps exercises of all time. Literally, the two most common questions you will hear from male weightlifters are:

  1. How can I get bigger arms?
  2. How can I bench press more weight?

Normally I would scoff at such questions, except that the answer is a lesson that most young weightlifters need to learn. Because your triceps comprise two-thirds of your arm, the answer to the first question is: train your triceps.

Because your triceps are often the weakest link in the chain of muscles that facilitates bench press, the answer to the second question is: train your triceps.

This brings me to the point of this whole post: how best to train your triceps.

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How to Overhead Press

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022
female athlete shows us How to Overhead Press

How to Perform the Overhead Press

The overhead press; also known as the press, shoulder press, barbell press, and standing press; is often confused with the military press; and is quite possibly the best upper body exercise known to man. Sure, the bench press gets all the glory, but this is only because it is easier to lift more weight benching than pressing.

In many ways, the overhead press is actually more effective than the bench press at building upper body muscle mass. With the overhead press, we are standing up rather than laying down, which already means a better workout for the back, legs, and core. And seriously, massive, powerful shoulders are far more impressive than a puffy chest.

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The Top 5 Best Glute Exercises

Thursday, September 8th, 2022
this girl uses the best glute exercises

Whether you are a guy or a girl, it is always an asset to have nice, strong glutes. The main exercise that will help you develop your glutes the most is obviously the squat. Look at those who have the highest squat numbers. ‘Nuff said. However, there are a number of additional exercises such as these 5 best glute exercises and a few honorable mentions, that can get your booty into fighting shape.

How to Get Big, Strong Glutes

As mentioned above, barbell squats are the king of glute exercises. They are without a doubt the single best exercise you can use to develop your glutes. I would even go as far as saying that you would not even need to do another single exercise for them; squats are really that good! However, there are always some other exercises that would be good to experiment with such as this list of best glute exercises.

Before going on to mention the top exercises, let’s take a look at some of the more important details about the glutes.

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Twilight Workout Routine – Taylor Lautner Gains 30 Pounds of Muscle in a Year

Friday, August 5th, 2022

Updated slightly, here’s an oldie but a goodie from back in 200913 years later, the Twilight workout routine is still legit as ever.

Introducing Taylor Lautner and the Twilight Movies

If you are a Twilight fan, you have already seen The Twilight Saga: New Moon and you already know who Taylor Lautner is, aka Jacob Black the werewolf. And if you know about all that you know about the Twilight workout routine aka the Taylor Lautner workout routine.

I have seen the movie and I was not altogether impressed, although it was not a bad movie. I would give it a 7 out of 10, while IMDB has it at 4.5 out of 10. It is a thrilling romance/monster story for teenage girls. Almost everything about the flick is targeted at girls but I know a few bros who enjoy it and have watched it multiple times (including this author).

What I was more impressed by, is the evolution of Taylor Lautner. In nine months, this 17-year-old dude gained 30 pounds of muscle to better pull off his changing into a werewolf for New Moon. Granted, if he didn’t gain the weight the part of Jacob Black would have been recast.

Taylor Lautner Before
Taylor Lautner Before
Taylor Lautner After The Twilight Workout Routine
Taylor Lautner After

Taylor Lautner used to be a 5’10”, 140-pound fairly ripped martial artist, but now he’s a weightlifting beast. So, just how did Taylor Lautner gain 30 pounds of muscle so quickly?

He maximized his genetic potential, and you can too.

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Top 6 Calf Training Mistakes

Sunday, July 31st, 2022
Calf Training Mistakes

The calves are a serious problem area for most bodybuilders. You can win or lose a contest depending on whether or not you have put some time into building thick slabs of beef on the back of your legs. Women tend to have calf issues as well; many are sporting the dreaded “cankles”. Both sexes often suffer from skinny little twiggy leg syndrome, sometimes known as “bird legs”. What do these folks have in common? They are probably all making the same calf training mistakes day to day, week to week. So how can we fix it?

To build marvelous calves, you have to put time into training them frequently and from a variety of angles. First and foremost, you can’t make the following 6 calf training mistakes and also hope to build world-class wheels. Train your legs right and you will prosper. Make too many mistakes and they will continue to lag.

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The Top 5 Best Chest Exercises

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
Lou Ferrigno used the best chest exercises


Bench presses and curls are two of the first exercises that are learned by new weight lifters. For men, the chest or “pecs” (short for pectorals) are second only to the biceps as the top show muscles in teenagers and young adults. This list of 5 of the best chest exercise will go a long way in building that initial base.

For women, the chest is even more important. Keeping well-built pecs can be useful in maintaining a solid, perky appearance of the breasts.

Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes know that the pecs are involved in one of the main powerlifting exercises, the bench press. The bench press is one of three exercises, including squats and deadlifts, in a standard big 3 powerlifting competition. For this reason, it is always important for powerlifters to increase their chest strength.

Therefore it seems to me that everyone has a reason to train their chest, including men, women, athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen… everyone; and here are the top 5 best chest exercises you should use.

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