Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category

How to Create an Effective Muscle Building Lifestyle

Friday, September 20th, 2019
battleropes athlete

When you start a workout plan, you want to go all-in, but you have to plan smart if you really want to bulk up. Building muscle is about really putting in the work at the gym. If you don’t rest or eat properly though, you could sustain an injury that takes you out of the action for weeks. These injuries can be a serious setback for your muscle building lifestyle.

We compiled the best tips for setting up a workout plan that fits your schedule and lifestyle. With these tips, you can build muscle fast and keep the muscle on. Your perfect body is closer than you think – you just might need a few of these pointers.

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How to Bench Press Safely Without a Spotter

Saturday, August 31st, 2019
Heavy Bench Press

A major concern for all of us big-shot men is how we can bench press when we are training alone. Chest day has always been an important day in the weekly training regimen. It might fall on a Monday, a humpday, or even a Friday, but it is and has always been one of the most exalted workout days of the week for those training with a partner, buddies, or teams.

This is a day when we can walk in the gym with our chests puffed out.

This is a day when we can train those all-important show muscles… the pecs.

This is a day when we can perform the “manliest of exercises”… the bench press!

Let us examine some alternatives to bench pressing flat with a spotter.

(Of course for those of us who already know how to bench press, the bench press is really no big deal. There are about 7 other exercises I’d rather do than bench and at least 5 other goals that are more important to me than having a big chest or a big bench… but I digress… this article is about bench pressing after all.)

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How to Bench Press

Monday, August 26th, 2019

How to Bench Press

Update: I found a sweet How to Bench Press video by elite powerlifter Dave Tate today. The video appears about halfway through this post. If you want to bench press for max strength and “think” you have perfect form, you NEED to watch this video. Therefore I am republishing this article today for every Swole Bench Presser’s benefit.

Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally, I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answer Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kyle wrote:

“Hey Steve, OK me and a friend got into an argument about how to bench. I said you should touch your chest and he said you shouldn’t because it can injure your shoulder you should stop like 1 inch away from your chest? What is the right way to bench?”

Response:

So, you want to know how to bench press properly?

How to Bench Press

The bench press is the most popular exercise in the gym among men. It is the strongest upper body exercise for most people and has been a social gauge (and wrongly so, in my opinion) of male strength and fitness for more than a century. Fortunately, bench presses are the #1 best exercise for building upper body strength and size, and so should be included in nearly all strength training routines.

On the downside, benching is responsible for many weight lifting injuries, especially in the shoulder area. Hopefully, this post will educate you as to how you should be bench pressing to avoid injury.

How to Bench Press

A concept of a bench press is simple:

Start by laying down on a bench. Place your hands on the barbell with your palms facing away from you (this is a pronated grip). Unrack the barbell and hold it straight up over your upper chest. Bend at the elbows to lower the barbell until it touches your mid-chest. Press it back up over your upper chest. That’s a rep.

In reality, using proper form on the bench press can be difficult to master, as you will see when you read this post in its entirety.

Now, to answer your questions…

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The Top 5 Best Biceps Exercises

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Arnold BicepsBiceps. The ultimate show muscle. From age 10 on, every boy, teenager, and man wants to have huge bulging biceps. This is, apparently, a true sign of manliness and strength, and is also attainable if you incorporate these best biceps exercises into your routine.

Biceps are among the most famous muscles in the body. When somebody asks you to “make a muscle” or “flex”, they aren’t asking you to flex your hamstrings. They want to see your biceps!

This whole notion of flexing the biceps as a measure of anything, is completely ludicrous to me, but it is a reality. When someone asks me to flex, I ask them if they’d much rather discuss max effort PRs, perhaps dynamic powerlifting strategies, or better yet how to put together the most effective HIIT complexes. Most folks walk away thus.

But I digress…

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A Generic Full Body Workout Routine

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

There are about 8,675,309 workout routines that you can try. One of the most effective types of routines I have found in the first 14 years of my training career is total body training. A full body workout will stimulate all of your muscle chains sufficiently to elicit a powerful physiological response.

The Principles of Total Body Training

  • Train every muscle group 3 times per week.
  • Select one exercise per muscle group, per day.
  • Hit each muscle group from a different angle or intensity in each workout.
  • Never go to absolute failure on any exercise; leave one rep in the bank, except sometimes on the last set.
  • Keep workouts under one hour, not counting warm-ups and stretching.
  • Change everything up after two months.

Why Might This Be the Most Effective Form of Training?

  • High frequency (how often you train any given muscle) means more chances to recover and grow stronger/bigger.
  • Low daily stimulus (# of exercises and sets per day for any given muscle) lowers your chances of overtraining.
  • Avoiding training to failure also lowers the chances of overtraining.
  • Hitting muscles from all angles each week strengthens stabilizers and is proactive injury prevention.
  • Avoid muscle adaptation by changing up the whole routine after 2 months.

So What is the Full Body Workout Already?

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The Top 5 Best Legs Exercises for Your Quads

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

arnold squats

Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be bigger, stronger, and leaner. The number one way to make that happen? Train your legs with complex free weight exercises.

Your legs are the largest group of muscle in your body. They are the foundation of your strength and power. Never will you be able to bench press 315 if you can’t squat 315 first.

By training your legs hard, you will be setting yourself up to gain the most progress compared to every other muscle group.

Arnold loved squatting, and look what happened to him. If you want to be Mr. Olympia, a famous Hollywood actor, and the governor of Alaska, you need to squat!

By training your legs, you will:

  • Lift the most weight of all muscle groups.
  • Burn the most calories of all muscle groups.
  • Form the foundation of your body’s strength chain.
  • Stimulate the highest growth hormone release through training.

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The Top 5 Best Hamstring Exercises

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Arnold Deadlifts

Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be able to lift thousands of pounds off the ground with minimal effort. It makes us feel good to be able to pick up anything we want. 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 hamstrings, lower back, and glutes (your bum) with complex free weight exercises.

Men and women alike should use these training tips. No amount of deadlifts are going to make a woman huge and bulky unless they TRY REALLY HARD to get huge and bulky on purpose. At the same time, no amount of body weight squats or lunges are going to get you big, strong, or conditioned. Train heavy and train hard, no matter who you are. And if you are a woman who is overly concerned about getting “too big” and just doesn’t want to lift weights, check out this mostly non-load bearing leg exercises for women to get an idea of some other exercises to work into a routine.

As I mentioned in my top 5 quad exercises post, your legs are the largest group of muscles in your body. By training your legs hard, you will be setting yourself up to gain the most progress compared to every other muscle group.

Strong hamstrings will allow you to:

  • Pick up anything heavy off the floor or ground.
  • Burn as many calories during training as you would when training quads.
  • Form the foundation of your body’s posterior strength chain.
  • Strengthen your lower back to protect from injury.

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Tips For Making Sure That You Are Not Over Training

Monday, July 17th, 2017

carbohydrates for recoveryAre you in the gym day in and day out, but feel like you just are not seeing results like you used to? Well, it is completely possible that you might be overtraining, which is a lot more common than you might imagine.

Overtraining means that you are training so hard your body does not have the time to rest and recover, as it normally should. This condition can lead to a slew of negative side effects, like muscle atrophy, motivational loss, and mood swings.

Overtraining can even diminish the results that you worked so hard to earn, so it is imperative that you never let this happen to you. Stick to the following tips and information to ensure that you never over train. (more…)

Lift Your Game – Why Hanging Is The “Missing Link” Of Strength Training

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

pullups chinupsStrength training is a popular, effective and growing form of exercise which aims to use different apparatus in order to strengthen and refine your muscles. Often relying on body weight and muscle control, one of the benefits of strength training is that it teaches users to get to know how their bodies and muscles work, and to focus on how different muscles work together to initiate movement.

As with any form of exercise, different moves and sets develop popularity, based on their perceived efficacy. A form of strength training called ‘hanging’ is one such exercise. Below we’ll take a look at what hanging is, and why it’s a good thing to integrate into your routine.

What Does ‘Hanging’ Mean, Exactly?

Hanging is almost exactly what it sounds like – it involves using the grip strength in your hands and forearms to suspend your body from an object. As an exercise, the main use for it is to really develop our often-underutilised grip strength; a type of strength which has been eroded by modern life as it’s not something which we use much in our domesticated lives.

Hanging can be performed as a passive exercise or as an active exercise (or even combined with a power band). In the passive form, once you have ably suspended yourself from a bar or an object using your hand grip strength, your concentration moves to relaxing your muscles – apart from those in your hands and forearms. Pay particular attention to any tightness in the shoulders and trapezius muscles – this is a good opportunity to focus on keeping these muscles relaxed and disengaged.

The active form of hanging introduces extra tension into the body. In this version of the exercise, concentrate on flexing each of your muscle groups, including your abdomen muscles, your biceps, and your glutes. Flex your shoulders while keeping their posture fixed back. (more…)

3 Amazing Exercises That Will Build Stamina for Cycling

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Summer is right around the corner and the road bikes for sale signs popping up everywhere will have any keen cyclist excited to get back on two wheels. But after a long Winter of little riding, you might notice that your fitness isn’t quite what it used to be.

When our time is precious, we want the time we do spend working out to give us the maximum results possible, and while cycling for long periods means slowly and gradually plodding towards a steady upshot in stamina over the course of months, here are three exercises that will help you get back to your peak level of fitness as quickly as possible.

Cycling Stamina
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