In The Gym…Part 3

In The Gym…Part 3

In the last few articles I talked about some broad topics, and a lot of people have asked about specifics for muscle building. Again, I’m not a bodybuilder, I’m a rock n’ roll musician with a passion for staying in shape and looking as good as possible with my life style. I will preface this article with a quick little saying

The gym is the number one place to find delusional people. Day after day, month after month, year after year, people come in and out doing the same thing with zero results or change. The amount of effort it takes to do something over and over and to NOT realize that it isn’t working is actually quite fascinating. So think about that for a minute, if you only squat half way down and your legs look like pencils, it’s probably not working….

LEGS

Tip #1- when squatting, a tip for getting low is to place a 10 lb plate underneath your heels. This will allow you to reach a greater depth without falling over.

Tip #2- if muscle activation is your goal, when coming up try not to lock you legs out completely and keep the tension going

Tip #3- hamstring curls are best done with lower reps, 4-8 and heavy, because the fibers that make up the hammy’s in a hip flexion are composed of fast twitch fibers. Fast twitch fibers are built for power and force, so if you’ve been doing high reps in the ham curl and they are pathetically developed, try doing 5×5 of heavy reps, or even 8×3 of really heavy. And do the negative with a 4 second descent.

Tip #4- 90% of people don’t do calve exercises all the way. As my friend Mike can attest to after yesterdays workout, there’s at least an entire 6 inches of depth to achieve when doing a standing calve raise. And the amount of muscle you’ll activate by completely stretching the calve out is night and day.

ARMS

Tip #1- Dips and close grip bench are the best tri cep builders ever. And believe it or not, they’re best done with heavy/low reps just like hamstrings (see above). Your tri’s are also primarily fast twitch, so when doing dips, go heavy. And when doing close grip, also go heavy with a very slow and strict descent.

Tip #2- pausing in the bottom position of a dip just before tension goes away is incredibly effective at stimulating more muscle in the triceps. What I mean is when you lower yourself, get to the bottom, and pause for 2 seconds down there. Yup, 2 seconds.

Tip #3- there are 3 muscles in your triceps, hence the term TRI. And every grip, hand placement, etc. effects which muscle is activated. If you always do your skull crushers in a certain place, try placing your hands closer to your belly button, or further away from your head.

Tip #4- the chin up is the best bi cep exercise ever. Don’t forget, muscle growth occurs via the most amount of stimulus about the given muscle group, and it’s much harder to lift yourself through gravity than it is to curl a weight. if your arms are puny, be able to accomplish 5×5 chin ups with 15 extra lb.’s and see what it does for your arms.

Tip #5- when doing your curls, when you reach the bottom position, flex your triceps. It sounds weird, but this will provide a greater stimulus on the muscle.

Tip #6- Ronnie Coleman made doing half reps famous. But he’s Ronnie Coleman and you’re not. So when you do your preacher curls, go all the way down and pause, and then come back up until the tension is greatest. It’s amazing what a 1 inch can do for your muscles.

CHEST

Tip #1- when barbell pressing, pause for 2 seconds in a complete stretch position. The overload on your chest is tremendous. Don’t be a fool and jerk the weight with no control. This is harder but the reward is greater.

Tip #2- the chest will respond best with a variation in rep ranges. If you normally do high reps, focus on low reps. Vice versa.

Tip #3- if you like chains for benching, try doing a 6 second negative. The chains hammer the weak links and the extra time you spend lowering the weight will allow them to activate even more muscle. Literally, 6 seconds. Do 8×3 when doing this.

Back/Shoulders

Tip #1- mess with the tension of where you do your pull ups. Meaning, try and squeeze the top for 2 seconds and then lower yourself. Or try to pause in the middle of the movement, and then lower yourself all the way.

Tip #2- mess around with different grips, just like everything else, variety is the spice of life.

Tip #3- try wide grip pull ups with a 10 second negative, but only do sets of 3. This will equate 30 seconds of pull ups. Brutal.

Tip #4- when doing upright rows, squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement for at least 1 second.

Tip #5- lat pull downs should not be the primary back exercise if you’re underdeveloped. Pull ups are king.

Tip #6- weak external rotators are often a limiting factor in many exercises. Google rotator cuff exercises and focus a day only on them. It will shock you how only a few weeks of bringing them up to par will strengthen your bench and pull ups.

Abs-

Tip #1- if you have low body fat, you’ll most likely have good abs. No amount of crunches will give you what you want, EVER. You have to have low body fat and the abs will come.

Tip #2- google dragon flags. Greatest ab isolation exercise known to man.