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Old 03-18-2012, 08:03 PM
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Default Old-School Barbell Blast for New Muscle Growth P.II

Squat

>> Muscle recruiter. Even though itís technically the gauge for lower body strength, itís actually a whole-body move because more than 200 muscles are highly at work when performing a single rep.
>> Squat first. Youíll notice that on your leg day regardless of the month, youíre squatting first in your routine when your muscles are the strongest and freshest.
>>Donít look up or down. The classic blunder is to over-extend your neck to look up to the ceiling. But you donít correct it by looking down to the bottom of the mirror because thatíll draw your balance toward your toes. Look straight ahead for optimal strength and safety.
>> Go deep. Donít short-change your results by doing shallow squats. Get your thighs to at least parallel (90-degree knee bend) to ensure your thighs and glutes are fully stimulated.

Front Squat

>> More quad emphasis. This move is harder to master than regular squats, so why bother doing it? It really targets the quads more effectively than back squats, which is better at dividing up the workload among the quads, glutes and hams.
>> Keep your elbows up. With the weight resting upon your front delts, you need your hands to help secure the bar and keep it in place. The bar may have a tendency to roll forward if you donít keep your elbows high.
>> Just squat. While your center of gravity has shifted slightly forward during this squat variation, the basic movement remains the same: Bend at the knees and hips, descend to a thighs-parallel position and explosively blow up out of the hole.
>> Keep your back arched. As with squats, you want to ensure that your back remains flat throughout and doesnít round, so consciously hold a slight arch in it throughout the move.
Overhead Press

>> Overall builder. Overhead presses hit all three delt heads, with emphasis on the front and middle ones. It also places a great deal of emphasis upon your triceps.
>> Go behind your head: If you donít have pre-existing shoulder or neck issues, nothing should prevent you from occasionally taking the bar behind the head. Doing so helps recruit even more of the middle and rear heads.
>> Do it seated or standing. Both are good options; youíll get slightly more momentum with the standing version so that you can go a bit heavier typically. Just make sure your lower back is protected at all times.
>> Grasp the bar out wide. Grasp the bar well outside of shoulder width with a palms-forward grip. When the bar is in the down position, your forearms should be roughly perpendicular to the floor.


The Barbell Workout Ė Chest, Triceps

Month 1
Month 2
Exercise Sets Reps Sets Reps*
Chest
Bench Press
3 6-8 4 10-15
Incline Bench Press
3 6-8 4 10-15
Decline Bench Press
3 6-8 4 10-15
Incline Dumbbell Flye
3 6-8 4 10-15
Triceps
Skullcrusher 3 6-8 4 10-15
Seated Overhead EZ Extension
3 6-8 4 10-15
Reverse-Grip Pressdown
3 6-8 4 10-15
Triceps 3 To failure
4 To failure
*Use one of the intensity-boosting techniques for last two sets of all moves.


Bench Press

>> Donít press straight up. For maximal chest-fiber recruitment, use the arc technique: The bar starts at your lower chest and you press it to armsí length directly above your shoulders and over your face.
>> Dig with your shoulders: As you lower the weight before pressing back upward, dig your shoulders into the bench and keep your butt down. This will stabilize the shoulder capsule and help you keep the bar moving.
>> Donít forget leg power: You can actually transfer force to your upper body by driving through the floor with your feet on each rep.
>> Quick reversal. When the bar just touches your chest, press back up explosively without bouncing it off your chest, driving the weight away from you until you almost lock it out.
Decline Bench Press

>> Use your back: You may not realize that your lats are highly involved during the decline bench press, which is a major reason youíre so much stronger on this move than inclines or flat-bench presses.
>> Beware the range of motion: Get comfortable with the shortened range of motion doing declines. This is another reason youíre stronger here.
>> Go low. Avoid the tendency to try and lower the bar to the middle of your chest, but rather lower the bar to the top of your abs/lower pec region. You get better leverage from this position to lift directly against gravity.
>> Get help. This is probably one of the hardest moves to unrack/rack the barbell, especially if the rack is just out of armsí reach. A spotter can also assist you with your forced reps during month two.
Skullcrusher

>> Big arm builder. The skull puts a great deal of emphasis on both the lateral and long heads of the triceps; the two most visible muscles on the back of the arm.
>> Bend at the elbows: Think of your arms as hinges, bending only at the elbows, to better isolate just the triceps.
>> Slow down the negative: Controlling the weight is always a good idea but especially when youíre lowering the weight to a point above your forehead. You can actually shoot for a point just above your head, even allowing the bar to tap the bench, which works the long head to an even greater degree.
>> Try the EZ-bar. A semi-close grip on the barbell might still cause some wrist discomfort, so consider an EZ-bar as an alternative.
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