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Thread: 1001 Muscle Building Tips

  1. #86
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    223. STANDING DUMBELL CURLS
    This exercise is virtually identical to #221 except you use two dumbells. Using dumbells gives you the option of raising them in alternate fashion (as one dumbell is rising the other is lowering). Curling with dumbells also assures that each arm is subjected to the same degree of resistance.

    224. PREACHER CURLS
    Preacher curls (also called Scott curls after bodybuilding's first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott) are another basic biceps builder. They are especially effective at working the lower biceps and filling in the gap between the upper forearms and lower biceps. Start by sitting on the stool or bench attached to the preacher board (a padded board angled at approximately 45 degrees). Raise or lower the seat so the preacher board fits snug under your armpits. Reach forward and lift the barbell off the rack (most preacher benches have an attached barbell rack) or have a training partner pass you the barbell. Curl the bar up until your forearms are parallel with the floor. Slowly lower back down until your arms are just short of locked out. Do not bounce at the bottom of the exercise. Many bodybuilders have torn their biceps tendon doing just that. Once you tear a biceps tendon you only option is surgery, and 100 percent correction is unlikely.

    225. INCLINE CURLS
    As far as the biceps are concerned, incline curls are the opposite of preacher curls. Instead of working the lower biceps to a greater degree, they target the upper biceps. As the name suggests, you perform this exercise on an incline bench. Grab two dumbells and sit down on the bench (between 45 and 60 degrees will work best). Curl the dumbells upward until your forearms are almost vertical with the floor. Slowly lower back down until your arms are just short of a lockout.

    226. THUMBLESS?
    As you try out the various biceps exercises, experiment with keeping the thumbs on the same side of the bar (or dumbell) as the fingers - this is called a thumbless grip or a false grip - or on the opposite side to the fingers. You may discover that one grip feels more comfortable than the other and may give you better biceps stimulation.

    227. STANDING CALF RAISES
    You will need access to a standing calf machine to do this exercise. Step up onto the machine's foot support and rest the pads atop the shoulders. With your legs locked, lift yourself up on your tiptoes as far as possible. Lower back down, trying to drop you heels as low as possible at the bottom. We have to warn you that out of all the muscles you will train, the calves hurt the most! A couple of sets will leave them burning with pain.

    228. CALF-INDUCED SHOULDER RASH?
    Don't be alarmed if you discover a slight rash on each shoulder the day after you do standing calf raises. In simple terms, the combination of pressure and thinness of the skin in the shoulder region causes the breakage of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. It will clear up within a day or two. Adding two sponge rubber pads under the pad may help you avoid this problem.
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  2. #87
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Ukrainian Guy,
    What's your feel on the idea of taking the thumb out of the equation when holding on to dumbbells, etc - never heard that it could lead to possibly better bicep development. I do find it easier to grip that way - but don't use it in my daily workouts.

    Speedy2

  3. #88
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    i stick that thumb u know where..lol . i grip the bar the way thats comfortable or natural. I rather play with the wide or narrow grips than where my thumb is. I personally havent noticed any significant improvement or performance in regards to thumb position... but thats just me

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  4. #89
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    229. TOE PRESSES ON LEG PRESS
    This exercise is an example of using a machine for an exercise other than the one it was designed for. Sit down in the leg press machine and place your toes on the bottom edge of the pressing platform. Instead of moving the platform by bending at the knees and using your thighs, you flex at the ankle and use your calves. As with standing calf raises, go for the maximum stretch at the top and bottom of the exercise. The primary advantage of this exercise is that you don't have hundreds of pounds placed across your shoulders as you do with the standing calf raise.

    230. EXPERIMENT WITH FOOT STANCE AND WIDTH
    As you perform toe presses, try experimenting with different stances. Try both wider and narrower than shoulder width. Try toes turned in, forward, and out. Each different angle hits a different part of the calf. When the toes are pointing out at "ten to two" the inside of the calf is worked. The outside is stressed when the toes are pointing in.

    231. CALF STRETCHING
    Calf training is as much about stretching as it is about lifting weights. Perhaps no other muscle group relies as much on extending its range of motion as the calf. As you are resting between sets, stand on a high block of wood (or the calf machine's foot block) and practice stretching your heels as far down as possible. The more flexible your calf and associated Achilles' tendon, the greater your range of motion when you perform calf raises. The end result is greater calf development.

    232. FOR ALL TO SEE
    If your calves are weak and you need incentive to train them, try a tip from seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger. Early in his career Arnold had weak calves and a lazy attitude about training them. To kick himself in the ass, he cut the lower legs off his sweat pants so his calves were always on display. Because of negative comments from others and his own dissatisfaction with how they looked, Arnold made calf training a priority.
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  5. #90

    Default Beginner to underground

    What's up Mgonzo27 here and I am hoping to establish at least one personal contact I can give e-mail information to. Got some questions I know many people here can answer but I am a very personal guy who don;t like to share too much info with people I don;t know nothing against anybody. Currently in USAF served two tours in the sand box (not fun) anyways I just got back to the states totally oblivious to a lot of shit and got some serious supplement questions.

    Need help/answers/supplements

    Much Respect,

    Mgonzo27

  6. #91
    Freak of Nature kraken's Avatar
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    I do not know if this has been said, but... Why is this not a sticky?

  7. #92
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - The Big Four (Chapter 8)



    TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR BENCH PRESS





    233. PLANT YOU FEET FIRMLY ON THE FLOOR
    Even though the bench press is primarily targeting the upper body, the legs play a major role in stabilizing. If you don't believe this, try benching with your legs up in the air. Both your coordination and strength suffer considerably. When benching try to keep your feet pressed into the floor. Try not to let them move, slip, or rise.

    234. LOCK YOUR BODY TIGHTLY TO THE BENCH
    What the floor is for your feet, the bench is for your torso - a platform for stability. When you lie on the bench, try to become part of it. Try to lock your back, glutes, and shoulders as tightly tot he bench as possible.

    235. USE A SECURE GRIP
    Perhaps unnecessary to say, but you'd be surprised the number of bodybuilders who haphazardly grab the bar when benching. As soon as you grab the bar, lock both fingers and thumb tightly around it. Never use a false (thumbless) grip when bench pressing.

    236. KEEP YOUR WRISTS LOCKED AND STRAIGHT
    To reduce the amount of stress on your wrist ligaments, keep your hands and forearms lined up while benching. Don't make the mistake of allowing your hand to flip back towards the back of the forearm.

    237. KEEP THE FOREARMS VERTICAL
    Although there are exceptions, the correect grip width on the bench press is the one that keeps your forearms vertical throughtout the full range of motion. This will allow you to generate the most power as you push upward. Any wider or narrower is wasting energy, as your body will be trying to keep your forearms from sliding inwards or outwards.

    238. PAUSE AT THE BOTTOM
    If you plan on entering powerlifting competitions you will need to practice pausing the bar at the bottom of the exercise. The pause doesn't have to be a long one - about a second - but it will be required in competition to get a pass from the judges. Another reason for pausing is that it eliminates any bouncing. Bouncing the bar off the chest is a great way to break the sternum, a rib or tear a rotator - any of which can set yor training back months if not years.
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  8. #93
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    239. PAUSE AT THE BOTTOM
    If you plan on entering powerlifting competitions you will need to practice pausing the bar at the bottom of the exercise. The pause doesn't have to be a long one - about a second - but it will be required in competition to get a pass from the judges. Another reason for pausing is that it eliminates any bouncing. Bouncing the bar off the chest is a great way to break the sternum, a rib or tear a rotator - any of which can set your training back months if not years.

    240. MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE BAR
    When benching you should be controlling the bar, not the other way around. Don't let the bar wander sideways or backwards towards the neck. This is not only dangerous but shifts more of the stress to the triceps. Find your groove and stay there.

    241. FOCUS ON LIFTING WITH THE CHEST
    Of the three primary muscles involved in bench pressing (chest, shoulders, triceps), the chest muscles are by far the most powerful. Many people place too much effort on pressing with the shoulders and arms when benching. Try to squeeze the chest on every single rep.

    242. DRIVE THE BAR UP EXPLOSIVELY
    When it comes to benching, speed is king (on the way up). For saftey and official regulations you have to lower the bar down slowly and pause at the bottom. But if you want to move some meaningful poundages on the bench press, you must force the weight back up as explosively as possible. Forget the slow and controlled approach. Give it everything you've got as you push upward.

    243. HAVE A SPOTTER
    Having a spotter behind you is like having an insurance agent - he or she is there if something goes wrong. You have enough on you mind without having to worry about what you'll do if you can't lift the weight. This worry will prevent you from testing you limits. Knowing that someone is there watching you will allow you to put all your focus on pressing the weight.

    244. CHECK THE BAR FOR WARPS
    They may be called straight bars but sometimes they're not. Like other metal objects, bars can bend with repeated usage. This is especially true if your gym has a number of powerlifters and strong bodybuilders regularly working out with 500+ pounds on the bars. Place the bar on a rack and revolve it in your hands while looking at the ends. If there appears to be any warp, replace it and grab another bar. If the warp is severe, notify management. A bent bar can flop during you lift, breaking your wrists or worse, your neck.

    245. RETRACT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES
    As soon as you lie back on the bench, pull your shoulder blades together. This not only provides a more stable surface from which to push the bar, but also expands your chest and shortens the distance you have to press the bar. The shorter the distance, the better your chances of lifting the weight.
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  9. #94
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - The Big Four

    Tips For Improving Your Deadlift

    246. STARTING POSITION
    The starting position for the deadlift is much the same as Olympic lifters use for the clean and jerk. Your shoulders, bars, and ankles should form a vetical, straight line. This set-up will generate the most power in the safest means possible, your back should be flat. throughout.

    247. STANCE
    The stance for deadlifts is similar to squats, that is, your feet are just slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

    248. GLUED TO YOUR SKINS
    When you start the deadlift try to keep the bar as tight to your shins as possible. As you start pulling up the bar can move out a wee bit, but it should be tight at the bottom of the lift.

    249. LEGS FIRST
    The first muscles to engage on the deadlift should be your legs. But don't straighten them out too early. This will limit the amount of weight you can lift and place undue stress on the lower back.

    250. DON'T JERK LIKE A JERK
    As coimmon sense should tell you, don't make a sudden yank at the begining of the excersie. This is how most poeple injure their back on this exercise. Start the lift slowly.

    251. NEVER ROUNDED
    Always keep a slight curve , or arch, in the lower back when lifting. As soon as the back rounds, the lower back muscles relax, placing tremendous stress on their ligaments.

    252. NECK ALIGNMENT
    When you deadlift, the neck has an important controlling functin. It should stay in line with the trunk throughout trhe movement. If your neck is held too far back excessive stress will be plsvrf on the nack extensors. Too far forward and that back will round out.

    253. HIP THRUST
    Once the bar reaches the mid-thigh position, concentrate on thrusting the hips forward and rolling your shoulders back while sticking your chest out as you lock the legs.

    254. JUST HOOKS
    Again, try to visualize your arms as nothing but hooks attached to the bar. They should remain straight at all times. Don't try lifting the weight with your biceps. The biceps' assistance will be minimal and you will run the risk of tearing a biceps tendon.

    255. LOWER UNDER CONTROL
    Once you lock out the bar, don't simply let it drop to the floor. Deadlifts are like every other exercise in that the lowering ois at least as important as the raising.

    256. GET A GRIP
    There are three grips you can use for deadlifting are: pronated (palms facing you), supinated (palms facing forward), and mixed (one hand pronated and the other supinated). Most competitive powerlifters use the mixed grip as they find it gives them better control. Keep in mind that a supinated hand position will place tremendous stress on the biceps and associated tendons. For long-term safety and progress we suggest you use the provated grip or the mixed girp.
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  10. #95
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - The Big Four

    TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR SQUAT


    257. EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR STANCE
    In general terms, the wider your foot stance, the more glute and inner thigh stimulation. Conversely, narrower stances tend to hit more of the center and outer thigh. When you begin squatting, try both to feel where each stance hits.

    258. RACK IT OR CAGE IT
    Unless your will for survival is sadly lacking, always perform your squats in a squat rack or powercage. No matter how well executed your technique is, sooner or later you will run into problems while squatting. The last thing you want is to crash to the floor with a few hundred pounds on your shoulders. Squat racks and powercages are designed to catch the bar before it could drive you into the floor. Put the ego aside and always use a rack.

    259. BREAK FROM THE HIPS FIRST
    The two main joints being used in the squat are the hips and knees. Try to begin the movement by breaking (bending) at the hips first and not the knees. The joint that comes into play first will be subjected to the full weight of the bar for a split second. The hips being larger and stronger can tolerate this while the knees probably can't.

    260. NOT TOO HIGH
    Try to rest the bar across your shoulder and upper traps and not your neck. It won't be long before you'll be using hundreds of pounds in this exercise. You don't want that kind of pressure resting on your neck vertebrae. Resting the bar high also forces your torso forward, which places additional stress on your lower back.

    261. HOLD YOUR BREATH
    Unlike most exercises for which you try to inhale and exhale on each rep, you should hold your breath during your squat reps. Because of the weight invovled you want as much intrathoracic pressure as possible when doing squats. Exhaling relaxes the small muscles surrounding the ribcage, thus descreasing the strength of your upper body. You want the upper body to be a strong and stable supporting platform.
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  11. #96
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - The Big Four (Chapter 8)

    262. HEAD UP
    The body generally follows the position of the head. If you are walking along and turn your head to the right, you body will follow. The same is true for squats. Always keep your head up and in good alignment with the rest of your body. If you start looking down, your body will tend to lean forward. This will change your center of gravity and place excessive stress on the lower back.
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  12. #97
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    263. INCREASE YOUR FLEXIBILITY
    If you have been giving stretching exercises the short-shift lately, now is the time to change your habits. Safe and effective squatting requires good flexibility in the hip, knee, and ankle joints. For example if you find that you come up on your toes as you squat down, you need to increase the flexibility of you Achillies' tendon.


    264. THE 2 X 4 - A TEMPORARY FIX
    While you are working on imnproving your Achilles' flexibility, you can maintain your balance by placing your heels on a 2 X 4. Keep in mind that elevating your heels will shift more of the stress to the front of your thighs, and perhaps more important, to the knee region. The sooner you can squat flat-footed the better.

    265. DON'T BOUNCE
    If you want to keep squatting for years to come, don't use your knees as elastic bands. Bouncing out of the lower position may give you a few extra reps or enable you to lift more weight, but at what cost? The supporting tissues of the knee region (ligaments, tendons, and cartilage) were not designed to be suddenly subjected to hundreds of pounds of weight. Always perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
    Last edited by UkrainianGuy; December 13th, 2008 at 06:55 PM.
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  13. #98

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    good post ; ] thanks!

  14. #99
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips - The Big Four

    266. ELBOWS UNDER HANDS
    Even though there are exceptions, most people will find holding the bar with a medium grip width will work best. This means your elbows are situated directly below your hands. If you hold too wide you'll rotate your shoulders inward and hunch forward. Too close together and you'll feel cramped.
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  15. #100
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    267. STICK YOUR BUTT OUT!
    As mentioned in tip 251 the human spine is not perfectly straight, but has a slight S-shaped to it. To reduce the stress on your lower back ligaments, try to keep the natural concave curve in your lower back. The easiest way to do this is to keep your butt stuck out as you descend into the full squat position. When you let the back round the lower back muscles relax, forcing the lower back ligaments to pick up the extra stress.
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  16. #101
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    Default .. con't

    268. TO THE FLOOR - IF YOU CAN
    Unless flexibility or injury issues dictate otherwise, squat down until your quads go below parallel with the floor. You don't need to touch your butt on the floor, but to exercise the quads through their full range of motion the angle between the upper and lower leg should be 90 degrees or less. Keep in midn that safety comes first. If you start losing your alignment before you reach the full squat position, stop the exercise at this point. Don't squat lower than your unique bone structure comfortably allows.

    269. DON'T LOCK OUT
    One of the biggest mistakes many bodybuilders make when squatting is to forcibly lock the legs out at the top of the exercise. This practice is not recommended. Not only are you giving the quads a rest after each knee joint. Terminate the rep just short of locking the legs out straight.

    270. RACKING THE BAR
    When placing the bar back on the rack, make sure it is secure on both sides of the rack before stepping out from under it. A good rule of thumb is to follow military procedure and "Visually acquire the target." Place the bar on one side of the rack and then look at the other side while you do the same. You now know that the bar is safely secure on both sides of the rack.

    271. RECRUIT A SPOTTER
    Even though a squat rack or powercage will enable you to perform squats in safety, for that extra security have a spotter standing behind you. A spotter can not only check your form, but also give you assistance if you have trouble completing a rep. Finally, you'll discover that simply knowing someone is watching you will result in a couple of extra reps! A good spotter can also verbally encourage you through a difficult set.

    272. PROPER SPOTTING
    Unlike most exercises where you or your spotter can provide assistance by lifting with your hands, the weight and positioning of the barbell on squats makes this all but impossible. The human body is not that strong when trying to push upwards from the waist to shoulder height. To safely spot on squats, you have to squat down with the person while keeping your arms loosely around the person's waist. If they get in trouble you can lock your entire arms around the torso and use your legs to help lift upwards. Don't worry about how "things" look. Safety takes precedence over appearance.

    273. THE BELT ISSUE
    Because of the weight you will be using, you may want to consider wearing a weightlifting belt while squatting. We say, "may," as it's a personal choice. There are ot hard rules. Squatting does place some stress on the lower back but not as much as the anti-squat people would have us believe. Many people squat for years and never use a weightlifting belt. Conversely others need a belt for the extra security. Our suggestion is to first try squatting without a belt. As you increase the amount of weight you are using pay close attention to any signals your lower back may be giving off. If there seems to be extra lower back stress, try wearing a belt. Tighten the belt before you set. Loosen or remove it immediately afterwards.
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  17. #102
    Iron Addict speedy's Avatar
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    Default 1001 Muscle Building Tips

    THANKS, ONCE AGAIN, UK GUY - #269 RE: locking out - glad I saw that - I am so intent on doing the exercise full blast-down deep - I noticed I can crank them out faster and feel the quad burn - when almost locking out.

    Your posting of "1001 Muscle Building Tips" - always helpful.

    Speedy2
    Last edited by speedy; June 16th, 2008 at 09:05 PM.

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