Poundstone Power: Eat Clean, Get Jacked

Nutrition tips from the strongest man with a six-pack Derek Poundstone

Bent-Over Barbell Row vs. Old Fashioned T-Bar Row

Both moves work the back, but which move is better at targeting the lower lats

7 Tips From a World Class Squatter

Inflate your wheels with these strategies from a man who specializes in squatting bar-bending loads

6 Tips for a Ripped Six-Pack

Stop neglecting your abs training. These six strategies will help you retool your training to get the midsection you want

4 Moves to Bring Your Biceps to New Heights

Add some elevation to your cannons with these targeted bicep exercises

Do You Get the Most out of Your Chest Workout?


With chest exercises  generally the results are quickly visible. Chest muscles begin to react to any changes in terms of movements, weights and repetitions in a short period of time. So the majority of fitness enthusiasts are eager when it comes to chest training. But what if we say that by paying a little more attention to your chest workout program, you can achieve even better results

?How to make sure your chest training is effective

Any combination of standard chest exercises will give you results that will satisfy you for a while. But if you don’t pay attention to some important aspects, as time goes by, there will be a moment when you will notice that your form isn’t complete. Here’s how to avoid that moment and get the most out of your chest workout

Don’t neglect the upper chest muscles

To achieve a solid shape of the upper body, your chest training should cover the entire chest muscle group. This can be easily done by changing the position on bench when you perform the exercises. Exercises that are performed on a tilt bench target the upper chest, and exercises performed downward on a tilt bench are targeting the lower chest. Note that it is impossible to isolate the upper and lower chest like you isolate an individual muscles. There is only one chest muscle visible, but it form depends on what exercises you perform

In any case, don’t expect to have a more visible upper chest muscle after just a few trainings on a tilt bench. In your training plan you should include exercises for both parts of the muscle and stick with them for a longer period of time. Don’t do the exercises by the same order, that way the part of the muscle that you train last will be less developed than the other one. This is because you work on it when you are already exhausted. Changing the sequence of your exercises will get you the best results and equally shaped muscle. Of course, you’ll need to take care of your body fats in order for your progress to be visible

Don’t waste the whole training on the bench press exercises

Bench press is an excellent exercise that can be perform in many different ways, with a bar and dumbbells. However, all these movements are similar and based on pushing the weights, not giving you a full chest training. If you train exclusively for power (power lifting), then bench press exercises will do the job. But if you want to build muscle mass and shape your chest muscles, then you have to include some more exercises that will activate your chest from different angles activating multiple muscle fibers, which will improve overall muscle growth. Dumbbell flyes and cable crossover are a great example of exercises for this purpose

Don’t overdo the machine exercises

One of the most common mistakes that are made with chest training is forcing the machine exercises. These exercises certainly have their advantages. If you want to get the most out of your chest training you should focus on bar exercises, exercises with dumbbells, also include pec deck and cable crossover. This way you will strenghten your stabilizer muscles which are activated only with free weight exercises. Machines also have a movement trajectory that doesn’t allow you to activate the chest muscles from multiple angles. The best option is probably to do the machine exercises at the end of your chest training. That way you can complement your training with higher weights, which is easily done with machines. If you are tired enough you can end the series without risking possible injury

Focus on doing the exercises right, not on the weights

The right way of exercising is the most important part of training, particularly when you do your chest exercises. This helps you to get the most out of the training and also reduces the risk of injury. Unfortunately, most of us tend to workout with higher weights, and thus often lose focus on doing the exercise right. Let your unrealistically high aspirations and your ego out of the gym and exercise with weights your body can bear. Concentrate on doing the exercises properly and on contracting the right part of your chest muscles. Increase the weight amount only when you succeed to accomplish the desired number of reps and sets. If you don’t have a personal trainer, ask someone to watch while you’re doing the exercises and point out if you make any mistakes. This is the only way you will get the maximum out of your chest training experience

5 EXERCISES TO BURN ABDOMINAL FAT IN 30 DAYS


We’ve all tried a lot of different exercises, but some of them didn’t quite worked as we thought they were. The most challenging part of our body that needs most of our attention is the abdominal part. It’s not easy at all to remove the fat that is gathered in your abdominal area. But we give you 9 types of exercises that will ease your job and make you burn that fat. All you need to do is follow the instructions and do regularly cardio exercises at least 3 times a week

BEGINNERS’ MOVES

Front Plank

The targets of this exercise is the transverse abdominal. It is an easy exercise that you can do any time of the day. You should start on your knees and hands and contract the belly and back muscles. Get in a position where you are on your forearms while extending the legs out behind you, and you should end up resting on the balls of your feet

Remember to keep your hips up, the back straight and your neck relaxed. Keep this position for 3 seconds and then return to the initial position. You should repeat this 10 times



Butterfly Crunch

As you already know, the target of the crunches are the so famous called “six-pack” or the rectus abdominus. Start this by positioning your body in a lying position on your back. You need to place the soles close to your body and bend the knees to the side. Put your hands behind your head and the elbows in the same line with the ears

The back should lie flat on the ground and thus contract the belly muscles, breathe in and curl your chest up a few inches off the floor toward the legs. Lower to return to the initial position. Repeat this exercise 10 times


Side to Side

While doing this exercise you are targeting your obliques. The first thing to do is lie on the floor. Then you need to bend the knees while your feet are flat on the floor. Then put your arms by the sides of your body. Remember to breathe in and contract the belly muscles while sliding the right hand toward the right foot. You need to keep your head and neck aligned, and the lower back pressed to the floor. Return to the initial position, switch sides and do 15 repetitions



INTERMEDIATE MOVES

Scissors

This is another exercise that will target your obliques. Lie on the floor and put your hands behind your head. Then tighten your abs, elevate the left knee and touch it with your right elbow. Return to the initial position and do the same with the opposite leg and elbow. Switch sides for 15 reps, in 2 sets, but don’t forget to engage the belly muscles in a smooth motion


Fingers to Toes

Put your legs straight and extended towards the ceiling. Your arms should be put by the body that is in a lying position. This exercise is to target your rectus abdominus

The back should lie flat on the ground and thus contract the belly muscles, breathe in and curl your chest up a few inches off the floor toward the legs. Lower to return to the initial position. Repeat this exercise 10 times


The Top 4 Leg-Day Machine Exercises


Free-weight exercises are important. But you can get more out of your leg session by adding machine exercises that will help you meet your physique goals

It's possible to complete a leg workout without a machine movement, but it's pretty darn hard. If you're working your leg muscles hard, you can get so tired you can hardly stand up. So as you're finishing up leg day, throw in a couple of machine exercises that put your leg muscles under additional stress without you having to worry so much about form or balance

Here are my top four leg-day machine exercises

Squat Machine

About the Move: Few machines simulate the movement of an actual free-weight squat as well as the squat machine. The squat is one of the best thigh-and-glute builders and should be a staple of every leg routine. If you have a tendency to round your back with the barbell, the squat machine can help you learn proper form. So it's a good way to learn squats, as well as a good, safe way to the end your leg day when your legs are screaming at you to stop

Why We Like It: Standard squat machines have an inherent advantage over the Smith machine because the pathway isn't strictly limited to the vertical plane; with the squat machine, you can achieve additional horizontal movement. The shoulder padding also comes in handy, spreading the contact across a larger surface area than a Smith can

The larger footplate on the squat machine gives you room to use a number of foot positions to easily shift emphasis from the quads to the glutes and hamstrings. The machine is also good for intensity-boosting techniques. For example

Paused reps at the bottom of the movement
One-and-a-halfs when you go only halfway down every other rep to get 20 peak contractions for each 10-rep set
Rest-pauses, allowing you to go quickly into and out of the start position
Eccentric/isometric machine pause squats

Hack Squat


About the Move: The hack-squat machine positions your body about halfway between a standing squat machine and a lying squat machine, supporting your body to protect your lower back. EMG analysis shows that, similar to squats, the hack machine hits your vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. But the hack does a better job of hitting the inner thigh adductor brevis and magnus.[1] It also provides a greater range of motion around the knee joint

Why We Like It: Like the squat machine, the hack squat's large footplate offers a wide range of foot positions. This allows you to shift the emphasis from inner to outer thighs, and from the quads to glutes and hamstrings—though the depth of the squat affects emphasis as well

To complement your full-range training, use 1.25 times your 1RM do half squats over just the top portion of the ROM sets. Do this for 3 sets of 6 to challenge your quads

Leg Press


About the Move: The leg-press machine is a quad machine. By creating almost a right angle between your torso and legs, the leg press decreases the ROM around your hips, diminishing hamstrings and glute activation and putting the load right on your quads. Using a lower foot placement will increase your quad workout even more

Why We Like It: Once again, the machine's large footplate allows you to reposition your feet to adjust muscle-group stimulation. One of my favorite leg-press techniques is best saved for the end of the workout. Your goal is to do 4 dropsets. Start with your 10RM, do 10 reps, then remove about 20 percent of the weight (10 percent if you're more advanced) and do another 10. Keep repeating this until only a single plate remains on each side

As with all exercises, make sure you do the leg press with the proper form

Butt Blaster



About the Move: For some lame reason, the butt-blaster machine has been pigeonholed as a "woman's exercise." But men who fall for this miss out on the opportunity to do some major glute work. Unlike the leg press, the butt-blaster machine works through a wide ROM around the hip joint while keeping your knee relatively stable. This helps to focus the movement on your glutes and upper hamstrings

Why We Like It: It's easy to overload your glutes on the butt blaster, and since you don't have to balance a load, you can push hard to failure. In fact, post-failure techniques like dropsets are super simple to implement on a butt blaster. Try alternating legs without stopping to rest between sets. It'll add intensity and make you happy leg day is almost done

3 Bench-Press Errors And How To Fix Them


Seasoned lifters know it's not "how much you bench" that matters, but just "how." If you want to watch your numbers—and your upper body—grow for years, rather than flaming out in pain and disappointment, you need to be ruthless about your technique

You're Flaring Your Elbows At The Wrong Time

Some amount of elbow flare is inevitable in a powerlifting-style bench press. The issue is when it happens. If you start the press with your elbows flared, your lift is doomed from the start. It's also a very inefficient way to move weight. If your elbows flare at the end of the lift, that's a sign that your shoulders are losing their stable position in the joint, which is just as bad

What to do instead: Both Mike and Alan are insistent that correct elbow position starts with your upper back

"We want to keep our sternum high, shoulders tucked behind us," Mike says. "This is not only going to stabilize your shoulder, but it's going to allow for proper pressing using the proper muscles: our chest, shoulders, and triceps, while keeping the bar in the perfect path"


How to nail it: Drilling that technique is part of the answer. So is doing a lot of band pull-aparts

"Start from a width the same as your bench press," Alan says. "Pull until it touches your chest. This should give you the sensation of pulling your shoulder blades together and keeping a tight upper back to support you while you bench. You can also do this with a cable machine"

Your Leg Drive Is Driving In The Wrong Direction

Mike says leg drives can be a bit "overrated," and you only need to watch a few online PR videos to see why. Plenty of lifters act like the legs are lifting the bar, when it's more like they're just pushing you into a position where your real pressing muscles can take over

If your butt is coming off the bench on max-effort reps—or any reps at all—then you're guilty here

"This is incorrect, inefficient, and if you're a powerlifter, it's a red light," Alan says

What to do instead: The goal with a leg drive is to push you onto your traps and the solid foundation of your upper back. This requires a more horizontal angle. Rather than driving your feet into the ground and keeping your butt up, drive your feet into the front of your shoe, and drive your toes into the ground as if you were doing a leg extension out in front of you

How to nail it: Mike gleaned this tip from all-time bench great Eric Spoto, and says it worked wonders for him and countless others


"Once you unrack the weight, flex your legs about 80 percent. You're forcing toes through the front of your shoe, knees out, flexing those quads," he says. "Once you're on your way up, after the bar leaves your chest, flex that extra 20 percent and drive your legs 100 percent as hard as you can to keep that stability and keep yourself driving back onto your traps"

You're Pressing In A Straight Line

Powerlifting is all about efficiency, right? So why not pick the shortest and straightest route from chest to lockout? Because, unlike the squat and deadlift, that isn't actually the way to get the most out of your "main movers" of the lift: the chest, shoulders, and upper back

What to do instead: To make the most of your strength and avoid anatomical vulnerabilities, you'll need to press with a slight arc. After the bar touches on your chest, press back over your face and toward the rack. If you've got your back locked down tight and leg drive dialed in, this should happen naturally


The workout to build bigger arms


HOW IT WORKS
The main way we know to build muscle is by lifting heavy weights, but we assume you’ve done enough of that already; and if your arms are still skinny, you need to try another method


One of these is focusing on the eccentric (lowering) portion of a rep, which causes more damage to the muscle (a necessary component of making it grow) and is associated with greater rebuilding of that muscle. Another is isometric holds—stopping at the hardest point in a rep’s range of motion. Finally, there’s volume: Lots of sets and reps have been shown to exhaust the muscles like nothing else and force them to grow. Hey, we can’t explain exactly why it works, but at least we know it doesIt doesn’t get any more old school than this, a bar above you and you pulling yourself up until you can’t pull yourself up anymore. Pull-ups are great for back, shoulders, arms and chest. You can make a giant set consisting of lat pulldowns followed by pull-ups. That’ll hit your upper body like crazy. Basically, combine pull-ups with any kind of upper body exercise for more bang for your workout buck

DIRECTIONS
Complete the workout once per week, resting at least a day before and after any other upper-body training. Perform the pairs (marked “A” and “B”) as supersets: You’ll do one set of A, then a set of B, rest, then repeat until all the prescribed sets are done. Perform exercises 3 and 4 as conventional straight sets

THE WORKOUT
Dumbbell Crush-Grip Preacher Curl



Sets: 4 Reps: 10–12 Rest: 0 sec
Sit at a preacher bench with a dumbbell in each hand. The top of the pad should come up to your armpits. Push the ends of the dumbbells together hard so you feel tension in your arms, shoulders, and chest. Curl the weights while maintaining this tension

Close-Grip Bench Press



Sets: 4 Reps: 20 Rest: 2 min
Lie on a flat bench and grasp the bar with hands shoulder-width apart. Take the bar out of the rack and lower it to your chest before pressing it back up

Incline Dumbbell Curl



Sets: 4 Reps: 5 reps/5-second hold Rest: 0 sec
Set an adjustable bench to a 45- to 60-degree incline and sit back against it with a very light dumbbell in each hand. Allow your arms to hang. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights. After each rep, lower the weights until your arms are bent 90 degrees. Hold this position for five seconds. Repeat the process for five total reps and five holds— that’s one set

Lying Triceps Extension



Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 2 min
Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and press the weights over your chest. With palms facing each other, bend your elbows and lower the weights to the sides of your face. Keep your elbows pointing toward the ceiling

Barbell Curl



Sets: 1 Reps: 100 Rest: As little as possible
Hold an empty bar with hands shoulder-width apart. Perform 10 curls, taking three seconds to lower each rep. Immediately afterward, perform 10 more reps, taking only one second to lower the bar. Alternate this pattern—slow and fast negatives—until you reach 100 reps

Band Pushdown



Sets: 1 Reps: 150 Rest: As little as possible
Attach a light band to a sturdy overhead object and grasp an end with both hands. Brace your upper arms at your sides and extend your elbows to lockout