What is your primary physique goal? You have the power to transform yourself, so what do you want to accomplish? Building lean muscle mass (not just bulk that’s mostly fat and water) is always a key objective. Of course, we want to have nice shape and aesthetics. But we still want to be big and thick, bursting with so much muscle that no one would even have to ask if you lift. One glance, and it’s obvious. Yet few of us are satisfied with the size we are, or the rate we are growing. One reason many fail to reach their goals is overemphasis on machines and isolation movements. The basics that were transforming skinny kids into rugged muscle men as long ago as the 1930s are just as effective in 2023. It’s just a matter of doing those old-school basics and doing them right. Here are eight exercises guaranteed to pack more beef on to your frame, along with tips on how to get the most out of each.
It was dubbed “The King of Upper Body Exercises” more than a half-century ago, and it’s hard to argue against that title. We think of the bench press as being primarily a chest movement, but in reality, this compound motion hits the anterior deltoids and the triceps as well. Chest development among physique athletes was superior in general in decades past relative to today, and many have surmised that the old-school devotion to the bench press as the primary exercise in chest workouts is the reason. Many modern-day trainers avoid the flat barbell bench press in favor of dumbbells and machines, ostensibly because many consider the bench press to be a “dangerous” exercise. They could be making a grave error, and not allowing their pectoral development to reach its full potential.
Do them this way: There is a huge difference in how to perform bench presses to develop power versus to stimulate growth in the pectoral muscle. First off is the rep range. Working primarily with sets of 1-5 will increase strength rapidly. The problem is, the pecs aren’t under tension long enough to damage the muscle fibers sufficiently to cause a growth response. Try sets of 8-12 instead. Next is learning to work the muscle rather than move the weight. Set yourself up like so: roll the shoulders down toward your hips while pinching your shoulder blades together. Put a slight arch in your lower back and “pop” your chest up. Use a grip just wider than your shoulders, and keep your elbows tucked down. Now you’re ready to press with pure chest power. Try to contract the pecs forcefully at the top of each rep. If you feel your triceps more than your pecs at that point, stop your reps a couple of inches short of lockout and focus on squeezing the pecs. Always control the negative, feeling your pecs elongate as they stretch. Never, ever bounce the bar off your chest!
The squat has built more outstanding legs than any other exercise, and by a vast margin. It’s the absolute most basic leg movement you could imagine: put a barbell across your upper back and shoulders, do a deep knee bend, and stand up. Every man known for his spectacular wheels paid his dues with thousands of sets at the squat rack. Even with the excellent array of equipment available, including all manner of leg presses, hack squats, and even squat machines, nothing will ever replace the good old-fashioned squat.
Do them this way: If you want to squat a lot of weight, squat like a powerlifter, with the bar lower down on your back. That puts the glutes and the lower back in the best mechanical position to move maximum resistance. If you’re more interested in building huge thighs, do “high bar” squats like a bodybuilder, with the bar right across your upper traps. You will also want to keep your torso as upright as possible, though there should be a very slight forward lean. This will put the stress right on your quads, where you want it. As far as foot position, you will have to play around to find the one that allows you to get to parallel, or even better, below parallel, with no knee pain. Taller guys tend to need to set their feet farther apart, while men of average height or below can often have a shoulder-width stance. The toes should be angled just slightly outward. Do not lock out the knees at the top, and never drop fast and bounce out of the bottom position. Lower the weight under control, then drive right back up. Reps should be in the 10-15 range, though you can do heavier sets of 8-10 as well as lighter sets of 15-20 to attack different types of muscle fibers.
“I lift things up and put them down.” That was the famous line spoken several times in the infamous Planet Fitness commercial that became a worldwide catchphrase. Yet it also perfectly describes the deadlift. If there is anything close to a full-body exercise, it’s the deadlift. In the course of pulling a heavy bar from the floor, you will work your entire back, from traps to lats and spinal erectors, along with your rear delts, biceps, forearms, quads, hams, glutes, and even calves! Talk about bang for your buck. Of course, most lifters do deadlifts for their back. Deadlifts give the entire back a look of thick, rugged power.
Do them this way: You’re never going to be able to squeeze and isolate the lats during deadlifts, so don’t worry about that. Many have found that going higher on the reps does a much better job of stimulating overall back growth. Take an overhand grip on the bar. Squat down low to start the lift, and drive from your heels while pulling with your back and arms. Never allow your lower back to round.
Barbell rows have long been a staple for back thickness. Bent at the waist, you pull a barbell into your abdominal area with a pronounced contraction of the lats. Machines and cables are nice variations, but nothing will ever beat the sheer effectiveness of the barbell row.
Do them this way: The most important form tip is to bend at the waist, with your torso at about 45 degrees to the floor. If you are able to get it closer to parallel, go for it. Most find that position drastically limits the weight they are able to use. That being said, too many guys stand too close to upright, and turn what should be a row into a bastardized shrug. Going too heavy is the reason why form goes to shit in nearly every case. They will jerk the barbell up and bounce it off their body, with the lats hardly being under any tension at all. Use a weight you can feel in your lats, otherwise you’re wasting your time.
In the era before every gym had a dozen or more different machines to work your chest, lifters built mighty pecs with bench presses, dumbbell flyes, and dips. The humble dip is so simple that you could do it between two chairs if you didn’t have a set of dip bars available. Like the bench press, it thoroughly hits the pecs, front delts, and triceps. It’s also versatile. Lean forward, you get more chest involvement. Maintain a straighter torso, and the triceps take more of the load. It’s safe to say that any man who can do a good set of 10 reps with 90 or more pounds strapped around his waist is going to have impressive pecs, shoulders, and triceps. They also make an excellent finishing movement with nothing more than bodyweight.
Do them this way: If you are doing dips for chest, consider them as being akin to a decline press, as the angle is nearly identical. The neutral (hands facing each other) hand position puts you in a powerful position for pressing. Dips for the chest should have you lowering into a full stretch of the pecs, though you should always take care not to descend any lower than what your shoulders are safely capable of. Stop reps just shy of lockout, squeezing the pecs at the top of each rep. When doing dips for the triceps, you can lower to just above parallel, but do push out to fully locked elbows and fully contracted triceps. Flare the elbows away from the body for chest and keep them tucked in tighter for triceps.
You could theoretically build a great back by doing nothing more than deadlifts, barbell rows, and chin-ups. Chin-ups are another incredibly basic movement. Reach up and grab onto a bar, then pull yourself up! Most lifters opt for lat pulldowns instead, and I’m not saying those aren’t worth doing too. But pulling your own bodyweight upward, and especially if you become strong enough to do so with additional weight strapped on, will give you a wide, meaty upper back. People avoid chins because they are hard to do, the same reason many pass on squats and deadlifts. Yet the hardest, most uncomfortable exercises are usually also the most productive.
Do them this way: Chin-ups are going to be something you want to do first in your back workout, otherwise they will be a real struggle. You can use several different grips for chins. Because the standard wide overhand grip is the toughest, always do those first for a couple of sets before you move on to underhand or neutral grip chins. Or you could do all your chin-ups with the overhand grip, then save those other hand positions for lat pulldowns later in the workout. Don’t be afraid to use wrist straps. Most importantly, pull up and try to squeeze your upper back before lowering under control. Avoid the jerky swinging motion that you see in CrossFit, as it will do nothing to build your back.
Close-grip Bench Press
When most guys think of the best exercises to build the triceps, they typically envision extension movements like skull-crushers and cable pushdowns. While those are also effective, they don’t allow for the sheer amount of weight made possible in compound movements like dips and the close-grip bench press. Many pros with enormous horseshoe triceps have credited close-grip bench presses as being responsible for the bulk of their triceps mass. Think about it. A very strong man might be able to use about 150 pounds for skull-crushers, but he would likely handle around 315 on the close-grip. In the same way that torso angle can shift the resistance on dips from pecs to triceps, bringing your grip in closer on the bench press forces the triceps to work much harder.
Do them this way: Don’t take the “close grip” part of the exercise name too literally. Going too close with your hands will result in severe wrist strain. A good rule of thumb is to space your hands one hand width closer on each side than where you have them for bench presses. As with dips, you will want to keep your arms and elbows close to your body to emphasize the triceps. Don’t worry about trying to touch the bar to your chest, either. Stop short a few inches, then drive up to full lockout. Always take your time warming up, as these can be tough on the elbow joints and triceps tendons if you get too overzealous and jump into heavy weights too soon.
Alternate Dumbbell Curl
If you could only do two biceps movements, you would be just fine if those two were barbell curls and dumbbell curls. While barbell curls have a deservedly solid reputation for building millions of big guns over many decades, dumbbell curls do offer a couple of advantages. Many lifters experience wrist pain sooner or later from curling with a straight bar and move on the cambered EZ-bar. That’s because not all of us have full rotation of the wrist that allows for complete supination, and the straight bar forces the wrists into an unnatural position. Dumbbells allow you to move in exactly the way your body wants to. They also don’t allow a stronger arm to compensate for a weaker arm, as the barbell does.
Do them this way: There are two keys to good form on alternate dumbbell curls. One, don’t swing the weights up with momentum, and two, don’t let your elbows drift up and forward, away from your torso. Do your best to keep your elbows pinned to your sides. You can either supinate your hand as you curl up or keep them supinated (palms to the sky) the whole time. Forget about going very heavy. Do that, and I guarantee you won’t get the most out of these. Use a weight that really lets you squeeze your biceps hard at the end of each rep.
The post 8 Best Lifts for Lean Muscle Mass appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Ron Harris
Title: 8 Best Lifts for Lean Muscle Mass
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/8-best-lifts-for-lean-muscle-mass/
Published Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2023 14:36:17 +0000
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Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.
TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.
It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.
TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.
Never Rest On Your Laurels
Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).
In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.
This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.
TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.
Embracing The Journey
To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.
The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.
So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.
The post Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/nutrition/tips/failures-in-business-the-unseen-stepping-stones-to-success/
Published Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2023 18:53:06 +0000
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Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
By Marc Lobliner
‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’
I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.
Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.
It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.
You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.
On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.
First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.
You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.
We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.
After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.
14-0 in two offensive plays.s
Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.
We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.
Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.
It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.
We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.
Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.
The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.
This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.
THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO MANAGE!
Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:
Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.
Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.
Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.
Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.
Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at Tigerfitness.com where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!
Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.
Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.
Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.
Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.
Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.
How about parenting?
Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.
As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”
And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”
Be positive and be a winner!
The post Negativity Is a Losing Mindset appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/lifestyle/negativity-is-a-losing-mindset/
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 19:37:20 +0000
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PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE
The post PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/fitness-products/panatta-super-rowing-machine/
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 18:57:30 +0000
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