In this “powerbuilding” article, we’re looking at hamstrings — a muscle group bodybuilders and strength athletes alike struggle to develop. If you’re naturally lower-body dominant, you don’t need to spend tons of time on ’em. But if you’ve got piglets instead of hammies, I don’t need to convince you to read on.
elitefts coach and 2019 Stronger Sports Training Success Summit speaker Julia Anto has seen far too many social media lifts with poor form — enough to start up a video series to correct lifters’ form. In the first video of the series, she fixes the sumo deadlift.
1. Incline Bench Press 2. Banded Dumbbell Flat Bench 3. Dips with Chains and Machine Flyes 4. Shoulder Press and High Lateral Plate Raises 5. Machine Laterals 6. Rear Delt Swings and Close Grip Bench — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this chest, shoulders, and triceps workout.
1. MAG Scapula Retraction Pulldowns 2. Max Tension Hammer Strength Rows 3. Decline Banded Pullover 4. Away Facing Pulldowns 5. Isolation Curls 6. Incline Dumbbell Curls — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this back and biceps workout.
This is a great exercise to use before the leg training session begins to activate the posterior chain and wake up dormant muscles. Feedback from numerous clients, including NFL athletes, tells us that squatting and running feel much better following this specialized movement.
In my second Specialty Bar Car Show, I’m going to teach you everything I know about the Tsunami Bar, Bandbell Bar, and — one of my all-time favorites — Safety Squat Bars. If I haven’t sold you on any of these bars, remember this…
Sprinting with a weighted sled has become my go-to exercise for improving an athlete’s ability to accelerate because it teaches and trains those mechanics. My athletes have consistently improved thanks to to sled sprints!
1. Unilateral Leg Curls 2. Cambered Bar Squats with Chains 3. Blood-flow Restriction Leg Extensions and Goblet Squats 4. Cable Pull-Through — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this leg workout so you can enjoy the same pump.
These are the deadlifting tips that have helped my deadlift the most. If they helped me and my athletes, they’ll help you too.
There is a lot of information about the science behind heel elevation during a squat. For the sake of keeping this article at a digestible length and in a language that’s easy for just about every reader to understand, let’s highlight a few of the key benefits of incorporating squat wedges into your training.
If you think you’re getting a solid upper back that’ll improve your bench press, deadlifts, and squats by using hard, forceful rowing exercises and lat pulldowns, think again. When you realize that, you’ve figured out that you need to change the way you train. Not sure what you should do? Let me explain.
I get a lot of questions about bars from people. As someone who loves car shows and learning more about cars, I decided to teach people about specialty bars in a similar type of format. I call it: the bar show. (Get it? Bar show? Car show? OK, fine, I’ll see myself out for that pun.)
Enough of the excuses. I’m sick of hearing them. You have the energy to roll on the floor for 45 minutes before you train, take 34 selfies, and tag the gang before you leave the gym, but you can’t spend an extra 30 minutes on your back?
In an effort to accomplish the goals of both athlete preparedness and strength, power, and speed development, the Belt Squat Overcoming Isometric can be utilized effectively and specifically to an athlete’s sport.
This month’s featured program should help build confidence by benching with low rep sets with lower percentage weights and practicing higher percentage singles. Feel free to toss in some assistance work while you’re at it, too.
Are you always on the go? Not sure when you’re going to get your next box squat in? We have the perfect solution for you, and it’s called the elitefts Squat Box. Not only is it lightweight, but it’s incredibly versatile, with three heights in one box!
If you are a bench-only lifter, an older beat-up powerlifter, or just really need to get in some lower body training in, these six exercises will cover all three of those bases. These exercises are my workaround to hammer the lower and upper body while keeping a strong bench.
Even though squatting is rare in the lower levels of strong(wo)man competitions, I believe it’s something we still need to work on as an accessory movement. Grab some of your elitefts specialty bars, and I’ll show you the ropes.
This part of my program has got your back. Literally. This time around, we’re going to focus on the back. We’re gonna send it shooting off like a rocket. Blast-off!
While having a big back doesn’t guarantee big bench PRs, the back and bench press go hand in hand. The back plays an enormous role in benching effectively — most lifters just don’t know how to use their back in the lift!
Due to a few low back tweaks, while squatting 700 pounds in my early 30s, I’ve had to completely revamp the way I train legs. This article lays out the foundation in which I continue to stimulate quad development in the absence of big pounds.
I especially like it when I see an individual doing wrist curls behind the back with a barbell. I love those moments. My reaction anymore is a smile and a little shake of the head while I move on.
For only $200, you, too, can make your own belt squat. It’s easy, efficient, and affordable. A win-win purchase.
This part of my 8×8 program will give you shoulders like boulders. We’re keeping it honest with 56 total sets, 7 exercises, and 8 sets with 30 seconds of rest.
All you need is one technique: one-motion log press. That’s it. No more, no less. Just that. One. Singular. Technique.
Dave Tate could list 99 movements to use with the elitefts SS Yoke Bar… but he’ll just show you his top 5 instead of giving an upsell. (It’s just that good of a product.)
If you want to work on getting a butt Sir Mix-a-Lot himself would approve of, try out some tempo training. It’s perfect for re-shaping your flat rear into an ass that just won’t quit.
If your bench press is rusty and you need to take it easy, try some of these lifts out. (elitefts Power Rack and dip attachments are highly recommended but not included.)
Over the past few months, some things in my back training have made a big difference — variations coaches often overlook. Considering paused reps at the chest/stomach, slow eccentrics, scap movements with a rowing motion, and handle/grip variations, back training is limitless.
Tired of using attachments that hurt your wrists? Sick of models that don’t allow you to target load-varying positions? It’s time you take notice what PRIME has to offer. In this feature, we’ll be highlighting their popular RO-T8 (“rotate”) Handles and a few of the related RO-T8 accessories.
You may start shaking, but don’t worry. It’s just something that’s getting you ready to do what you went to the gym for — to press a bigger bench.
Like all portions of the 8×8 program, this leg day is going to consist of eight sets of eight reps, with a thirty-second rest in between each set. JJ, who is helping us out in this video, followed the program for six weeks and saw great results.
As I got stronger with pulling conventional, a funny thing happened. My weak point went from being off the floor (where it was when pulling sumo) to just below the knee. I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out what exercises would get me stronger.
When Dr. John pulls his shoulder blades in while keeping his elbows out, there is a clear depression between his shoulder blades. What I want to see in a powerlifter is more like a hump.
For the Strongman athlete, kettlebells are a great accessory after your main lifts. Here are a few of my favorites for accessory work. These exercises are best done with higher reps.
John Meadows breaks down three simple but effective exercises that are alternative movements to help build bigger trap muscles: band-pulls, a face-pull variation, and banded shrugs.
We rarely ever did “agility drills” with our athletes, and the majority of their agility scores consistently improved. I’m very confident that proper box squatting and sumo pulls were a major contributor to this. Step-by-step, here’s how to program and cue them for your athletes.
Please keep in mind that if you don’t feel it, then kill it. You must feel your triceps working to make gains. If you are experiencing trouble with feeling them engage, there are a couple techniques that you can try to bring the focus back to your triceps.
In this video, Bartos demonstrates the quick-release technique, traditional isometric movements, the Ladder Deadlift, Pause Deadlift, and three different ways to use eccentrics with the support of the multi-purpose Contrast Platform.
Just as powerlifters can benefit from bodybuilding movements, so can bodybuilders benefit from powerlifting movements. Today we’re looking at the triceps – a muscle group that I really struggle with and, as a result, have spent a lot of time studying and training.
Whether you refer to them as descending sets, strip sets, the stripping method, triple drops, down the rack, or running the rack, you’re talking about drop sets. Use of these will sculpt your body and build strength.
Most agree that you can’t train one part of the pectoralis without the whole pectoralis being activated. New evidence shows that you have been fooled!
As Tate and Coan provide hands-on instruction and demonstrate proper squatting technique, the difference that their expertise makes in the athletes’ performance is clear and immediate.
Whether you’re outfitting a branded company weight room or simply designing your dream home gym, Custom-Built Benches create a training environment that’s polished, professional, and personalized.
It’s tools like this that work to boost a lifter’s confidence and make the difference between completing a lift safely versus risking an injury.
More than a popular trend, these three theories from Dr. Leonneke receive support from studies showing increases in muscular strength, hypertrophy, and testosterone levels after BFR training.
Everything can hold a purpose in the gym, even the easily avoided Smith Machine. At Lightning Fitness, I recently made room for this piece of equipment and would like to share how my bodybuilders, powerlifters, and strongman competitors are using it.
Using chains as accommodating resistance incorrectly can be detrimental to your athletes…and your street cred.
In response to some unusual elbow tenderness, I recently gravitated back to the incline dumbbell press — an exercise with tremendous benefits that I had not performed in a long time.
Use this example to pump up your chesticles and test your metaphorical testicles. Then follow the principles of the method to create your own workouts for the other muscle groups.
You can use this platform for standard deadlifting or utilize its numerous positions and setups for band, reverse band, rack pull, and stacked band training.
Muscles never work in complete isolation, especially during competition, which makes this specialized band rotation a great way to minimize risk of injury and improve performance.
You will have weak points on events, and not focusing on bringing them up will leave you in the dust. The big pressers always have monster triceps, just as they do in powerlifting, so that’s what we need to work on with these movements.
Let’s go over three shoulder pre-training movements that you are probably doing that you shouldn’t be, then let’s give you some better alternatives.
Weaknesses in rack position, leg drive, or the lower back will severely hold back your overhead press strength. Here are solutions to each of those problems.
To expand the size of your arms you need to master management of three things: pounds, pump, and programming.
If all you’re doing is strapping on a sled and walking until you can’t walk any longer, you’re giving up tremendous potential for this movement.
The sequencing and staging of your PTR is key. The exercises work synergistically, and their individual effectiveness is secondary to their combined effect.
Neck training can be done with isometric or range of motion exercises, performed self-administered, working with a partner, or with equipment. I’ve recently begun to trial a new device to take this training even further.