Tips and tricks I have learned from a decade + of training.

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    Jan 06, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    Flat bench - prior to benching, put your shoulder blades together and down towards your butt. (Try touching them and then touching your butt with them). This better isolates the pecs, removing more tension off of the frontal delts, etc. You can actually see what happens if you do this right now. To do this on a bench, put your shoulder blades together (try touching them together), lay down and then push your body forward in the direction of your head. You will know you are doing this right because your chest will be sticking out more. You will probably have to lower weight as this is removing a lot of assistor/secondary muscles such as front delts and making your chest do more work. This dramatically improved the size of my chest.

    Incline Press - Dont go all the way down and touch your chest. Stop approximately 2-3 inches from your chest. This keeps tension on your upper pecs and keeps your frontal delt involvement and upper lats to a minimum. You will notice you are weaker in this movement but you will get farther in progress.
    More weight does not mean bigger muscles if you have improper or sloppy form. The key to any movement is constant tension ON THE MUSCLE you are working. If you go down to your chest, the tension is minimized on your pecs and tension is lost. Rotate starting with incline bench first instead of flat bench. I start with incline first for a month, then flat for a month, etc. Upper chest is what makes the chest impressive as it gives you that tell tale line down your chest under your neck.
    Incorporate pushups after a set of flat bench for a couple more reps.

    Dont always use barbell for your exercises. Your srong side will compensate for your weaker side and you will end up looking unbalanced. I personally had a left pec noticeable smaller than my right until I utilized dumbbells.

    Dips for lower chest - make your body a "C"
    Dips for triceps - straight up and down

    Shoulders (my favorite) - When going down, stop at your ears. When you get to the top, dont just stop. Try and touch your ears with your shoulders. Flex contraction and hold for a second. Instead of stopping after a complete REP, do half reps and quarter reps until you can not lift the weight anymore. Most people stop when they THINK they cant do another when in actuality they have more to give. This is COMPLETE failure and will help you get those softball shoulders. You will feel like your shoulders are going to explode after a set.

    When doing frontal delt raises, don't keep your hand parallell to the floor. Point your thumb towards the ceiling and your pinky towards the floor. This works total frontal delt. The other movement (hand parallel to floor) works front and side delts. Your side delts are done separately anyway so why not give your frontal delt complete attention when doing them, right?Soon your delts will be busting with vascularity and something you will love to show off.

    Triceps Mass - Close grip bench press is awesome for building mass. Instead of going up and down, when you get to the top of the movement, pretend to pull the bar apart, hold it for a second and go back down. Pretend to be pushing the bar through the ceiling.

    Biceps - When you get to the top of the movement, flex and hold for a second, then lower.

    Hamstrings - My hamstrings showed dramatic growth using stiff-leg deadlifts.

    I attempted to grow big legs doing everything except squats and it isnt worth the time. You HAVE to do squats. Dont forget the adductor and abductor machines. The "girly" machines. These will do wonders for the inner thighs.

    My legs also showed good growth from especially the adductor.

    If you lay back when doing leg extensions this will work more of the upper thigh. Dont forget to also do the regular extensions.

    "Strip sets" - (do a set of 5, drop weight and do 3 or 4 more). This makes up for the lack of a partner by going past failure on your own. For example, do a set of 5 reps for shoulder presses, drop the pin 10 pounds, do a few more, drop and do another. This is also good if you have a partner that can strip weight from the bar as you do your set. The same principle applies for:....

    "Down the rack curls" - Dumbbell curls. Start with a weight, you can do for 4 or 5, drop 10 pounds, do a few more, drop ten pounds, do a few more in the SAME set. You should only do these two aforementioned techniques once per workout along with your regular workout as it is extreme tear down of your muscle fiber and if done more than once may incur overtraining.

    SHOCK, SHOCK, SHOCK. There is a lot more but I gotta go work out. This post made me crave the gym. Later
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    Jan 07, 2008 1:44 AM GMT
    Wow. This is very useful! Thanks a lot, man..
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    Jan 07, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    Here's one: "I don't require exclusive use of the apparatus."
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    Jan 10, 2008 12:05 AM GMT
    scottNV saidFlat bench - prior to benching, put your shoulder blades together and down towards your butt.

    I tried this tonight and it was really noticeable the difference it made in my form. Thanks.