So my last few blogs have been about getting women involved in the gym and into that big scary free weights area, and yes guys you may have been feeling a little bit neglected, so to make up for this, I’m going to give the guys something to work on over the next few weeks.
We’re going to be keep in the 10 rep range and going for 3 sets of each exercise. Think about correct from and not trying to out ego one another with how heavy you can lift. Aim for about 70% of your 1 Rep Max and keep the speed down, 2 seconds up and 3 seconds down is great (I want you to concentrate on the negative portion of each rep, and keep that weight fully under control – that’s means don’t drop the weight lads!)
Do this workout as part of a 3 or 5 day split or choose a few exercises to combine within a full body workout.
Deadlifts – the King of the gym. If you do not have this exercise in your routine then you are definitely missing a trick.

Barbell_Deadlift

  1. Approach the bar so that it is centered over your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder-width allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an alternating grip.
  2. With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head. Keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  3. After the bar passes the knees aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  4. Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.
Bent Over Barbell Rows

Bent_Over_Barbell_Row

  1. Holding a barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing down), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  2. Now, while keeping the torso stationary, breathe out and lift the barbell to you. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause.
  3. Then inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Caution: This exercise is not recommended for people with back problems. A Low Pulley Row is a better choice for people with back issues.
Also, just like with the bent knee dead-lift, if you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause back injury.
Be cautious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more.
Variations: You can perform the same exercise using a supinated (palms facing you) grip.
Pull-Ups

Pullup

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  3. Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip:Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  4. After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  5. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Variations:
  • If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, use a chin assist machine if available. These machines use weight to help you push your bodyweight.
  • Otherwise, a spotter holding your legs can help.
  • On the other hand, more advanced lifters can add weight to the exercise by using a weight belt that allows the addition of weighted plates.
  • The behind the neck variation is not recommended as it can be hard on the rotator cuff due to the hyperextension created by bringing the bar behind the neck.
Lat Pulldowns

Wide-Grip_Lat_Pulldown

  1. Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.
  2. Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.
  3. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  4. As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip:Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.
  5. After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  6. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Variations: The behind the neck variation is not recommended as it can be hard on the rotator cuff due to the hyperextension created by bringing the bar behind the neck
Chin-Ups

Close_Grip_Pullup_Chinup_M_WorkoutLabs

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing your torso and a grip closer than the shoulder width.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position. Tip: Keeping the torso as straight as possible maximizes biceps stimulation while minimizing back involvement.
  3. As you breathe out, pull your torso up until your head is around the level of the pull-up bar. Concentrate on using the biceps muscles in order to perform the movement. Keep the elbows close to your body. Tip: The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  4. After a second of squeezing the biceps in the contracted position, slowly lower your torso back to the starting position; when your arms are fully extended. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  5. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Variations:
  • If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, use a pull-up assist machine if available. These machines use weight to help you push your bodyweight.
  • Otherwise, a spotter holding your legs can help.
  • On the other hand, more advanced lifters can add weight to the exercise by using a weight belt that allows the addition of weighted plates.
T-Bar Rows

Bent_Over_Two-Arm_Long_Bar_Row_M_WorkoutLabs

  1. Position a bar into a landmine or in a corner to keep it from moving. Load an appropriate weight onto your end.
  2. Stand over the bar, and position a Double D row handle around the bar next to the collar. Using your hips and legs, rise to a standing position.
  3. Assume a wide stance with your hips back and your chest up. Your arms should be extended. This will be your starting position.
  4. Pull the weight to your upper abdomen by retracting the shoulder blades and flexing the elbows. Do not jerk the weight or cheat during the movement.
  5. After a brief pause, return to the starting position.
Seated Cable Rows

Seated_Low_Cable_Row

  1. For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  2. Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  3. With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  4. Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Caution: Avoid swinging your torso back and forth as you can cause lower back injury by doing so.
Variations:
You can use a straight bar instead of a V-Bar and perform with a pronated grip (palms facing down-forward) or a supinated grip (palms facing up-reverse grip).
Hyper Extensions

f882909dee0eda79ed5d1dc89eefd083

  1. Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking your ankles securely under the footpads.
  2. Adjust the upper pad if possible so your upper thighs lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the waist without any restriction.
  3. With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you (my preference) or behind your head. This will be your starting position. Tip: You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
  4. Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Inhale as you perform this movement. Keep moving forward until you feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings and you can no longer keep going without a rounding of the back. Tip: Never round the back as you perform this exercise. Also, some people can go farther than others. The key thing is that you go as far as your body allows you to without rounding the back.
  5. Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you inhale. Tip:Avoid the temptation to arch your back past a straight line. Also, do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variations: This exercise can also be performed without a hyperextension bench, but in this case you will need a spotter. Also, a similar exercise to this one is the good morning and the stiff-legged deadlift.
If you like this article, please like my facebook page, Tom Nash Personal Training to stay up to date with my latest posts.
You can also follow me on Instagram @tomnashpt or on twitter @ThomasENash for updates and training ideas.
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