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How To train: Blitzkrieg Triple Press

If Reading is not your Thing I have made you a video showing off the same Idea

The Blitzkrieg triple press is fun variation to your dumbbell bench press that uses some simple muscle fiber location science! This is a great finisher exercise for any chest day as it will tear up all three major muscles of the chest (pectoral major, minor and medial) as well as your shoulders and triceps!

How To do the blitzkrieg Triple Press

1, First perform high incline dumbbell press until you reach muscular failure.

incline

2, Then move the bench to a lower incline and continue to perform reps until failure.

low dec

3, Finally, drop the bench to a flat position and get in as many reps as you can!

flat

How the Blitzkrieg Triple Press Works

Because of the fact most people learn flat bench far before they ever learn any incline and the fact on nearly everybody a majority of muscle fibers are located in the mid and lower chest. So you start on the incline and go to failure to break down a majority of the upper pectoral and shoulders, then we move down to a lower incline to move the focus slightly off the upper pectoral onto the pectoral medial and adding more stress to the triceps allowing you to do more reps. then once you achieve muscular failure you move to the flat bench which moves the stress onto a combination of all of your chest muscles, triceps, and triceps which will again allow you to get some more reps out tearing apart the entirety of the chest!

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How To Train: Drag Curls

If you would rather watch than read check out the video here:

The drag curl is an amazing exercise to improve the size of your biceps yet it is rare to see in the gym mostly because it doesn’t allow for a lot of weight to be lifted and some egos just can’t deal with that.

too-much-weight

The drag curl emphasizes the brachialis (outside of the bicep) and the long head of the biceps. The number one rule is this: squeeze extra hard at the top.

BicepAnatomy

How to do a Drag Curl

1, Start with the bar in contact with your upper thigh. Keep your shoulders, hips and knees on the same line.

straight body

2, As you curl the weight up, bring your elbows back slightly. The bar is kept in contact with the body at all times, hence the name. You literally drag the bar up your torso.

elbows

3, The range of motion for this exercise is shorter than a regular curl, especially if you have big arms. Compensate by squeezing extra hard in the peak contraction position.

hold

4, Lower the bar the same way, by keeping it in contact with the body. Both a regular and reverse grip can be used effectively.

For this exercise to work you should also use a controlled tempo. You will also need lower weights

Good Luck Beasts and Beauties I hope you enjoy!

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How To Bench Press For Strength and Size

How To Bench Press for Size or Strength

Now we at The BeastPack know this kind of article has been done a bunch of times but we want to touch on some aspects of how to train for strength vs size.

If you dont want to read This Article Check out the video here!:

Warm Up

The warm up is the most important part of any exercise especially for people who wish to train long term. Many long term lifters consider injury a near impossible thing to avoid but it is firmly believed in the fitness community that with proper stretching, warm up, cool down, and extras like foam rolling it is 100% possible to go your entire lifting life without injury.

Anyways now let’s go over how to properly warm up for the bench press, there are a multitude of ways and im going to go over a few and let you try them out and find what works for you.

My personal favourite kind of warm up for chest day is to begin with foam rolling of my chest (side to side), shoulders, triceps, and lats. Then for bench I warm up with a light weight (I personally prefer the bar). A technique I learned from a powerlifting Coach was to start very slow for 2 – 3 reps and then move the bar explosively, slow down and explode up as fast as possible do this for about 8 – 10 reps. then to go to half of your working weight and perform reps exactly like how you plan to in your working sets. If you are training for strength develop your queues and how the weight feels. If you are training for size try to feel the stretch at the bottom of the movement and the squeeze at the top of the movement.

Training For Strength

Training for strength is the main way bench press is taught. The main focus before you even touch the weight are the 5 points of contact (The head, shoulder blades, butt, and both feet. Next what you will do is unrack the weight bring it above your chest. Bring the bar down to just below your chest, do not flare out your elbows keep them bent 45 degrees.

*insert bench with 45 degree elbows here*

This form allows you to engage your triceps and shoulders to help add more power into the movement.

The next step you will want to take is leg drive. you can ask any power lifter leg drive is essential to huge lifts. Leg drive is the art of driving your heels into the ground and use that momentum to press the weight up explosively. This can be done through practise and muscle memory. If you want to focus on the muscle groups without momentum it is essential to keep your feet planted on the ground to keep balance and control.

Now that we have all this the last portion is the tempo of the movement. For the decline of the motion there are 2 main kinds of powerlifters. 1 that bring it down very slow and controlled till it just touches the chest and then press. While the other brings it down very fast and catching the weight near the bottom. Both are good methods if the weight touches the chest slowly and ready to lift, if it hits the chest too hard it may flatten the back and ruin the form for the press. I prefer  bringing it down slow because it allows me to keep my form tight and stop the bar right where I need it but powerlifters that prefer the other method often say bringing it down slow uses too much energy so this is for you to try both and decide.

Now that you have the bar down you quickly use your leg drive and arms and press the weight up maintaining the 5 points of contact we discussed earlier to complete the repetition.

Strength training is usually done in lower reps with higher weight to stress the muscle and get it used to these kinds of sittuations which it will experience in training. And the most common and successful program is gradual overload meaning that over time you slowly add more and more weight each workout or every other workout.

Training For Size

Training for size is often taught as the incorrect way to bench press because it moves the elbows farther from the torso of the body making it a more risky movement which shouldn’t be taught to beginners  until they have more ROM and strength in their shoulders. The reason I say this movement is more for size compared the other bench press is that the angle of the elbows moves a majority of the load off the shoulders and triceps and directly onto the chest.

The main differences between training for strength and size is the elbow position, leg drive, ROM (Range Of Motion), and tempo.

First of all we will start will elbow position. The elbows are moved out (often called flaired elbows) to 90 degrees.

*insert bench with 90 degree elbows*

This form will move the weight off of your triceps and shoulders and onto your chest.

The next difference is going to be leg drive. to train for size we want little to no momentum so we completely eliminate leg drive. a lot of people who remove leg drive like to lift their legs off the ground. The reason we do not want to do this is because it eliminates balance and if you ever roll or begin to struggle on a rep you have a good chance of rolling off the bench and dropping the weight on top of yourself (which aint as fun as it sounds). So with or without leg drive keep both feet firmly planted onto the ground.

Next, we will look at the tempo of the exercise. This is much different than strength because for size we want to keep constant control of the weight to keep tension on the muscle. So our eccentric (down) and concentric (up) movements are very controlled often 2 – 5 second counts both ways. The reason for keeping tension on the muscle is that this breaks down the muscle tissue which with proper nutrition will be repaired and grow bigger.

Now an important difference from strength and size is the ROM we are going to be using. For strength it is important to touch your chest and fully extend because if you wish to compete this is mandatory form while if you don’t compete this is just personal preference you can get strong at whatever ROM you wish. For size it is widely contradicted because it can be different for everyone. How I learned and teach it is from a multitude of greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dana Linn Bailey, and most recently Kai Greene. You bring the bar down slightly above the chest (1 or 2 millimetres off) to keep tension on the chest then extend the weight up until you can give a hard squeeze (contraction) of the chest. For some this can be a full ROM for some this can be a very short range of motion (which is why you will see some bodybuilders doing short quick reps).

Conclusion

No matter why you train, train for your goals and train hard. Also if you see someone benching different then you don’t judge as long as they are safe let everyone train how they wish. Some people use full ROM some people don’t. some people like high weight some people like high reps remember theuir success or failure effects you in no way!

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Corey Gregory’s Squat Every Day

Today I will be discussing Squat Every Day made by Corey Gregory. This is specifically Corey Gregory’s because since he has the most complete idea of what he is talking about while others are either not defined enough or are simply stealing Corey’s method and just changing the basic programing order. Since I have never tried this program I am solely writing based on what the program is and in no way claiming it is either good or bad (I will include the opinions of others)

What is Squat Every Day

The Squat Every Day program is exactly what it sounds like it is a program which you squat EVERY SINGLE DAY (I know I didn’t see that coming!).  By Corey Gregory’s words this is a program that will “add strength, muscle mass, and will challenge you in every way”.

Squat Split

The split is based around squatting so it begins with squat for about 20 – 30 minutes and then do your regular programing after that. The key was to bring a high intensity exercise right off the bat to really shock the body. so here is the split

Monday: Squat and Chest

Tuesday: Squat and Pull

Wednesday: Squat and Shoulders

Thursday: Squat and Arms

Friday: Squat and Chest and Back

Saturday: Squat

Sunday: Squat

Some controversy given to the program is that it may take too long and you will be in the gym for 3 – 4 hours but squatting daily should take you about 30 minutes. The rest of the workout should take you 30-45 minutes. So, you’re looking at 60-75 minutes in the gym on a daily basis, which is probably similar to what you spend there now.

How The Program Works

The program isn’t just about doing squats every day the point is to move some seriously heavy weight, in fact Corey wants you to be hitting a 1 rep max every single day (1 – 3 rep max). the entire point is to work up to a heavy max much like the Bulgarian method (my article on the Bulgarian method here: http://thebeastpack.org/bulgarian-method/ ) so if you didn’t read my Bulgarian method article there is a way to work up to your 1 rep max

Find your 1 rep max for your squat at the beginning of the program (or you can simply guess it). we can work up to it at like this. (taken directly from Corey’s article so not to misinterpret)

EXAMPLE SQUAT PROGRESSION

Bar: 10 reps

95 pounds: 10 reps

135 pounds: 5 reps

185 pounds: 5reps

225 pounds: 3 reps

275 pounds: 3 reps

315 pounds: 1-3 reps

365 pounds: 1-3 reps (if you can)

Continue to increase weight and take singles. Work up to a one-rep max.

Recommended Equipment

Weight Lifting Shoes

weightlifting shoes

Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel and a hard sole. A raised heel can be helpful because most people lack the ankle mobility to squat deep without their heels coming off the ground. Hard soles are even more important, though, because it’s almost impossible to squat well if your feet are squishing into a soft surface

Flat Soled Shoes

flat soled shoes

One of the variations you’ll do in the program is a powerlifting-style squat. To do this type of squat well, perform them in shoes that have hard, flat soles. You don’t necessarily need to go buy shoes with a flat sole, but make sure you’re not squatting in shoes that have thick, high, or soft soles. The closer your feet are to solid ground, the better. Flat soled shoes also will help with ankle mobility in the fact that it will make these shoes won’t support you at all be careful if you are wearing these to not let your ankle rise.

Weight Lifting Belt

weightlifting belt

A weight belt is one of the most important things in your gym bag, especially if you want to be the proud owner of a big-ass squat. I suggest getting a thick, leather belt that will hold up for a lot of uses. They are great for squats and deadlifts because they both protect your lower back and make it easier for your core to support the weight. Try not to use the belt for every lift so that you can strengthen your core and lower back.

Knee Wraps and Knee Sleeves

knee wraps and sleeves

Knee sleeves are designed to help protect the knee joints. They also have the benefit of keeping your knees warm and giving you a bit of bounce out of the hole.

Over Training

Many people think that squatting every day will cause them to be overtraining but overtraining is a chronic condition that’s the result of exercising far beyond your recovery capacity for a long period of time. Which by achieving 1 heavy squat idea will in no way peak you to the point you cant recover unless you are not eating or sleeping properly.

Variations

  • Close Stance Deep Squat
  • Close Stance Deep Squat with Belt
  • Close Stance Deep Squat with Pause
  • Close Stance Deep Squat with Pause and Belt
  • Front Squat
  • Front Squat with Pause
  • Front Squat with Belt
  • Front To Back Squat with Belt
  • Wide Stance Squat
  • Close Stance Deep Squat with Belt and Knee Wraps
  • Back or Front Squat with Belt and Long Pause

Now Go and Explore and Learn, Grow and SQUAT!!!

Get the program and read all about it here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cory-gregory-squat-every-day.html

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Stronglift’s 5×5

Stronglifts 5×5 uses five free weight compound exercises: the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press and Barbell Row. You do three of these exercises each workout, three times a week, for about 45 minutes per workout. You Squat every workout, three times a week.

Unlike most bodybuilding routines, your goal on StrongLifts 5×5 isn’t to reach failure, get “pumped” or be sore. Your goal is to add weight. Here’s how: start light, focus on proper form and add 2.5kg/5lb each workout for as long as you can.

You train three times a week, alternating workout A and B, and resting at least one day between two workouts. You never train two days in a row because your body needs days off to get stronger. Most guys train Monday, Wednesday, Friday. But you can lift Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. As long as you train three times a week, and take at least one day off between two workouts for your body to recover, you’ll get stronger.

  • Workout A: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row
  • Workout B: Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift, (deadlift is the only movement that is 1×5 not 5×5)
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A Recovery Week For Muscle Building

What Is It?

Heavy weight training starts the muscle building process, and normally you should not miss any scheduled training days to have max results. However, every few months it is said you should have a scheduled week every few months. The point of this is to give your body a rest obviously. For months you push your body to its limits to further grow the muscle. Exercise is much like taking any kind of drug as you exercise your body gets used to this intensity and it becomes less and less effective so you have to always increase the intensity but of course like drugs there is an overdose limit where if you train any harder you will not be making significant muscle growth while if you don’t exercise that hard you also don’t make muscular gains this is where most people plateau. When you take the 1 week of rest per every few months you don’t completely reset the need for more intensity. The muscles are not the only part strained by heavy weight training so is the CNS (Central Nervous System) and this rest allow for your CNS to reset and prepare your body for another few months of going hard.

Is This Necessary

In no way are off week necessary for your casual lifter. Your guy or girl who goes to the gym a few times a week to get fit, to look good and just to enjoy the gym does not need off weeks. They simply do not train as intense as a serious/ hard core lifter and don’t need this.

The Mental Aspect

To me not training for 3 days drives me crazy, all I want to do is train and when I get back I have a completely refreshed motivation to train because iv forced myself not to do it for the entire week. Normally id think that if I left the gym for even a few days id start to shrink but now as I research I learn that there is an importance to taking a week off every few months and I think this knowledge will ease the thought of shrinkage the wont happen.

Simplified Summary

Recovery weeks every few months help with …

  • Reset CNS (Central Nervous System)
  • Allow the body to rest and prepare for next few weeks of training
  • Increase strength gains
  • Helps avoid plateau