Category Archives: Weight Gain
The Bench Press; Lie on your back, press a heavy weight over your heart, what is not cool about that? The bench press is a historical exercise and dates back to the 19th century. The bench press is by far the most talked about strength training exercise. It is also one of the best anterior upper body strength building exercises you can do. I do not know anyone personally who does not have this exercise in their routine, not one. I for one continue to be a huge fan, and continually challenge myself each time I perform the lift.
Aside from the “how do I tone” questions I get all the time, I would have to say the second most frequently asked question is “how much you bench”? The question gets asked, to which I answer with “not as much as I used to”. I know, cliché is it not? I think most of us have come to terms with the fact that if you don’t do bench press, you need to. There is no better ego building, shit talking exercise out there than the bench press. The ability to bench press the most weight is a constant battle between friends, enemies, frenemies, co-workers, cops, robbers, you name it and we want to bench more than it. I really have nothing negative to say about bench press. Can you get hurt, sure, but you can get hurt on most exercises if not done properly. Shoulder girdle stability is crucial to keeping your shoulders safe (scapular depression/retraction). I always run through shoulder mobility exercises, rotator cuff exercises, and make sure I am properly warmed up before I bench press(but this is the same for most lifts I do). Have fun, be safe, and go bench press.
If you have not added the bench press into your routine and feel you should(as I feel you should), here are some tips on how to perform the lift safely and properly. They also include the variations on the bench press to add continued value to your program and increased strength gains.
Even Ronald McDonald does The Bench Press
It was my birthday, the pic was kind of a joke.
Lets face it, not everyone can be genetically gifted in the arm department. I have been fortunate in that my arms tend to grow bigger, and at a faster rate than all of my other larger muscles; I truly have to thank my grandpa from my mom’s side for my bigger arms, he was a beast. However, I was a skinny punk at a point in my life and my size gains came from hard work, eating a lot, and a sprinkle of some good genetics. When I first started working out I focused a lot of energy on isolation exercises, with training that was very similar to most bodybuilding routines. It wasnt till about 2006 that I started training with mostly compound exercises with very little, if any, isolation exercises. I continue to train in a very similar manner, focusing very little attention on isolation of muscles. I wanted to list some of the best compound exercises that help to grow your arms bigger, and stronger without the time needed to do isolation.
These are listed in no particular order:
1) Dips/Weighted Dips (5-20 reps)
2) Pull Ups/Chins – Weighted Pull Ups/Weight Chins (1-20 reps)
3) Deadlifts – Great for forearm building (1-5 reps)
4) Push Ups/Weighted Push Ups (8-50 reps)
5) Bench Press/Narrow Bench Press (1-30 reps)
6) Standing Military Press/Handstand Push Ups (1-20 reps)
7) Seated Row/Bent Over Row/Inverted Rows/T-Bar Rows (8-12 reps)
8) Muscle Ups/Weighted Muscle Ups (5-10 reps)
9) Cleans/Clean and Jerks (1-3 reps)
10) Snatches/Hang Snatch (1-3 reps)
As you can tell the rep schemes on these exercises can differ greatly. It really depends on where my cycle is at if I am going to go high rep, vs. low rep. I work in all spectrum’s of the rep matrix for most lifts, with the exception of cleans, snatches, and deads. I will periodically do burn outs with bench press, typically no higher than a 30 rep set. Your body needs different stimulation’s, and I feel these exercises and rep schemes are what will do it. Enjoy.
My Humble Beginnings: Gangsta!
Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll!!
I wanted to take some time, on this day when I will be carb loading like crazy, to go over my progress thus far. I weighed myself last night at the gym at I am finally pushing past the 180lb mark, tipping the scales at 182lbs. As you know based on my post below that my goal is 190lbs, staying at around 12-14% bodyfat for now. Having just got back into lifting (and eating) after three months off I am progressing at an amazing pace. In September of this year I was weighing in at my lowest weight in years, 168lbs. I was skinny, not eating, and not lifting; it was a nice break for my body but I missed everything I enjoy about eating, lifting, and getting bigger and stronger. I have officially gained around 14lbs from September and about 10lbs from just over a month or so ago when I started hitting the gym again. How did I do it? Well, there is no secret, I eat, and I lift about 3 times a week. I went ahead and posted a pic of the meals I have been eating over the course of the last month and there is a really solid blend of good, and shit food choices. But, my goal is to gain weight so I don’t let waffles, fries, and pancakes stand in my way…grab fork, shove down pie hole.
Meal Pic Choices:
- Eggs and Bacon
- Chicken – Shredded/Chopped
- In and Out
- Homemade Pancakes/Homemade peanut butter syrup
- Homemade Waffles/Syrup/Whipped Cream
- Ground Turkey – Patties and no patty form.
- Spaghetti Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- French Fries of varying sorts
Yup, nothing about some of these choices screams clean eating and it shouldn’t…that isn’t my focus right now. My focus right now is to eat, lift, and get bigger and eating and lifting are going to get me there. If you are trying to lean out, I wouldn’t suggest French fries nor would I suggest anything above that has flower in it (pancakes, waffles, buns, bread, etc.). However, the rest is a pretty good choice in regards to eating clean (Meat, veggies, etc.). Anyways, take this day (Thanksgiving) as a time when you can’t feel bad about eating as much crap as possible…consider it your duty as an American and if you are not American, just go eat and lift, business as usual.