Hello friends. Today I will write about basic workout techniques. This will probably be a two part article split in to upper body amd lower body exercises so that I can fit the basic exercises in this article. I will use bodybuilder videos so that you can see the actual muscles that are being used. Shall we begin?
The Bench Press
This exercise builds the chest muscles otherwise known as the pectoralis major and minor or pecs for short. The bench press can be done using dumbbells, barbells and machines. I have used all three methods to build my chest. This was my favorite exercise. In my prime I bench pressed 405lbs. 3 times and my chest measured 52″. In those days I didn’t believe in doing one maximum lift…Hey, I was young, okay? This video shows a proper way to bench press. If you listen to the video it recommends doing 3 to 4 sets, I prefer 4, and the sets should be between 8-12 reps. Done on a bench press apparatus laying on your back you grab the bar at a shoulder width. You then lift the bar off the rests and lower the weight to between your nipples and your throat. Now this is important, when you lower the weight do not touch your chest to the bar all while taking a breath in. Then you explode the weight up while breathing out. Repeat for between 8-12 reps. A chest workout should be done once a week. Quality over quantity I always believed in. I will show you more advanced exercises in my next series.
The Lat Pull Down
The lat pull down works the latissimus dorsi. This muscle gives width to your upper back giving you that pleasing V shape. This is done in 3-5 sets, I prefer 5 doing 8-12 reps per set. If you can do more than 12 you are using weight that is too light. Done in a sitting position you grab the bar the bar in the outer part of the bar a little wider than shoulder width apart. Apply force by pulling down on the bar to right in front of your upper chest. Be sure to squeeze your back muscles (lats) and try not to use your biceps as a major force to pull the bar down. Personally I go up a weight plate if I am able to after each set. If you are a beginner I recommend that you stay on the same weight until you build strength and confidence to go to a heavier weight. I will show you other exercises in the next series.
Shoulder Military Press
The military press. I do these, but these are definitely not my favorite. I still do them because they are an important body part to build up as these are what I call frame builders. Let me explain. Let’s say that you are a building. You need a good strong foundation to build upon. Military presses build your foundation and then you can do other finishing exercises to make your building look gleaming and polished…Make sense? Anyway, military presses work 4 main muscle groups. The deltoids (posterial, medial and anterior muscles), trapezius (also called traps), triceps (the opposite side of the bicep), and the upper chest. It’s important that you try and use as much weight as you can while trying to do sets of 10. If you do this right you will grow 4 muscle groups with one exercise. You can do this either standing or sitting, I prefer sitting because I am more stable and can lift more weight. Standing does have its benefits as well, Since you stand while doing this exercise you engage you core muscles which will give you more balance and core strength. I’ll leave the decision to you.
The biceps are the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles of the upper arm. These two muscles make the biceps. The biceps are used for picking up things. And bicep curls are the main exercise to build these muscles into magnificent peaks. This exercise uses the EZ-curl bar. You can easily purchase one and they will be in just about any gym you join. If you follow the short video it’s very important not to swing your back. Form, not weight is the most important thing to build great muscle structure. Phil’s bar curls are new to me and I want to try it out. Or you can do the standard way by just pulling the curl bar up all the way. Just remember, he did win the Mr. Olympia 7 times. He is one Big Boi.
The tricep brachaii muscle is comprised of three muscles. The lateral, medial and long head. When doing pusdowns, form is is very important. Keep your elbows close to your body and your starting position should be at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back fairly straight. If you lean forward you will work out your shoulders and you don’t want to do that. Firmly push down on the bar while also squeezing your triceps until you reach the bottom of the exercise. Release then repeat. If you are a beginner pick a weight you are comfortable with and do sets of ten. If you are more advanced load more weight and do more reps per set. Try and do 4-5 sets.
My next article will key in on Abs and legs (quadriceps, hamstrings and calves). Then I will key in on other exercises for the bodyparts. Please be assured that I will use women’s videos in my next article. Men bodybuilders have bodies that are easier to watch how the muscle works.