My daughter and her firefighter husband-to-be were over again, grilling me about my training and theirs… [Read more…]
My daughter and future son-in-law were over and started another weight-training conversation…
“Dad, why do you all of a sudden hate barbell squats?” [Read more…]
There’s no question that heavy deadlifts can be dangerous…
I remember seeing a guy try to pull a heavy weight off the floor, and his arms tore off at his shoulders and blood started shooting out of the sockets… [Read more…]
The title of this newsletter is a bit misleading because the muscle I’m talking about isn’t only located in your midsection…
It runs from your glutes all the way up to your neck, but only the lower part is visible. Which is why it’s often referred to as the “lower back.” [Read more…]
Men and women are looking for strong, round glutes. No one wants to be called Gluteus Laximus.
The most popular butt-builders include barbell squats and glute bridges. Not terrible moves—however… [Read more…]
Q: I like the idea of training quads by doing front squats supersetted with back squats. My quads get almost a pre-ex effect from the strict fronts, then my glutes get better leverage on the backs to drive my quads for more growth. But I’m not very strong on fronts and can get a lot of reps when I immediately go to back squats after. Should I just do high reps on the back squats—say 6 on the fronts and 12-15 on the backs?
A: Definitely an option—if you don’t get too breathless. When training quads with higher reps, the lungs often fail before the target muscles. That’s a problem, to a degree…
You do want the breathlessness, as that’s hypoxia that can boost metabolic/anabolic drive for new size. Here are a few other options…[Read more…]
By all means women can and should use X Reps once they are out of the early beginner stages. Because X Reps extend the tension time of any set and provide a significant intensity uptick, they will trigger faster results with fewer sets (as they did for us). And while you may know this, please remind her not to worry about “getting too big.” Women don’t have to be concerned with building too much muscle thanks to their female hormone balance—more estrogen, very little testosterone. Your girlfriend should train just as hard as you do and use weight training with X Reps to sculpt her body. If she thinks a bodypart is getting too muscular, she can reduce the intensity (no X Reps) and/or the number of sets for that muscle group.
As for your second question, the best glute exercise is the free-bar squat. Have her go deep, no bouncing, so the glutes get maximally involved—and have her add X Reps to supercharge one set at every workout. Another exercise many trainees don’t realize is a great glute getter is hyperextensions. Do them after squats or as part of a hamstring workout, and squeeze those glutes hard at the top of each rep. If she does deadlifts or stiff-legged deadlifts, she can add X Reps on the hyperextension bench immediately after one set of of either of those. Trainees shouldn’t do X Reps on deadlifts or stiff-legged deadlifts due to possible injury from lower-back fatigue—but you can move immediately to hyperextensions and perform X Reps. That will do great things for the glutes as well as hamstrings.
If your girlfriend has an aversion to free-bar squats (most women hate them, and if you hate something too much you’ll more than likely quit), she can use the Smith machine. She may want to try one set of Smith machine squats, with X Reps, lighten the weight and after a brief rest do one set of step-back lunges on the Smith machine. That’s like a one-legged squat that hits the glutes hard. Have her add a set or two of hyperextensions, either as stand-alone sets or as part of her deadlift workout as outlined above, and you, er um, she will be ecstatic with her new posterior roundness.
“Steve and Jonathan’s training techniques worked wonders. I transformed myself working out three days a week with their program.”
(Note: For Becky’s complete diet and training, see X-treme Lean )