TRI-CYCLE BUILT FOR YOU

0 shared this

 

Don't you just love hearing Pilates practitioners yammer on about how their esoteric exercise system strengthens the "core" like no other? They slide and rock and lean on all sorts of elaborately padded machines in a precise manner not unlike the moves my old man employs as he extends his Barcalounger.What about those yoga yahoos? You know the ones: They spin their fanciful yarns about how you've never experienced a truly grueling workout until you've sat in the lotus position for 15 minutes straight, droning incantations all the while. Of course, like their Pilates counterparts, these self-professed mavens of muscle building frequently sport physiques that look more like they were built by Krispy Kreme than by exercise.But you, the practicing bodybuilder, know better—don't you? You know that rather than mounting a glorified ab machine or donning a leotard and sitting on the floor for countless hours, the only real way to strengthen your "core" is to go to war—with iron and steel, that is.You also know that when we say "iron and steel," we're not talking leg lifts with five-pound ankle weights and empty barbell twists. We're talking the Big Three: squats, deadlifts and bench presses. By incorporating all three exercises into your training program, and even cycling our powerlifting routine with your bodybuilding one, you'll strengthen and build your body in a way the rubber mat set couldn't even fathom.POWER: ONThere may be no group of athletes on the face of the planet with more core strength than powerlifters. Powerlifters train for and compete in the Big Three lifts and as a result develop not only great overall body strength, but lots of dense muscle mass to boot. Now it shouldn't take a doctorate in human physiology to divine the lesson to be learned for you, the ever-aspiring bodybuilder. Let's spell it out? You should squat, deadlift and bench.Enough said. Now let's learn how to perform each exercise... the right way.CORE EXERCISE 1: THE SQUATUniversally known by bodybuilders as the "King of Exercises," the squat has been both beloved and reviled by athletes for decades on end. A gruelingly effective movement, it requires a unique combination of strength, balance and aerobic ability to perform. But when done correctly, it can yield dramatic results, both in the development of overall body strength and muscle mass. The current world record squat is the astonishing 1,141 pounds by big Brent Mikesell. Now that's hardcore! The squat primarily works the quadriceps muscles of the thighs and, secondarily, the abductors, adductors, hamstrings and gluteals. But because the movement requires overall body stability and balance, virtually all of the major muscle groups become employed during the squat. Think of it as the ultimate mass builder.SQUAT DIRECTIONS:1. Enter power rack or squat rack loaded with barbell. Make sure safety bars are inserted into the uprights.2. Position yourself under the bar so that it sits across the back of your neck. This is considered high for a powerlifter, but is beneficial for the bodybuilder as it helps keep the lifter's torso relatively upright. Foot placement can vary, but slightly wider than shoulder width with toes pointed outward at about a 15-percent angle gives you the most stable base.3. Ease the bar from its supports and take a step or two backward—enough to clear the supports.4. Take a deep breath and slowly start to bend your knees. The movement you should mimic is one of just sitting down. Don't go to the point where you push your knees past your toes. How far you should descend is a matter of choice. You should at least get your thighs parallel to the floor. This range of motion will hit the front of your thighs. By going deeper, into a full powerlifting-style squat, you bring your hamstrings and glutes into play.5. Rise back up in a slow controlled manner. Don't bounce at the bottom of the movement to assist in the positive portion of the exercise.SQUAT QUOTES:"The squat goes on record as the best all-around exercise"—Arnold Schwarzenegger"The squat is a gigantic thigh movement, but it has to be done correctly."— Tom Platz CORE EXERCISE 2: THE DEADLIFTThere's a quote passed among powerlifters to the effect of, "The contest doesn't begin 'til the bar hits the floor."In other words, no test of raw strength is complete until the deadlift is contested. In a sense, it is the truest strength barometer of the three powerlifts because it involves nothing but you, the weight and a floor—no racks or benches required. It's purely a battle of man versus gravity and, to date, man has managed to snatch up to 933 pounds from Earth's grasp (that would be England's Andy Bolton). Strength enthusiasts eagerly await the day the record is upped to a half ton.Deadlifts primarily stress the lumbar region and secondarily the hamstrings. But a host of other muscle groups are brought to bear when doing this exercise—namely, traps, lats and the entire abdominal region. Because they employ so many large muscle groups deadlifts for reps will raise the metabolism, thus becoming a good fat burner.DEADLIFT DIRECTIONS:1. Load up barbell on a flat surface that provides good traction.2. Crouch over the bar with feet spread slightly less than shoulder width apart for maximum stability. A wider stance will hit your adductors; a narrower stance is often used for stiff-legged deadlifts. Thighs should be at about a right angle to lower legs.* Raise your head and keep your back flat.3. Grip the bar with one hand palm up and the other palm down. This in/out grip keeps the bar from rolling out of your hands (reverse hand position each set).4. Keeping your back rigid, raise the weight with both your lower back and your thighs. Use the arms and hands as levers and to power the movement with your thighs and lower back.5. When you are standing fully erect, roll the shoulders slightly back before slowly lowering the weight along the same path to slightly touch the floor before commencing the next rep.DEADLIFTING TIPS:1. Imagine you're driving your heels through the floor as you push through the concentric portion of the movement.2. Never slouch while deadlifting. When the weight becomes too heavy to keep a straight back, lighten it.3. As with squats, a lifting belt is essential for all sets.DEADLIFT QUOTES:"The lower back is a very strong but injury-prone area, so I follow textbook style for deadlifts."—Dorian Yates"From beginning to end, the deadlift hits everything, at one point or another."—Ronnie Coleman CORE EXERCISE 3: THE BENCH PRESS"How much can you bench?" For as long as anyone can remember, the bench has been the measuring stick by which a man's prowess has been, well, measured. This being the case, it would be hard to question the out-and-out manliness of Scot Mendelson, who holds the bench press record of 713 pounds. (This is a shirtless, or "raw" bench. Bench shirts are thought to add at least 200 pounds to a lift, which brings all the 800-, 900- and now 1,000-pound benches into dispute).But the bench press can be used for far more than a test of strength. It is considered the ultimate upper-body exercise by many strength athletes and bodybuilders alike. Primarily, it hits the pectorals and front delts. But it also places tremendous stress on the triceps and side delts and even employs the lats and abdominals as stabilizers. Whether performed with a barbell or dumbbells, at an incline, flat or at a decline, the bench press is an exercise you don't want to overlook.BENCH PRESS DIRECTIONS:1. Get yourself a knowledgeable spotter. No kidding. We mean it.2. Lie back on the bench with your feet securely planted on the floor.3. Remove the bar from the bench uprights and lower it to a point slightly above your nipple line, making sure not to bounce it off your chest.4. Raise the bar smoothly and in a straight line without lifting your hips from the bench.BENCH PRESSING TIPS:1. When lifting heavy, have your spotter assist you in removing the bar from the uprights and replacing it. Trying to move the weight from a disadvantageous position can result in injury.2. Unlike with squats and deadlifts, you can have your spotter effectively assist you in performing forced reps.3. Closer hand spacing will more effectively work your triceps, while a wide spacing will hit your outer pecs.4. Dumbbells, rather than a barbell, allow added freedom of movement and may better suit those with shoulder mobility limitations.BENCH PRESS QUOTES:"(The bench press) is a fundamental compound exercise for the upper body."—Arnold Schwarzenegger"You can't maximize chest mass without flat-bench presses."—Ronnie Coleman"All of the other movements are just fluff, and other than various types of dumbbell flyes and dips are not in the same class with benches."—Franco ColumbuTRI-CYCLE CORE BUILDING ROUTINE:This routine is to be performed in place of your bodybuilding routine for four cycles, or one month, every three months. You can add limited cardio—no more than 30 minutes per day—on your off days to compensate for the lower number of sets and shorter workouts.It is important to take safety precautions when performing this routine, namely a lifting belt, sturdy shoes, an experienced spotter and, if necessary, elbow, wrist or knee wraps.Monday

 

 

 

 

SQUAT EXERCISES:

Sets Reps
1* 20

3 15

2 10

DEADLIFTS:

Sets Reps
1* 12

3 10

2 10

BENCH PRESSES:

Sets Reps
1 15

3 12

3 10

Wednesday

 

SQUAT EXERCISES:
Sets Reps 1* 20
3 10-12
2 6-8
DEADLIFTS:
Sets Reps 1* 15
3 10
2 6-8
BENCH PRESSES:
Sets Reps 1* 15
3 10
2 6
Friday
SQUAT EXERCISE: Sets Reps
1* 20
2 10
1 8
1 6
1 3-4
DEADLIFTS:
Sets Reps
1* 15
2 10
1 6
1 4
1 2-3
BENCH PRESSES
Sets Reps
1* 15
2 10
1 6
1 4
1 2-3

*Denotes warm-up set.FLEX

Comments

comments powered by Disqus