prefix='og: fb: article:'> January 2014 - Strong Muscle

Poundstone Power: Eat Clean, Get Jacked

Nutrition tips from the strongest man with a six-pack Derek Poundstone

Bent-Over Barbell Row vs. Old Fashioned T-Bar Row

Both moves work the back, but which move is better at targeting the lower lats

7 Tips From a World Class Squatter

Inflate your wheels with these strategies from a man who specializes in squatting bar-bending loads

6 Tips for a Ripped Six-Pack

Stop neglecting your abs training. These six strategies will help you retool your training to get the midsection you want

4 Moves to Bring Your Biceps to New Heights

Add some elevation to your cannons with these targeted bicep exercises

Gym Fix: Work Your Chest and Triceps With the Floor Plan

Try the best accessory chest exercise you're not already doing

Are you rocking the same chest workout every time you walk in the gym? We bet you are. If you’re like the 98% of guys out there, you’re starting off with flat benching, moving on to the incline bench, then finishing things off with some dumbbell benches and flyes

What happens when you stick to that template week after week and year after year? Absolutely nothing. You’ll grow and get stronger for a while, but as soon as your body adapts to what you’re doing every workout, your progress grinds to a halt and you’re left wondering what you can do to get yourself back on track and making gains again

Enter the floor press. This versatile movement is a great way to work the middle section of your bench press stroke. It’s also tremendously effective for working both your chest and your triceps without placing excessive strain on your shoulders

Perform barbell floor presses in a power rack with adjustable J-hooks. If your gym doesn’t have a power rack, stick with the dumbbell version


Lie on your back on the floor in a power rack. Unrack the bar as you would when bench pressing and lower the weight until your elbows hit the ground. Pause for a second, then press the bar back to the start position


Lie on the floor with a pair of dumbbells. Press the dumbbells until they’re over your chest, lower, pause, then explosively repeat

Tips for Protecting Lean Muscle Mass

Sustain the lean muscle you've worked so hard to achieve through training and diet

According to multiple studies, weight training combined with three 30-minute cardio sessions per week yields cardiovascular benefits without muscle loss. Those benefits include improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels, better heart function, reduced risk of osteoporosis, and the development of greater muscle mass. You can sustain your lean muscle by following these four helpful tips

Interval Training

In order to sustain muscle gains, make interval training a regular part of your aerobic exercise regimen. Ride a stationary bicycle or train on an elliptical or rowing machine for 30 minutes, punctuating the workout with one-minute high intensity sprints, rows or cycling every 5 minutes

Save Cardio for Days Off

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, studies indicate that isolating your weight training sessions is more effective for muscle building than a combination of weight-training and cardio on the same day. If you must combine cardio- and strength training on the same day, lift first, when physical strength and energy supplies are at their peak, and then do your cardio

Get Your Calorie Fill

At a minimum, you should be eating three moderate to large-size meals of approximately 500 - 700 calories each a day, with three snacks throughout the day consisting of 200-400 calories each


Make sure you are practicing proper recovery nutrition. According to the ADA, it is recommended that we refuel with 0.5 g carbohydrates per lb of body-weight immediately following heavy or prolonged training. For most strength athletes, .5 to .80 grams of protein per pound of body weight needs to be consumed to build and repair muscle tissue. For most anyone, protein should supply 10 to 35 percent of overall energy intake

How to Do the Jefferson Deadlift

Here's what you need to know

The Jefferson deadlift covers a lot of areas for just one exercise, some of which are missing in people's movement habits

There's no one ideal way to the lift so experiment and find the best leverage for your body

Simply straddle the bar, grab it under your shoulders, and stand up. Try it with the left leg forward, the right leg forward, different grips, and see what works best for you

The Jefferson deadlift – also known simply as the Jefferson lift – is a classic strongman movement that for whatever reason has gone the way of the 8 track cassette and hair metal. That's a low-down dirty shame because the Jefferson deadlift is great for strength, power, core stability, and hip durability. It should be a staple in any serious strength athlete's routine

The movement is a great way to encourage people to get their knees open so they can take a wider stance in their squats while building some rotational range of motion. It also coaxes them outside of a pure saggital plane movement pattern that can become dominant if not addressed

Dave Dellanave holds the world record in the Jefferson deadlift and it's one of the main lifts he prescribes to trainees. Here's Dave setting the world record for a 605-pound Jefferson lift at a bodyweight of 202 pounds

The Jefferson deadlift is really useful because it hits a lot of training areas, some of which are sorely missing in most lifters' movement habits. "You get asymmetry, rotation, hip hinging, and heavy loading all in one movement," says Dave. "The asymmetrical position seems to be especially helpful for people who struggle with pain or movement issues in more traditional or symmetrical deadlifts

"The lift also tends to be self-correcting in that there's no one ideal way to do it, so people are free to find the best leverage that works for their body, provided they're not doing something egregiously dangerous and outside their limits. Interestingly, I've seen a not-insignificant number of people for whom doing only one side of the Jefferson works out better"

The biomechanics of the lift are straightforward. Your center of gravity is vertical over the load and your feet straddle the bar to provide a large base of support through which to generate force

In a conventional deadlift, you have the majority of the weight behind the bar, thus the base of support is relatively small compared to the Jefferson. The sumo stance has a wider base, but again the majority of weight is behind the bar at set up, which means leaning and increasing shear forces on the low back

If you use a Jefferson stance, though, you can increase the vertical position of the spine and thus allow more compressive forces and fewer shear forces, making it an easier exercise for guys with jacked-up low backs

If you want to increase the amount of weight you lift, having your center of gravity vertical over the load along with a larger base of support equates to better leverage, and that translates to bigger lifts. I tried it out yesterday, cold and still in my work uniform, just to see what would happen with heavier loading

I started with 225 and then did 315, each for 3 reps, using a double-overhand grip. I did one rep at 405, but my grip failed when I got to about mid-thigh. I switched to a mixed-grip and 405 felt pretty easy, considering my lifetime max for a conventional pull is 455. As far as my effort, I'd say I hit about a 7 out of 10

I'm sure I could do some serious weight, given that there was no strain on my low back and it felt relatively strong. Maybe 500 pounds isn't far off

How to Do It
The cool thing about a Jefferson deadlift is everyone will have a slightly different way of approaching it. The basics are as follows

Straddle the bar
Grab the bar
Stand up with the bar

More specifically

Make sure your spine remains relatively linear so you aren't rounding or seriously deviating away from a neutral position

When you start pulling, make sure your knees don't collapse towards the midline in a valgus party you sure don't want to be invited to

Don't lock out your knees before your hips get through the movement; otherwise you'll be doing a really awkward good morning with nothing but your hips

Take a grip that's vertical under your shoulders and not wider

Above all, play with it. Try the Jefferson deadlift with the left leg forward, the right leg forward, different grips, and see what works best for you

Work with higher reps, lower reps, heavy weight, lighter weight, and everything in between to achieve the full benefits. The Jefferson deadlift allows for many small alterations that will introduce significant variety to your workouts

Barbell Front Raise

The anterior delts may be small, but sometimes they require your undivided attention

The devil is in the details, and this holds as true for the deltoids as for any other muscle group. Overhead pressing should make up the foundation of your shoulder work, but achieving a well-rounded set of delts requires addressing all three heads (anterior, middle, posterior). When you’re sporting a tank top, the detail and striations in the anterior deltoids (or lack thereof ) are just as visible as the width and thickness of the middle regions. So give the front side of your shoulders some love once or twice a week by completely isolating them. This incline barbell front raise is a great way to start doing just that

The Delt Zone

Follow these instructions for total isolation of your front deltoids


Lie facedown on an incline bench set to 45 degrees, holding a light barbell.
Place your hands shoulderwidth apart and use an overhand grip.
Start with the bar in front of your chest, arms extended toward the floor.


Raise the bar until it’s parallel to the floor. Hold for a beat, then slowly lower it


WHERE IT HITS: Anterior (front) deltoids

WHEN TO DO IT: Late in your shoulder workout, after compound movements like overhead presses and upright rows

HOW TO DO IT: 2–4 sets, 8–12 reps

Tips for Winter Training Survival

Make training during the winter easier with these 6 tips and pointers

Training isn’t easy during the winter. There are many factors (the ones that go beyond adding holiday pounds from family dinners) that can stymie a lifter’s progress. Here are some tips and pointers that can help you survive the tribulations of winter training

Tip 1: If you’re gonna bulk, make it intense
That sounds like it goes without saying. But you have to remember that the best way to encourage blood flow, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and a super pump is to limit rest interval and focus on complete muscle exhaustion. That’s going to come from high lactate training methods that don’t involve much rest time. Training methods like ladder set training, 8x8 training, and German Volume training are just what the doctor ordered for low rest, high lactate methods

As a bonus, the lactate production can help with elevating your testosterone, and also be responsible for burning plenty of fat. The take home point is to work lots, and rest a little

Tip 2: Running outside? Change your cardio to long runs

The last thing you want to do is head out into the cold and go sprinting or pushing the prowler with an insufficient warmup. When temperatures drop, it takes that much longer for working muscles to heat up, and for the joints to release fluid for lubrication. It’s best to play it safe and take things slow and steady. Go old school and structure your workouts with cardio runs on off days, and treadmill incline walks following your workouts themselves

Tip 3: Train the squat MORE than once per week

Not only will this help with additional weekly calorie burn, but it’ll also make you both bigger, and stronger. Period. You can train the squat pattern twice weekly by doing 2 full leg workouts per week, or you can make more of a strength focus by squatting heavy for less volume each day. Lately, I’ve personally been employing a daily max squat to my routine

Tip 4: Beware of Seasonal Affective Disorder

It sounds crazy, but weather can affect our mood and our motivation to do things like be active, train, and play sports. It may be common to see someone feel lethargic on a cold or rainy day, but sometimes this can be taken to the next level. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, some people are vulnerable to a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. For them, the shortening days of late autumn are the beginning of a type of clinical depression that can last until spring. This condition is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. If you notice a trend from season to season that’s more than noteworthy, it may be something that goes beyond shaking it off and toughing it out. Talk to your doctor to determine if you need treatment or medication

Tip 5: Carb up and Drink up

Logic would tell us that it would take longer than normal to warm up the body during cold weather. That means warm up routines would be more elaborate, and the body will be using up its glycogen stores earlier in your workout – even if you’re in the gym and not outdoors, the cold state the body will likely be in when you’re on your way to the gym is something that can really cause the muscles to cool off. With that said, we need to make sure our glycogen stores are completely topped up before hitting the iron or track. Have plenty of carbs before a tough workout

Cold weather can also have an effect on our thirst; it may not be as evident that we need to drink and are dehydrated, because, though we may be sweating, the temperature isn’t sweltering. Be cognizant of this and make it a point to keep yourself hydrated during your session. As a general rule, try having 250ml of water (1 cup) every 15 minutes of your workout

Tip 6: Take up an Indoor Sport

Join a men’s league for basketball or volleyball, or get into a squash club. The added activity, calorie burn and cardio training will help to keep you conditioned and athletic during the winter season. Plus it’ll serve as a great interim to your weight training workouts, which could begin to feel redundant when there are few other options for exercise. Plus, you get to sharpen up your game