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

Need A Stronger Bench Press? Start Training Your Rear Delts


The bench press is one of the few exercises which is loved by almost everyone who goes to the gym. There are guys in the gym who literally train chest like three days a week in hope of increasing their bench press. But still, the weight that they bench still remains the same. The reason being that their chest is capable of lifting weights while their other body parts do not match up to that strength


The rear deltoid acts as a stabilizer muscle which is used during benching. The wobbly action that you might have experienced when benching heavy is because your rear delts aren’t able to handle the excessive weight, i.e. even if your chest is able to push such heavy weight, you are suffering because of your weak rear deltoids

Train Rear Delts for Bench Press

Here a few ways in which you can strengthen your rear delts resulting in a heavier bench press and incredible upper body strength

Face Pulls


The face pull is a rear deltoid strengthening exercise which is one of the few exercises for the rear delts where you can increase the resistance. Face pulls is a common exercise in the powerlifting community too because the big guys know that training their rear delts are important for the formation of a big and strong bench press, as well as for other pressing movements too

90degree Rotations

This is another important exercise that you need to perform in order to increase the numbers on your bench press. Most people neglect this exercise but it is actually very essential not just for the chest but for the shoulders too

Holding the position with maximum tension for long can benefit you even more. You can even perform with the help of a spotter where he can assist you in the positive part of the movement and you do the negatives only yourself

Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The bent-over dumbbell lateral raise is an essential movement if you are thinking about building that stronger bench press. That isn’t the only purpose of this movement but this also gives that roundness to the shoulder muscle and this is the area where many of bodybuilders lack in. It’s also a great exercise for building a strong core as you have to stand in a position which utilizes your back stabilizer muscles


Resistance Band Reverse Flyes


This is a similar movement to the above-mentioned exercise other than the part that you have to perform it using a resistance band. The difficulty can be increased by shortening the length of the resistance band which can be done by holding the resistance band in between your feet. The muscles activated will be the same but will be worked in a different way


The different thing about this exercise is that is performed on a machine and many of you might argue that machines are not as good as free weights. It may be true but often times it may become difficult to isolate the rear deltoids

Almost every other exercise focuses on many muscles other than the rear deltoids whereas the reverse pec-deck fly is an isolation movement. You can also increase the resistance easily here as it is to be performed on a machine. One can also isolate one arm from the other by holding onto the machine by the other arm

8 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Testosterone


When faced with the issue of having low testosterone, you are faced with a couple of solutions. You hop on the sauce train and start riding those unnaturally high test level gains and leave humanity behind, or you can go the boring way and try to boost your testosterone naturally. Today we will cover the boring part and see what you can do to get those test levels back up again the old fashion way, by actually doing manly things

Weightlifting


Strength training and weightlifting is the most common way of getting those test levels up. So if you are lacking in the testosterone department and are feeling a bit sluggish, hit the iron harder


You have probably seen the instagram picture claiming that chopping wood increases testosterone levels by almost 50 percent. Turns out that it’s actually quite true! Not only does it boost test levels, it boosts them higher than performing some high-intensity sports

An hour of chopping down trees does more to raise your testosterone (48 percent) than an hour of doing sport (30.1 percent). Who would have thought that doing manly sh*t could actually make you more manly? So go to your local Walmart or hardware store, grab an ax and start chopping wood

Lose Weight


Excessive body fat percentages can cause vein clogging, raised cholesterol levels, and other metabolism shenanigans that can mess with your hormones and slow down your testosterone production. With that in mind, saying that losing weight is a great way of raising your test levels should come as a no-brainer. So, if your summer bulk went a little bit too well, maybe you should consider speeding up the process with the cutting season

Proper Diet

If you eat nothing but McDonalds and garbage foods, you’re feeding your body with trash and not giving it the much-needed nutrients that can raise your testosterone levels and even increase your libido. Be sure to include zinc-rich foods in your diet because zinc boosts testosterone

Surround Yourself With Hot Women

Hanging out with hot chicks is an old evolutionary trick for a quick testosterone boost. Speaking with attractive women for no more than five minutes can boost your test levels up to 14 percent

No Stress


Stress can lead to weight gain, heart attacks, decreased libido, various mental problems and of course, testosterone level drop-off. Whenever you start feeling stressed out, calm the fudge down. Start breathing and deal with your problems in a controlled and calm manner. Stressing out won’t do you or your problems any better

Skip Sugars

Processed foods are one of the worst modern day evils; they tickle the pleasure center in your brain, making you feel good but all they are doing is making you fat and miserable. Skip the candy bars, sugary drinks, and all that crap. It’s not doing you any good and processed sugars can seriously mess up your test levels


Hunting


Now before every vegetarian, vegan, animal lover, tree hugger and PETA supporter get extremely triggered, let’s all just take a deep breath and calm down for a second. Not all hunting is good, exterminating endangered species is a douchebag move and deserves judgment, but some game animals breed like crazy in the wild and need population control

They basically eat everything in their sight; deer are known to eat bird eggs and other smaller animals. So yeah, before you go crying for Bambi, remember that he’s a dick too

Now back to the topic of test boosting. In 2013, an interesting study was conducted on Bolivia’s indigenous people that live in the Amazon forest. It showed that their testosterone and cortisol levels spike each time they make a successful hunting trip

5 Deadlift Variations For Strength of Peace


Have you hit a wall — that plateau where no matter how much you lift you just aren’t getting bigger? Or you are just a gym newbie? This article will give you some insight on how deadlifting can help you tremendously in achieving your desired goals

There is just one thing that needs to be taken care of while deadlifting, and that is having the correct form. If your form is incorrect, the deadlift will not only hinder your gains, but it will actually damage your body

Also, heavy sets should be performed with a lower rep range as this will make you stronger and help in lifting heavy overall (as long as the weight is still close to your capacity). So before you perform a heavy lift, ask someone experienced in the art or read up about it

Conventional Deadlift

The first kind of deadlift you should be dealing with is the conventional deadlift; the orthodox style. Conventional deadlift is the one you should mainly be focusing on. This can also hurt your body tremendously if performed incorrectly


Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift is a relatively easier kind of deadlift for many in terms of the amount of weight lifted. The feet are placed wider apart (beyond shoulder width), and the hand grip is narrow. Many people can lift heavier in this stance compared to the conventional form. The chances of having an injury in this exercise are also lesser when compared with other forms of deadlifts



While the conventional deadlift places emphasis on the lower back, the sumo lift mainly focuses on the quads and lower back


The stiff-legged deadlift, not to be confused with the Romanian deadlift, is one such exercise you should do on leg day rather than back day as it majorly focuses on the hamstrings rather than the back muscles. The back remains contracted throughout the range of motion. We strongly recommend this deadlift as the burn you will feel in your hamstrings, as a result, can’t be matched by any other hamstring exercise

Trap Bar Deadlift

The trap bar deadlift is done on a special bar called the hex bar or the trap bar. It is safer to use the trap bar as the pressure on lumbar spine is highly reduced when compared to the traditional deadlift. It can be used as a substitute for squats as well. As the trap bar isn’t available in most gyms, we suggest a substitute for this deadlift by holding a dumbbell in each hand and performing the same action


The Hack Lift

The hack lift can be considered the most dangerous deadlift movement, so you need only perform this movement occasionally. There is a huge risk of falling backward, and it also places lots of strain on the knees, which is definitely not a good thing. The other major muscle group it works other than the lower back is the quads

Get Yourself Shredded With These 5 Cable Machine Exercises


Did you know you can gain strength, boost power, build muscle and torch calories with some effective cable machine exercises

Not only does it unleash a wide variety of exercises, but you can adjust its height to hit your muscles from all angles. Don’t worry, I won’t be discussing the kneeling cable crunch. We’ll actually be learning about some very effective exercises that can develop your chest and get you shredded

Even though free weights are always preferred at the gym for adding the bulk, cables can also help build a lean and strong physique. The huge advantage here is the smooth, controlled, well-focused and fluid motion resistance that creates the extra tension on your muscles

Cable Machine Exercises

So, without any further ado, here are 5 cable machine exercises to get you shredded and develop a well-sculpted physique

Two-Arm Cable Curls

These are similar to the close-grip barbell curls but due to the cables, there will be a constant force of tension on your biceps. This provides more muscle fiber stimulation for maximum growth


How to Perform

Attach both the cables a D-Handle grip
Now grab both the pulleys and stand in the middle of the machine (grab one and then walk to the other side to grab the other)
With the palms facing towards the ceiling, start with your arms outstretched and parallel to the floor
Curl the weights towards your head and squeeze the biceps hard
Hold this contraction for a second and gradually lower to the starting position
Do at least three sets of 8-12 reps

Lying Cable Shrugs

The lying cable shrugs are something most people don’t know about and usually perform in a standing position. However, it’s time to target the upper, middle and lower traps effectively on each rep


How to Perform

Set a bar up on the seated cable row and hook a weight that is comfortable for you to shrug. But make sure you reach failure somewhere between 8-12 reps
Now, lie down on your back with the bar grabbed at shoulder width and placed on your thighs. This will be your starting position
Finally, pull and shrug the bar slowly and gradually to the starting position
Do the same movements as with dumbbell shrugs
This will engage the upper, middle and lower traps
Do three sets of 8-12 reps each

Single Arm Shoulder Raises

A perfect exercise to add extra striations to your shoulders. Make sure you pick a slightly lower weight as this variation has more tension as compared to the simple dumbbell raises


How to perform

Set the pulley on the bottom of the machine and attach a D-ring handle
Now grab the handle and turn your body sideways
Keep the torso straight and place the nonworking hand on the waist for support
Finally, raise the handle upwards until the arm is parallel to the floor
Hold the top position for a second or two and gradually lower it to the starting position
Switch hands and repeat
Do three sets of 12-15 reps each

Wide Grip Triceps Pushdowns

These are the normal triceps pushdowns but we’ll be using the wide grip bar to target the longer head of the triceps for maximum growth and stimulation


How to Perform

Set the pulley at a height you normally use for triceps pushdowns
Now attach a wide grip lateral pulldown bar or something wide enough
Grab the bar using a wide grip to effectively engage and target the longer head
Take a few steps back from the machine, just one and a half feet and slightly bend your waist to keep the lower body stable
Finally, push the weight downwards until the arms are fully extended
Pause the contraction for a second and gradually retract to the starting position
Do three sets of 8-12 reps each

Cable Flyes

And how can we forget this chest exercise? It’s similar to the dumbbell flyes but with more tension and contraction in your pecs


How to Perform

Start by placing a flat bench to the cables
Set the cables at the bottom and use single handle grips
Now, grab both the cables and lie flat on the bench. Keep your feet firmly placed on the ground and your core braced
Start by raising the handles above your head and perform the chest fly
Execute it slowly by feeling the tension in the pecs
Do three sets of 8-12 reps each

Take It Easy And Stop Going Heavy On These 4 Exercises


There is a common belief amongst people that you need to go ultra heavy to build muscle. They think muscle tissues are only damaged under heavy loads. Broscientists around the world can be credited for this misconception

The only thing you have a high chance at while lifting heavy is an injury. Your muscles don’t know what weights you’re using. It only knows exhaustion, failure, and annihilation. It’s your mind and your ego which knows how much weight is on the bar

More often than not, people lift heavy to impress someone. Notice guys lifting more than usual when a hot chick walks by. Unrequired grunting and moaning follow this egoistic behavior. Not to forget their bad form

Some exercises can be more dangerous as compared to the others when it comes to the risk of an injury. Going heavy on these exercises increases your chances of getting hurt. Having control over the weights while performing an exercise is incredibly important

Squats


Squats is one of the most dangerous exercises you can do in the gym. What can be riskier than having big weights on your back when you want to train to failure? An accident with this exercise can be more brutal than most other exercises

It’s commendable if you want to test your limits by going heavy on squats but don’t forget your limits. There are chances your spotter might not be able to control and lift the weight off of you if you hit failure at the bottom of the movement

Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean you should stop squatting. We just say that you need to be mindful of your capabilities and use weights you can control. If doing 12 reps with a weight is too easy, you can increase the number of repetitions as compared to the weights

Military Presses


This exercise has its name for a reason. You need to be in total control and discipline while performing military presses. A loss of balance or improper form can take you out of action for a long time. It might as well end your lifting career forever

Lifting weights overhead can be dangerous. You’ll be making it worse by going heavier than you can handle. Using heavy weights overhead with bad form can cause an injury to your spine. You’re also at a risk of dropping the weights on your head

Standing or seated, if you’re going to lift heavier than usual or are going for a PR, ask for a spot from someone reliable. Don’t try to push the envelope on this exercise. Using lifting gear like weightlifting belt and wrist wraps can be of great help

Leg Press


The leg press is one of the most abused exercises in the gym. People who can’t squat their own body-weight fill the leg press machine with plates and then add some human being to it; the range of motion which follows is hideous

They come down a quarter of the way and let out a battle cry. While this might stroke their ego, this isn’t going to do anything for their chicken legs. All they’re doing is risking an injury and their joint health. The leg press machine also puts a huge load on your back

The best way to do a leg press is to load the machine with moderate weights. Have a complete range of motion and change your foot placement to target your legs from different angles. You’ll be surprised with the pump and the gains

Seated Hamstring Curls


Unlike the lying leg curls, the seated curl completely isolates your hamstring muscles. This isolation puts a lot of tension on your knee joints. Lifting too heavy on this exercise can cause an injury. A knee injury can keep you from training for a long time

Use moderate weight while doing this exercise. Your main focus in this exercise should be to get a good pump and get some blood flowing in your hams. Stay away from using momentum and jerking movements to lift the weights

If you want to annihilate your hams, do a drop set on this exercise instead of using heavier weights. Your hamstrings are also the muscle group which is the easiest to tear and cramp. Take it easy on this exercise and stay away from an injury

Want Bigger Biceps? Here are 5 Curls You Must Be Doing


Building a well-developed pair of biceps takes several years to achieve. Arm training is something that is in trend, especially nowadays, and everyone wants that massive bulge when they bend their elbow

No guy wants his shirt sleeves flapping in the wind. Every man, whether they admit it or not, want a pair of bulging arms

There is no magic pill here or any secret other than the fact that you have to put in the hard work but if you are struggling to get rock hard biceps, here are five curling exercise integrated with a proper training strategy and will help you increase your bicep gains

Build Bigger Biceps

EZ Bar Reverse Curl

Normally you would perform the EZ Bar curls at a preacher bench but let’s give it a slight variation and try the reverse curls while standing



How to Perform

Use an EZ bar with a weight that would see you reach failure between reps 10 and 12
Hold the bar with an overhand grip
Curl it as you would with a regular biceps curl. Curl your wrists up too for extra forearm engagement
Do at least 3 sets of 10-12 reps each

Concentration Curl

A lot of guys do concentration curls but the ‘concentration’ part is missing. You can do it both sitting or standing, but performing it while sitting on a bench is more effective


How to Perform

Grab a dumbbell and sit on the bench with your elbow on the inside of your thigh and inner knee while the other hand is on the opposite leg for support
Now, perform the curl and hold the dumbbell for two seconds and the lower the weight
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps for each side

Incline Dumbbell Curl

We’ll use the same concentration technique here but this time, you won’t be looking at your biceps



How to Perform

Use a bench and adjust it to a 45-degree angle
Grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand
Let both arms hang by your sides
Curl them towards your shoulders. Throughout the curl, you should focus on the tension in your biceps
When you reach the top, gradually return to the starting position
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Hammer Curl

This exercise builds up the forearm (brachioradialis) as well as the sides of the biceps (brachialis). However, you have to be careful with the amount of weight you choose. Too heavy can result in an injury to the wrist


How to Perform

Grab a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip — palms facing each other
Now, curl them towards your shoulder, hold the position for a second and gradually lower them to the starting position
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Barbell Curl

Now to give your biceps a final push, we’ll do the barbell curl. It’s an isolation exercise that also trains your forearms and shoulders to some extent


How to Perform

Load a barbell with plates of weight at which you’ll reach failure at 10-12 reps
Now grab it slightly wider than shoulder’s width apart
While keeping your upper body stationary, curl it towards your chest
Try not to swing or squeeze your shoulder blades to cheat the curl
Hold the position for a second at the top and then gradually lower the barbell to your starting position
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each

4 Workout Steps To 3D Shoulders



Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Heavy compound exercises incorporate several working muscles and are one of the best ways to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy. Dumbbell shoulder press is an exercise that will help increase upper body stability and strength


Start in a sitting position with your back against the support. Have a slight gap between the middle of your spine and the surface of the support

Kick your knees up to help propel the dumbbells to shoulder height. This will be the starting position. Having a spotter help you to control the weight to a supported starting position is recommended

Retract your scapula before the movement. In the majority of shoulder and back exercises, retracting your scapula will allow for better support and also allow muscles to properly activate and execute movements

Press the dumbbells in a vertical motion above your head. Note: Several people will focus on pressing with their forearms, however you want to mindfully move the weight with your shoulders. Driving the weight upwards through your elbow joint will provide proper shoulder activation

Control the weight back down to the starting position and repeat

Sets and Reps: 4×8-12, increasing the weight per set approaching the lower end of the rep range on the last set

Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Dumbbell lateral raises are a basic movement to target the lateral head of your shoulder, but a smaller muscle called the supranational is incorporated in this exercise. The supranational is activated in the first part of the motion when first raising the dumbbells. Building the size of the supranational will help to stabilize the shoulder socket in other lifts


In a secure standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, bring the dumbbells next to your side

Lift the dumbbells up and to the side to shoulder height causing your arms to become parallel with the ground. Do this without bending or changing the angle of your elbow joint from when you started the movement

Tighten your core to help your body to not swing during the movement

A key point to this exercise is to make sure that when you’re raising the dumbbells up, that you are letting the dumbbell hang below your elbow socket. If you were to draw a parallel line from your elbow at the end of the movement, the dumbbell should be slightly below it. This will allow for greater shoulder activation and tension on the muscle

Lower the dumbbells down to the starting position

Sets and Reps: 4×10-12, AMRAP last set

Face Pulls

Face pulls primarily target the rear head the posterior head of your shoulders. Developing the posterior head of your shoulders will be what really rounds out your shoulders for that 3-dimensional look


The posterior head is also a major muscle worked in rowing motions. Increasing the strength of the posterior head will improve rowing motions that could roll over in to making progress in back development

To set up, put the cable at a position slightly above eye level on a pulley machine

Then put on a rope attachment

Stagger your feet to give your body support throw the movement

Grab the rope with a pronated grip

Pull the rope directly towards your face while also separating your hands

Squeeze at the peak of contraction when pulling the rope towards your face

Control the weight slowly in the eccentric part of the movement

Sets and Reps: 4×12-15, tempo is a 2 second squeeze with a 3 second eccentric

Upright Rows

To hit all heads of your shoulders, upright rows are one of the most effective exercises. Ending a workout with this tri-set will bring you to exhaustion and maximize hypertrophy. For this tri-set, adjusting the hand position is all that is needed

Get a barbell that holds an amount of weight that you can comfortably do several reps with

In a standing position, pick up the barbell with a wide overhand grip approximately 6-12 inches outside shoulder width

Keep a straight back and let the bar hang around your thighs
Use your shoulders to raise the bar and bring your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. The movement should be performed to where you are almost touching your chin. Drive the motion with your elbows and always keep your elbows above your forearms


Lower the bar back to the starting position next to your thighs and repeat for the desired repetitions

After finishing a set with a wide grip, immediately do a set with a shoulder width grip, and after the set with a shoulder width grip, immediately do a set with a close grip (hands almost touching)

Sets and Reps: 3×10-12 each set

5 Basic Rules For Building Monster Strength


Some athletes train for size. Others train for strength. Although muscle size and strength are not mutually exclusive, it’s important to decide which one you want the most. This way, you’ll be able to create a workout routine and diet plan that supports your goals. Add some serious strength to your frame with these proven strategies

Lift Heavy


The key to gaining muscle strength is to lift heavy. Your body gets stronger by recruiting more fibers in a particular muscle group. Heavy training helps recruit fast-twitch muscle fiber, which have the most potential for increasing strength. Squats, presses, dips, deadlifts and other compound moves can maximize strength gains, especially when using heavy weights (at least 90 percent of your one rep max)

Perform Natural Strength Movements


Certain exercises are better than others for building strength. These include the barbell squat, vertical/horizontal pulling, and vertical/horizontal pushing. Basically, your workout should consist of pull-ups, military presses, bench presses, and bent over barbell rows. Once you master these primary movements, your strength will increase. Romanian deadlifts, Olympic lift variations, and power cleans can boost your strength gains too

Increase Your Maximum Lifts


If you’re a newbie, stick to the basics. Start with a simple training program and be consistent. Stop missing workouts and making excuses. Focus on increasing your maximum lifts on the main strength exercises, such as deadlift or military press. If you’re able to do more than one rep, then it’s not your max at all. Lift heavier weights every time you hit the gym. Watch your form all the time. Don’t just throw as much weight on the bar as possible to improve other people. Bad form can affect your progress and lead to serious injuries. If possible, ask a friend to assist you

Stay Focused


Focus on the muscle groups being worked and squeeze them hard. Use controlled eccentric movements to maximize your time under tension. If your form is less than perfect, try a different grip or pick a lighter weigh. Getting stronger requires mental focus and intense volume

Eat for Strength


Eating for strength is different than eating for muscle growth or fat loss. A bodybuilder requires fewer carbs and calories to reach his goals compared to a powerlifter or a strongman. To get stronger, you have to load up on protein and carbs while increasing your calorie intake. Creatine, weight gainers, glutamine, and whey protein supplements should be a staple in your diet

Eat slow digesting carbs before training and refuel your muscles with simple carbs and fast-digesting protein post workout. Add dextrose, honey, maltodextrin or other source of sugar to your protein shake after exercise. This will help your body recover faster and replenish muscle glycogen stores

Make sure your diet includes white rice, sweet potatoes, beef, poultry, nuts, seeds and other nutrient-dense foods
Eat every two or three hours to reduce muscle loss and keep your metabolism high. Get your daily calories from quality foods, not cookies, chips, or fries. The trans fats in these products can limit muscle growth and increase catabolism