Showing posts from May, 2013

Increasing your bench press

Hey my name is Matt. I've just started the 10 8 6 15 workout on your site. It's been many years since I've lifted, so I haven't been able to do much weight (I'm 160lbs age 23). 

My bench press is very weak, and I'm usually not able to complete all of my reps. Also I've been leaving out the close grip bench press from my routine. Is the bench press still doing me any good even if I can't finish the reps? Any tips on an exercise that might help me get stronger on the bench press? Also what is a good substitute for the close grip? 

And finally, I am able to curl more weight with my right arm than my left. Is it OK to use less weight in my left and more in my right, or should I use equal amounts even though its a little easier with my right arm? 

Sorry to bombard you with questions. I just don't really have anyone to ask! 


My Answer:If you're not able to complete the target reps, then that's fine.  The point is to pyramid your reps and weight.…

How to train the entire body in under 30 minutes

I was hoping to get some advice on a quick (under 30 minutes) workout I could do at home before or after work. As you know, 12 hour shifts are a killer on the body, and sometimes after or before a night shift I just do not have the energy to go the gym. Is there a workout you could recommend I could do at home?

I have a chin-up bar, Bosu ball and a barbell. I was thinking I could the gymnast pull-up/chin routine you have in one of your workouts, but not sure if that would be the most complete/all around workout I could do. Any help would be fantastic. 

Peace Officer,  Protective Services - Edmonton Zone

My Answer: The gymnast's pull-up routine will cover the back and biceps.  If you want a full body routine, then add the following:

Front squatsMilitary press Pushups with the feet elevated on the Bosu ball

The Zig Zag Diet for Fat Loss

I'm J. M., 24 from Finland. I found working out to be my thing about a year ago and been following different training programs ever since. Previously I've been playing ice hockey for 7 years, football for 2 years and practiced Thai boxing for 2 years also. Therefore my physique and condition are quite fine, but I've never been too muscular before. 

Currently I'm studying law and working out regularly three times a week and been trying to get more muscle, in which I've quite succeeded. I have no medical issues, and I sleep regularly 8 hours per night. Now I read your article about strength training and fat loss at I found it highly informative and interesting and decided to give it a try. 

What kind of diet would you suggest if I plan to follow The Modern Strength Training/Fat Loss Program, since there was no mention about that in the article? I've been working out with Arnold's Golden Six for almost three months now and gained a lot of musc…

Thickening up the Triceps

I always wanted to thicken the tricep down towards the elbow. What exercises and rep/set and rest periods would you suggest?


My Answer: The triceps are a fast-twitch muscle group, so they respond best to heavy weight, low reps.  The lateral head of the triceps (the one near the elbow) grows on any pressing movement.  Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth has a chapter on triceps training which lists a number of exercises for the triceps lateral head.  The book also goes over the ideal rep range to stimulate growth for each muscle group.

So if you wanted to build up the triceps lateral head, then 5x5 or 6x6 close grip bench presses work well.  Even better would be 10 sets of 4 reps.

Ectomorph Muscle Building: Nutrition and Training Basics for Muscle Growth

Hello any advice for me? I am 16 years old and want to build muscle. 


My Answer: Well, I have a new article at Muscle and Strength titled Ectomorph Muscle Building: Nutrition And Training Basics For Muscle Growth.  If you're just starting out, then what you want to do is build strength on whole body exercises.  Whole body exercises (such as the clean and press, squat and deadlift) are what I call "anabolic blowtorches."  Done properly, they elicit a huge testosterone response from your body.

So if you focus on perfect your form and getting stronger on these 3 exercises, then you can build quite a bit of muscle.  You can add other exercises that target specific muscle groups, but those should be supplementary exercises.  In Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth you'll find a variety of these supplementary exercises that target each muscle group.

How to Train a Muscle's Fiber Makeup for Maximum Size

Q: I am a newbie to bodybuilding. How heavy should I go on shoulder exercises to get a full workout? I am already in good shape from athletics.

- Ian E.

My Answer: If you're going to be a bodybuilder, then what you'll need to do is focus on "size training" as opposed to athletic training.  Depending on the sport your athletic background should have helped developed the strength, explosive and endurance of your deltoids.

Each muscle group has a "personality" based on its fiber makeup.  This means that the deltoids respond to a specific range of repetitions and a specific tempo.  In fact the 3 deltoid heads differ from each other in terms of rep ranges.

The anterior delts are comprised of primarily fast-twitch muscle fiber, so they respond best to low reps and extremely heavy weight.  If you look at weightlifters, they have well developed delts from explosive overhead lifts like the clean and jerk.

The lateral (sometimes called medial) delts are comprised of st…