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Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Chest Training Weight Lifting Exercises

If you study myths and legends or popular folklore, you'll notice a strong chest was
representative of virility and heroism. A powerful chest is something everybody recognizes.

Almost anybody can improve his/her chest by lifting weights with only the smallest bit of know-
how. Now, we show you how you can be successful at building a strong chest with these weight
lifting exercises.

The Chest Weight Lifting Exercises


• Incline dumbbell presses
• Flat dumbbell presses
• Incline dumbbell flyes

Incline Dumbbell Presses

#1 Incline Dumbbell Presses


For developing your upper pecs, put the weight training bench at a 25- to 30-degree angle; that's
where you'll get the maximum weight lifting emphasis. Lift the weight to shoulder level, keeping
your upper arms parallel to the ground and your elbows at about 90 degrees.
The Weight Training Exercise: Follow a triangular motion as you are lifting weights. The
weights should meet at the midline of your body above your chest and shoulders. Visualize a
smooth weight lifting motion, and focus on the "squeeze" of the chest. Lower the weight more
slowly than you lift it. Accentuating the eccentric (or lowering) phase will enhance your weight
lifting strength and coordination.

Caution: Don't push the weight out over your stomach or behind your head. Keep it vertical.

#2 Flat Dumbbell Presses


The Weight Training Exercise: Start lifting weights with your upper arms parallel to the
ground, and keep your wrists tight and straight. Move the weights upward in a smooth triangular
motion until they meet above the center line of your body. Follow this same path down until your
upper arms are slightly below parallel to the ground. Never move too fast during the weight
lifting exercise; stay in control and focus on proper form.

Caution: Don't lift your head or your shoulders off the bench.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

#3 Incline Dumbbell Flyes


Set your incline bench at a 25- to 30-degree angle, and start in the same position you used with
the incline dumbbell presses.

The Weight Training Exercise: Use a grip with your palms facing each other. As you raise the
weight, try to follow a triangular motion, but this time put an arc into it. Your arms will arch
down and out and then up and in. Make sure this weight lifting motion goes directly against
gravity, not out over your stomach.
Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Abdominal Training and Ab Exercises

Developing a washboard set of abs takes more than just spending a few minutes a day on some
trendy ab cruncher. Like any other muscle group, your midsection needs to be trained in
accordance with the proper principles of resistance exercise.

The Ab Workout
• Crunches
• Reverse crunches

#1 Crunches
Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground or on a "sit-up board." Cross your hands
and place them on your upper chest. Keep your head and neck stable.

The Exercise: You should visualize the rib cage being drawn down and in toward the pelvis
when the abdominals contract. Both the contraction and the eccentric (i.e., lowering) phase
should be slow and precise.

Caution: Don't put your hands behind your head. This leads to poor form and possible injury.
Reverse Crunches

#2 Reverse Crunches
Lie on your back on a flat or slightly inclined bench, and grab the top of the bench. Bend your
knees, so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor over your hips. Keep your knees and your
feet close together to reduce unnecessary motion.

The Exercise: Slowly contract the abdominals, focusing on a bringing the pelvis up and in
toward your rib cage. Let the abs do the work. Lower the pelvis to its starting position,
maintaining constant tension on the abs.

Caution: Don't perform this exercise quickly; excess momentum can cause you to lose proper
form and may lead to lower back injury.

Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Back Muscles Weight Lifting Exercises


A lot of guys don't like to train their backs since they can't really see them being worked. But the
one body part that shows through our clothes, the body part that's a testament to all our hard
work, regardless of what we're wearing, is a strong, V-shaped back.

The Back Weight Lifting Exercise


• One-arm dumbbell rows
• Bent-over barbell rows
• Pullups (cable pull downs)

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows

#1 One-Arm Dumbbell Rows


Find a weight training bench. With your feet fairly close together, lean forward so you're
supporting the weight of your upper body with the arm closest to the bench. Your spine is almost
parallel with the ground. Put the knee closest to the bench on the weight training bench.

Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with one arm. The other arm should be locked at the elbow
while lifting weights so it will support the weight of your upper body.

The Weight Lifting Exercise: Without using any momentum, begin the weight lifting exercise
by slowly lifting the weight as far as you can toward your chest. Simultaneously tighten the
abdominals to keep the body from rotating as you "row" the dumbbell. Concentrate on pulling
the elbow back as far as it can go—the dumbbell should end up roughly parallel to your torso.

Caution: Slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position—don't bounce it back up!
Bent-Over Barbell Rows

#2 Bent-Over Barbell Rows


Start this exercise with your knees slightly bent and your abs leaning against the upper thighs,
tightly contracted. With your back parallel to the floor, grip the barbell with a shoulder-width
grip.

The Weight Lifting Exercise: With the barbell griped tightly, begin the weight lifting exercise
by pulling the bar up toward and into your lower chest/upper abs. Use your arms to initiate the
weight lifting movement, but do not swing the upper body upward. Once the bar touches your
lower chest, lower the weight down toward your feet until your arms are fully extended.

Tip: This weight lifting exercise should be done in a smooth movement: no jerking! Try varying
your weight lifting grip; see what works for you—wide or narrow, or even underhand grip.

#3 Pullups (Cable Pull Downs)


Cable pulley weight training machines are commonly used in place of pullups because of the
ability to change the resistance on the weight lifting machines. However, in my opinion, nothing
beats the muscular contractions (and burn) your back achieves from doing a good old-fashioned
pullup/chin up.

The Weight Lifting Exercise: A variety of grips can be used on these weight lifting exercises,
including wide, parallel, narrow, and reverse grips. When doing any back pulley or pullup
exercises, always keep the head vertical and your shoulders tight. Once you've gripped the bar,
pull yourself upward, until your head approaches the bar and you feel a full contraction in your
arms and back. Try to squeeze your back—envision you're pulling your elbows toward each
other behind your back. If you're using a cable pull down, control the weight during the negative
motion, as the weight/bar returns back to the starting position. Use good form, controlling the
weight on both the eccentric and concentric motions of the movement, and this will be a
productive weight training exercise for your back.

Caution: Relaxing at the bottom, especially during wide pulls, can cause serious damage to the
shoulders.

Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Shoulder Weight Training Exercises

The shoulders are among the most difficult of body parts to train. For one thing, the shoulder, or
deltoid, is comprised of three heads: the anterior (front), the medial (middle), and the posterior
(rear). As such, there's no single exercise that optimally works the entire shoulder. Shoulder
trainees need to use a variety of exercises combined with correct body positioning, and the latter
is where a lot of people miss the shoulder boat. Using good form is very important in avoiding
shoulder injuries.

The Shoulder Workout


• Overhead dumbbell presses
• Lateral dumbbell raises
• Seated rows
Overhead Dumbbell Presses

#1 Overhead Dumbbell Presses


Sit on a bench with or without a back support. Pick up a pair of dumbbells, and hold them at
shoulder height, elbows out completely to the sides and palms facing forward.

The Exercise: Slowly press the dumbbells up and in, so they meet or nearly meet above the
crown of your head. Press the weights to just short of lockout, so you don't put stress on the
cartilage. At the top, mentally contract the shoulder muscles as much as possible.

Now, slowly lower the dumbbells, keeping the weight balanced over your elbows. Stop when
your elbows are just below parallel with your shoulder joints.

Tip: You might find you have to lighten the weight a bit to do this exercise correctly.

Lateral Dumbbell Raises

#2 Lateral Dumbbell Raises


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or closer or sit on an exercise bench. At this point,
your elbows should be directly below your shoulder joints, not behind them and not in front of
them, with your hands facing your body. Keep your elbows in a slightly bent position. Keep your
chest elevated. (This is something you should do for just about every upper body exercise.)

The Exercise: Slowly add tension to the deltoids by mentally flexing the muscles. While
standing or sitting up straight, slowly raise the arms out to the sides and up. Stop when your
elbows and the weights are parallel with your shoulders. Then, lower the weights slowly to the
starting position. Don't rotate your shoulder externally as you raise the dumbbells.

Tip: Focus on your elbows instead of the dumbbells.

#3 Seated Rows (on a machine)


Grab the handles, pull back the weight, and sit down on the pad. Bring your upper body into
proper spinal alignment by sitting up straight. Place your feet firmly on the ground to stabilize
yourself. Position your scapulas (shoulder blades) in a neutral position (don't shrug your
shoulders), and keep them there throughout the exercise.

The Exercise: Slowly row your elbows straight back while keeping them in line with your
shoulders. Be sure to slowly contract the deltoids as much as possible. Try to concentrate on
activating the rear delts while relaxing the front delts.

Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Biceps and Triceps Weight Training Exercises

There's something just so gratifying about having lean, well-shaped biceps and triceps that it
makes all the hours in the gym seem well worth it.
The upper arm is made up of two primary muscle groups—the biceps and the triceps. A lot of
lifters just train the biceps; however, the triceps make up two-thirds of the upper arm mass. Thus,
it is extremely important to focus on triceps training as much or more than biceps training if you
want to build strong, healthy arms!

Biceps & Triceps Weight Training


• Standing barbell curls
• Seated dumbbell curls
• Lying overhead triceps extensions
• Single-arm seated overhead triceps extensions
• Flat bench triceps dips

Standing Barbell Curls

#1 Standing Barbell Curls


Your feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart. Grab the bar with your shoulders squared and
your chest up. Before starting the actual weight lifting curl, you'll also want to bend your knees a
little.

The Weight Training Exercise: Now, contract the biceps slowly, keeping the arms "glued" to
your sides. Try visualizing the barbell moving out and up in an arc with the elbows being the
center of the arc. Don't arch your back or sway backward or forward in an effort to recruit
gravity or momentum to lift the weight for you.
As you do your weight lifting reps, always lower the weight slowly instead of just letting it fall.
This downward movement—known as the "eccentric" phase—is where the muscle does most of
its work and, consequently, causes the most muscle growth.

Caution: Don't round your shoulders during the weight lifting exercise. This takes emphasis off
the biceps.

Seated Dumbbell Curls

#2 Seated Dumbbell Curls


Sit up straight or on a weight training bench, keeping your back flat against the bench. Keep your
shoulders squared and your chest elevated. Grab a pair of weight training dumbbells. In the
starting position, your arms will be hanging straight down.

The Weight Training Exercise: With your palms in the up, or supinated, position, curl the
dumbbells toward your shoulders.

Tip: Concentrate on the "squeeze" in the biceps.


Lying Overhead Triceps Extensions

#3 Lying Overhead Triceps Extensions


Find a flat weight training bench. Simply grasp two dumbbells at shoulder-width grip, and lie
back onto the weight training bench.

The Weight Training Exercise: Slowly lower the weights backward and down in an arc toward
your forehead until your elbows form 90-degree angles. Slowly raise the weights, again making
sure not to move the upper arms during the weight lifting exercise.

Tip: Keeping your hands in a "hammer" position throughout the weight lifting exercise
(grabbing the dumbbells as if they were hammers instead of weights), lower the weights to the
sides of your head and raise them up again.

Single-Arm Seated Overhead Triceps Extensions

#4 Single-Arm Seated Overhead Triceps


Extensions
Find a flat weight training bench, or an upright, 90-degree seated bench. Simply grasp one
dumbbell, and lift it over your head. Sit up straight or back onto the weight training bench.

The Weight Training Exercise: Hold a dumbbell over your head, with the back of your arm
(triceps) facing outward. Slowly lower the weight down, behind your head, and at an arc toward
your opposite shoulder until your elbow forms a 90-degree angle. Slowly raise the weight,
completely over your head until your arm is nearly straightened out (but don't lock your elbow
out). Again, make sure not to move the upper arms during the weight lifting exercise.

Tip: Keep your hands in a "hammer" position throughout the weight lifting exercise (that is, grab
the dumbbells as if they were hammers instead of weights).

Flat Bench Triceps Dips

#5 Flat Bench Triceps Dips


This is a great exercise for targeting your triceps while also targeting the outer parts of your
chest.

The Weight Training Exercise: Locate a flat weight training bench. Sit alongside one quarter
of the bench, facing perpendicular and away from the side of the bench. Place your feet out
forward, in front of you about three or four feet. Place your hands tightly against your hips, at
your sides, on the bench. (Gripping the side of the bench, with your palms down and the front of
your hands (your knuckles) facing forward. Slowly lower your upper body downward, bending
from the elbows. Keep your knees slightly bent, and rest your weight on your heels. Lower your
body almost until your butt hits the floor. Raise yourself by pushing from your hands on the
bench.

Tip: Keep your knees slightly bent and try not to bend your knees any further while lowering
your body.
Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Lifting Exercises for Leg Muscles

Here's something interesting I've noticed about working legs: if you work them, they'll grow.
There are plenty of hardgainers out there who have trouble developing their arms, back, or chest,
but for some reason, I've never met anybody who can't get their legs to grow.

The Leg Workout


• Free-weight squats
• Dumbbell lunges (step-ups)
• Stiff-legged deadlifts

Free-Weight Squats
#1 Free-Weight Squats
Position yourself under the bar with the bar on the upper portion of the trapezius muscles. Make
sure you squeeze your shoulder blades together slightly, and place your hands on the bar. For
most people, a shoulder-width stance is fine.

The Exercise: In a slow, controlled fashion, squat as low as you can, stopping right before your
pelvis begins to curl under. Once you have reached the bottom, slowly press the weight upward
while maintaining spinal alignment. Your knees and hips will move back in line with one another
simultaneously as you move upward. It is important to keep the abdominals tight and chest high.
Straighten the legs as much as possible without locking the knees.

This exercise is just one of many that works the legs, but it's very challenging because you use
free weights, and it requires good balance.

Tip: Keep your chest up, shoulders lightly back, and head up.

Dumbbell Lunges (Step-Ups)

#2 Dumbbell Lunges (Step-Ups)


Your feet should be pointing forward and positioned at least hip-width apart. Pick up a pair of
dumbbells, being extremely cautious not to strain your back.

The Exercise: Step one foot forward, about the same length as your quadriceps (from your hip
to your knee) either on the floor or on a bench in front of you. (For example, if you step forward
with your left leg, your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Your right knee should
be directly under your right hip, and your right thigh should be perpendicular to the floor.) When
coming back to the starting position, focus on straightening the knee and the hip. The front leg is
the primary mover, while the back leg is used only for balance.
Caution: Don't let the knee travel over the toes because this can place extreme tension on the
tendons of the knee.

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

#3 Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, balancing your weight on your heels. Grasp the bar
with either a pronated grip (palms down) or a powerlifting grip (one palm up and one palm
down) and place your hands about shoulder-width apart. Pull back your shoulder blades, and
tighten your lats. You want to keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Tighten the
abdominals, and maintain this throughout each and every cautious rep; this will help stabilize the
pelvis and lessen the risk of lower back injury. Tighten the hamstrings and quads to stabilize the
semi-locked knee.

The Exercise: Bend at the hips, and as you lower the weight, move the hips backward slightly.
Lower the weight until you get a good stretch of the hamstrings, but don't start bending at the
shoulders or lower back.

It's imperative that the knee joints stay in a semi-locked position, held tight by the quads. This
will allow you to fully stretch the hamstrings as you lower the weight. Practice keeping the neck
in line with the rest of your spine as much as you can.

Once you have reached the bottom of the exercise, return to the starting vertical position by
slowly and simultaneously moving the hips and bar toward each other while keeping perfect
spinal alignment.

Caution: Don't round the upper, middle, or lower back.


Weight Training & Weight Lifting Exercises

Chest Training Weight Lifting Exercises

Day 1—Monday, Workout #1


CHEST TRAINING

o Incline Dumbbell Presses


1 set x 15 reps
2-3 sets x 10 reps / 3-0-2 tempo
(Take three seconds to lower the weight, no pause, and two seconds to raise the
weight.)

o Flat Dumbbell Presses


4-5 x 10-15 (increase weight each set) / 3-0-2 tempo

o Incline Dumbbell Flyes


3 x 15-20 / 3-0-2 tempo

Training Exercises for Rock-Hard Abs


AB EXERCISES
o Crunches
4 x 25
fairly slow tempo, but don't obsess about counting

o Reverse Crunches
3 x 10-20 / 3-0-3 tempo

Day 3—Wednesday, Workout #2

Back Muscles Weight Training Exercises

BACK MUSCLES

o Pullups (Chin ups)


3-4 to failure / 3-0-2 tempo

o Bent-Over Rows
3-4 x 10-12 / 2-0-3 tempo

o One-Arm Dumbbell Rows


3 x 12-15 / 2-0-2 tempo

SHOULDER TRAINING

Shoulder Weight Training Exercises

o Overhead Dumbbell Presses


3-4 to failure / 3-1-2 tempo

o Lateral Dumbbell Raises


3 x 8-10 / 2-1-2 tempo

o Seated Rear Dumbbell Rows


3 x 10-12 / 2-0-2 tempo
Day 5—Friday, Workout #3
BICEPS

Biceps and Triceps Training Exercises

o Standing Barbell Curls


3 x 15 / 3-0-2 tempo

o Preacher Curls
3-4 x 10-12 / 4-0-3 tempo

o Seated Dumbbell Curls


2-3 x 8-12 (each arm) / 2-0-2 tempo

TRICEPS

o Overhead Triceps Extensions


3 x 15 or to total failure / 4-1-2 tempo

o Lying Overhead Triceps Extensions


4-6 x 15 / 4-1-4 tempo

o Cable Rope Extensions


3 x 10-15 reps / 3-2-3 tempo

Day 7—Sunday, Workout #4


LEG MUSCLES

Lifting Exercises for Leg Muscles


o Free-Weight Squats
Sometimes, just for the sake of variety, I'll use squats as my only exercise.
6-12 x 4-6 to 12-15 / 3-0-3 tempo
(Take about three minutes to fully recuperate between sets if you're really working out
hard.)

o Or Leg Presses
(I recommend using this exercise every third workout instead of squatting.)
4-8 x 8-15 / 2-0-2 or 2-0-1 tempo
(Again, take about three minutes to fully recuperate between sets.)

o Dumbbell Lunges
3-4 x 10-15 Or 1 to failure for a burnout at the end of the leg workout / 2-0-2 tempo

o Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
3-4 x 8-15 / 3-0-3 tempo

o Or Lying Leg Curls


3-6 x 8-10 / 2-0-2 to 4-0-4 tempo

o Seated Calf Raises


3-4 x 12 / 3-0-1 tempo

o Or Standing Heel Raises


3-4 x 8 / 3-0-1 tempo

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