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Posts Tagged ‘muscle building’

Summer’s Here – It’s Time to Start Cheating

Monday, June 26th, 2017

When to Cheat to Build More Muscle

The Summer months are here now, and that means it’s time for some Cheating.

Call me crazy, but I think people put too much emphasis on STRICT lifting technique.

I’m not saying that you should deviate from the technique so much that you put yourself at injury.

For instance, I think multi-joint movements like the Squat, Deadlift, and their complex variations should be done with excellent form at all times.

But when it comes to isolation movements, exercises where there’s much fewer joints moving and less risk for injury, I think it’s perfectly fine to cheat a bit on your technique in order to bring about more gains.

Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to cheat sometimes on your form:

1 – When you go super strict, it limits how much weight you can use.

Eventually, you’ve got to move up in weight a bit, if you want to bring on more muscle growth. But if you’re always staying super strict, it makes it hard to bump the weights up.

For an example of when I like to modify the technique in order to lift more weight, here’s a combo set of Plate Front Raises and Dumbbell Side Laterals. I deviate from the strict form on the Front Raises, because I’m using a 100lb Plate, and I bend my arms a bit to improve my leverage. I still try to lower the plate under control to accentuate the negative.

As you can see, I bend my arms here a bit to be able to get the plate up – just a small adjustment away from textbook form in order to get a lot more weight, and put a lot more loading on the front delts. Believe me, my front delts were SERIOUSLY SORE after this workout – way more sore than the previous few weeks when I worked with much lighter weight.

(2) When you keep everything strict, it limits how many reps you can do.

Appreciable volume is a must in order to build muscle. In fact, I like to stay between 8 and 15 reps on my movements where the goal is building muscle and not sheer strength.

There’s a couple ways to dial back the level of strictness in your lifting, in order to get more volume. Here are my favorites:

Go Heavier and Cheat from the Start: This method pulls from the idea above, of using more weight. Grab something that’s a good 5 to 10lbs heavier than you normally do with pristine form, and use some body english right from the start in order to bump up the volume and feel the pump sink in.

Regular Weight and Cheat at the End: With this one, you’ll start out with your regular “textbook” form, and then if you burn out before you hit your goal number of reps, then stop being a form policeman, and get the rest of your reps.

This is really just a handful of ways you can ease back a little bit on the form, in order to kick-start your gains again by increasing the weights you’re using and the volume you’re hitting in your workouts. I’m sure you can think of a few more.

The way some people talk about lifting, it’s as if the Form Police are there shaking a nightstick at you, watching every rep you do, ready to pounce on you if you deviate even the slightest from perfect form.

That’s all in your head. Don’t feel the need to stay strict on every single set and rep you do.

Naturally, there’s a time and place for everything. You don’t want to get in the habit of ALWAYS using cheat form.

Use cheating as a way to break through plateaus, test yourself with higher weights, and challenge your endurance in higher-rep situations.

I think you’re gonna see that it can help you out a great deal and can bring on some last-minute size increases, now that the Summer is here.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

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Free Big Back Workout for You – Build a Big Back

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

I wanted to share this workout with you that I did last Friday morning.

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This was the second time I’ve done it (with just a couple of modifications), and I’m telling you, this workout is awesome.

It involves 4 separate blocks (A,B,C,D), each with 3 exercises (1,2,3), done with minimal rest between sets for a maximized pump and engorgement of the muscles.

If you’re not familiar with the exercises, watch this video:

Big Back Workout

A1. Pull-ups – 3×10
A2. Dips – 3x 10-20
A3. Ab Wheel – 3×10

B1. Pull-downs – 3×10-12
B2. Front Laterals – 3×10
B3. Crucifix – 3x15sec

C1. Reverse Curl – 3×8-12
C2. Prone Pull-downs – 3×12-15
C3. Band Face Pulls – 3×15

D1. Unilateral Pull-aparts – 3x10each side
D2. Belly Pull-ups – 3×5
D3. Chain Hammer Curls – 3×15

As you’ll notice, there’s a lot more than “Back” exercises in there. I had to modify this workout quite a bit because my Chest/Shoulder/Biceps workout got interrupted last week, and I wasn’t able to get my Biceps or Deltoid work in. I added these in where I’d normally have my other Triceps exercises (I only did one pure Triceps exercise, Dips).

I’m gonna be straight up with you here – you can’t mess around between sets with this workout, or you won’t get it all done.

A lot of people will not be able to get this workout done inside of an hour, like my buddy Mark and I did.

In fact, a lot of people are not in shape enough to do all of this PERIOD, let alone inside an hour.

If you can’t finish the workout, don’t worry about it. Work on it.

We’ve been training this way for a while, and while it’s intense, I truly feel this is a great way to train, especially on days when you don’t have strength-specific work (requires longer rest periods), and are only looking at building slabs of muscle all over your body.

Like I said, if you don’t know the exercises, check out this video, because all of them but 2 are in there:

Any questions, please let me know.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

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Slaughter Sets: Take Your Training to the Next Intensity Level!

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Slaughter Sets – SICKEST PUMP EVER

This article will show you how you can pack a ton of training into a short time, resulting in an amazing pump to your muscles, better muscle gains, and more fun while you train. You will burn more calories in a short time and look forward to training even more because lifting becomes competitive. Enjoy!

I had seen Khali Muscle introduce these ultra-volume workouts where he was doing something like 500 reps, and I wanted to try them THAT DAY.

But I thought, how can you make these work if you have a partner? One dude is going to be standing around for a long time, and that sucks!

I thought about it for a bit, and I figured it out.

We gave the idea a try and it worked awesome. We started calling them Slaughter Sets.

Here is how to set up a Slaughter set with more than one person training, so both or all people get a killer workout WITHOUT having to stand around waiting while the other guy trains his ass off.

How to Set Up Slaughter Sets

Slaughter Sets are comprised of the same number of exercises as the number of people lifting. So, if there are two people, there are two exercises. If there are three people, three drills, etc. We have done these with up to 5 people before and they work great.

The Dictator: Regardless of how many lifters and exercises you have, one of them is called the Dictator. This is because that lifter dictates the speed of the set, because he has to hit 100 reps. Once he hits 100 reps (or whatever desired number you select), you take a short break and switch positions.

An example of a Slaughter Set combination for two people is Push-ups and Barbell Curls. One lifter starts out on Push-ups and goes until he hits 100 reps. He can group the repetitions however he wants to and take as many rest-pauses as he needs.

While he is doing this, the other lifter is performing as many reps as possible in Barbell Curls. He can rest-pause as often as he wants, too.

This can become a competition between the two lifters.

You can time how long it takes each person to finish the repetitions and see who can do it faster. You can also keep track of the number of repetitions each dude gets in the non-Dictator lifts, to see who can get more reps there too.

What you end up with is between 5 and 10 minutes of super-high volume training, unbelievable pumps, and a very competitive atmosphere in the weight room that will bring out the best of you and your partners.

Here are a couple of examples of Slaughter Sets we have done recently:

Slaughter Set 1: Triceps and 2HP

Dictator: Banded Tricep Push-downs
Also Performed: Two Hands Pinch Lifts

Slaughter Set 2: Shoulders and Abdominals

Dictator: Banded Front Raise
Also Performed: Ab Wheel Knee Roll-outs, Band Pull-Aparts

These are just a couple of awesome Slaughter Sets we have done recently that we actually caught on tape, but we’ve done a few more. We even did one combo when we have 5 dudes here.

Freakin’ awesome.

When it is as cold as it is outside, and you don’t want to go for a jog, or pull the sled out in the snow, this is a great way to burn a ton of calories in a really short time, while also getting the benefit of the mean pump.

In short, they will change your life.

All the best in your training,

Jedd

Baseball Season Will Be Here Soon – Is Your Grip Ready to Go?
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Build Back Muscle and Strength With These Mass Builders

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

This is Part II to the Epic Upper Body Workout that I started at the tail end of September when my good friend Chris came up to train. This is the Pulling Work we did.

I wanted to show him some new stuff he add into his training to not only build muscle, but also to balance out his shoulder training, as well as be better prepared for physical altercations in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.

Part IV: Bigger Back and Stronger Grip with Pull-up Variations

This video shows several variations for Pull-ups that will not only build your back muscles, but will also balance your shoulder strength and build better grip strength. Having a strong set of hands is very important for Chris in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.


Part V: Build a Big back with Low Cable Row Variations

We split these sets up with both wide and narrow rows. I showed Chris a correction to keep the emphasis on the lats and other big back muscles and to reduce the level of upper trap involvement. The set-up we used made the range of motion much shorter than normal, but this was because of the seat we used, due to my left lumbar area being very touchy. You can see once Chris adjusted, it began feeling totally different.


Part VI: Upper Back Postural Strength with Bodyweight Training

The Inverted Row is a great exercise and it can be loaded with chains draped over the body to make it more difficult. On top of that, we also held the concentric for a 3-count pause. I also used some mental distraction tactics to mimic the sound of an alarm going off due to a prison riot. This may sound annoying, but it is something that would be real during an actual emergency in the jail.


Part VII: Odd Object Loaded Hyper Extensions

Since Chris occasionally runs into situations where an inmate will get physical, instead of loading the Hyperextensions with normal dumbbells or barbell plates, we bear-hugged sandbags and heavy bags. This feels much more like actually having to control an inmate than just gripping some weights.


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I still have several clips coming your way from this workout. Stay tuned in a couple days for the Arm Training that we did. My arms were blown up like water balloons after what we did. It was AWESOME.

Sign up for updates to make sure you get notified every time a new article or video is posted here at DieselCrew.com:

All the best in your training.

Jedd


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Epic Upper Body Workout – Build a Big Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms

Friday, September 27th, 2013
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Me and Chris

A few months back, I was talking with an old friend of mine from college, Chris Christian.

Chris was one of my main training partners when I was in college between 1999 and 2001.

Unfortunately, he had been through an extended stint of “training vacation” and he wanted to get back into it.

He asked me for some guidance, and I asked him what he was currently doing.

He began to tell me about all this Beach Muscle work he was doing – each workout was filled with all this Pushing work and very little Pulling work.

Multiple Bench Variations, Shoulder Isolation work, Arm Training, but barely any Pulls.

Oh man…

So, we began working on that right away, because when you do too much Pushing and not enough Pulling, you run the risk of serious shoulder issues. Any doctor, physician or therapist will tell you that.

I laid out some new routines for Chris and shot him this video on balanced shoulder training guidelines.

He set forth following these new guidelines and said that once the Summer was over and his weekend job working security at an amusement park was done for the season, he would be up to hit a Big Workout, just like Old Times.

This past weekend, Chris made it up, and we had an awesome training session.

The way I laid it out, I wanted to give him plenty of new options for his training that were balanced between Pushing and Pulling movements for his entire upper body: Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Arms.

What this meant was that we would be hitting three upper body movements all in one day.

DISCLAIMER: I would not normally recommend training sessions like this on a regular basis. We trained for a solid 2.5 hours with very little rest. Doing this on a routine basis will almost definitely result in undue soreness and most likely over-training. That’s your warning, DIESELS. Don’t try this at home.

Part I: Intro Video, Warm-ups and Pressing

In this video, you’ll get to meet Chris. I immediately got him going on some warm-ups for his hips since he spends much of the day sitting on his ass and had just driven nearly 2 hours to my place. Even though we weren’t going to be hitting much lower body stuff, I still wanted everything to be limbered up well so that he was feeling right and performing well.

As I mentioned in the video, Chris’s job has recently been pretty intense. It was a long week filled with altercations, so I decided to add in some Odd Object Training along with the conventional barbell and dumbbell work. The idea behind the Odd Object Training is to get him better prepared for the altercations he sometimes sees in his job.

Part II: Log Incline Press, Incline Flies and Shrugs

Since Chris’s gym’s equipment selection is limited at best, I wanted to give him a treat of working the Incline Press with a Log. He said he loved it.

Also, since Chris is limited to a 30-minute workout since he trains at work, we threw in a nice super-set combo of Incline Flies and Shrugs. There’s no reason why Chris can’t get back into awesome shape. Even with 30-minute workouts, he can build muscle and burn off fat if he keeps his sessions intense, by including back-to-back pairings like these.

Part III: Pull-up Variations for Back and Grip Development

One of the ruts Chris and many people get into is they abandon Pull-ups and instead do all kinds of work on the Lat Pull-down Machine. I told Chris to start working Pull-ups back in because they are the Ultimate Back Builder.

You’ll also see in the video that we varied the grip and hand position throughout this section of the workout. We did this because I want Chris to start training his hands harder in order to be ready for anything on his job. You will see several different grip implements you can use.



This doesn’t even scrape the surface of what we did that day. Here it is almost a week since we trained, and I still haven’t got all of the footage edited and uploaded.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get to see all of the footage from this awesome workout.

All the best in your training,

Jedd

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