Bodybuilding Training Article from

Weight Lifting and Weight Training - Chapter 7

Bodybuilding Equipment

Individual Stations

Folding Bench Press

Adjustable Combo Bench

Flat Bench

Heavy Flat Bench

Adjustable Spotter Bench

Bench Press Spotter

Basic Bench Press

Self Spotter Rack

Power Cage

Hip Sled

Dumbbell Bench

Smith Machine Bench

Jones Machine

Back & Arm Machine

Cable Crossover Machine

Squat Rack

Preacher Curl Bench

Roman Chair

Hyperextension Bench

Seated Calf Machine

Vertical Knee Raise

Hack Squat Machine

Power Rack

Power Rack Bench Combo

Power Rack Lat Attachment

Leg Extension Curl

Ab Crunch Board

Dumbbell Rack

Flat Incline Decline Bench

Utility Bench

Smith Machine

Smith Lat Attachment

Plate Loaded Gym

150 lb. Weight Stack

Selectorized Home Gym

Preacher Curl Attachment

Bench Squat Combo

Lat Machines

Phys-X Free-Standing Lat Tower

Olympic Weight Tree

Standard Weight Tree

Ab Crunch Machine


Home Gyms

Home Gyms

Performance Trainer

Biangular Gym

Two Stack Gym

4-in-1 Free Weight Gym

All-in-1 Free Weight Gym

Smith Gym


Cardio Equipment

8k Treadmill

10k Treadmill

Elliptical Trainer


Miscellaneous Items

Body Solid Miscellaneous

Bodybuilding Accessories

Gravity Inversion Boots

Ab Blaster Slings

Olympic Adapter Sleeves

Rubber Floor Protector

Olympic Shrug Bar

Push-Up Bars

Chapter Seven

Advanced and specialized schedules

After a few months' work on the beginner's schedule, most trainees will notice appreciable gains, both in well-being and muscular development.

The progress made will depend on several factors:

  1. physical condition at the start
  2. natural potential
  3. physical type
  4. the amount of work done
  5. the influence of other relevant factors such as proper intake of nourishing foods, a full amount of sleep, and other aspects of good, clean living.

If one were to continue with these standard exercises - which comprise an efficient, although not by any means complete, bodybuilding schedule -- further progress would be made, and in most cases a good physique built, but in order to realize one's potential fully, graduation must be made to advanced and specialized work.

Special attention must be given to those parts of the body that re underdeveloped in order to build as harmonious a physique as possible, and exercises must be practiced that work several muscle groups together -- coordinated movements that develop qualities other than mere size.

The first few months of training enable one to get accustomed to handling weight in a fairly comprehensive routine of varied movements. The muscular system is toned and strengthened, the internal organs begin work more efficiently and general heath is improved. Now, after this preliminary period, it is time to take stock of oneself.

Determine, as best you can, your physical type from the information given in Chapter Two, and from anyone who has some experience in the branch of physical culture. Then, follow the advice given regarding the number of repetitions and amount of resistance, remembering that, for every physical type, some exercises need more repetitions than others. The calves, for example, should always be worked with higher repetitions than other muscle groups.

The next stage is to determine the parts of the body that need special attention. In many it is the calves, in some the neck, in others the arms, and so on.

With this knowledge, your future training plans can take shape.

First, there should be an introduction of slightly more difficult exercises. Your beginner's schedule comprises simple straightforward movements that should present no difficulty to anyone. All the exercises are performed with a barbell. There is nothing complicated about them; nothing that requires any special concentration, balance or co-ordination.

Now, you can move on to exercises that work several muscle groups together, exercises with dumbbells and coordinate movements requiring some degree of balance, timing and speed.

All the movements in the beginner's schedule are static and sectional. But in order to achieve greater coordinated muscular efficiency and mobility it is essential to include movements that demand greater bodily action and involve several major muscles groups.

Examples of such movements are the two Olympic lifts, the Snatch, and Clean and Jerk, and variations of these movements. There is no need to discard all the exercises in the beginner's schedule. Many of them can be retained. In fact, all of them can still be used form time to time for any special purpose, interwoven with others of a more active nature.

The time to start on an advanced schedule will vary with the individual. I suggest a minimum period of three months on the beginner's schedule. Some will be wise to extend this time, according to the progress made, for a further period of from two to four months. Any period longer than this shouldn't be necessary for the great majority. And in any case, after six months or so it is advisable to seek a change of movements to avoid any possibility of staleness or boredom.

Here is a typical schedule for advanced training, which can be used after your first few months of bodybuilding.

Warm up first, as usual, with freestanding movements - bending, stretching, squats, etc.

Swing Between Legs
For this movement you will need a swing-bell - a dumbbell with discs loaded in the middle, leaving the ends free to be grasped with each hand. A 12-inch rod is sufficiently long.

Stand feet astride, wide enough to allow the dumbbell to be placed between the legs, grasping each end, knuckles forward, in a squatting position, back flat, arms locked.

To start the movement, vigorously straighten the legs, at the same time swinging the bell forwards and upwards (on straight arms)J until it is at arms' length overhead. You will then be in an up stretched position, trunk upright, knees braced and looking straight ahead. The bell should be taken back behind the head a little if shoulder mobility permits, with the back slightly hollowed.

Without pausing in this position, return to starting position by retracing the path of the upwards swing, squatting down by knees bending. But do not replace the bell on the floor. Instead, allow it to swing back between the legs as far as possible as you are in the low squat position.

As soon as you have reached the farthest backwards swing, bring the bell forward again into another upwards swing.

This should be a rhythmical movement, fully working the thighs and small of the back, as well as stretching and uplifting the chest.

Essential points to watch are:

  1. Keep back as flat as possible throughout
  2. Keep arms locked throughout
  3. Breathe in rhythm with the movement, inhaling as the bell is raised overhead, exhaling as it returns between legs.

Perform 10 repetitions, Rest, then repeat 8 repetitions.

Alternate Press
Two evenly loaded dumbbells are needed for this variation of the standard pressing movement.

Stand feet astride, comfortably, with a dumbbell placed at each side of the feet, with the rods pointing forwards.

Squat down to grasp the dumbbells, then clean them to the shoulders. Stand erect, knees braced, with the bells held close to the front and side of the deltoids, the rods approximately at the height of the throat. This is the starting position for the pressing movement.

First, press one dumbbell directly overhead to locked arms, keeping the shoulders level. Lower to shoulder and at the same time press the other dumbbell overhead so that they pass each other in the midway position. Continue this alternate pressing -- one up, one down -- until the desired number of repetitions is completed. Perform 5 Presses with each arm. Rest, then repeat 4 repetitions with each arm.

Front Squat
Similar to the Squat described in the beginner's schedule, but performed with the barbell held in front at the shoulders. Place the feet comfortably apart, clean the barbell to the shoulders, keep the elbows well forward, the lower the body into the full squat position.

Perform 10 repetitions Rest, then repeat 8 repetitions.

Lateral Raise Lying
For the large pectoral muscles of the chest and the anterior deltoids.

Use two evenly-loaded dumbbells. Lie comfortably on a bench, feet resting on the floor. Start by holding the bells overhead on locked arms, with knuckles outwards.

Steadily lower sideways, maintaining locked arms, until the arms are parallel with the floor, or even a little lower, at the same time inhaling deeply. Without pause, return to the starting position, exhaling.

Perform 8 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 6 repetitions.

Bend Over
Excellent for the lower back muscles. Also stretches tight hamstrings in the thighs.

Place barbell behind neck, resting on shoulders, feet placed comfortably apart. Maintain locked legs and steadily bend forward form the waist until the upper body is parallel with the floor . The buttocks will have to be taken back a little to counter balance the forward disposition of the weight.

Inhale before starting the movement, then exhale while bending the body, inhaling as you return to the starting position.

Straddle Lift
Place the feet about 18 inches apart astride a barbell, grasping this with one hand in front of the thighs and one to the rear.

Keep the back flat and lift the barbell from the floor with leg power until the legs are fully locked. Lower almost to the floor again, then straighten up. This is a variation of the ordinary squat movement.

Perform 12 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 10 repetitions.

Incline Bench Press
Similar to the ordinary Bench Press described in the beginner's schedule, but using an inclined bench. This has a different effect on the pectorals, concentrating more on the upper part of the large chest muscles.

If you have a bench in which the angle can be adjusted you can vary the angles to give different developing effects on the muscles involved.

Use the same repetitions and sets as recommended previously for the Bench Press.

Power Clean and Jerk
A good all-round movement for the upper body and building coordination and rugged power. See Chapter Twenty-three for description.

Perform 3 cleans, then 3 jerks from the shoulder. Rest, then repeat the same number. Rest, then repeat the same number.

Single-arm Rowing Motion
A similar movement to the Rowing Motion described in the beginner's schedule, but performed with a dumbbell, employing each arm alternately.

Bend over until upper body is almost parallel with the floor and support yourself with one hand grasping a chair or table, holding a dumbbell in the other hand, hanging down at arms' length.

Keeping upper body still, pull up dumbbell to the upper chest, hold a second, then lower and repeat.

Perform 8 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 6 repetitions. then perform with the other arm.

Wrestlers Bridge Press
This is an excellent movement for the development of a firm strong neck, which is an essential part of a good physique.

Place a cushion just in front of a loaded barbell. Stand in front of the cushion, with your back to the barbell. Place the top of the head on the cushion and lift the body so that only the feet are on the floor, assuming the well-known wrestlers bridge position.

Perform 6 repetitions. Rest a few moment, then repeat for 6 repetitions.

Side Bends
Stand erect holding a dumbbell in one hand at the side, feet comfortably astride.

Bend over to the side opposite to the dumbbell, keeping the hips as level as possible, and making the movement from the waist. Bend directly to the side, not moving the body either forwards or backwards, with the bell moving up the thigh as the movement is made. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Perform 10 repetitions, holding the dumbbell in the right hand, change over hands, and perform another 10 repetitions.

I haven't suggested any weights for the various exercises in this schedule. By now, you will have had some experiences after following the beginner's schedule for several months, and will be able to choose suitable weights accordingly.

Make the program progressive, as before, by increasing the weight used form time to time, but retaining the repetitions as suggested.

A variation is to make say, 8 repetitions, add some weight and perform 6 repetitions, add more weight and perform 5 repetitions, add more weight and perform 4 repetitions.

This is a popular system, but takes more time owing to the constant weight changing.

Occasionally, one can use heavier weights than usual and perform 5 or 6 sets with low repetitions of 4 or 5. In fact, there are many permutations of repetitions and sets that one can perform, and frequent variation does avoid any tendency to boredom or staleness, besides giving the muscles a change in the character of the schedule.

Bear in mind that high repetitions with light weights tend to build muscular size more than strength, low repetitions with heavy weight, strength more than size.


Here are additional useful exercises for various body parts that can be incorporated into schedules from time to time. With a comprehensive list of exercises to choose from, schedules can be compiled to attain different objects. One may wish to specialize on the arms, for example, and several arm exercises can be welded into a schedule that contains at least one exercise for every body part. Never work on arm exercises alone to the exclusion of all others -- similarly with other body parts.

Shoulder Shrugging
For the trapezius muscles. This exercise will improve the appearance of the shoulder and lower and back part of the neck.

Stand erect, holding a barbell at arm's length across the thighs. Keep the body still and the arms locked, then shrug the shoulders in a circular movement by first taking them back, then upwards, forwards, downwards, then back again to complete the circle.

Keep up the movement for 10 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 8 repetitions. Finally, repeat another 8 repetitions, circling the shoulders in the reverse way.

Bent-arm Pull Over
A variation of the Straight-arm Pullover, performed as a short-range movement over the end of a bench. This exercise has a strong effect on the chest and triceps muscles.

Lie on a bench with the barbell held on the upper chest, using a narrow grip -- hands about 8 inches apart. Take the barbell round the face in a semi-circular movement, while raising the elbows, until it is lowered below the head.

Keep the arms bent, which will prevent the barbell form being lowered too far.

Pull back close to face over the head to the starting position. Perform 8 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 6 repetitions.

Snatch from the Hang
One of the best of all moments with weights -- the Olympic lift described in Chapter Seventeen. This variation, repetition snatching without allowing the barbell to touch the floor, is a fine all-round movement, promoting stamina, coordination, balance and bodily power.

Make the first Snatch from the floor. Then, instead of replacing the barbell on the floor, adopt a position in which the barbell is hanging at arms' length., lying across the thighs, while you are standing erect (commonly termed the "hang" position).

Then lower the barbell nearly to the floor by a bending of the legs and lowering of the buttocks, keeping the back straight and upright as possible.

As soon as the barbell is near the floor, without any pause, retrace your path and vigorously pull the barbell into another repetition of the Snatch.

Perform 6 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 5 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 5 repetitions.

Lateral Raise Standing
For the lateral deltoids. Use two evenly loaded dumbbells and stand erect with bells held on locked arms at side.

One-arm Curl
A similar movement to the Two Hands Curl described in the beginner's schedule, but performed with one arm, using a dumbbell. The movement is made more concentrated on the upper arm muscles by sitting down and leaning forward.

Start with the arm hanging down, grasping dumbbell. Steadily curl the bell to the shoulder, fully contracting the upper-arm muscles. Hold the bell in the curled position for a few seconds, and try to contract the muscles even more. Then relax and return to starting position.

Perform 6 repetitions with each arm, Rest, then repeat 5 repetitions.

Bent-over Lateral Raise
To build full and rounded deltoids, this muscle group must be exercised from all angles. This variation of the lateral raise gets at the posterior (rear) and lateral (side) deltoids.

Start the movement by standing comfortably astride with the body bent forward parallel with the floor and arms hanging downwards, grasping tow dumbbells, knuckles outwards.

Keep the arms straight and raise them sideways until they are level with the shoulders. Hold for a second or two, then lower to starting position

Perform 10 repetitions. Rest, then repeat 8 repetitions.

Thigh Extensions
Iron boots (or a leg extension machine) are the best appliance to use of this exercise. These are specially made boots to strap to the feet, but ordinary disc weights attached to the feet by leather straps will suffice.

sit on a chair or bench so that the edge is level with the bottom of the thigh at the knee joint. With the iron boot or weight attached, raise the lower leg until the whole leg is extended and the muscles of the thigh fully tensed. Hold a few seconds, the relax to starting position. Exercise each leg in turn.

Perform 12 repetitions. Rest, the repeat 10 repetitions.

Hack Lift
Another effective thigh exercise similar to the Squat, but with the barbell held behind the body or rested behind, on a belt round the waist. Raise the heels on a wooden block or something similar. Lower into the squat position as low as possible and return.

Perform 15 repetitions. Rest, then perform 10 repetitions.

More chapters from this book below...
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