Bodybuilding Training Article from

Weight Lifting and Weight Training - Chapter 8

Home Gym 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 Eight

Questions and answers

I am devoting this chapter to the discussion of typical problems of weight trainers questions asked by those who in the main are beginners or those who perhaps train by themselves at home and remain out of touch with others of similar interests training at clubs where they can generally, get more information and experience of training methods and other matters.

These questions and answers will serve the purpose of clarifying some of the material in other chapters and will cover many relevant points arising from the schedule and exercises I have described.

Question -- After a few months of standard barbell exercises, I would now like to combine competitive weight lifting with training for a good physique.

Answer -- To achieve maximum results from both weightlifting and physique building at the same time is usually difficult, as each sphere demands a different approach and methods of training; and, as most of us have only a certain amount of time and energy to spare for training, one sphere or the other will have to be neglected to some extent.

Much depends on your ambitions. If you are content to reach a reasonably high standard at both without necessarily being a champion, then the task is a little easier.

Weightlifters are generally the best built of all athletes and the practice of competitive weight lifting only -- combined with the many assistance movements that are used -- will improve the physique, although not to the same extent as a specialized physique building program.

Perhaps the best program for most people who have ambitions in both spheres is not to mix lifting and physique building at the same period and in the same schedule, but to devote specialized periods to each at different times.

For example, concentrate on competition work for a few months, perhaps on a period just prior to a championship you intend to enter, in order that all your training time available is devoted to the immediate object in view. When there is no competition in sight for some time, you can switch over to some specialized training for the weaker parts of the physique, returning to actual weight lifting practice in time for the next competition. but in order to gain maximum benefit fro this procedure, it would be wise to plan your schedules so that you have at least two months of good, solid work on one activity at a time. Switching to and fro every week or two, for example, will not bring such good results.

Question -- I have been training with weights for about six months, starting with the main objective of gaining bodyweight. I weighed 128 lb. at 5 ft. 8 in., with a small bone structure, but have since gained only 2 lb. despite training three times a week on twelve standard barbell exercises, using 12 to 15 repetitions in two sets on each exercise. I eat well enough, but often cannot sleep soundly. What to you advise?

Answer -- Anatomically you appear to be the ectomorph type, who usually find it difficult to build a large musculature on their slender bone structure. Gains can be made, of course, and many of this type have shown excellent results, but generally the work is harder and gains slower to come than to those of more favorable physical types.

For maximum progress I advise using fewer exercises at a time, say six only, employing the largest muscle groups in such movements as the Squat (both back and front). Bent-over Rowing Motion, Press from Behind Neck, Power Clean and Jerk and Bench Press.

Use lower repetitions, from 5 to 8 (except in the Squat, when you can use up to 10) with correspondingly heavier poundages in sets of three. Your whole program should last not longer than one hour, and if possible train four, or even five times a week.

But exercise is only part of the answer. Your food should always be of the best quality, including plenty of meat, fish, eggs, milk, milk and suet puddings, cheese and wholemeal bread.

A tranquil mind is essential to progress and if you are of the fretting and worrying type you must overcome this handicap. Relax the mind and body as much and as often as possible, particularly before retiring, as sound sleep is essential for your weight gaining program.

Question -- What is the best exercise for developing the deltoids? I have a fair development elsewhere, but cannot get that full and rounded appearance on my shoulder muscles.

Answer -- To get maximum development of the anterior, posterior and lateral deltoids, they must be given a wide variety of exercises.

Pressing overhead (in front and behind neck); bench pressing (using both wide and narrow grips) with barbell, and pressing with dumbbells; seated pressing with both barbell and dumbbells; lateral raises with dumbbells (standing and in the bent-over position), crucifix with dumbbells are all well-proved exercises.

Without weights, try handstand dips against the wall, and floor dips.

Question -- I have been told that dumbbells are better than a barbell for building strength and physique. Is this true?

Answer -- Whoever told you that dumbbells are superior to a barbell certainly made a sweeping statement.

Admittedly, it is true that some dumbbell exercises can bring better results than some barbell exercises - but the reverse is also true. And remember that dumbbells are essential for certain movements (e.g. Lateral Raise, Alternate Press, etc.), while a barbell is essential for others (e.g. Squat, Deadlift, etc.)

The answer is that for the best results, both dumbbells and a barbell should be used.

The best dumbbell exercises generally are those in which a similar movement cannot be performed with a barbell, such as the Lateral Raise Standing and Lying: Crucifix; Alternate Press, standing , seated and on a bench; One Hand Swing; also swing between legs to arms' length overhead with swing-bell.

Question -- I have been weight training for almost a year, with fairly good results. But now I find I cannot spare so much time for my workouts and would appreciate a brief schedule of the best bodybuilding exercises.

Answer -- A result-producing schedule can be run through in less than an hour, so if you can spare forty to fifty minutes on three days a week, try the following:

  1. A few minutes' warming up with bending and stretching, etc.
  2. Squat with light to moderate weight - 20 repetitions.
  3. Press from Behind Neck - 8 repetitions, 2 sets.
  4. Bent-over Rowing Motion - 8 repetitions, 2 sets.
  5. Squat with heavy weight - 6 repetitions, 3 sets.
  6. Bench Press - 8 repetitions, 2 sets
  7. Squat (same weight as in #2) - 20 repetitions.

You will notice that the basis of this schedule is the Squat, one of the best of all exercises. This will build the legs and increase chest mobility and capacity. The remaining exercises are for the upper body.

It must be appreciated that such a brief schedule is by no means a fully-comprehensive bodybuilding course, but for the special purpose required in this particular case it provides a fair all-round workout in the minimum of time.

Question -- I wish to increase my chest measurement, which is only 36 inches at a height of 5 ft. 9 in. and bodyweight of 144 lb. what are the best exercises with weights?

Answer -- Increasing the chest measurement and appearance isn't a particularly difficult task for any normal person, and gains of from 2 to 4 inches (and even more in time) can be expected if a sensible training schedule and living regime is adopted.

Increases are affected by (a) stretching the rib box and (b) building up the large surrounding muscle groups of the pectoral and latissimus dorsi.

One of the best rib-stretching movements is the Straight-arm Pull Over performed on a bench with a light to moderate weight in groups of high repetitions. Perform from 12 to 15 repetitions in 2 or 3 sets.

When this movement is combined with a special version of the Squat, performed alternately, i.e. one set of Squats followed by a set of Pullovers and so on, maximum results will obtained.

Although primarily a leg exercise, the Squat is very effective for chest building when used as follows:

Use just a light to moderate weight -- a little less than bodyweight for a beginner and a little more than bodyweight for the more advanced man -- and take three or four deep breaths between each repetition. The number of repetitions should be between 15 and 20 for the best results, the object being to force deep breathing to encourage stretching of the rib box.

Any vigorous activity which forces involuntary deep breathing is good for rib-box expansion, and the Squat certainly comes in this category when performed as described.

Repetition snatching and cleaning are fine movements, too, for forced deep breathing.

Pectoral and latissimus dorsi development can be achieved by using such movements as the Bench Press on flat and inclined benches; Lateral Raise lying on bench, also the variation known as the Flying exercise with bent arms; and the Bent-over Rowing Motion. Again use light to moderate weight in sets of from 8 to 12 repetitions.

Exercises without weights can include floor dips and chinning the bar.

Question -- I view with alarm my ever-increasing waistline. From a trim 29 inches a few years ago, when I was active in many sports, my waist now measures 34 inches. Would weight training help? Or would free exercises be better?

Answer -- Ones's physical type governs, to a large extent, the accumulation of fat and increased bodyweight as the years go by. This problem is much more prevalent and troublesome among the endomorph type (large boned, often short to medium height and with a large abdominal cavity). the ectomorph (small-boned and leaner ) and the mesomorph (in-between) types are not so prone to put on excess fat in the waist and hips area, and even if they do, find it easier to reduce when the effort is made.

The best method of reducing the waistline is a combination of suitable exercises and diet. But it should be remembered that as the condition has been gradually getting worse over long periods, then the work and effort required to reduce will have to be great and extended. Obviously the best way to control the waistline is to do sufficient work and to exist on a suitable diet so that nay tendency to put on fat is checked.

All starchy, fat-forming and greasy foods should be curtailed, or even avoided, and plenty of fruit should be eaten. Liquid intake should also be reduced, particularly if one regularly drinks beer or stout.

Exercise should be of the vigorous type, including plenty of trunk twisting and bending movements. A wide variety of abdominal free movements should be practiced, including legs raising from the supine position to touch the floor behind the head (overhead too); legs raising combined with sitting up to form a V-shape (jack-knife); jumping off the floor and extending legs upwards and sideways as much as possible; sitting on floor with legs stretched out wide and trunk twisting to touch left foot with right hand and vice versa.

With a medicine ball, team up with a partner in distress and throw to each other rapidly, aiming to each side of the body alternately so that you have to keep on the stretch and twist to catch the ball and return.

Lifting movements with weights should include alternate bending from side to side holding a dumbbell in each hand; trunk twisting from side to side with barbell held behind neck; alternate legs raising with light iron boots, or disc attached to feet.

All repetitions should be high and performed at a brisk tempo. Wear warm clothing so that you perspire freely.

During all waking hours cultivate the habit of keeping the stomach held in, whether sitting, standing or walking; also always sit and stand as tall as possible.

Question -- I have always admired broad shoulders in a man and am particularly anxious to broaden my own. I have done a little weight training and possess both barbell and dumbbells Can you tell me the best means of training?

Answer -- It isn't possible to alter the bone structure of your shoulders if you are fully grown. The only way to broaden your shoulders is to develop the deltoids, particularly the lateral section of this muscle group.

Try the Lateral Raise Standing, raising the dumbbells from the hang position at the sides to a position where the arms are slightly above parallel with the floor. Lower and repeat. Also try the Crucifix, lowering the dumbbells from arms' length overhead to a point where the arms are parallel with the floor. Raise upwards again and repeat.

Wide-arm pressing with the barbell is also good. Use repetitions form 5 to 8 in these movements with as much weight as you can handle in correct form. Perform a few sets of each exercise.

Without weights, try wide-arm chinning the bar -- using sets of from 7 to 10 repetitions.

Question -- Owing to various commitments and other circumstances I must do my weight training at home and can work only in a very confined space in my bedroom. This means that there is little space for using a barbell. However, I have two dumbbells and would appreciate a good all-round schedule. I have up to 200 Lb. in weight available.

Answer -- Actually it is possible to use a short barbell in the same space as you would use for dumbbells. However, there is a suitable dumbbell schedule which should be practiced on alternate days if you can spare that time.

One of the disadvantages of using dumbbells is the extra weight changing involved -- discs can be loaded on a barbell without continually unlocking the collars, where they must always be locked on dumbbells; and there are also four collars to contend with. Consequently it is often advisable to use exercises that entail the minimum amount of weight changing --unless one is prepared to go to the extra trouble.

These exercises are grouped in three categories of weight -- light medium and heavy. I don't know your capabilities or strength so suggest three weights of 10 lb. on each bell, 30 lb. and 60 Lb. Adjustments can be made as necessary by trial and error.

Warm-up first with a few minutes of stretching, bending, free squats, etc. Then start off with the 10-lb. dumbbells on the following exercises:

Alternate Arms Raising forwards from hang position at sides to arm's stretch overhead, with the dumbbells passing each other at shoulders' level. Three sets of 6 repetitions each hand.

Lateral Raise Standing. Three sets of 8 repetitions.

Crucifix (lower dumbbells from overhead to shoulders' level and return overhead). Three sets of 6 repetitions.

Lying on back, legs raising to perpendicular with one dumbbell held between feet. Three sets of 8 repetitions.

Now load dumbbells to 30 lb. each for the following:

Alternate Press. Two sets of 8 repetitions.

Bent-over Rowing Motion. Two sets of 8 repetitions.

With the 60-lb. dumbbells perform the following:

Deep Knees Bend, holding dumbbells at the shoulders. Three sets of 8 repetitions.

Stiff-legged Dead Lift, standing on blocks of wood or a box. Three sets of 8 repetitions.

Make the schedule progressive by adding slightly to the weights every few workouts.

More chapters from this book below...
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