Do These 5 Exercises For Big Forearms
1. Barbell Wrist Curls – 4 Sets 30 Reps
2. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 15 Reps
3. Behind the Back Cable Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 12 Reps
To eat or not to eat? That is the eternal question of those who like to run as the sun is coming up.
If none of these sits well with you just before a run, then fuel up the night before with a large dinner. As long as you don’t plan a long or intense run in the morning, a high-carbohydrate evening meal should power you through your pre-breakfast run.
The Lunchtime Crowd
People who run during lunch hours sometimes find that hunger gets the better of them. That’s because if you ate breakfast at 6am, you’ve gone six hours without food. By noon, your fuel from breakfast is long gone and your blood sugar may start to dip. Rather than increasing the size of your breakfast (which may just leave you feeling sluggish), you should bring a light, pre-run snack to work.
After a stressful day at the office, there’s nothing like a run to burn off excess tension. The problem is that you sometimes don’t feel like heading out of the door if you’re hungry or just exhausted. If you do manage to run, sometimes you return home so ravenous that you eat everything in sight as you make your evening meal. Then you might eat dinner as late as 8pm and end up going to bed with a full stomach.
Do you want wide, meaty, broad shoulders but have failed at every attempt? Do you chalk it up to bad genetics or a lack of the newest piece of gym equipment? Have you tried everything in the book when it comes to shoulder training without an ounce of new muscle to show for it?
Well, it may not necessarily be something you aren’t doing; it might actually be something you are doing – incorrectly.
Below are 9 reasons why you can’t build big shoulders. Give some serious, honest thought to your current routine and finally get an idea at what you can improve on and bigger shoulders will be on their way with your very next workout.
1. The problem: You treat deltoids as an afterthought
Focusing a great deal of attention on chest, back, and legs is a good thing. After all, these are the biggest areas of the body to give you the most mass and strength. But going to the point of flat out neglecting your deltoids won’t go very far regarding building huge, muscular shoulders.
The Fix: Start to prioritize your deltoid training. Either train them on their own day or first during an arm workout, for example. Don’t think of your shoulders as small, weak little muscles that don’t require a significant amount of volume. Treat each head (anterior, medial, posterior) as a separate muscle to be trained. When it’s time to train shoulders focus on the task at hand and dig deep into your arsenal for the very best, most effective exercises available.
2. The problem: You’re using too much weight with poor form
Are you guilty of turning a shoulder press into an incline bench press and only using half of the range of motion? Bottom line: You’re using too much dang weight! What about dumbbell lateral raises? Are you contorting, swinging, and flailing like a confused moth? How’s that working for you?
The Fix: The absolute best remedy is to cut your current weight to at least half and practice perfect, textbook form. Yes, I use the word practice here for good reason. Your job is to practice these movements the way they were meant to be done to help your shoulders relearn patterns of movement, proper contraction and control and to avoid injury. Once you focus on these factors, then you will start to see improvements in muscle mass and real, functional strength.
3. The problem: You’re doing too much anterior deltoid work
The next time you are in the gym and someone is training deltoids, watch closely. Are they performing dumbbell presses, machine/Hammer presses and some sort of front raise? In reality, that is a ton of front delt (anterior) work. Not only is this overkill, it may also impact other lifts later in the week such as bench presses in a negative way.
The Fix: Limit a shoulder workout to one multi-joint overhead pressing movement and possibly (if you feel it’s a weak point) a higher rep front raise. This will ensure that you aren’t overdoing it on your front delts so you can put a little more attention toward working on building balanced shoulder development.
4. The problem: You’re not contracting your deltoids correctly
This problem goes hand-in-hand with executing proper form. Once you compromise form for lifting more weight the idea of effectively contracting the targeted area goes out the window. If lifting more weight is your top priority you will start to recruit other muscles to help lift the weight and compromise your safety along the way.
The Fix: Again, by focusing on correct form and deliberate contraction of the working muscle, you will properly stimulate the muscle for better results, period. For example, don’t lean back so far that you turn a shoulder press into an incline chest press. Sit upright, lower the dumbbells until they are nearly touching your shoulders, and then raise the weight without clanging them at the top. Elbows back and in-line with your shoulders, slow and steady.
5. The problem: Your reps are too low
Unless you are going for a 1 rep max or trying out for a powerlifting meet, there is really no need to pile on the weight and shoot for super low reps for shoulder training. For the average lifter chest and back training provide plenty of the heavy stuff.
The Fix: If you’ve been on a heavy weight binge lately, lighten up a little and try performing some higher reps for a change. Notice I said higher reps and not easy reps. The fact that you will go a bit lighter doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park. You will still work to failure on each set. Shoot for 10 to 20 reps for a while. You will quickly find the higher reps will put you more “in touch” with your muscle fibers and you’ll get a huge pump along the way.
6. The problem: You’re not working the medial deltoids enough
Muscular shoulder width is largely determined by the size of your medial (middle) deltoid heads. These are the heads that give you that wide, V-tapered look. However, a lot of gym-goers don’t give their medial heads their due. Instead they focus on presses and then throw in a few lateral raises for good measure.
The Fix: If wide is what you want then it would be wise to prioritize your medial delts more than any other deltoid head. Standing and seated side laterals, barbell and dumbbell upright rows, dumbbell and cable one-arm side laterals and various side lateral machines are all at your disposal. Include at least 2 medial deltoid head exercises in your program in order to ramp up gains.
7. The problem: Your program isn’t balanced
Many points above all come down to balance. Training your shoulders with tons of presses, a little lateral work and virtually no posterior (rear delt) work isn’t considered a very comprehensive, balanced program. Additionally, if you stay down that road of imbalance your physique will show it – out of proportion and forward-hunched shoulders.
The Fix: If you are one of the guilty ones out there who press too much then the answer is fairly simple. In addition to performing 2 medial delt exercises, add in 2 posterior delt exercises as well. Doubling-up on these areas will slowly get your physique in balance and proportion all the while getting you the muscle mass you need in the right areas.
8. The problem: You’re not using supersets and giant sets
Are you stuck in the straight set mentality? If so, I bet your shoulder training is quite boring if not mind-numbing. It’s hard to stimulate any new growth with the same ole routine week after week. Your delts are screaming for something new!
The Fix: Deltoid work is one of the best opportunities to take advantage of supersets and giant sets. Since most exercises can be performed with dumbbells gym space and monopolizing equipment aren’t issues. A simple giant set could look something like this: Standing dumbbell side laterals, bent-over dumbbell rear laterals, Standing dumbbell overhead presses, dumbbell upright rows. Do 3 to 5 rounds of 10 to 20 reps each, rest 2 minutes between each giant set.
9. The problem: Your frequency is too low
Another factor to give serious consideration to is your frequency training shoulders. Once per week seems to be the norm for most gym-goers these days. I’m sorry to say, that just won’t cut it if your goal is to prioritize a weak point. Why wait an entire week to train your delts again?
The Fix: Let’s do the math: If you train shoulders once per week you will have 52 chances per year to stimulate growth. If you train them twice per week you instantly increase those chances to 104. Which will get you to your goal of better shoulders faster? Sometimes all you may need is a bit higher frequency in order to get those gains going. Additionally, the fact that you will train them twice per week will actually require a little less volume in your routine since you’re hitting them more often.
The Quads Specialization Workout
1. LEG EXTENSION
2. 1.5-REP BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Part 1: Muscle-ups
Chest-to-bar Pull-up: 4 sets of 6 reps
Straight Arm Pull-down: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Hip-to-bar Pull-up: 3 sets of 3 reps
Straight Bar Dip: 4 sets of 6 reps
Part 2: The Bar Muscle-up
You’ve always wanted to do a handstand. Or, you’ve been working on improving your handstand and you’ve gotten stuck. Whatever your reason for stumbling on this tutorial, we’re going to help you reach your handstand goals.
Hand balancing skills are in vogue in the fitness community, and you see some incredible hand balancing artists out there now.
The ability to do a straight-line handstand–or to move within the handstand–is one of the most beautiful demonstrations of strength, control, and grace. So it makes sense that handstands have become such a popular skill to chase after.
But handstands can be incredibly frustrating to train for if you don’t have a good plan, or if you don’t know what to expect.
This tutorial is designed to help everyone from total beginners to more seasoned handstand practitioners looking to improve their skills. Wherever you are in your handstand journey, let’s get you toward your goals.
Comprehensive Handstand Training: Physical Preparation, Technique, and Troubleshooting
There is a LOT of information in this tutorial, but we’ve structured it so that it’s very easy to navigate. If you start at the top and work your way down, you are going to make great progress toward your handstand in no time.
Here’s what you can expect to find in this tutorial:
With this approach, you’ll be following the fundamental structure laid out in the GMB training methodology. Our method might be a bit different from what you’ve seen before, but we’ve used it to help tens of thousands of clients achieve their goals, and it will help you toward yours too.
The Best Way to Learn a Perfect Handstand
I’ve seen countless ways of teaching the handstand, and the way we teach this skill is pretty different from other approaches out there.
That’s not to say our way is necessarily betterthan other ways–that’s entirely dependent on why you want to do handstands, and what you want to get out of your handstand practice.
For instance, our friend Yuval Ayalon is a master hand balancer, who specializes in handstands. In his own practice, he’s aiming for perfection–because he needs to. He teaches other high level hand balancers how to get as close to perfection in the handstand as humanly possible.
So, of course, his approach to teaching the handstand is going to be quite a bit different from what we teach.
Our goal is to help you feel comfortable on your hands, so that you can do whatever you want to with your hand balancing skills.
We emphasize motor control with our approach to the handstand, and by training for the handstand in this way, you’ll be building overall body control, which can be applied to just about any other skill.
The approach outlined in this article helps create the building blocks needed to get you comfortable in your handstand: strength, control, and balance throughout the body, along with mobility through the wrists, shoulders, and hips.
Essential Handstand Concepts
There are about 1,000 things I could talk about when it comes to handstands. I’ve been doing handstands for almost my whole life and I’ve taught them to thousands of people at this point, so you could say I’m pretty passionate about the topic.
In this video, I’m going to go over the most important concepts I think everyone should understand as they begin or continue along on their handstand journeys.
I’ve seen plenty of people struggle with the handstand for years, and once they’ve got a good understanding of these concepts, it changes everything for them. Things begin to click, and it just makes the journey a lot smoother.
I know that looks like a lot, but you don’t have to try and absorb it all at once. These are just general points to keep in mind as you practice, and we’ll return to most of them as we go on.
Step 1: Assessing Your Ability to Do a Handstand
If you’re not used to practicing handstands (and really, even if you are), the positioning of the wrists, shoulders, torso, and even legs in the handstand can be quite different from what you’ve done in the past. It’s important to assess where your body is at right now to see how ready you are for the work ahead.
In this video, Rose will demonstrate some movements to assess how well your body is able to get into the positions needed for the handstand. Since every day will be different with the handstand, it’s a good idea to repeat this assessment regularly.
Here are the assessments shown in this video:
Remember: it’s okay if you can’t do all of these perfectly yet–these assessments just help you get a clearer idea of what you might need the most work on as you practice
Step 2: Addressing Weaknesses and Learning Proper Technique
The assessment drives this next part of the process, where you address the weak points you’ve found.
Rather than just trying and failing, over and over, until you’re frustrated beyond belief, the “address” portion of your training session will be focused and specific. In this video, I’ll give an overview of what you can expect from this part of your handstand journey:
Let’s look at each of these in detail, with exercise recommendations, and see how each is essential to your handstand journey.
Prepare: Get Your Body Ready for Handstand Training
We’ll start with some exercises and stretches to Prepare the body for the handstand work you’ll be doing.
Handstands place a LOT of strain on the wrists, which most people are not prepared for without specifically working on this area. You’ll also need a good amount of shoulder mobility to get yourself into good alignment, and leg strength is key.
Put all those pieces together, and it’s clear that jumping right into your handstand practice for the day probably isn’t the best idea.
This preparation routine will get your body ready.
Here are the Preparatory exercises shown in this video:
Practice: Develop Proper Technique with Correct Progressions
Every part of the 5Ps is essential to nailing down the skills you need for the handstand, but the Practice portion is probably the most important–and most neglected–part of learning any skill.
If you’ve ever learned to play an instrument, you know the key to mastery: practice, practice, practice.
Think of the handstand like learning to play the violin. You’re going to have to practice the foundational parts of the skill, over and over, until you’re ready to move on to more complex variations.
In this video, I’ve included variations starting from a rote beginner level, leading all the way to the freestanding handstand.
Here are the variations shown in this video:
Rather than think of these exercises as step-by-step progressions, try to approach them like the pieces of a Tetris board. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll definitely want to start with the first variation I show, but as you progress through them, you may need different pieces than someone playing on a different board.
The pieces don’t necessarily go “in order,” although they certainly can be followed that way.
Just make sure not be too rigid in your approach to these variations.
Play: Explore Variations to Solidify Your Skills
Serious practice is important, but playful exploration within and around the skills you’ve just practiced is a key to mastering those skills.
It’s impossible to tell you exactly what you should be doing for the Play portion, since everyone is at a different level, and feels comfortable with different things, but in this video, we’ll show you some examples of Play.
Here are the key points covered in this video:
As an example, let’s say you’ve been working on wall kick-ups. To Play with this skill, you may try kicking up against the wall and then moving your head around in different directions to see how it changes things. Or you could play with different ways of breathing, or with where you place the pressure through your palms.
No matter what level you’re at, you can–and should!–prioritize Play in your training sessions.
Push: Condition Your Body to Perform Safely & Consistently
Next up is the Push session. This is the part of the session that will feel most like a “workout,” but their real purpose is to strengthen your body and give you range of motion to hold a straighter handstand for longer.
The key is to work at a lower level of skill, so that the quality of your movement remains high.
Here are the exercises shown in this video:
You’ll notice that these exercises are drills that focus on particular parts of the handstand.
This is pretty different from trying to jump up into a handstand and just hold as long as possible (not very helpful advice, especially for someone just starting out with handstands). By approaching your “conditioning” in this way, you’ll get a lot more out of your skills practice.
Ponder: Reflect on Your Practice and Learn from Mistakes
This is the final piece of the puzzle that can make or break your progress with the handstand: mindful reflection.
In this video, I’ll talk about what it means to “Ponder” about your handstand practice, and how it will dramatically improve your overall performance and experience with the handstand.
Here are the key points covered in this video:
As you go work on your handstand, you’ll see that progress is anything but linear, and if you don’t know what to expect, it can really mess with your head. It’s easy to start feeling down about your progress if you get too caught up in day-to-day fluctuations in your performance.
By taking a few minutes throughout and at the end of your session to mindfully reflect on how things went, where you struggled, and any big wins you had, you’ll start to see the bigger picture over time.
And it will help you figure out what to focus on in your next session, so that you get the most out of that.
Step 3: Apply Your Skills
The application of your handstand skills is really what this is all about.
There’s nothing wrong with doing handstands for the sake of doing handstands, but through working with tens of thousands of clients, we’ve found that, when a skill is tied in to a bigger picture goal, it has a lot more meaning for most people. And that makes training for that skill a lot more enjoyable.
So, there are two primary applications when it comes to your handstand skills:
The application is really your why for practicing handstands, and keeping that in mind as you practice will help you continue to make progress and keep moving forward in your handstand journey.
How to Practice Handstands: Develop Your Best Training Plan
All that goes into mastering the handstand may feel a bit overwhelming. But when all the pieces are put together, this approach should streamline your handstand practice, and make it a lot more directed and focused.
Because the handstand is a skill, you’ll benefit from frequent practice, even if you can’t do long sessions each time.