Body Building Overview

      First of all before you do anything check out your equipment! If you are going to use a bar, make sure it is nice and straight. If you use a bent bar, you will have trouble balancing it. Just roll the bar on the ground to, see if it is straight or not.Always make sure you have an even grip.

       If you use a shoulder press machine or bench, make sure that the board back is securely fastened. When doing any type of benching, make sure that the bar lines up with the lines in the ceiling.If you dont you could find your self, bring the bar down at a wrong angle. To correct this just adjust the bench.Always try to do you exercise in front of a mirror, so you can watch your form.

       When using dumbbells, make sure that the plates are on there nice and tight. I have seen them fall off before. I wish that I could post pictures of each of the exercises, but I dont have a digital camera anymore. One thing I want you to do is to stretch out between ever set! The longer your muscle is the bigger it is!!! Especially when talking about your biceps!!!


Flat Bench Press

Equipment = Flat bench

      How to = Too many people, like to use a too close of a grip. Because they feel stronger that way (triceps). When you grab the bar your forearms should be parallel to the wall. Then you should lower the weight to your nipples or slightly lower and then raise it back up. Do not lock your elbows.

       Always keep your feet on the floor! Never put your feet on the bench! I dont care who does it. No one does that in any power lifting event. Your feet will help you drive the weight up. When you lift, drive your feet into the ground. Never arch your back! That can hurt you!

Incline Bench press

Equipment = Incline Bench Press

      How to = I see a lot of people lowering the weight too low to the chest. You want to lower the weight to the collar bone and then raise the weight up. This will work the upper chest greater. Do not lock your elbows. If you dont have an inline bench, then just use a flat bench and lower the weight to just below your neck. That works very well.


Equipment = Flat bench and dumbbells

      How to = Lay down on the flat bench, then lift the dumbbells above your head. Then lower them with your arms at a slight angle. Lower the weight until the weight is slightly lower than your chest. Then repeat.



Equipment = Squat rack, Smith Machine (knee wraps: optional)

      How to (For Free Weight Squats) = Form is a big thing with this exercise. If you dont do it right, you can seriously hurt yourself! First of all if you have never done these before you got to take your time. First of all your legs may be strong they may be very strong! But is your back ready for heavy poundage? Thats my problem. My legs are strong, but my lower back is not as strong (I am tall, and tend to lean over too much. So I am really working on my form right now.). I dont like bar pads, they make balancing the bar very difficult. So, what you want to do, is place the bar slightly lower than your neck.

       You can adjust the bar even lower, but if you do you will create stress on your elbow joints.I try to grasp the bar with the same grip I use for benching. Now, that you have the bar on your shoulders, you got to get your footing right. Slightly more than shoulder width is good. You can even work the outer thighs, by adjusting you stance closer in. Then you lower yourself. Keep the back straight! Have someone who is known for doing good form to watch you. Look up, dont look down! This keeps the back, even straighter.

      You only want to lower yourself until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor. What ever you do, dont ever put anything under your butt (like a bench, to make sure you are going low enough! What happens is your butt hits the bench, a great shock will go up your spine and hurt you. This is called by most idiots as "Butt to Bench Squats". ). Then you want to raise back up to the original position. I have bad knees, so I wrap them. If you have them also, I suggest that you do too. Just buy a good pair of knee wraps ($20.00). To wrap them, just start from the bottom of the knee and wrap up.

       Dont worry about making a "X" across the knee. Just a simple wrap will do. Dont wrap them too tight. Remember they will get tighter when you descend as the knee bends. Then after your set, you will need to unwrap them. They also help to warm up the joint in the process. Some people like to put a plate under their heels, to take stress of the knees. I dont recommend that. I have not heard anything good about doing that. I always use a weight belt to help protect my back on these. I hope that you do the same. Also NEVER LOCK YOUR KNEES!!! That can cause knee problems!!!

      How to (Smith Machine Squats) = This is the machine that attracts the most idiots. Squat the same as above, but read further! I see too many people hurting themselves on this machine. First of all, if your feet are directly under the bar when you squat, you are hurting your self! Your feet should be about 1-1 feet in front of you. You should be leaning back on the bar when you start. But Fig why? Because if your feet are under the bar, when you lower yourself, your knees will be past your toes! That is the best way to hurt yourself. I like to place a couple of plates on the floor to mark my feet positions. Also NEVER LOCK YOUR KNEES!!! That can cause knee problems!!!

Dead Lift

      Equipment = Barbell (you can also use a squat box to stand on and give yourself a greater range of motion if you want. If you have never done these before, I suggest that you get used to them first without the box before you start. So you can get used to the stretching effect of this exercise.).

      How to = Stand if front of the bar. Then grad the bar with a shoulders width grip. A dead lift grip is different from any other grip! One hand will have a over hand grip and one hand will have a under hand grip. This way when you pick up a real heavy weight, the dead lift grip will help you keep the bar from twisting. I strongly recommend gloves or chalk for these. Then you want to squat down close to the bar.

       The bar, should be close to your shins. Now straighten out your back and look up. Then lift up with your legs and keep your back straight. As soon as you are standing up, then squat back down to the original position. Do not bounce the weight on the floor. Remember this is a leg exercise and not a lower back exercise! If you feel strain on you lower back then, STOP and get someone to help you with your form. I always use a back belt on this exercise.

Leg Extensions

Equipment = Leg extensions machine

      How to = Sit on the machine so that your knees are at the edge of the seat. Then raise the weight up. Do not lock your knees! Keep you feet straight. This takes stress off of the knees. Lower the weight slowly. Never jerk the weight up!

Leg Curls

Equipment = Leg Curl Machine

      How to = Varies on the type of machine! Read the manufactures directions or get a trainer to help you. Sorry no help on this one .

Leg Press

Equipment = Leg Press Machine

      How to = Here is another machine that attracts idiots. A complete idiot will be about 6 feet tall and then place their feet at the bottom of the sled. Remember never let your knees go past your toes!!! The taller you are the higher you feet must be on the sled! Sit in position and find out where your feet should be. Use the same width as you would for squats.

       Push with your heels and not your toes. If you push with your toes, you are creating more stress for the knees. Then lower the weight, as far as you can (without hurting yourself. This exercise likes to hurt the groin muscle, so make sure you stretch out well.). Also NEVER LOCK YOUR KNEES!!! That can cause knee problems!!!

Calves on the Smith Machine

Equipment = Smith Machine and Calve box (Some gyms dont have a calve box, so just use the leg press.)

      How to = Just stand on the box with the bar on your shoulders. Edge your feet to the edge of the box, so that just the balls of your feet are on it. Make sure your legs are slightly bent. Then lower and raise yourself up and down. Do this exercise movement slow, for best results. Dont bounce up and down. That does nothing.


Shoulder Press

Equipment = Shoulder Press. Or you can use a flat bench and dumbbells.

      How to = First warm up. Very important when you work the shoulders. Sit on the bench. Make sure that your back is straight! So many people lean back, when performing these. That is cheating! Basically if you lean back you are doing incline bench presses. Some of the Shoulder presses are poorly made and you cannot help it. I would find another way to do them if you have a poor bench like that. The one at my current gym, sucks. It wobbles and makes you lean back too far.

       I just use the Smith machine. I like using the Smith Machine, because I can take a adjustable bench and adjust it so it is at a slight recline (a slight recline, will help prevent leaning back). Now when you select a bar for the shoulder press bench, make sure you grab a bar that does not have any file mark grips in the center of the bar (because if you lower the bar behind you neck, the bar could rub on your neck, and take off some skin.). Some people like to use a close grip on the bar.

       I dont, like close grips, they tend to work the triceps too much. I recommend the same grip that you use for the bench press. If you are doing these from the front, just lower the weight to the collar bone and not any lower than that. If you are doing these from the back, then lower the weight to the base of the neck and not any lower than that. So many people lower the weight too low, on these and create injuries. I recommend the use of a back belt on these and a spotter.

Side Lateral Raises

      Equipment = Two dumbbells and if you can, stand in front of a mirror. How to = If any exercise is done wrong in a gym, it is this one! I see a lot of people swing the dumbbells up and then dropping them (dont forget the back swing). I have only seen one guy do these right, when using 40 pound dumbbells. That guy was friggin huge! But I see hundreds of idiots swinging up 35s and 40s daily.

      Now how to do these: First stand up and grab both dumbbells and keep your back straight. To start off, you want the dumbbells in front of you by the front of your legs. Then raise the dumbbells to your sides. At the top when you cant raise them anymore, then rotate the top of the dumbbell forward (like you are pouring a pitcher of water). Then lower the weight to the front of your legs.


Pull Ups

Equipment = Pull up bar, or you can use a pull down machine.

      How to = I have always done these and always will. Pull ups are the best back exercise. You can use a under or over hand grip. I like to use an over hand grip, and do them to the front and back of the neck. I use lifting straps on these (If you dont know what lifting straps are, the help you hold heavy amounts of weight *about $5.00). You can use any size grip on the bar that you want. Just remember that a inner grip works the inner part of the back and an outer grip works towards the width of the lats. Make sure that you go all the way down, with these.

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Equipment = 1 Dumbbell and a flat bench.

      How to = This exercise works one side of the body at a time. It almost resembles a person starting a lawn mower. Dont be an idiot, and jerk the weight up! To work the right side: Put your left knee on the side of the bench. Then put your left hand on the side of the bench (in front of you). And then bend over, so it sort of looks like you are crawling with your left arm and left knee on the bench. Then, with the right hand grab the weight. Then raise the weight up until it is at your side. Then lower the weight. You also want to keep your elbow as close to your body as you can, while performing this movement.

Bent Over Rows

Equipment = Barbell

      How to = Stand in front of the bar. Then grab the bar with a shoulders width grip. You can use a over hand or under hand grip on this one. Bend over slightly and while keeping your back straight. Then raise the bar to your belly button. Try to keep your elbows in. Then lower the weight. I always use a back belt on these!

Shoulder Shrugs

Equipment = Barbell (Power rack = optional) Dumbbells can be used also.

      How to = I like to use a power rack (a power rack is a cage that holds the weight so you dont have to pick it off of the ground). Stand in front of the bar and take a shoulders width over hand grip. Then keep your arms straight. Then just pull up the bar, just using your trapezes muscles. You want to raise your shoulders up, as far as you can (till the almost touch your ears). Then lower the weight. I use a back belt on these. Remember keep your back straight!


Barbell Curls

Equipment = Barbell

      How to = Here is another idiot exercise! I see so many people swinging the weight up and bouncing the weight off of the front of their legs. I see people performing, half of the reps. I see people start off cheating on the first rep. And on and on and on To do these right, just read. Grab a bar with a shoulders width grip (under hand).

       Then keep the back straight and curl the weight up. Keep your elbows in! Then lower the weight. DO NOT DROP THE WEIGHT!!! I WANT YOU TO LOWER THE WEIGHT! That helps to stretch out the biceps! Longer biceps, means bigger biceps !!! Do not move your elbows when performing these. If you move your elbows, more than a inch or two, then you are cheating!!! Moving the elbows forward will take stress off of the biceps at the top of the movement.

Dumbbell Curls

Equipment = 2 Dumbbells

      How to = Put a dumbbell into each hand. Start with the dumbbell at your side and have the handles long side against your the side of your leg (your thumbs should be pointing to your legs). The start to curl the weight up. When you get to about s of the way up, turn your pinky towards your chest. Then lower the weight in reverse.

Preacher Curls

Equipment = Preacher curl bench and a curl bar or dumbbell.

      How to = I usually use the least amount of weight on this exercise, than anyone else in the gym. Thats because I do them right! First you want to adjust the bench to your height. There usually is a height adjustment on the pad. Just raise it up and down. Your arm pits should be resting on the edge of the bench. You want to adjust the bench so that you can fully lower the weight, without hitting the rack.

      Then you want to grab the curl bar. Then curl it up. When you get to the top you want to squeeze the biceps. Then lower the weight fully. The whole point to this exercise is to stretch the biceps! The more stretch, the more size!!! When you feel that you cant possibly do another rep with a full range of movement, then you want to start doing partial reps. Always keep your feet on the ground! Dont lean back too.

Reverse Curls

Equipment = Curl bar or straight bar.

      How to = Follow the same format as regular barbell curls and just switch your grip. Use a over hand grip. Make sure that you keep your elbows in!


Cable Push Downs

Equipment = Cable machine and a "V" handle or straight bar handle.

      How to = Grab the bar with both hands. Use a over hand grip. But with that grip adjust your grip, so that your thumbs are over the bar as well (that helps to prevent tennis elbow). Pull your elbows to your sides. Then straighten out your back. Then push down to the floor. Do not bend over to do so!!!!!!!!! Then once you push the weight all the way down to the floor, slowly let the weight return to the original position. Dont let the tension get loose. Try to leave some tension at the top, then repeat.

Skull Crushers

Equipment = Bench and a curl bar.

      How to = Lie down on the bench (belly up, long ways) so that your head is leaning off the edge. Then grab the bar behind you (placed at the edge of the bench towards your head). Use a over hand grip that is six inches apart in the center of the bar. Then raise the weight up above your chest. Now lower the weight, behind your head. Keep your elbows in the same position (parallel to the wall). And then raise the weight back up to the starting position (DON"T LOCK YOUR ELBOWS AT THE TOP. YOU MUST KEEP TENSION AT THE TOP!!!). Then repeat.

One Arm Triceps Extensions

Equipment = One Dumbbell

      How to = You can sit or stand with this one. Grab the dumbbell (over hand grip) and raise it above your head. Then lower the weight behind your head. Keep your upper arm parallel to the wall. You can use your free hand to spot your self. Then raise the weight back up. Do not lock your elbows at the top!!!

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