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