Posts Tagged ‘strength’

Image source: trimmedandtoned.com

Image source: trimmedandtoned.com

We have a little discrepancy between the sexes that is as old as time. No, it has nothing to do with feelings or libido or television preferences. The issue is this: gentlemen tend to focus almost entirely on upper-body development while the ladies like to hammer their lower halves to carve out a well-defined backside and tighten their thighs. Now, while I am all for working out the largest muscle groups on a regular, rigorous basis; it may be time to focus on what’s above the waist, girls. Females possess roughly 2/3 of the maximal upper body strength that men do while having similar expressions of strength within the lower body (in relation to respective muscle cross-sectional area). Balance is vital in the gym and the strength you gain while consistently working your chest, shoulders, back, and arms will translate exceptionally well to the real world, allowing you to conquer all lifting tasks outside gym walls.

So focus on compound, multi-joint exercises like push-ups, dumbbell bench press, shoulder press, and free-weight (barbell or dumbbell) rows to round out your upper-body development. Soon you will be pounding out reps on the pull-up bar just like the huge, burly gentleman next to you and definitely squatting more than his tiny legs could possibly imagine! Happy lifting, girls!

View Source: sixstarpronutrition.com

View Source: sixstarpronutrition.com

Alejandro Lopez, CSCS

If you have exhausted every possible option for biceps training, traveling to and fro the usual barbell biceps curl and the preacher curl; it may be time to enlist the Zottman curl. This little gem will elicit greater gains throughout the entire bicep/forearm complex producing noticeable gains in your biceps, your brachialis muscle (a synergist which runs betweenyour biceps and triceps on the outer portion of your arm), and your brachioradialis(which runs along your outer forearm, lying just below the brachialis). The Zottman curl works not only by stressing these muscles due to the grip change at the top of the movement but but also by producing a hold during the top portion as well to facilitate the aforementioned grip change. Here is how to do it:

  1. Hold the dumbbells in each hand at arm’s length close to your sides with the usual supinated grip (palm facing up)
  2. Perform a normal curl by utilizing your elbow flexors to pull the wait to your shoulders in a steady, controlled fashion.
  3. At the topmost point in the movement, flex your biceps forcefully for a count of one and slowly pronate your grip by turning your wrist 180 degrees so your palms are facing downward
  4. With palms facing downward, lower the weight through the eccentric, falling motion, in a controlled manner.
  5. When the weight is at its lowest postion with arms fully extended at your sides, reverse your grip to a normal, palms up grip and begin again for reps.

Happy Lifting!

This exercise can also be performed by beginning with palms facing downward wtih a switch at the top to palms facing upward.

Studies have shown that engaging in aerobic or endurance exercise prior to anaerobic or resistance training can result in diminished strength when engaging in the anaerobic portion. Though I am not advocating dropping steady-state cardio from your routine, I am recommending that you split the resistance and cardio, electing to weight train on one day and do cardio another. This allows for greater recovery between the two portions and helps prevent overtraining.

P.S. As an added bonus, adopt HIIT training instead of steady -state cardio for maximum strength and muscle gain.