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Tips of the week Perform bench presses on the multi press with an underhand grip

Tipps der Woche Führe Bankdrücken an der Multipresse im Untergriff aus

Bench presses with an underhand/reverse grip (palms facing the head) train the lateral and middle head of the triceps - the middle area of the resistance curve. With free bench presses with reverse grip, you will find it difficult to hold the bar throughout the movement. You'll end up focusing too much on just moving the weight - continuously trying to stabilize the weight instead of loading your triceps.

The solution? The multi press. Yes, really. Give the multi press a shot and you won't have to worry about stabilizing the weight, which is a good thing for this application. You'll be able to keep your elbows close to your body and overload your triceps tremendously - especially in the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement.

You should pay attention to the following:

  1. Don't move the bar all the way down to your chest. Finish the downward movement slightly above the chest to ensure that your triceps are continuously under tension.
  2. After a few warm-up sets, perform 3 to 4 heavy sets of 6 to 8 repetitions.

Tip: Be careful when reducing your calories

Is your HEC under control? It better be. Here's the explanation why.


By Dr. Jade Teta

Anyone who says that calories don't matter has absolutely no credibility. And anyone who says that calories are all that matter is even more untrustworthy.

If you only focus on calories, then you can get into trouble. When you reduce calories, you usually see some short-term benefits. These initial results can be tempting. But think of it like a metabolic credit card. You get short-term benefits, but there are long-term penalties that you have to pay later. Hunger, Energy and Cravings (HEC for short) is your key to working with, rather than against, your metabolism.

If your HEC is in the green zone, then your metabolic system is in balance. And if this is the case, then you are more likely to achieve a calorie deficit without even consciously trying. So it's not about throwing your calories out the window - it's about balancing your metabolism first and then taking care of the calories when needed.

The quality of calories matters - and not just the calories

Certain calories affect the HEC in different ways. A donut and a chicken breast both have 250 kcal, but which of these will make it more likely that your HEC will be in balance?

And yes, studies have shown that replacing carbohydrates with the same amount of protein leads to greater fat loss, better maintenance of muscle mass and less likelihood of weight gain.

Tip: Never do sit-ups with twists

Stop doing them. You're just begging for trouble. Here's the reasoning


By: Clay Hyght, DC

Many people perform sit-ups or crunches with twists to work both the rectus abdominus (the six-pack) and the side abs. Killing two birds with one stone? Makes sense, of course, but there's a problem.

When you do sit-ups or crunches through the full range of motion, your lower back doesn't stay flat on the floor - your lumbar spine rounds forward, which is called flexion. The problem is that spinal flexion puts a lot of pressure on the intervertebral discs. But there is a specific movement that is even more dangerous for the discs than flexion: flexion combined with rotation. Unfortunately, this is exactly the movement you perform when you do sit-ups or crunches with rotation.

Flexion with rotation puts posteolateral (backward and sideways) pressure on the nucleus pulposus - the gel-like inner part - of the discs, which is exactly the kind of stress that tends to cause herniated discs. Unless you want to herniate a disc - and experience the numbness, tingling and killer pain that comes with it - you should avoid twisting sit-ups and any other movement that combines spinal flexion with rotation.

Tip: Substitute side bends for lateral abdominals

There is a better option. Find out which one.


By Dr. John Rusin

It's easy to go wrong with standing side crunches for side abs, which is why this exercise can easily become a risky component of a core workout program. The average gym-goer has no idea what a neutral spine position entails, let alone being able to use an acute range of motion that targets the deep-seated abdominal muscles.

Before we start increasing the weights and working towards disc trauma repetition after repetition, shouldn't we master the basics first?

Master the isolated hold first

If you want to perform side bends, you should make sure that you only load unilaterally, which means that you only hold a dumbbell in one hand and not in both (as you have probably seen many times before).

Keep your hips and knees aligned with your spine, contract your core and activate all the muscles around it to prevent your core from bending to the side. Only when you have mastered this isolated hold with flawless technique and form can you dare to try side bends.

The alternative: Tempo side plank crunches

Tempo side plank crunches can produce a lot of tension without any real weight: During side planks, the muscles of the core - including the lateral obliques and transverse abdominis - are activated to stabilize the spine. The other primary stabilizer - the gluteus medius - is activated to connect the hips and abdominal region.

Hold this position using a strong and maximum muscle contraction for 20 seconds while consciously tensing the muscles to the maximum.

After you have earned the right to progress this exercise, you can incorporate precise crunches to the side with a slow lowering of your lower hips to the floor and an explosive side bend back to the neutral position.

Tip: Simplify your deadlift

Everything you need to know about the deadlift in one sentence. Really.


By: Mark Rippetoe

Deadlift the most basic and obvious exercise in barbell training - the exercise with the greatest carryover to movements in daily life and the easiest of all the basic exercises to learn. I can teach you how to perform deadlifts perfectly in one (admittedly long) sentence:

You stand behind the bar with your feet spaced like a vertical jump, with your toes pointing outwards and your shins 3 cm away from the bar, grab the bar with a slightly wider grip than your foot spacing, with your knees still extended, then bend your knees forward and slightly to the side until your shins touch the bar, push your chest up until your back is straight, take a deep breath and pull the bar up your legs until you are standing upright.

Do you see? One movement describes the whole thing. A good teacher can of course help you with the details, but our 1 set deadlift description covers a lot of important information. If you follow it correctly and intelligently, it will result in a perfect deadlift set every time.

Tip: Stop doing excessive cardio.

If you have to do tons of cardio to get lean, then your diet is going wrong. Here's a little reality check.


By: Paul Carter

You need some cardio, but probably not as much as you think. If you need to do a lot of cardio, then your diet is no good, stupid.

Cardio - whether it's steady intensity or interval style - is important in body recomposition. Using it in comparison to your training with weights at a moderate level is far better than overdoing it with cardio to achieve body recomposition.

Function generates form

Remember that your function will generate your form. The more cardio you do at a consistent intensity, the more your body will adapt to these demands. Over time, you will therefore probably look more like someone who does a lot of cardio at a consistent intensity.

Interval training, on the other hand, tends to be more anaerobic in nature and can be done in short bursts which, unlike steady state cardio, can increase your resting metabolic rate for a good period of time after the workout.

Both have their pros and cons. But unless your goal is to look like a jogger, you should limit your steady-state cardio to a few 30-minute sessions per week. Make sure you work hardest on your diet to get leaner. A few weeks of repeated cardio workouts at a consistent intensity can get you out of stagnation. But more often than not, you probably need to address your diet instead.

Always remember that if you have to do a lot of cardio to stay lean, your diet sucks - period.

Tip: Vary your repetition ranges for new growth

Bodybuilding consists of more than 3 sets of 10 reps. If hypertrophy is your primary goal, then you need to read this tip.


By Brad Schoenfeld, PhD

The optimal number of repetitions for hypertrophy-oriented training is an ongoing topic of debate in fitness. Although the research is in no way conclusive, there is evidence that a moderate repetition range (approximately 6 to 12 repetitions per set) is best for maximizing muscle growth.

This is often referred to as "bodybuilding style training" as it involves the ideal combination of mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress - the three primary factors involved in hypertrophy gains.

The problem is that most exercisers seem to think that all training should be performed in this repetition range, which results in them always sticking with the same load parameters. This is a false assumption.

Train heavy too

Maximum muscle development is built on a foundation of strength. This requires at least some of your sets to be performed in the low repetition range (1 to 5 reps per set).

Stronger muscles allow you to use heavier weights and thus achieve greater muscle tension in the moderate repetition range, which optimally stimulates hypertrophy. By increasing muscle tension without compromising metabolic stress, you lay the foundation for increased growth.

There is also a time for higher reps

At the other end of the spectrum, high repetition sets (in the range of 15 to 20 repetitions per set) also have their place in a hypertrophy-oriented training program. Provided you are working at or near your maximum weight for your repetition ranges, lower intensity sets will help you increase your lactate threshold - the point at which a rapid accumulation of lactic acid begins in your working muscles.

The problem with lactic acid is that at a certain point, accumulation impairs muscle contractions, which reduces the number of repetitions you can perform.

Technical note: It's actually the H+ ions of lactic acid that accelerate the onset of muscle fatigue, not the lactic acid itself.

Here's the good news: Training with higher repetitions increases muscle capillary density and improves muscle buffering capacity, both of which help delay the accumulation of lactic acid. As a result, you will be able to maintain a longer time under tension with a given hypertrophy-oriented load. In addition to this, you will develop a higher tolerance to a higher volume of work - an important component for maximizing hypertrophy.

Vary your repetition ranges over time

Optimal muscle development is achieved by varying your repetition ranges over time. This is best calculated using a structured periodization system. Both undulating and linear periodization approaches can work depending on your goals. Regardless of which scheme you use, you should make sure that it covers the full spectrum of load ranges.

Sure, hypertrophy training is probably best achieved with sets in the moderate repetition range, but higher and lower intensities are still important for optimizing your muscle development.

Tip: Improve your speed on pull-ups

If your goal is to build more muscle, use this tempo to achieve better results.


By: Dr. John Rusin

An underutilized method for increasing muscle strength release and growth-stimulating time under tension is to use specific tempos during your pull-ups. To recruit the maximum number of rapidly contracting muscle fibers, you should make the concentric contractions (as you pull your body up) as explosive as possible as your chest approaches the bar.

Hold the contraction at the highest point of the movement and consciously tighten the muscles hard to maximize the time under tension and the release of force in the shortened state of the biceps, latissimus and upper posterior chain. Control the eccentric part of the movement.

The tempo I recommend for strength and hypertrophy is X012:

  1. Explode as your chest moves toward the bar.
  2. Hold the contraction at the highest point of the movement.
  3. Take two seconds to lower your body.
  4. Perform the next repetition at the lowest point without pausing.


From: Paul Carter

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