Saturday, 10 July 2010

Weightlifting Exercises

Find an extensive list of weightlifting exercises below with links where you can find out all about each exercise.


Squat Form
Overhead Squat
Bulgarian squat
Calf raises
Leg press


Negative Curls
Biceps 21's
Biceps Curl


Partial Reps
Flat Bench Press


Pull ups
Good morning
Lat pulldown
Barbell Bent over Row
Supine Row
Pendlay Rows

Upper Body

Power clean
Clean and Press


Arnie press
Rear deltoid
Front raise
Lateral Raise
Shoulder press
Upright Row


Skull crushers

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Vasiliy Alekseyev

Vasiliy Alekseyev, a Russian born Василий Иванович Алексеев in 1942 is renowned as one of the greatest weightlifters the world has ever produced.

Vasiliy Alekseyev competed in weightlifting for the Soviet Union throughout the 1970's and during his reign as the best weightlifter in the world he set eighty world records for weightlifting.

Alekseyev started weightlifting at the age of 18 at the Trud Voluntary Sports Society, it was during these early years that he soon found that he was physically perfect for the sport.

Competing in the 110+ category of weightlifting during a time where some lifts were still being carried out that are not part of the weightlifting circuit today, Vasiliy Alekseyev was well known for being able to produce awe inspiring feats of strength through the power of his lifts.

Vasiliy was the European Champion every year from 1970 all the way through to (and including) 1978, he was also the World Champion every year from 1970 all the way through to (and including) 1977.

Personal statistics:

Height - 1.86 metres (6 feet 1 inch)
Weight - 161.75 kg (355.85 lbs)

Below are some of Alekseyevs great records:

  • Snatch: 190.0 kg in 1977-09-01 on Podolsk;
  • Clean and press: 236.5 kg, official world record until 1972;
  • Clean and jerk: 256.0 kg in 1977-11-01 on Moscow;
  • Total: 645.0 kg (clean and press + snatch + clean and jerk), in 1972-04-15, on Tallinn, official world record until 1972;[6]
  • Total: 445.0 kg (snatch + clean and jerk) on Podolsk

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Build Bigger Forearms

One area of the upper body neglected more than any other is the forearms, everyone builds bigger biceps but what about the area of the arm below the elbow? Not many people remember to train this area.

Taking this into consideration how many of you would love to build bigger forearms? Most of you would so why are you not training your forearms?

There is an easy way to build bigger forearms by simply adding a couple of forearm exercises into your biceps workout.

Build Bigger Forearms

To build bigger forearms the two exercises you need to incorporate in to your biceps workout are wrist curls. Simply carry out supinated and pronated wrist curls at the end of your workout with three sets of twelve reps and your on your way to big bulging forearms.

For wrist curls you dont need a heavy weight, in fact some people will find training with a 10 kg barbell enough to feel the burn in their forearms.

So simply take a barbell and carry out three sets of supinated wrist curls, this means with your palms facing up towards your face, follow this with three sets of pronated wrist curls which means with your palms facing down towards your feet.

Building bigger forearms is an important and integral part of building your strength to support both your biceps and back workouts among other body parts.

What are you waiting for, get started on those forearms today!

Monday, 31 May 2010

5 ways to increase strength

Are you working hard in the gym but hitting the plateau and want a way to increase your strength? Maybe your new to training and want some instant strength gratification for motivation purposes, well now’s your chance with my 10 ways to increase strength.

Tip 1) Warm up before lifting weights

Yes it’s the old cliché that you need to warm up before lifting but it is true. It is so common for people to neglect their warm up and then find their muscles can’t lift very heavy, not to mention the potential for injury. It is very important for strength training and to reduce the possibility of injury to warm up before weightlifting.

Tip 2) Rest

By rest we don’t mean sit in front of the TV like Homer Simpson, no we mean give your body a good three minute rest between sets so your body can regenerate ATP so your muscles have as much energy as possible to lift.

Tip 3) Train your weaknesses

Most people actually neglect their weaknesses and keep to the exercises that make them feel strong, but without training your weaknesses you will not see so many strength gains. Make sure you include one exercise at least per session that works on a weakness in your body, this may be partial reps for the lower part of the benchpress or carrying out that exercise you hate.

Tip 4) Find a stronger partner

It is surprising how having a training partner stronger than yourself can actually help you lift heavier. Its simple mental strength on this one, you don’t want to be the weaker of the two training partners so you motivate yourself mentally to lift heavier and find inspiration from your partner.

Tip 5) Go heavy on 5x5

Take your compound lifts and start lifting with five sets for five reps on the heaviest weight you can manage the full five sets and five reps. This is the typical workout regime for the strong men of the world and will really boost your strength. As soon as you achieve five set for five reps on a weight add another 2.5kg on your next session.


Follow the simple tips above and you could see an increase in strength in a matter of weeks rather than months. It is the simple changes in training that have the biggest impact.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Training like a Dream

I realised its been over two months since I last posted in my journal so thought it time to give an update of where I am.

I went to the consultant at the end of March, he did want me to have injections in my back for my ruptured disc but I said everything is going well at the moment, in the end we decided that I wont have them now and will only have them if I have issues in the future. The final consultation has meant I am able to train to full effect but not allowed to deadlift or squat.

Since this consultation I have been in Bulgaria for two weeks where I carried out some great training and I have been training hard back in the UK.

My training is actually going very well, I am training like a dream. In fact I have only one issue with my training and that is that the gym weights only go up to 40kg (88lbs) so I am unable to move past this weight on some of my exercises and have had to look at other freeweight exercises to progress.

I went to the gym today and managed a huge back session that is making me feel great, I feel I am moving in the right direction. Currently I am weighing in at between 96kg (211 lbs) and 98kg (215 lbs) and given my next target is 100kg (220 lbs) Im not far off!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Weightlifting Weight Loss

Did you know that weightlifting is an amazing way to support weight loss?

Its true yet not something many people try in their endeavours to lose weight, even though weight lifting is an immense way to not only increase muscle mass but lose weight through fat loss.

When you carry out weight lifting you will start building muscle mass and without realising you will also start to see your fat start to reduce. Contrary to popular belief fat does not turn into muscle, what will happen is that you will expend more calories from weight training than before when you didnt train. You will also see that when your muscle mass increases you will actually expend more energy without even training on a daily basis.

This works because for every extra pound (just under half kilogram) of weight you put on in muscle mass your body will expend an extra sixty calories per day without you even moving! It is for this reason that bigger muscular men can eat all the time while staying lean....well there is a little part of diet in this too.

So if your thinking of losing weight dont just stick to the cardio get involved and start weight lifting too.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Athletic Leg Training

Im sure you have all seen those powerful athletes with huge legs that seem to achieve superior levels of speed, power and agility on the athletics field but how do they achieve this?

Yes I know your going to say train hard but its more than that, its about how they train.

Bodybuilders and other types of weight lifters tend to stick to leg exercises that train both legs in tandem, truth be told your better off training each leg individually.

How to carry out athletic leg training

Take compound exercises that use free weights the modify them so only a single leg is used in the exercise, for example:

Instead of carrying out the squat, use dumbbells and carry out the Bulgarian split squat, its so much more challenging and your legs will tuly benefit.

So what does an athletic leg training session look like?

Bulgarian split squat - 3 or 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps
Single leg deadlift - 3 or 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps
Lunges (holding dumbbells) - 3 or 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps
High step up - 3 or 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps
Calf raises - 3 or 4 sets of 6 to 15 reps

Carry out these exercises in curcuits so your completing the exercises 2 or 3 times per training session. This should not take longer than 45 minutes, as soon as 45 minutes are up stop your training session.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Muscle Balancing Act

We all know the balancing act whereby we have one side of our bodies stronger than the other, this is most evident in the arms due to being right handed or left handed. This is most common among newbies to the gym who have never trained before.

We all know that when we lift the bench press for example there is one side that we find easier to lift than another; it may be that your right side feels it can keep going while the left starts to flounder so how do you combat this imbalance?

My personal preference to combat this issue is by lifting with dumbbells. By taking the same exercises but using dumbbells you are letting each side of the body work independent of the other, this means that one side cannot support the other by taking the brunt of the weight.

Initially you may find the weaker side gives up before your stronger side so you have to stop earlier than you would expect but over time (a short time) the weaker side will improve and catch up with your stronger side. By doing this you will also find when you go back to barbell exercises you will actually be able to lift more!

If you find that you have one side of your body weaker than the other whether its your arms, shoulders or legs why not start isolating the muscles so they work independent and can catch up with the stronger side over time.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Clean and Press

The Clean and press exercise works most muscles in the body in one function or another starting from the calves and quads right up to the deltoids of the shoulders.

This is a big compound lift that used to be part of Olympic weightlifting right up until the early 1970’s.

The Clean and press works in two movements, the first bringing the bar from the floor to chest height and the second pressing the bar over the head. The clean and press can be completed with either dumbbells, kettle bells or a barbell.

I have started carrying out this great exercise as part of my own training session and thoroughly enjoy it. I personally use a barbell.

To add size and strength to your overall physique this is one hell of an exercise.

Clean and Press

Equipment – Dumbbells, Kettle bells or Barbell of desired weight

Preparation - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and an overhand grip on the equipment of choice keeping your back straight as your bent over the weight.

Movement – Pull the bar up to your chest pushing through your legs in a squat then shrugging motion (always keeping your back straight) then rotate your palms under the bar before pressing above your shoulders.

Remember to never arch your back; it should stay straight throughout the movement. If you arch your back to far (known as hyperextension) you can seriously damage your lower back.

Reps/Sets 1 to 12 reps for 4 sets

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Built like a Bear or a Racehorse

Everyone talks about body types such as endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph but there is a simplier explanation to body types. This simplier explanation means your a bear or a racehorse, yes not quite what you expected I know but hear me out.

If you look at those that train in the gym on a regular basis you will tend to notice that many people do not fit into one of the three specific body types of endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph. The reason why most people dont fit into one of these types is because many people have charactaristics of a combination of two of these types.

Now forgetting these body types you can see whether someone fits into the simplier explanation of being a bear or a racehorse, but what does this actually mean?

Built like a bear

If your built like a bear it means that you find it very easy to put on muscle and tend to carry a higher fat percentage, the problem is that you are bulky but dont have definition. A bear also suffers with the issue that by trying to cut up by losing fat they also lose alot of muscle in the process.

Bears tend to eat less often than a racehorse yet still put on weight (fat or muscle).

Built like a racehorse

If your built like a racehorse you find it very hard to build muscle mass yet tend to be lean, carry a low fat percentage and is well defined. A racehorse enjoys being well defined but really suffers with trying to pack on the muscle even if they train exactly the same as a bear.

A racehorse is able to eat all the time but not put on weight (fat or muscle).


Now I know I am a bear, I put on muscle quick while carrying a higher fat percentage but also find it easy to lose my muscle gains if I dont eat enough.

So what are you a bear or a racehorse, do you find it easy to pack on the muscle and fat yet struggle with definition like a bear or are you well defined yet struggle to pile on the pounds in muscle like a racehorse?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Secret to Strength and Size

When it comes to the secret to strength and size there are many articles that profess to tell you exactly what the secret to strength and size is, truth be told its not a huge secret its a simple formula to success.

When it comes to the secret to strength and size the answer to getting huge gains in strength and size all you need to do is follow a few training principles, which are:

  • Ensure the three big lifts of the Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift are used every week with one ever training session.
  • Ensure all training sessions are completed every week with the minimum of three per week.
  • Every training session try to increase the amount of weight or reps carried out on all exercises, or just the big lifts.
Now these supposed "Secrets" dont sound like they will make a huge difference but they definatley will. Many people carry out the bench press every week but alot of people neglect the squat and deadlift.

Interestingly the deadlift is probably the best exercise there is as it utilises more muscles than nearly all other exercises so if carried out regularly carrying you will see your strength and mass increase quite quickly. To me the deadlift is the king of all weight lifting exercises.

The squat further supports this by building your leg muscles further giving you overall strength and size with the bench press carried out also.

The idea behind not missing training sessions and using extra weight or reps on every session is to push your muscles so they repair bigger and stronger every time you train.

If your new to training and you follow the secret to strength and size above then you are sure to see a big difference in a matter of 12 to 16 weeks (thats only 3 to 4 months!).

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A Moment of Motivation

In the UK there is a hive of activity at the moment as people who dont normally carry out any training are donning their sports clothes to carry out many sports activities. The reason for this is because it is time for Sports Relief, a part of the Comic Relief charity event.

Sports Relief helps raise money to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people in the United Kingdom and across the world.

Now although this site is mainly about weight lifting I thought it important to talk about one person raising money for Sports Relief in a way that many would not believe.

In the United Kingdom there is a legendary comedian called Eddie Izzard, some may know him from his time in the United States as an actor. Eddie Izzard decided to supports Sports Relief by carrying out a special act to raise money for this great charity.

Eddie decided to really push himself to the limit with this special act and from doing so has become inspirational and motivational for others, so what has he done?

With little training (5 weeks in total) Eddie embarked on running forty three marathons in fifty one days (yes you read right!), this meant Eddie was running a minimum of twenty seven miles a day for six days a week for seven weeks in a row.

Now one marathon is enough even for the most well trained athalete so how did a middle aged comedian with little to no training manage this great feat?

Easy motivation and mind over matter, the supporting documentary about this great feat is an amazing watch and really does show the pain and elation he went through achieving all forty three marathons.

The marathons Eddie ran literally took him around the whole of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland starting in London and finishing in London for a total of 1160 miles ran.

Now if this is not motivation I dont know what is, to me this proves that anyone can achieve their training goals no matter what they are as long as they can put their mind to it with the right motivation and drive.

To find out more about Eddie Izzards run or make a donation to the Sports Relief charity Click Here!

If your interested in watching the documentary of Eddies marathons why not watch them on BBC iPlayer (only available until the end of March 2010)

Episode one
Episode two

Monday, 8 March 2010

Gut Busting Abs

For those who are of a vain nature there are two main features men wish to work on, these are the biceps and the abs. Today I wish to talk about building gut busting abs that perfect, yet elusive six pack that many men aspire to.

We all know that feeling of summer rolling around the corner and that feeling is never more evident than now. I am sure many of you are looking at booking your summer holidays and thinking “Ive only got 3 months to get in shape”. Truth be told the main focus of getting in shape is that beach bod with a six pack that will attract the ladies.

So how do you get gut busting abs?

Well firstly you have to understand that like all muscles you cannot train your abs EVERY day, although many people do try. To get the best out of your abdominals its best to train them three days a week with a days break between each session.

If you go to the gym regularly then build it into the end of your workout, unless you feel you don’t have the discipline to do this where you need to make it the start of your workout so your ab workout gets done.

Your three ab training days should be broken into three different ab sessions, session one control, session two power and session three endurance.

Control – This means take it slow so you take three seconds to raise your body and three seconds to return back down, this will really get your abdominal muscles going and you WILL feel the burn.

Power – Lift your body as quick as possible and take one second to return back down, as you start finding this easy add light weights to make it harder.

Endurance – This session is about lots of reps with two seconds to raise your body and one second to return to your starting position.

Many people simply do sit ups or crunches to build their abdominals, they don’t realize there is many variations of ab training that can really push the boundaries and improve their abdominals.

If you carry out three sessions a week following the three ab training types mentioned you can see huge advances in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Back on Track

Okay so I wrote a post back at the start of January about being back in training, the issue is that it was a bit hit and miss because of my back injury.

I am proud and happy to say that as of three weeks ago I am really back in training and am training five days a week as per the training schedule on my previous journal post

Its been 8 months of not being able to train properly and it has really got to me many times. In the eight months of no/little training I have seen my weight go down yet my stomach get bigger as well as my strength and fitness decrease.

The past three weeks of full training is already correcting the strength, fitness and stomach issue well and I am hoping within weeks Ill be right back where I was.

I have been having physio every week and have also found running really helps my back as it stops my back from tightening up.

I am having what I hope is my final physio appointment in two weeks and am also seeing my consultant, given my huge advances it should mean no injections or surgery which is what I am after!

So overall my back is better, im back in action in the gym and running oh and I am a very happy bunny.

P.S Im back in Bulgaria in three weeks, this time for a two week stint!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Eating Pork to Build Muscle

Many people tend to shy away from pork and concentrate on eating Chicken when it comes to building muscle and staying lean but I feel that pork gets a bad rep when it is really a great meat to eat when wanting to bulk up and lose fat.

Firstly did you know that Pork actually carries fewer calories per 100 grams than chicken? Shocking isn’t it, but it is true. For 100 grams of pork you will get 103 calories where 100 grams of chicken carries 150 calories.

Pork not only has less calories than chicken per hundred grams it also has more protein! Chicken carries eighteen grams of protein per hundred grams while pork actually has twenty grams of protein for one hundred grams.

Pork is also a great provider of B3, B6 and B12 vitamins which are vitamins that support the break down of carbohydrates and fats in the body. Pork is also high in Zinc which supports the production of testosterone in the body.

I tend to have pork once or twice a week to keep variation in my diet and to offer a great alternative to chicken as eating the same meat all the time can become mundane. When choosing my pork I always go for fresh steaks that are lean and don’t carry much fat.

Now you have found out that pork carries less calories and more protein than chicken what are you waiting for? Why not buy a fresh pork steak today and enjoy being a pig!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Rome wasnt built in a day

I have many people asking me how they can bulk up in four weeks, six weeks or eight weeks and my answer to this is simple – Rome wasn’t built in a day. This means that you can’t go in a gym tomorrow and in eight weeks expect to be built, no matter what some of the adverts and ebooks you see on the internet tell you.

My view is that in a twelve week window you can see a significant difference if you put the time and effort into your training, this significant difference will mean you can gain a good amount of muscle mass if you train hard and eat correctly, but this does not mean you will become huge in this time.

If it was as easy as spending a few weeks in the gym to become tonk or built then all men will be mini Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, the truth is that it takes a lot of time and effort to become big, strong and defined.

If you are looking to build your muscle mass then take note, after the first twelve weeks you will see a significant difference when compared to your starting point, again if you eat and train correctly. Taking this into account it will take a good 12 months or more before you see a huge difference in your physical appearance.

Don’t despair if you are reading this and thinking 12 months is too long, in the grand scheme of things 12 months is not long when you think about the difference you will see in your body in this time. With the correct training and diet you can put up to twelve kilograms of muscle in a year dependant on your body type.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Squat Form

Now with any exercise form is extremely important, by keeping the correct form throughout a lift you are ensuring you will not injure yourself and that you are giving the specific muscle group the best possible workout. This is most evident in one of the big lifts called the squat so squat form is very important.

The squat is one of the big compound moves, for this reason it is also the best exercise for training all the muscles of the legs. One of the issues with the squat is that many people do not lift in the squat correctly thus causing possible injury to their lower back as they put more strain on the back thus causing the legs to do less work. In essence this means that the legs aren’t getting such a good workout and the back is straining under the position and weight put on it.

The first thing to mention on squat form is that the lower you go in the lift the better training effect you are going to get…have you ever heard the term “Ass to grass” well its true this is the best way to train the squat.

When carrying out the lift you should bend the knees and hips to lower your body down, during this the back should be kept straight and your knees should not move forward past your feet throughout the lift.

The most common mistakes people have are lowering themselves to quickly causing and moving the torso too far forward both of these increase the force on the back, especially the lower back region which can cause injury.

Deep squat or shallow squat

There are terms for squat types; these are deep squat or shallow squat.
The deep squat is a squat whereby you squat below parallel (over 90 degrees or thighs below knees). This type of squat is the legal requirement in a powerlifting competition.

The shallow squat is one where you don’t reach the parallel before pushing back to your starting position.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Negative Biceps Curls

Negatives are a great form of training and training negatives is something I have talked about before in this training negatives article. The reason why training negatives is really good is because it can really beat that plateau many of us hit after training for periods of time.

Negative training works by lifting only the negative part of a lift, this is because the negative part of the lift is the part in which you can lift the heaviest. By doing this you can push your muscles that little further by lifting heavier than you would by carrying out the full exercise.

For negative Biceps curls you use a dumbbell, barbell or EZ bar (I prefer a barbell) then only lift the negative part of the lift. This works by getting a partner (barbell or EZ bar) or yourself (dumbbell) to lift the weight up to your shoulder area by other means than carrying out the biceps curl exercise then you control the weight down to the starting position of the biceps curl and repeat.

Many people swear by carrying out negative biceps curls at the end of their arm workout to punish their biceps that last little bit for that extra push. I believe this is great and swear by incorporating negatives into my training.

If you are finding increasing your biceps size, beating a plateau on strength or you simply want a change from the usual mundane exercises then you should try negative biceps curls, I promise you wont regret it.

Negative Biceps Curl Video

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Max Effort Training

Max Effort Training, also known as ME training, is a type of training carried out by Powerlifters and Strongmen to increase their one rep max on big lifts. The Max Effort training actually means you are lifting the heaviest weight you can to increase your strength.

So how does it work?

When you carry out the max effort training method you are placing a heavy demand on your body, this does not simply mean the muscles but also the central nervous system. By putting this demand on the body its natural action is to adapt by increasing your strength, this happens as the body reduces the central nervous system inhibition so the maximum amounts of motor units are activated.

How do you carry out ME training?

A max effort workout will always centre around one big compound lift; these are usually the deadlift, bench press of squat for a powerlifter and deadlift, squat and overhead press for a strongman. You will only carry out the max effort style lifting on the big lift; any other exercises are completed as normal.

The max effort exercise will be completed as follows:

Work at 90% to 100% of your one rep max.
Carry out on one exercise per training session only
Carry out 1 to 3 reps per set
Carry out up to 10 sets
Leave 2 to 5 minutes rest between sets
Carry out on the same muscle group once a week only

The ten sets would be carried out as follows:

425 is your current one rep max

It is important to note that max effort training should only be completed on the same muscle group for three to four weeks before carrying it out on a different muscle group entirely as it can cause negative gains if carried out over longer periods.

The best way to complete your training regimen with max effort training is to carry out ME training for one to three weeks on your chest, then one to three weeks on your back and finally one to three weeks on your legs. This will mean using a cycle or rotation on your training regimen so your body doesn’t get used to what you are doing and you are keeping with the max effort training within the one to three weeks per muscle group.

I have personally used this type of training myself and found it to be an amazing way to increase your strength in a short period of time. Your muscles will fatigue quickly when you start carrying it out and you will reap the rewards very quickly.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Muscle Power Shop Questionnaire

Today we are launching the Muscle Power Shop questionnaire where we can learn more about who weight trains and the reasons why along with how much people lift.

The idea is to get hundreds, if not thousands of replys to get a huge database on people who weight train.

If you are interested give it a go, you can even look at the results others have entered. All details are anonymous so no one will ever know who entered the information.

Click here to take the Muscle Power Shop Questionnaire

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Back in Training

I mentioned on my last journal post that I was seeing my consultant to see if I could start training again after rupturing a disc in my back. Well I saw my consultant at the end of November and he gave me the okay to train with a few clauses...

1) No deadlift
2) No shoulder press
3) No leg training sessions

Now I start back after what ended up being four months off training and I trained for 18 days of the month. Not bad going for my first month back eh! Well training started hard as I had lost some strength and alot of stamina, to combat this and the lack of leg training session I did some running (as well as my weight training) to increase my fitness.

I have been training weekly as follows

Monday - 3 to 4 kilometre run
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Shoulders
Thursday - 3 to 4 kilometre run
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Chest and Triceps
Sunday - Back and Biceps

This is not ideal as I want to be back training fully but it is working well as my strength is increasing, my muscles are responding and I am getting fitter as well as losing that extra pounds gained from not training and still eating like a horse.

Im weighing in at 95 kgs still so missed out on my target of 100kg by the end of 2009 because of the injury.

Im looking forward to 2010 as one thing is certain, the injury has made me want to train even harder and I am going to put even more effort in. Training is about strength of mind as well as strength of body and my strength of mind is at the best it has ever been....roll on 2010!!!