0The power clean is one of the best exercises for the combat athlete. Power cleans can be performed with a barbell, with two heavy dumbbells, with a single heavy dumbbell, with a heavy sandbag, with a heavy barrel, or with a heavy log or anvil. Anything heavy and challenging works just fine, so don’t limit yourself to barbell cleans.
0What the machines did was teach weight trainees that poundage no longer mattered. In fact, the machine manufacturers encouraged such thinking by labeling the plates in their weight stacks not in pounds but by letters of the alphabet. Instead of using 100 pounds for 10 reps in the press, you would use “plate J.” Once you start thinking in terms of “plate J” or “plate K” you have disassociated yourself completely from the idea of WEIGHT training – which is precisely what happened on some machines.
0The proliferation of machines made meaningful strength comparisons impossible. While it’s safe to say that a man who does ten reps in the standing press with 185 pounds on an Olympic barbell is stronger than a man who does ten reps in the same lift with 150 pounds, you really can’t compare ten reps with 180 on a Nautilus machine to ten reps with 150 on a Universal gym unit because of things and factors such as mechanical advantage, friction etc.
0A plate loading grip machine is one of the best ways to build the hands and fingers to unimaginable levels of strength and power. One great way to use them is to load the machine to a heavy weight, lift it with two hands, then release one hand and fight the weight every inch of the way down with the other hand (heavy negatives).
0Use thick bar deadlifts with an overhand grip to develop ferocious crushing power in the hands and fingers. Do one hand deadlifts with a thick handled bar. Lift a thick handled dumbbell and walk as far as possible with it. Lift a thick handled dumbbell and place it on a sturdy work bench, lower it to the floor, then repeat 20 or 30 times or until you can’t budge the little monster. Thick bar work builds a TREMENDOUS grip!
0You can carry it around on your shoulders and do a variation of the farmer’s walk with it to gain strength and stamina at the same time, or you can clean and press the thing for many reps or for just one rep, as long as it just about knocks you flat on your butt. Say you could only do one rep with this 165 pound metal. Is that hard work? You bet it is! Even if it’s a basic movement with a rather unusual strength implement, and even for just a single rep, singles can be hard work if you train heavy. In time as you get stronger this anvil would no longer be as tough and as demanding as the first time, and when this happens, that’s when you add chains or extra weights to the anvil to keep challenging yourself.
0A big anvil weighs around 165 pounds and if you don’t have the time to go to a commercial gym and you don’t have any other equipment you can use this for clean and press and other overhead presses. Since you have to pick it up from the ground, it provides an added benefit of training your deadlift and your back. Lifting an anvil also hits the core hard because you need to balance it constantly.
0The easiest way to explain this is by noting the position of your joint when you do an isolation exercise. Your knee, elbow, or shoulder joint is forced into an unnatural position which causes strain. Whether you are aware of it at the time you are training or not, what you are actually doing is weakening the joint. The more weight that is used, the greater the strain, and the likelihood of injury is magnified.
0Dumbbell stands allow the lifter to take the dumbbells out of the supports, in the same manner as a barbell bench. While it is not absolutely necessary, it is a good equipment to have to be able to lift more weight in the dumbbell bench press. It is a waste of energy to take the bells off the floor and wrestle them into position for the press. If you have to clean the weights into position, you will simply limit your poundage potential with the dumbbell bench, as once you get the bells into position, you will not have the energy to press them.
0An adjustable dumbbell is used for the one hand swing. The only difference between the dumbbell you use for swing and the dumbbell you use for other movements is in swing, one end of the dumbbell is heavier than the other. This may seem puzzling at first but in one hand swing it is decidedly off balance and one side should be 15 pounds heavier than the other. With this imbalance, the weight feels under perfect control all the way and settles into the right position overhead.
The trap bar deadlift is an excellent variation of the straight bar deadlift that develops the key areas of the thighs, hips, glutes, and lower back. This is one of the reasons why the squat and the deadlift need to be the cornerstone of any serious strength trainee’s program. The trap bar brings the resistance in closer to one’s center of gravity, with the resistance no longer being on top and to the rear as in the squat, but rather in one’s hands at the sides. This allows an individual to deadlift with a more upright back, which diminishes the potential for injury. It shifts meaningful stress to the legs, and this results to your legs and back getting pounded hard from an unfamiliar angle.
Straps of any sort are strictly prohibited in one hand snatching for safety reasons. If you miss the lift, you need to be able to drop the weight to the floor. If you use straps and the weight goes overhead and behind you, as it might if you are out of position, you will either drop the bar on your head or end up with a shoulder injury.
For your strength training program, you’ll need a barbell, a power rack, a flat bench, a set of adjustable dumbbells, and lots of plates. For the cardio program, you’ll need a high quality jump rope, the kind boxers use, and a good pair of running shoes. Before and after each strength training session, do some medium fast rope skipping.
The very popular “bench press” lift as we know it today originated during World War II (WWII). Prior to that, the closest lift resembling the bench press was called the “supine press.” This was performed like a bench press, but the major difference is it was done while lying on the floor. The only disadvantage was that the elbows did not go lower than parallel. This movement, the supine press, is still used by strength athletes to strengthen their lockout power in bench press, and this is now more popularly known as the floor press.
There is a reason why most if not all barbells are painted black. When weightlifting pioneer Alan Calvert began manufacturing barbells in 1902, colored paint was very expensive and took longer to dry. Jap black was inexpensive and fast drying. So, to keep his prices affordable to rural farm boys, Calvert painted all is equipment black, and the rest as they say, is history.
The use of dumbbells for building great power in the arms and shoulders is unsurpassed. In dumbbell exercise, the arms are entirely their own, and you have a greater range of motion. In dumbbell presses, they work separately as do the muscles of the shoulders and back. With dumbbells, each group of muscles on each side of the body work independently. In lifting a barbell, they work in concert, and that’s why you can lift much heavier weights with barbells than with dumbbells.
This is because the typical exercise enthusiasts nowadays do not want to stand on their feet in the rack and the answer is simple: they don’t want to work too much because it’s so muc easier to sit down or lie down. What happens in a lot of gyms right now is 90% of workouts are either done sitting or lying on your back. If you want proof of this, just look at how gym goers train their legs: seated leg extensions, leg curls while lying on their stomachs, seated calf raises, leg presses, and the list goes on. Compare that to strength training 40-50 years ago: power cleans, standing presses, squats, bentover rows, deadlifts, and other exercises where you stood on your feet.
Gloves are available that are specially designed for resistance training. These gloves do not cover the fingers, but only the palms of the hands. They offer some protection for the palms from the knurling on many barbells, dumbbells and handles of resistance training equipment. The protection that gloves offer may help prevent the formation of blisters or the ripping of calluses on the hands. However, they are not absolutely necessary for the safe performance of resistance training.
Wearing a tightly cinched belt during activity causes a higher blood pressure than if the activity were performed without a belt. This makes the pumping of blood by the heart more difficult and may cause undue cardiovascular stress. Wearing a belt during resistance exercises where the lower back is not heavily involved is not recommended but can be permitted during lifts involving the lower back. However, it should not be used to alleviate technique problems in an exercise because of weak lower back and abdominal muscles. Assistance exercises to strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles should be a part of all training programs. This helps eliminate chronic weakness of these areas which can lead to poor exercise technique. In addition, strong abdominals and lower back can help in injury prevention to the lower back during all physical activity.
A weight training belt is designed to help support the lower back. Use of a belt is not necessary when performing resistance training exercises; it is merely an aid to counteract a lack of strong abdominal and lower back musculature. Weight training belts do help support the lower spine but not from the back as is commonly thought. The belt gives the abdominal muscles an object to push against, allowing the buildup of pressure in the abdomen which pushes against the lower spine from the front. In fact, the wide part of the belt would be best served by being in front of the abdominals. Many weightlifters do not use a belt as they want to develop the strength of the core alone. Belts should never be tightened except for heavy lifts during a training session (e.g. 3 RM and lower).