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September 2nd, 2010   
  Serious About Muscle Newsletter    WBB on Facebook    Follow on Twitter    WBB Forums

In this issue:

  • This Weeks Exclusive Article
  • 3 Movements to a Better Squat by Mike Scialabba
  • The Hardest Hamstring Exercise You'll Ever Do By Riley Bestwick
  • Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What & Quote of the Week
  This Weeks Exclusive Articles  

Switch Things Up With Suspension Training

There’s nothing like ripping an intense amount of steel off the floor or grinding out several speed sets on the bench press.

But every now and then, our brain and bodies are hungry for something just a little different.

If there’s one way to maintain all your meat and increase fat loss, joint stability, and core strength while feeling brutally challenged and mentally stimulated at the same time, then this is it.

Bring on Suspension Training!

Read the full article here

Author: Mike Scialabba

  AtLarge Nutrition  

Save 20% on Opticen for the next 4 days only!

To tempt you to either try out Opticen for the first time or to stock up - for the next 5 days only (through to Sunday September 5th, 2010) you can save 20% off Opticen by using the following discount coupon:

opticen20

If you haven't already, check out Chris's new video which outlines why Opticen is so effective when taken immediately after your training session!


If you have any questions, feel free to ask them on the youtube page or in this discussion thread on the forums.

  Mini Article 1  

3 Movements to a Better Squat

by Mike Scialabba

We all want to squat deep. It's been touted loud and clear over the last 4-5 years, that if you're a good weight lifter, you squat, and you squat deep! The only problem with that is for many, but not all trainees, squatting, or in fact any compound lower body movements have not been implemented at all in the early years of their training.

This for some, has created significant muscular imbalances that prevent many athletes from squatting correctly when first learning the movement. The ambition is there, but the dynamics of the movement are not. So here's a few training exercises to improve the strength, and technique of your squat as you pursue your quest of physical prowess.

1) Good Mornings

Good mornings will start aiding in strengthening or stiffening the lower back and creating a stronger posterior chain. This will help you when coming into the bottom portion of your squat, and as you develop better middle and lower back strength, will prevent you from having such a dramatic forward tilt at the low end of your squat.


2) Ab Wheel

Performing the ab wheel will help to develop the transverse abdominal region and basically the entire anterior core. Increasing strength in these departments will greatly aid in the support of a heavier load, and keep the chest from collapse at the bottom of the squat position.



3) Plate Squat

The goblet squat is a great dynamic squat to help open the hips and hip flexors, while learning to engage the abdomen at the bottom of the squat. This movement will help to keep the hips in the right position at the bottom and prevent the low back stressful curvature we so frequently see in overzealous deep squatters.


Swap your squat with these three movements for 4-6 weeks, and then come back to the squat. Depending on how hard you worked, you should be coming back with a better technical squat, and a higher ceiling for maximal effort.

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If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: 3 Movements to a Better Squat discussion thread

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Mike is the Director and Owner of the Missoula Underground Strength Training Center located in Missoula, Montana. He’s an Expert Strength Coach and has been in the business for nearly a decade working with hundreds of individuals utilizing conventional and unconventional training methods. Be sure to check out his blog!

  Mini Article 2  

The Hardest Hamstring Exercise You'll Ever Do

by Riley Bestwick

The hamstrings get no love. Whenever I mention leg exercises, guys always want to talk about squats, lunges, and leg presses (and, yeah, the occasional deadlift.) Still, the hamstrings, along with the glutes, are the powerhouses of the lower body. They're crucial to sprinting speed, muscular balance, and lifting heavy weight.

But most guys are only training them one way, even though the hamstrings have two functions: knee flexion (like doing a leg curl) and hip extension (like locking out a deadlift). I'm guessing WBB readers know all about deadlifts but rarely do leg curls—which, by the way, is the opposite problem of most people.

But we all know the "non-functionality" of lying leg curls. So the question becomes, how can we train our hamstrings for both functions with one exercise? Enter the SHELC (Supine Hip Extension Leg Curl).

This is an incredibly difficult exercise that takes time to master, but once you get the basic movements down and build up through the progressions, your hamstrings will be bigger, stronger, and less prone to injury.

Here's how to do it:

Lie on the floor with your ankles and heels on a Swiss ball. Spread your arms with your palms down for a good base of support (once you get better at the SHELC, you'll do them palms-up with your hands closer to your body).

Now, lift your hips off the ground, making a straight line with your body. This is the starting and ending position.


Curl the ball underneath you while simultaneously squeezing your glutes and lifting your hips off the floor. In the final position, you should have your heels on the ball and have a straight line from your knees to your hips.


Reverse the motion till you're back in the straight line with your hips off the floor. That's one rep.

(For those of you who've mastered this already, try the single-leg SHELC. Follow the same cues, but do it with one leg.)


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If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: The Hardest Hamstring Exercise You'll Ever Do discussion thread

  Mini Article 3  

Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What

20 Rep Squats

Anybody who has tried the fabled 20 rep squat knows how tough they can be to finish. Anybody who has done them over a length of time knows how productive they can be. But are they a good exercise for beginners who need to focus on form and stay injury free?

Check out the discussion here - Did 20 Rep Squats Last Night

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Should I Say Something?

We’ve all seen them in our gyms, trainers that don’t seem to know what they are teaching and new lifters that have no clue. We feel sorry for the poor guys or girls that are paying for their advice and we want to help them to improve. Walking up and telling the trainer that they are full of crap is not the best way to handle things and will probably end badly. Here are some ideas that should work much better.

Check out the discussion here - Crappy Trainers

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Ultra Wide Sumo Dead lift

They will blow your hips and hamstrings up when you do them as an accessory exercise after your squats. You don't need to use a lot of weight; around 50% or deadlift weight will be plenty. You can load some 25 lb plates on first to keep from smashing your feet.

Check out the discussion here - Ultra Wide Sumo Dead lift

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Adding To Creatine

If you could pick only one supplement to take along with creatine, what would it be? Beta Alanine could be the best addition to go along with the Creatine. How about HMB? There is evidence that it will help with lean mass gains over time. Of course you could just order Results and get all three in effective doses.

Check out the discussion here - What to Add to Creatine?

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Fix My Bench Press

Your bench is weak from the point the bar touches the chest to the point where the bar gets back to Floor Press level. You need to improve the arch, leg drive and triceps strength. Speed work can improve the explosiveness out of the bottom of the lift. Find your solution here.

Check out the discussion here - Fix My Bench Press

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Alcohol and Training

Generally it's best to avoid alcohol entirely if you want maximum gains - regardless of the negative impact it has on muscle growth (someone else can get scientific here) It's loaded with useless calories and the day after a few drinks you tend to feel crappy, more likely to eat crap and not even train.

Check out the discussion here - Alcohol and Training

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Live From the Forums - Quote of the Week

“If your goal is to be better at your sport, training your calves is going to be about as effective as training to wiggle your ears. ”Travis Bell

Check out the discussion here - Training for Vertical Jump

 
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