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June 24th, 2010   
  Serious About Muscle Newsletter    WBB on Facebook    Follow on Twitter    WBB Forums

In this issue:

  • This Weeks Exclusive Articles
  • Comfort is For the Couch by Mike Scialabba
  • The Right Way to Bench Press by Kyle Hibler
  • Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What & Quote of the Week
  This Weeks Exclusive Articles  

Getting Big Without the Big Three

The Big Three are some of the best mass and strength builders around. However, despite how great they may be, they’re not always the best fit for every bodybuilder.

If you’ve been hard-headed about sticking to a certain movement and paying a painful price for it, you're in luck.

We break down each of the Big Three individually and dissect what’s going on, when the movement might not be a good idea, and some solid alternatives to pack on muscle!

Read the full article here

Author: JC Deen

Deadlift 5 Plates Like a Champion

There aren’t many things you can do in the gym that are “manlier” than deadlifting a heavy barbell loaded with five plates per side.

It’s the ultimate cool factor, the one movement everyone stops to watch (plus it means you’re strong as hell).

And the answer to getting a big deadlift isn't always to just keep grinding out set after set on deadlifts. If you are able to identify your weak link, fix it and get stronger on the assistance exercises, you'll be smashing Deadlift PR's in no time.

Read the full article here

Author: Bret Contreras

  AtLarge Nutrition Special Offers!  

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Simply go to www.atlargenutrition and enter the following coupon code during the checkout process to receive your 15% discount:

Discount code = 15percent

  Mini Article 1  

Comfort is For the Couch

by Mike Scialabba

You're not doin' the same thing you did last week are you? Oh, one more set of squats this week, and 10 more sets of bicep curls? You must be makin' progress!

For a lot of trainees, our workouts can be about as entertaining as laying in bed watching Dr. Phil talk about the importance of abstinence. We stroll into the gym, hang up the sweater, lie down on the bench and move the empty bar around attempting to stretch and warm up. About 20 minutes later hit the hammer strength incline press and hold the scarecrow position half asleep as if the world has stopped spinning.

Is it possible that the routine has become a little stale and we know it? I would say so. It's okay, we all get comfortable sometimes in our approach to badassness, but you know as well as I do, we have got to get outside that comfort zone!

Here's a few ways you can wake it up!

1)Join your girlfriend for some Yoga.

If you don't have a girlfriend, this may be a good place to get one. Trust me, you'll be really uncomfortable with all aspects of this foreign type of exercise, but it will reap huge rewards!

Taking a Yoga class may well reap huge rewards!

2) Boycott all machines.

If you don't have a machine to make you do it it's way, you're just going to have to figure out how your body can do it on it's very own! Time to put the big boy pants on and learn how to move by yourself.

3) Powerlift.

You want the best gains of your life? Find yourself a solid power lifting routine that's suitable for your level of fitness, and execute the sucker like would your post workout shake!

4) Atkins it Up!

Spend 5 weeks on a straight up Atkins diet. You'll feel like crap in the weight room, but you'll look like a million bucks by the end of your 5 weeks. Why not? Lose some chub, do something you've never done, eat a boat load of protein, an amazing amount of vegatables and a solid amount of healthy oils and good fats. How is that bad? It's not. Do it.

5) Take an aerobics class

How is this cool? It's not. It'll simply remind you why you lift a lot of heavy weights, and keep you motivated enough to make good decisions with your programming so you can do it for a very long time.

There you have it, a few sweet ways to get really uncomfortable, and have it reap you some major physical benefits a long the way!


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!

If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: Comfort is For the Couch discussion thread

  Mini Article 2  

The Right Way to Bench Press

by Kyle Hibler

The bench press is the ultimate measuring stick every lifter uses to test just how badass he is. (And I'm willing to bet that as you read this, there are a few thousand guys performing god-awful reps who think they're badass.)

But here's the kicker: even if you think you have great form, it could probably use some work. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and humble yourself. It's not easy, but it's what I'm asking you to do right now. So forget everything you know about the bench press; this is a reconstruction.

The Proper Set-Up

Most people don't realize that the bench is a full body exercise. Once you know how to use your entire body, your numbers will jump. To set up properly, lie on the bench, squeeze the heck out of your upper back and pull your feet far underneath you. You want to create an arch in your low-back. All of your weight should be on your upper back and your ass. This position will enable you to use "leg-drive" to press more weight.

Hand and Wrist Placement

Put your hands on the bar at whatever width feels "right." I prefer a narrow-grip because it keeps my triceps engaged and elbows tucked into my sides. If you use a wider grip you still need to focus on keeping your elbows tucked.

Also, you need to keep your wrists straight so the bar travels down your entire arm. This will make you stronger instantly. Now that you have hold of the bar, squeeze it as tight as you can to engage all the muscles in your hands and wrist. You're finally ready to press.

The Press

Now that we have the basic set up put together it's time to start moving the weight. Once you have the weight off the rack you want to lower the weight in a controlled manner. It shouldn't be super slow. However, you also don't want it to bounce off your chest. Once the bar hits your chest, you need to drive your feet into the ground activating the lower body. Keep in mind that you want your butt to stay on the bench throughout the press.

Staying as tight as possible throughout your back will activate your lats (the antagonist in the bench press) as well as your glutes. With all that in mind, you want to explode from the bottom position of the movement. Keep those elbows tucked in tight. Picture pressing yourself away from the weight and into the bench opposed to simply pressing the weight off your body. This will help you engage your traps and upper back.

How will I know if I'm performing this lift correctly?

A simple test would be to set the bar up with 50-60% of your 1RM. Perform three reps. If any part of you comes off the bench than you're not tight enough. If you let your traps and upper back slide out of position or if you lose your low-back arch, you need to lower the weight and focus on staying as tight as possible.

If you perform all three reps without any of those things happening, then you are pressing properly and can start busting through PR's at will.


Kyle Hibler is a powerlifter and bodybuilder who holds several national bench-press records.

If you have any questions on this article, feel free to post them on the forums here: The Right Way to Bench Press discussion thread

  Mini Article 3  

Live From the Forums - Who's Talking About What

Your One Goal

What is your number one goal? What is that one thing you can achieve that will let you know that you are somebody in the lifting world? Is it an 18" arm? Is it a triple bodyweight deadlift? Is it a ripped six-pack?

Check out the discussion here - Your One Goal

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Reg Park’s Diet

For those who don't know, Reg Park was the first bodybuilder to bench press 500 pounds, the first real celebrity bodybuilder/actor and the inspiration and coach of a young Arnold Schwarznegger. The man was incredibly strong and looked it. He was probably the biggest weightlifter of the 1950s, pre-steroid era.

Check out the discussion here - Reg Park’s Diet

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Best Squat Accessory

Outside of more squats, what would you consider to be the best movements to help develop the squat? Forum members give advice on the accessory movements that they have found to be the most helpful in improving their squat numbers.

Check out the discussion here - Best Squat Accessory

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Another Big Transformation

Forum member “thewicked” started a diet way back in Janurary. His goal was to maintain his strength while dropping his weight from 274 lbs to under 220 lbs. As a personal trainer, he wanted to look the part and be an inspiration to his clients. He has made some fantastic progress.

Check out the discussion here - Another Big Transformation

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Benching With Lats

We’ve read over and over to press the weight with our lats. That might not make any sense to some of us. How can you press with your lats when your lats are made to pull your arms towards the body? Find out how in this discussion.

Check out the discussion here - Benching With Lats

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More HCT-12 Questions

More and more people are trying the new HCT-12 routine. With every new routine, there are going to be questions about its implementation. The creator of HCT-12, Daniel Roberts, continues to help everybody with their questions.

Check out the journals here - A quick question about reps, sets and rest

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Live From the Forums - Quote of the Week

“I don't wear gloves...I powerlift..I have calluses...and I AM a girl.”Donnajo

Check out the discussion here - Gloves or No

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