Someone much smarter than me once said: “the most important muscle is between the ears.” In other worlds, if you want gains you need to use your noodle.
In today’s newsletter, we will cover how to set yourself up mentally and physically for the perfect set.
Which each exercise, there are three things that matter:
- Positioning. Is my body optimally placed to perform the lift?
- Tension before lifting. If you approach the set like a sack of potatoes, you will lift like one!
- Intention. Which muscle am I trying to train? Once you know that, create tension in the target muscle.
Here are some examples.
- Stand shoulder wide, upper body parallel to the floor. The body should not move during the set; only the arms work as pulleys.
- Tighten up your glutes, quads, abs, and shoulders
- Grab the bar in an underhand grip, pretend to turn the palms inward. This will create tension in the target muscle, the lats.
Incline Bench Press
- Place yourself on the bench, feet, hips, and shoulder blades firmly connected with the floor or the bench.
- Pull the shoulder blades together, tighten up your abs by moving the sternum downward in a mini crunch.
- Bring the weight up, but focus on two things
- shoving the elbows together and
- not locking out on the top. Now you have tension in your target muscle, the chest.
- Position yourself in the machine seat, head on cushion, lower back drilled into the backrest.
- Tighten your abs in a short crunch and arms by squeezing the handles.
- Drive weight up from the heel, thereby making sure that the hamstrings and quads work properly.
- Stand tall, ideally with the back against the wall.
- Tighten glutes, abs, and shoulders.
- Curl the weight up with an outward intention: now you have the biceps engaged!
- Sit upright, no slouching forward. This is not an incline press!
- Shorten the abs, tighten your lats.
- Bring the dumbbells to ear level, drop thumbs slightly, drive the dumbbells upward again without locking out and focus on your elbows coming together.
While this may sound tedious, these three points are the difference maker between a meh and a great workout!
If you want the video, here you are! https://youtu.be/-97SEewEVGs