Friday, October 15, 2004

Weight Training Tips

I’m coming down with a dose of the flu at the moment and I feel pretty wretched- what’s worse is that I’m missing workouts. Argh! And things were going so well. Hopefully, this won’t last long and come Monday I’ll be able to start lifting again.

One of the body parts I have a real hard time with in my hamstrings- no matter how well the rest of me is doing I find it really hard to increase the weight I can lift with ‘em. I tried doing a lot of leg curls to no avail. I think stiff legged deadlifts are more effective but that puts a bit of a strain on the lower back which is a big no-no for me. I’ve since been recommended a new exercise, called the glute-ham lift. Basically, it goes like this- kneel down on a mat and have your training partner get a hold of your ankles. Next, keeping your body stiff, lower yourself towards the floor, hands in a press up pose (you’re legs might give out and you’ll need to have your hands ready to stop your face connecting with the floor). I’ve told that at first (and possibly for a while after) you won’t be able to lower yourself all the way to the floor in a controlled manner- once you’re down, give yourself a bit of a push up and come back up. Ouch. Sounds hard, but I’m going to try a few next leg day in the gym and see how it goes.

Another area I don’t like to train is biceps. I just don’t like it- triceps I love. Really love, in fact it’s one of my favourite bodyparts to train and that’s probably why I do quite well with them. Biceps are another matter and recently I decided that enough was enough- time to make them suffer! I’ve tried a variety of combinations over the years but the single most effective bicep exercise, for me anyway, is the preacher curl (I use a cable machine at the moment but when I plateau I’ll switch to a free bar). The great thing about it is that you can’t cheat, you can’t swing the weight. You just have to lift. When I started with this I found I had to drop about ten pounds over the standing curl I was used to, but my biceps have definitely shown improvement. Once again, proper form triumphs.

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