Monday, May 30, 2011

Some solid movements you may not be using

Ok so everyone is always searching for new movements for variety and to break up the boredom.  I will list a few that work really well not just for that sake, but also for adding mass.  Keep the reps high on these and you'll reap the rewards.

Rack Chins  -

When I was DC'ing it, I used to these all the time.  Close Grip, wide grip, underhand grip, etc.  The one thing I like about them is that it eliminates the legs from the movements, so there is no momentum.  Your lats will in fact be doing all of the work.  When you do the setup for this, make sure that when you get to the top of the movement, your legs are parallel with the ground.  That is how you know you have set it up correctly.  Second, use a slow negative.  Fight that shit hard.  

Rack Head Press - 

With this one, you sit in the back on a bench and set the pins so that when you sit down with a bar on them, the bar is like an inch or less above your head.  Line the bar up so that it basically comes down the center of your body.  Pressing like this is really easy on the shoulder joints and simulates the ROM more of what a DB does, but of course you are eliminating a few inches of ROM (or maybe not since I see a ton of fuckwads who cut seated db press super high on youtube).  You can use this as a main movement or a finisher where you just go for a shit ton of reps.  If you're having trouble adding mass to your shoulders this guy will be a good friend.

PJR Pullvoers - 

MY exercise.  Yes it was named after my handle at intensemuscle.  I preached about how great this one was for the long head of the tricep forever.  It wasn't until Kid Rok, I believe (the lifter, not the white trash guy) did em and started telling everyone how great they were that it really took off.  

I still see or hear a lot of people doing them wrong however.  This is NOT a PJR pullover........

This is more or less correct.........

If you want to add meat fast on the triceps, this will do it.  But we WARNED, and I've told everyone this, don't go crazy on these right out of the gate.  You will pay for it with tremendous soreness.

Speed Skater Squats (elevated) - 

I use this exercise on pretty much everyone I train.  I even used them as a main quad movement when I was doing DC (in the rotation).  These will put glutes on a skeleton.  And it will give you a bit of a break from loading up leg press machines with 24 plates or squatting 500 for reps.  Just get some heavy db's and get a ton of reps in.  Or just use bodyweight after your normal stuff and do 4-5 sets of 20.  I promise you, you will pay for it.  But again, there are a tremendous amount of rewards to this movement.  When you do them, the hip flexor of the rear leg gets stretched, which is often a problem for most people (tight hip flexors), and then the front leg has to work independently.  You'll find out real quick that one leg is a hell of a lot stronger than the other.  My advice is, work the weak leg first then just match reps for the stronger leg.  This way you start to get things in balance.  

Seated Cambered Bar Shrugs - 

I used these for a long time with good results.  The only reason I don't do them more now is because I generally follow up deads or stiff legs with shrugs.  So no reason to unload 1 bar to load up another one.  Second, my gym doesn't have one of these bars.  I have it at home, and I usually pull at the gym.  If your gym has one, take advantage of it and use it.

But what I do is, I lean a little forward so that the mid back is hit hard as well.  The rhomboids get worked into the picture and that's where your deadlift lockout comes from.  So experiment with the straight up version here, and then work a little lean into it as well.

These 5 movements are pretty fun and work well for high rep work.  This means a lot of mass in the areas they are targeting.  I like to think of most of these are finishers.  They shouldn't be your main movement, but you can finish the workout and do something stupid like go until you get 100 reps with X weight, and then be done.  These movements work really well for that.  


  1. Good stuff paul I'd been meaning to ask you about one or two exercises on this list. What are your thoughts on squatting three times a week (light one day, working up to a max set another day, medium day where a lot of reps are put in, and a set is added each week rather than weight) do you think this could work? Anything to avoid while doing this?

  2. I've done it, and it worked well for me when I was trying to reestablish my base level strength. This was right after a couple of major injuries. It did the job there very well.

    However this is not a way I could train now. Mentally/recovery wise I don't do well with that kind of training. I understand that some people do. The only way you can know is to be smart with your programming, and try it.

  3. I am in a funk with my squat form and weight and I think its down to a lack of frequency so I will give it a go and try it as you say, the only place I could see a problem coming up would be the medium day, where too much volume might push it into a heavy day, but I'll just take it handy there. Thanks for the input. B

  4. If you feel it's a technique issue this would be fine. Just make sure you remind yourself of that and don't worry so much about the weight on the bar.

  5. Paul, when your DC-ing it, you do the 3 way or 2 way split? ever thought of going back to it someday?



  6. Was doing the 2 way split.

    I've thought about it but I just don't think that style of training is for me right now. I could do it again some day but I'd have to really be geared up for it.

  7. Can the rack chins replace regular chins if you can't really do them till you can do the regular chins.

  8. Yeah but I actually find rack chins pretty hard.

  9. Funny I have a harder time with normal chins than rack chins.

  10. I would say this is the norm however rack chins can be fairly tough.