The Art Of Immaculate Concentration
The Secrets to Getting The Most Out Of Every Popular Exercise
Sadly more people innocently waste their energy than make progress day in and day out
as hard efforts and precious time is invested into no return! It is no wonder in 2002
millions of people will desperately blow their hard earned money on snake oils or quit
trying altogether to get in shape!
It personally took me over ten years to truly be effective with my workouts! If it wasn’t for
a burning desire and an attitude that would not settle for anything but success I too
would have been a casualty!
I had read all the information I could get my hands on and imitated fellow athletes whom
I admired in my quest to elegantly get in the best shape I could in as short a time as
But some areas just lagged behind and I didn’t know why? What was missing?
Thankfully I discovered it was my ability to practice The Art of Immaculate
The Most Overlooked Detail To Achieving A Beautiful Body In Record Time
One of the most overlooked challenges to body shaping is the ability to effectively target
the muscles you are training at any given moment. The natural instinct of your body’s
muscular skeleton is to use the easiest most effective means of moving a weight from
point A to point B.
This gets complicated as when you are just starting to weight train a mind to muscle link
has not been developed strong enough to make the targeted muscle do as much of the
work as possible.
For example when doing Barbell Curls a natural means of curling the barbell is to use
your torso to swing as well as your elbows at the shoulder to create momentum instead
of purely lifting with the biceps alone.
Another example would be to use the shoulders and triceps to perform a Bench Press
instead of only the pectorals or chest.
This is a common topic for gym gossip!
How many times have you heard a few guys embarrassingly gossiping with comments
like” Oh Johnny has bad form! “
Or” He cheats a lot! That’s why he can do more weight than me! “
“Any body can do that much weight by doing such poor reps!”
There is much more required to train a muscle impeccably than just going through the
motions. Unless a concentrated effort is made to create a powerful mind to muscle link
many years of hard sweat can be useless towards building a beautiful body!
Some people naturally have good form from the beginning in one or two exercises.
There is always room for improvement!
I personally went for many years until I got the real hang of effectively training my back
and my biceps!
My chest was a battle as well! As a matter of fact my calves were painstakingly difficult
to get the hang of and so were my abdominals!
Geeze, I had a tough time with my hamstrings too!
You see what I mean! I thought I knew it all and there was no secret to proper exercise
form and technique but boy was I wrong! Am I ever glad I stuck it out over the years and
kept working towards optimal form!
I admit it still is definitely a challenge to keep the concentration required throughout the
whole set, repetition through another painful repetition!
And just as gratifying when I am done as the first time!
Actually even better!
The secret to really getting the most out of every exercise is your concentration and
familiarity with that particular muscle. Experimentation really helps too as well as just
plain going through the motions until it clicks for you too!
I have helped a lot of people get that clicking into place much faster than it took me by
going through the exercises as I am going to for you! So let’s get started!
How to Build Your Mind To Muscle Link To Extract All You Can Out Of
Every moment of every repetition, the better you can put your mind and consciousness
into the muscle(s) being worked; the more you will achieve in the littlest time!
Concentrate on keeping tension in the targeted muscle at all times. As soon as you feel
the tension let off focus on bringing it on again. I achieve this by really paying close
attention to the muscle I am training at all times. To do this:
. Train where you will not be distracted by well meaning friends or anything
else that could ruin your concentration.
. Use your warm up sets to build your mind to muscle link as training with a
light weight will allow you to focus on your form more effectively.
.Train slowly using Gravity Edge Principle One. This will allow you to
immediately realize if the stress on the targeted muscle is relieved.
.At the very moment you are aware that the tension has decreased on the
targeted muscle pause at that point in the repetition to figure out why the
tension has been relieved.
.Adjust your form to at all times have maximum tension throughout the
movement or repetition.
Linking Your Mind to Your Muscles To Develop Quality without Quantity.
My concern for wasting my energy and avoiding the performance of endless repetitions
to no avail, has led me to unconsciously develop my Mind to Muscle Link. Using the
mind to perform an exercise to effectively extract the maximum amount of stress on the
targeted muscle will result in much better results in less time than performing endless
amounts of mindless repetitions. This in a nutshell summarizes Mind to Muscle Quality
over Quantity or how to Build Powerful Mind To Muscle Links For Mind Blowingly Quick Results!
If working the biceps for example, when I perform a Dumbbell Curl, I put my awareness
totally in the bicep muscle I am working. I notice the tension throughout the rep and
when tension decreases I take note why and hone in my form to increase the tension as
much as possible at that moment.
This type of attention to detail requires concentration and focus. It requires a familiarity
with the muscle that is being worked and its range of motion.
Limiting Your Range Of Motion Can Make Your Progress Limitless!
Some exercise movements may require limited range of motion to truly focus on the
muscle being tested. For example, when performing a Dumbbell Flye, at the point where
your arms are at a ninety-degree angle to the floor (dumbbells above the chest), there is
little tension being transferred to the pectoral (chest) muscle. At this point to maximize
the stress on the chest muscle and your progress get back into a position that puts
maximum tension possible into the chest. Either use isometric tension, by flexing the
chest as hard as possible or decrease the range of motion by returning the dumbbells to
the starting point of the exercise, resisting the temptation of resting. Pay attention to the
point in the repetition that the tension is relieved during the movement and limit your
range of motion to not succeed this point during your future repetitions. By personalizing
your exercise form like this you can achieve better results by limiting the range of
Do not lock your joints on any arm or leg movement. This causes injury by taking tension
from the muscle and placing it in the joint. Instead hold the muscle fully flexed with a
slight bend in the joint then slowly begin motion again.
Attention to detail is the secret to getting the most out of your training!
A Tip To Help You Focus In The Gym
I don’t like to be disturbed when I am training. With the amount of focus required to really
get the most out of every rep, hearing another conversation or someone making
comments to me is counterproductive! Whether of a camaraderie type nature or that of a
challenge I avoid distractions by wearing head phones when I train. This way I am in
control whether I choose to listen to someone or not!
If I want to listen I will not have any heavy music pumping!
Listening to your definition of good music, something that gets you motivated and
excited really can improve focus. Workout after workout that little bit of extra effort will
start to show itself by allowing you to reach your goals much sooner than you expected!
Prepare Yourself Mentally Before Each Set For Accelerated Progress!
Before I start any set I go through a little ritual which always gets my mind and body
prepared for the training odyssey I am about to endure!
.I get in position to start the exercise.
.I close my eyes.
.I take a deep breath with my diaphragm pulling the air into the bottom of my
.I imagine pulling the oxygen from my lungs and into the muscles I am training!
Supersaturating them with inhuman power!
.I speed up my breaths nearly hyperventilating then go for it!
.It’s do or die!
.I never grunt while performing my set or make noises like a constipated man with
I strive to challenge the depths of my soul as every set reveals a little more about who I
am and what I am about! I never leave the gym feeling I didn’t give my best effort!
Let’s walk through an exercise for each body part, to explain how to get the most out of
every movement you perform!
Chest: Barbell or Smith Supine Bench Press.
The point of the Bench Press is to train the pectorals major and/ minor, not impress your
When performing a set of Barbell Bench Press alternating between a decline, flat and
incline angle can help to shock new growth into your chest. Lower the bar between the
nipples and below the collarbone. Do not attempt to break the Bench Press record every
time, instead concentrate on your chest muscles using the maximum weight that allows
the completion in good form the desired number of repetitions.
Start with a lightweight and do slow deliberate repetitions, focusing on the chest at all
A spotter to help lift the bar off the rack can reduce the stress placed on the rotator cuffs
when using heavier weights. Use a grip width that is comfortable, not too wide or narrow,
just as wide as if putting your arms naturally above the head then lowering your arms to
the front. You may experiment with a thumb less grip as well. A thumb less grip tends to
put less strain on the wrists allowing better concentration and focus while using more
Assuming you have lifted the bar off the rack and are now holding it above your chest,
strive to get the most out of every inch of movement. This again means feeling the most
stress possible at all times in the chest.
The first method of achieving this is to fight gravity. Obviously gravity is pulling the
weight down so lower the weight slowly. The lighter the weight used the slower you
lower the weight. Keep this reasonable, for your high rep days (25 reps) practice a count
of four or five before the weight touches your chest to establish a good pace. Keeping
this pace all the way to the 25 th rep is not for sissies! When you try it a few times you will
realize why you do not need to do endless sets!
Experiment with the distance your elbows are from your torso. Also experiment with at
what angle your arms are to your torso as you lower the barbell. The purpose is to find
where you feel the most tension in your chest. Again do not do anything that feels like a
bad stress, otherwise stressful on your joints or ligaments.
Now that the barbell is touching your chest, feel the stretch in the pectorals, if you are
using a lightweight push up slowly putting your consciousness in your chest. As soon as
the tension is relieving, you are probably starting to use your triceps and/or shoulders. At
this point pause, flex your chest, and then begin to lower the bar to avoid locking your
elbows thus resting the chest. Be conscious to avoid jerky motions that deteriorate your
ligaments and joints.
Continue to finish the set in this fashion. To the bystander your form is an art. Do not yell
like an idiot either even near the end of the set. Also wear under-wear under your gym
shorts to avoid revolting your fellow gym members with the sight of your genitals! Pay
attention as to not arch your back unnaturally either.
Favorite Training Methods For Pectorals
.High repetition training
Upper Chest Exercises
.Smith Machine Incline Press
.Incline Hammer Strength Press
.Incline Dumbbell or Cable Flyes
.Straight Arm Parallel Bars Straight Arm Shrugs
When it comes to training the chest the angle of your torso affects what area is primarily
stressed. Therefore an incline will train the upper chest; a flat bench will stress the major
pectorals or lower and outer chest. Exercise caution when deciding how much weight
you use to train the upper chest. Using too heavy of a weight will force the pectorals
major to take over eliminating the stress on the pectorals minor or upper chest. This is
because the upper and lower chests are not really upper and lower. The upper chest is
underneath the pectorals major near your collar bone!
The application of Gravity Edge Principle Number Two is an excellent method to
effectively place as much stress on the upper chest while using a weight that utilizes the
pectorals major as little as possible.
Maximize Your Results By Executing Proper Grip Width
Proper grip width when performing Barbell exercises for your chest can ensure you to
get the most out of every repetition. Too wide of a grip as well as too narrow of a grip
transfers the weight loads more into the triceps and shoulders. Proper grip width also
helps to avoid unnecessary strain on the shoulders. To elegantly maximize the amount
of stress placed on the pectorals use a grip that is natural for your body by putting your
arms straight up in front of you with a ninety degree angle between your chest and arms.
This should be natural and very comfortable. Except for the energy you need to hold
your arms up there should be no strain!
If you want to experiment with grip width from your natural comfortable position either
narrow or widen your grip ever so slightly and see if you notice the variance in the stress
to your chest. A wider grip may place a little more stress on the outer chest and a
narrower grip may place a little more emphasis on the inner chest.
Flyes are one of the exercises that I always see people do wrong! Here is a moment by
moment walk through of a repetition of The Flyes exercise done properly.
First off do not try to do really heavy weight with this exercise! It is not meant to be a
power movement! Though training heavy with Flyes is possible, the chances of injury are
greatly increased! Too heavy of a weight also can result in pressing the weight instead of
the proper motion that mimics hugging a barrel or flying like a bird! Leave the heavy
weights for the insecure guys!
Start out by sitting up right on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand sitting on your legs,
your hands comfortable, palms facing each other. Lean back onto the bench then move
the dumbbells carefully into position as if you are about to perform a press thumbs
pointing inwards towards each other. Hold your hands much wider than for a typical
press. You should feel an immense stretch in your chest. Your elbow joint should be at
between a forty five and ninety degree angle. Adjust your elbows as far back towards
your head as you comfortably can your thumbs will naturally point slightly away from
your head.. From this position use your chest to start slowly lifting your elbows while
twisting your thumbs towards your head and your palms to face each other. Your elbows
will be getting closer to each other. The dumbbells will be lifting up now your elbow joint
straightening slightly putting minimal stress on your triceps. At this time your arms will
slightly straighten but not enough to lock your arm in a straight position. Your elbows will
twist at a slow speed so that by the time you start to feel the tension decrease on your
chest your thumbs will be pointing outwards with the dumbbells now over your lower
Concentrate on your chest here creating the maximum tension possible by purposefully
flexing. Begin to carefully return into the stretched out starting position.
To put more stress on the outer chest place the dumbbells over your stomach and hold
this position before returning to the stretched out starting position.
For women this is not practical as you will gain the most visual results by flexing the
dumbbells together over your head.
Remember to really watch for being lazy at the middle position where you put the
dumbbells at their closest together! This is where I see little breaks from the tension
being taken! Again keep the tension as great as you can throughout the movement! If
you feel the gravity start to decrease as you are at the top of the movement flex your
Back: Exercises for Thickening The Back
The unique challenge of back training most responsible for so many underdeveloped
back muscles is the inability to see the muscles being trained. Therefore success in
developing the back is completely related to how strong of a mind to muscle link you can
How to Create an Unbreakable Link Between Your Mind and Your Back
Before you do any exercises with your back, stand up straight with your shoulders back.
Now squeeze together your shoulder blades trying your best to touch them together.
Hold this position and mentally take note of where you feel the tension?
Now push your squeezed together shoulder blades down towards the floor as best as
you naturally can. Again squeeze your shoulder blades together from this position and
really feel where you have stress in your back? Mentally take note of what you are
doing. This is the feeling you want during every back thickening repetition. This type of
awareness will develop your back in the shortest amount of time possible.
Next shrug your shoulders forward by concentrating on widening the gap between your
shoulder blades. You are now at the starting point for maximizing your range of motion
used to train your back most effectively.
A very minor amount of the potential stress is placed on the back muscles if every
repetition is performed by utilizing the biceps to pull the weight towards your body
instead of the muscles you have just used to move your shoulder blades. This explains
why exceptional back development eludes most people even after years of performing
exercises like bent over rowing or dumbbell and cable rowing.
Again repeat squeezing your shoulder blades together then pulling them apart from
each other as much as you comfortably can several times to get the feel and hang of
using these muscles! Before long you will create a very solid mind to muscle link and at
the same time a beautifully developed back!
The leading common mistakes to be conscious of that prohibit effective back
development are attempting to use too much weight and/or using other muscles besides
your back’s to do the work!
The muscles most likely to perform the bulk of the workload when training your back are
the biceps and the lower back. The lower back may prevent upper back development by
means of a dangerous swinging movement of the torso like an upside down pendulum!
Make sure your back is in its strongest position that is least prone to injury. This position
is the same position you use when lifting a heavy box off the ground! Do not hunch
forward or bend your back too far to the rear! Keep your back straight, your chest
sticking out and your shoulders pressed back.
Now sit down on the cable rowing machine bench. Have your back in its strongest
position as described above. Put your arms forward and spread your shoulder blades
Grab the handle grip attached to the cable. Right now hold the cable rowing grip with
your shoulders forward, your arms straight at the elbows, your chest concaved and your
back straight up and down.
Now without swinging your lower back, very slowly using Gravity Edge Principle One,
move your shoulder blades as close together as you can while simultaneously sticking
your chest out.
When you can no longer squeeze your shoulder blades any closer together keep the
tension holding your shoulder blades together and slowly without swinging at the lower
back bring the bar to your lower rib cage! I prefer to use a long straight bar or rope for
Cable Rows as opposed to the usual close parallel grip handle because it is easier to
squeeze the shoulder blades together at the fully contracted portion of the repetition thus
extracting more back building benefits.
Hold this position and feel what muscles are doing the work? You should at this point
feel the identical muscles as when you performed the exercise above to create the mind
to muscle link to your back. Concentrate fully placing your total consciousness in your
Now slowly, while still holding your shoulder blades tight and as close together as you
comfortably can, lengthen your arms to the fully extended position. If you are doing this
right your elbows will not lock but have a little bit of bend in them.
Hold this position and then gradually let the tension off of your shoulder blades letting
your shoulders move forward into the start position.
During your daily routines practicing moving your shoulder blades will help to perfect this
A variation of cable rowing that can help to develop your back is to lean forwards when
performing each repetition. Do not swing at your lower back but keep leaning forward
throughout the movement. You will need to lower the weight when attempting this but
just notice the stress in your back! Amazing! You cannot cheat in this position!
Favorite Back Thickness Training Methods
-Pausing during various points during repetition
Back Thickening Exercises
-Seated Cable Rowing
-One Arm Cable Rowing.
-Bent Over Barbell And Dumbbell Rows
-Bent Over Shrugs
Back: A Strong Mind To Muscle Link for Maximum Width
Exercises that increase the width of the back include any exercise which primarily uses
the Latissimus Dorsi muscles. Examples of these exercises are Chin-ups and Cable Lat
Pull Downs to the Front of the neck.
Go to the Cable Pull Down Machine and lower the chair as close to the ground as
possible. If your gym has a good Pull Down Machine, when you sit down on the seat and
reach for the bar with your bum on the seat, there should be enough stretch to enable
your arms to be straight and your shoulders shrugged upwards as high as comfortably
This is the starting position. To practice this movement without the Lat Pull Down Bar put
your arms above your head and push your hands up as high as you can using only your
Concentrate on the area just below your shoulders or the part of your back just behind
your arm pits. You may want to rotate putting one hand at a time on the opposite side of
your body while pushing up to feel the muscles that are to be stressed. This will help
develop a strong mind to muscle link.
Now sit yourself in the Cable Lat Pull Down apparatus and put your hands on the bar
above your head. Keep your arms straight but do not lock your elbows. Perform a shrug
like movement but pulling down instead of up.
When you cannot pull down any more without bending your elbows hold this position
and feel your back. Your shoulders have moved towards the floor as much as you
comfortably can and cannot move down any more. You should feel tension in the outer
part of your back on the sides around your arm pits!
Mentally take note of where you feel the tension at this point to instantly create a strong
mind to muscle link.
Now pull the bar down to your chin a little away from your body.
Hold this position mentally feeling the location of the maximum muscle tension. Next let
up a little on your resistance allowing your arms to slowly straighten again and your
shoulders to move into the start position.
A tip that helps rapidly to strengthen this mind to muscle link is to perform at the end of
your set a few shrug only type repetitions with your arms straight like the beginning of
the movement. Instead of lowering the bar to your chin just use your back to move your
shoulders carefully and in control up and down!
Favorite Latissimus Training Methods
- Giant sets
-Do as many sets as it takes to reach a desired amount of repetitions(e.g. 50 chin ups)
Back Widening Exercises
-Cable Pull Downs
-Cable Pull Down Shrugs
-Hanging Shrugs on a Chin Up Bar.
Shoulders: Developing a Mind to Muscle Link for Maximum Width
Shoulder training very much is an exercise of the mind as a slip in your concentration will
probably end up in you training your trapezius instead!
Since the shoulders are worked by every upper body exercise from Bench Pressing to
Barbell Rowing, a good shoulder workout focuses on lateral movements and some
pressing above the head.
For shoulder lateral movements including Side Dumbbell laterals, Rear Dumbbell
Laterals, and Front Deltoid Laterals, start with very light dumbbells (five or ten pounds).
The biggest mistake I correct with shoulder training is the use of too much weight! When
too much weight is attempted many of the muscles surrounding the shoulders perform
the lateral movements. The actual deltoid muscle itself is hardly stimulated.
Instead the trapezius, rhomboids and torso alleviate the stress from the deltoids which
defeats the purpose!
Many people get into this habit and push to increase their weights but are stunned when
their shoulders do not grow. This could be the reason!
Start with a light weight to learn the feel of properly working the deltoids and focus on
form. Better shoulder width is developed by increasing the work volume and intensity
while focusing on stressing the medial (side) deltoids as opposed to increasing the
When Performing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises stand in front of a mirror as if you are
going to do a set of Barbell Bent over Rows slightly hunched over with your back in its
strength position. Your torso should be at about a forty five degree angle to the floor.
Standing hunched over a little helps intensify the stress on the outer deltoids. Keep your
knees bent a little throughout the whole movement.
Watch your deltoids in the mirror as you perform the movement. This helps to focus on
Grip the dumbbells with your little finger right up against the weight plates so the
dumbbells are lop sided in your hands. This helps put a little more stress on the medial
You should now be in the starting position hunched over at a forty five degree angle with
the dumbbells hanging in your arms and your knees slightly bent.
As you proceed with your first repetition your torso will dip towards the floor a little as
your arms rise out slowly off your sides. Focus on lifting your elbows not the dumbbells!
Your wrists will turn as your arms rise so that your thumbs are a little below your little
fingers by time you reach the top of the movement like pouring a pitcher of water.
Focus on your outer deltoids throughout the movement to the half way point. Here look
in the mirror and see your rear deltoids flexing and your elbows lifted up as high as
Hold this position for a few seconds really feeling the stress in the intended location right
in the sides of your shoulders!
Now lower the dumbbells back down slowly. Keep in mind the feeling of tension in your
outer shoulder which at this point is facing upwards.
Remember to be twisting your thumbs again slowly back into the starting position
pointing forwards. Simultaneously move your torso slightly back to how you started.
When you feel the tension subside or lesson do not continue to lower the dumbbells any
Instead pause and hold this position which will be a little higher than your original
Continue to finish the remainder of your repetitions in the set.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press For An Added Mass Advantage
The following method for performing Dumbbell Shoulder Press is a secret I have not
seen anywhere except for by Larry Scott. If you are familiar with Larry’s Shoulders and
how much ahead Larry was when it came to shoulder development you should be
getting pretty excited with what you are about to learn!
Lean forward holding two dumbbells with your palms facing your torso. You will start in a
position similar to as if you are in the fully contracted position of a Dumbbell Curl but
leaning a little more forward with your elbows resting against your torso. Now push with
your elbows not your triceps to really feel the shoulders work. Your elbows will move up
and away from your body. As you are elevating the dumbbells supinate or turn your wrist
so your palms face forward by the time you are holding the dumbbells as high as you
can just before you lock your elbows. Hold this position to really get to feel your shoulder
Now lower into the start position slowly in full control. Continue with the remainder of
your set until the desired number of repetitions is completed.
Favorite Shoulder Training Methods
-Gravity Edge Principle One
-Rest Pause Training
- Giant Sets
Shoulder Building Exercises
-Side Dumbbell Laterals
-Dumbbell Shoulder Press
-Rear Dumbbell Laterals
-Military Press Above The Head
-Front Dumbbell Raises
-45 Degree Bench One Arm Side Laterals
Biceps: A Powerful Mind To Muscle Link for Biceps Fullness
To develop a powerful mind to muscle link for biceps fullness practice the following tips.
Be aware of the way you hold your wrists. Any movement in the wrists will take stress off
the biceps and transfer it into the forearms. This makes it very difficult to create a strong
mind to muscle link to your biceps. When the forearms are working the burning feeling
interrupts mental focus drastically to the biceps. Keep your fists straight with no forearms
movement throughout the full repetition.
Next, especially when performing Standing or Seated Curl movements watch your
shoulders and eliminate any movement by preventing your elbows from swinging.
Swinging elbows create a momentum that reduces the amount of work the biceps are
required to perform to complete a full contraction. If you find it difficult to eliminate your
elbows from swinging reduce your training weight. Lastly make sure you do not lean
back to help move the weight. This minimizes the stress on the intended biceps muscles
and is a sign that more concentration is required on the biceps as well as a possible
reduction in training weight. Start with a relatively light weight for yourself and when you
have eliminated the latter muscles from relieving the work load a powerful mind to
muscle link can now be made to ensure that you are getting the most benefit out of your
hard training efforts. At this point you can start experimenting with using lots of different
angles when you train biceps.
The following routine of Dumbbell Biceps Curls on a Preacher Bench is great for
developing a powerful mind to muscle link as it prevents cheating by securing the elbows
against the bench.
To focus on the biceps as much as possible do one arm at a time. Lock your wrists then
begin. When you begin to raise your first arm turn your palm from facing inwards
towards your torso to facing upwards as you reach the top of the movement. Keep focus
on the biceps being contracted every moment to ensure maximum stress on the muscle.
Look at the muscle as it is contracting. Make sure there is no swinging and really be
conscious to when the tension is starting to decrease in the muscle. At the point in the
movement that this occurs flex as hard as you can like as if you are showing off your
arms to someone and then slowly return to the start position.
Exercises For Biceps Peak Specialization
There are a couple of tricks you can use to focus on the peaks of your biceps if you are
weak in this area. I like to do exercises on angles where there is maximum tension on
the end portion of the curl movement. Examples of this are Cable Curls using the Cable
Crossover apparatus. Position yourself between the two upper cable pulleys. The
handles will be attached to the top pulleys and your elbows when holding the single
hand grips will be above your shoulders.
For training peak, cable movements are preferred over dumbbells as the tension is
constant and does not ease off at the top portion of the repetition like when using
If you do not have access to a cable apparatus then perform dumbbell curls in a bent
over position. This position encourages more tension where it counts to build peak.
Another movement great for developing biceps peak is an exercise I came up with by
accident one day! Stand upright with a barbell preferably not any heavier than forty
pounds. Next proceed to lift the bar up along the torso by using your biceps like as if you
are performing a bent over row but standing upright with your back straight. Do not curl
the bar away from the torso in an arc or lock your elbows in a stationary position. The
bar will travel in a straight line up your torso with your elbows pointing to the rear at the
fully contracted position instead of pointing down toward the ground like a traditional
Barbell Curl. The barbell will be lifted up to the bottom of your chest and an
excruciatingly intense contraction will be felt in the biceps at the top fully contracted
Favorite Biceps Training Methods
Biceps Shaping Exercises
-Dumbbell Preacher Bench Curls
-Upper Pulley Cable Curls
-James’ Upright Barbell Lifts
-Seated Incline Bench Alternate Dumbbell Curls
Triceps: Building A Powerful Mind To Muscle Link
Most novices concentrate on their biceps for impressive arm development but it is the
triceps which are three quarters of your arm! For a powerful mind to muscle link to your
triceps the mastering of two types of movements is required. The first type of movement
is a pressing motion.
Following are some pressing exercises to choose from:
- Close Grip Barbell Press
-Cable Push Downs with Lat Pull Down Machine
The second type of triceps exercise is the extension type movement that results in the
straightening of the arm.
Some examples of these are as follows:
-Overhead Triceps Dumbbell Extension
-Overhead Cable Triceps Extension toward the floor.
-Dips( not recommended because of the stress placed on the shoulder)
-Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions
Choose one exercise from each column every time you work your triceps. If you are
short of time do Overhead Cable Extensions or some type of extension movvement. Pressing movements are covered when the chest is trained.
Now to develop the mind to triceps link begin by increasing your awareness of how
much tension is on the triceps at all times. Practice the exercises slowly, stopping and
pausing at various points during each repetition. When you are paused, concentrate
solely on feeling the tension in the triceps and where you are feeling the most tension.
Focus on one arm at a time regardless of if you are using both arms or not. Use lighter
weights to avoid accidents when you begin this exercise. Be careful about how much
pressure you put on your elbows when your arms are near straight and when your
forearms are against your biceps. As you approach both of these points in any triceps
movement approach slowly and keep the triceps fully tensed. Never lock your elbows to
avoid risking injury. Instead focus on flexing your triceps as hard as you can at a point
just before you lock the elbows. After applying this regimen to all the triceps exercises
above proceed to practice different angles and increasing your training resistance by
An Exercise For Lower Triceps
A good exercise to alternate in your routines for really targeting your lower triceps is an
exercise I call The Steve Press. I call it that as my brother Steve is the only guy I ever
saw or heard of doing this!
The exercise is performed lying on a flat bench with an easy curl barbell. I recommend
that no matter how strong you think you are to start fairly light on this one!
For the sake of learning take a thirty pound bar and lie down on the flat bench. The
movement is the same as when you perform close grip triceps press except your elbows
will be placed on the side of the bar closest to your head and away from your body
instead of holding the elbows pointing downwards in the direction of your toes at a forty
five degree angle away from the body.
When you perform the press this way you will feel focused stress on the lower triceps
right above the elbow when performing the exercise correctly.
Be careful and always be warmed up well prior to doing this exercise.
Favorite Triceps Training Methods
-Super set Triceps with other body parts
-French Triceps Extensions Behind the Head
-Standing Rope Extensions
-One Arm Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks
-Overhead Cable Extensions
-Triceps Press Downs
-Lying Triceps Press
-Standing Reverse Grip Triceps Extensions
Calves: Solving No Results Calf Training By Developing a Powerful Mind
To Muscle Link.
I do not think I have seen as many people neglect training any other body part as much
as the calves! And as a result I have seen more people with lagging calves than any
other body part! And I can sympathize as calf training is as tough as winning a twelve week transformation contest without steroids!!
Then there is the challenging factor of the calves being a lower blood circulation body
part being located so far away from the heart making it more difficult to get a pump!
All aside I have found a really effective way for us “less gifted” in the calf department to
truly develop outstanding calves! By developing a powerful mind to muscle link, you can
finally get the training stimulus required to make those calves nearly magically respond!
A little bit about the calves so you have an idea of their structure. There are three
muscles that will affect the circumference of your calves.
The first muscle is the gastrocnemius. This is the muscle which is responsible for depth
of the muscle. The gastrocnemius is stimulated by performing calf movements with your
Although the knees are locked into a straight position, do not fully straighten your knees
as this will put unnecessary strain in the tendons in your knees.
The second muscle is the soleus. This muscle is responsible for the width of the calf. To
train the soleus, perform calf movements with your knees bent like the Seated Calf
The third muscle is actually two muscles located on the front of your shin and are named
the tibia and anterior tibia.
My favorite movements for training these muscles are by putting a dumbbell between
my feet while I sit on a highly elevated bench or chair then lift my feet towards my shins.
I call these Calf Curls!
After many years of trial and error and mediocre results I finally hit a method that has
worked wonders on even the most genetically pathetic sets of calves!
The Secret “How To” That Will Make Your Calves Your Favorite Body Part
To Show Off!
I came across this method by accident one day but it surely changed my lower body!
This technique allows you to get the most out of every part of your range of motion.
To really build your calves a powerful mind to muscle link is necessary. Stress must be
placed on the calves at every point throughout the full range of motion! This is achieved
by putting your hands on the calves as you are training them and using your hands to
strengthen your mind to muscle link to the calves.
Choose exercises which allow the placement of your hands on your calves as you are
performing your sets.
The following exercises are good for this:
-Seated Calf Raise
-Icarian Seated Straight Leg Calf Raise Machine
-Calf Presses on Leg Press Machine
With your hands on your calves, start to perform the chosen exercise slowly with a
medium light weight. As you are slowly executing the repetition, feel the calves with your
hands, flexing and pushing the weight. If at any time you have a difficult time feeling the
calf working, immediately pause at that point in the repetition.
Hold this position for a count to five really focusing on feeling your calf muscles! If you
need to, focus on one calf at a time. Make sure that no cheating with the thighs or ankles
is done. Pay close attention to make sure that you are not using these muscles to
unconsciously assist your calves in finishing any part of the movement. At the half way
point with your calves fully flexed in a standing on your toes position, again pause and
focus on the calf for a count to five! Having your hands on the calves really helps focus
on the calf muscles!
Return to the starting position slowly, making sure to keep mental contact with the calf
muscles at all times throughout the repetition.
If you lose contact with the calf mentally, or have a hard time pin pointing exactly how
you are lifting the weight, pause at the questionable point in the repetition and focus on
the calf to ensure it is doing the work. Hold for a count to five.
Although using only a medium weight, performing over fifteen repetitions using this
technique is a real challenge!
Try this for a while and reach the next dimension with your calf training!
Legs: Developing Strength and Shape with Subconscious Squats
If you only have time for one leg exercise, make it Squats! There is no other movement
that benefits the legs as a whole in as little time!
When Squatting, nearly every muscle in the body is stressed when that bar is on your
shoulders! The challenge to developing a strong mind to muscle link to your legs when
performing Squats is blocking out and coming to grips with all the stress placed
everywhere else on the body from those distracting heavy weights on the shoulders!
To extract the most benefit out of this exercise a strong mind to muscle link is required.
Therefore to achieve this it is crucial to be very secure as to know exactly what and how
to perform this movement at all times during the repetition. Following is a detail by detail
explanation to perform squats. Practice with a light weight always before attempting
heavier weights to not only avoid injury but to get so comfortable with your form as to
pattern it subconsciously! When you reach this point focus on your legs to develop a
results bursting mind to muscle link!
To start, there is a lot of debate over foot spacing. There is no need for fancy wide
footings or too narrow a stance. The optimal foot spacing for greatest stability, strength,
overall muscular development as well as least chance of injury is achieved by taking a
few steps just like how you regularly walk and using this stance. Your natural stance is
the most beneficial!
Place the bar on the meaty part of your trapezius just below the most protruding
vertebrae in your lower neck.
Make sure your back is in its strength position, nice and straight. Do not lean backwards
or too far forwards. The bar should descend in a path right over the center of your thighs.
When you are performing this movement the benefits derived from dropping down any
further than parallel are not worth the high chance of knee injury.
Do not drop too fast as this is a sure fire way to end up wit ha crowd of people seeing
you lose control! When squatting heavy, especially weights you are attempting for the
first time descend very slowly in full control.
Perform the movement with your legs. Do not bend forward!
When attempting heavier weights for the first time go down as far as is comfortable even
if only a partial repetition is performed. Gradually work your way to being able to perform
full motion all the way where the top of the thigh is parallel to the ground.
If at any point you feel like you are going to fail or are overwhelmed by the weight it is
time to start ascending back into the start position. Be careful not to lock the knees to
avoid unnecessary strain but also to keep tension on thighs at all times.
At the fully descended point, make sure you do not bounce. Come to a complete stop
and then switch direction of movement nice and slowly and in full control.
Following is a pattern for increasing strength and size rapidly on squats .It is based on
the number of repetitions performed with certain resistance benchmarks:
-Start with a warm up of twenty reps with one forty five pound plate on each side totaling one hundred and thirty five pounds.
-Put two forty five pound plates on each side and perform from ten to fifteen reps.
-Always do two sets of your maximum weight. When you can reach fifteen
repetitions with two plates on each side progress to threes plates a side.
Do between six to ten repetitions with three plates a side. If you can only do four
to six repetitions do two sets with this weight and that is the end of squatting till
next week. If you can do ten repetitions move to four plates a side.
Work your way up to performing two sets of up to fifteen repetitions with four plates a
side. Complete fifteen repetitions and you have achieved pretty good conditioning!
Now the weights above are for explanatory purposes. Depending on your strength,
training background and age adjust your weight benchmarks accordingly. Just keep in
mind the repetition pattern and ensuring that you are increasing your work volume every
-One set of twenty reps with one plate per side
-One set of two plates per side for twelve reps
-One set of three plates per side at eight reps
-Two sets of four plates per side for four to six repetitions!
When this level is reached, do not continue progress by increasing the weight.
Instead pre-exhaust the thighs with Leg Extensions supersetted prior to the Squats.
This strategy will put more stress on the thighs where you want it and less stress on
your spine where you definitely do not want it!
The use of a weight belt is not recommended until performing sets with at least three
plates per side. This helps strengthen up the lower back in proportion to the thighs.
Leg Press: Full Form Equals Full Results
The Leg Press is one exercise I see abused pretty well every trip I make to the gym. The
two main offences are attempting to use too much weight and poor partial repetitions.
Building a proper mind to muscle link can eliminate feeling the need to have to do either
of these ineffective ego driven mistakes. Not only are you sacrificing your own progress
you are risking injury as well.
Start with weights you can do slow full repetitions with. If you can Squat three plates a
side then there would be no reason for you to go any higher than five plates a side at the
most on Leg Press!
A full repetition is slowly lowering your thighs until they touch your chest if you are using
a close footed stance.
If you are using a wide stance then lower your knees until they are on either side of your
When extending your legs to the start position you may push with the heels of your feet
to emphasize more stress on your hamstrings. Press with the balls of your feet to use
When you are nearing the start position resist locking your knees as this takes the
pressure off of the thighs and focuses it on your knee joints!
Choose to pause with your legs slightly bent at the knee feeling the desired tension in
your quads and hamstrings and then proceed with your next repetition.
Be careful and use proper form with Stiff Legged Dead Lifts!
Watching personal trainers and seasoned gym veterans I rarely see anyone perform Stiff
Legged Dead Lifts properly. As a matter of fact the common error is a dangerous
When you are performing this exercise, it is ninety five percent the hamstrings which are
supposed to do the work! This means that the lower back should be in its strength
position similar to when you lift a heavy box off the ground at all times! There should be
no lower back movement in the spine! Only the torso as a whole moves like a pendulum
originating from you hip.
I always see arching of the lower back! This not only is dangerous to your lower
vertebrae (spine) but defeats the purpose of the movement by taking the stress off the
I like to use an over hand / under hand grip where one of my hands is reversed and the
other is over top the bar. It does not matter which is which.
I will pull the barbell off the rack and lower it constantly paying close attention to the
stretch in my hamstrings.
Remember to not arch your back just keep it in a constant strength position for the
whole duration of each repetition. If using a lighter weight to achieve this is required it is
well worth the added benefit in the long run.
Now slowly lower the weight as if you are doing a touch your toes like stretch. If done
properly you will not be able to lower the barbell all the way to the floor.
As you lower the barbell, keep it away from your shins experimenting with pushing away
to see how this motion affects the tension in the hamstrings.
The tension will be quite intense in the hamstrings at the bottom position closest to the
Carefully without jerking raise the barbell to the Start position. Do not straighten your
torso upright and rest! Pay close attention as you slowly return to the point where you
feel the tension start to fade! At this point begin your descent again!
Favorite Training Techniques for Hamstrings
-Gravity Edge One
-Alternate Speed Training
Abdominals: Apply Your Mind For Awesome Midsection Development
To develop your abdominals and midsection fancy apparatuses are not required!
Thousands of repetitions of sit ups are not necessary! What is mandatory is a proper
knowledge of what drives results and to maintain a laser like focus every moment during
the small plane of motion of each abdominal stimulating repetition. Let''s look at some
facts as well as dispel some myths concerning your abdominals:
-Abdominals are a muscle and like your other muscles require increased weight resistance to grow.
-Abdominals are a smaller muscle and therefore recuperate fast. Training three times a week can be beneficial.
-Your lower back must always be trained with your abdominals for core stabilization (strong torso) and lower back/spine health.
-There is a point where intense contraction tension training is more beneficial than to continue to just increase weight.
-Abdominals will see better results if training stimulus is concentrated on time under tension as opposed to high repetitions.
-Low body fat is required to see results from abdominal training. Therefore diet is crucial.
-Sit-ups are more of a hip flexor stimulating exercise than abdominal. It is important to include sit ups in every workout but near the end and only after proper abdominal work is complete.
-Exercises which secure the feet are more likely to stimulate the hip flexors as opposed to abdominals.
-To excel in nearly all exercises a strong torso is necessary. For example squats, barbell curls, military press and back rowing exercises all benefit from a strong torso.
-The plane of motion to train abdominals is very small.
Now that we have covered some elementary basics about abdominals lets go
through a couple of programs.
Beginner Level One
-Work your abdominals three times a week
-Three sets of Crunches with your feet as close to your rear as possible on the
-Two sets of Hyper Extensions.
Let’s mentally go through the motion required to complete one repetition of Crunches
with optimal form! Imagine a set of rock hard abs!
Lie on a mat or bench with your feet right up against your bum. Do not put your hands
behind your head as this makes it more difficult to focus on the abs.
Breathing is important with ab training, breath out as you are crunching the stomach.
When you are first beginning put your hands on your abs and feel them working.
Do not try to lift your torso off the ground this is a Sit Up. Instead concentrate on making
the distance between the bottom of your rib cage and your hips as short as possible.
Try to feel your abs through out the whole movement. As soon as you cannot feel the
tension in your abs stop at the position in question and focus on your abs and really try
to feel your abs flexing.
When you cannot squeeze your rib cage any closer to your hip bone your breath should
be fully exhaled. At this point hold the fully contracted position for a count of 5.
Slowly return to the start position being careful as to not lose the mind abdominal
connection you have at this point established.
As you are returning to the start position breathe in through your nose.
Do not go all the way to the rest position as soon as you feel the tension in your abs let
up start to return to the fully contracted position.
Keep the tension on your abs by repeating this motion until you just cannot bear it any
longer. At this point record how many repetitions you have achieved then go directly to
the Hyper Extension apparatus.
Do a set of Hyper Extensions.
While doing the Hyper Extensions, be careful not to go past the point where your back is
straight. This is unnecessary stress to your spine. Concentrate on working lower back as
opposed to your hamstrings and gluteus (bum).
As soon as you have completed thirty repetitions immediately go and do another set of
Repeat this circuit three times. This is why I advise against eating before training as
doing so will be a ticket to cleaning your own vomit in the gym!
Forearms: Details Make The Difference
Forearms do get a lot of training from exercises that require the intense holding of heavy
bars like Chin Ups, Lat Pull Downs, Dumbbell Curls, and Dumbbell Press. For this
reason I recommend Reverse Grip Wrist Curls once a week as a supplement to your
forearms. The reverse grip movement is neglected compared to the inside forearms
which are worked quite frequent.
When training forearms an ability to push through an intense burn is mandatory just like
calf training. As well just like calf training I recommend a version of My Pause Position
Training to really focus on keeping stress on the muscles at all times.
Neglecting forearms will rob you of showing one of the most viewed body parts!
A technique I use for extra forearm development is to grab a light dumbbell and have
your palms facing upwards. Twist your palms so that they will now be facing the floor.
When the palms are facing the floor pull the back of your fist towards you as if to try and
touch your knuckles to your forearms. Hold for a count to four and then return to the start
I also prefer high repetition training for forearms in the twenty to twenty five repetition
-Keep the tension on the targeted muscle at all times as much as possible!
-Adapt the range of motion of each exercise to keep maximum tension on the
targeted muscle. This means that sometimes you may actually decrease the
range of motion for some exercises.
-Developing a mind to muscle link is the crucial missing link that can accelerate
-Mentally rehearse each exercise when reading the previous descriptions! Doing
so will develop your mind to muscle link substantially!
-Working out is definitely not just a physical challenge. Really excelling is not
possible without really using your mind as well!
The Gravity Edge: Getting The Most Out of Our Friend Gravity.
Gravity is what resistance training is based on. Gravity is the driving force which creates
the resistance required to train our bodies! So it makes perfect sense to get the most out
of working out with weights, we must extract as much benefit as we can by being
creative with the way we work with gravity. This is what I call The Gravity Edge.
The means by which I work with gravity has to do with manipulating the speed at which I
perform my repetitions during various stages of the exercise movement.
I break each exercise down into two phases, which can be applied to pretty much all
resistance training exercises.
-Phase One is the pushing phase or the phase which I am forcing the weight away from
the ground to the half way point.
-Phase two is the returning of the weights from the half way point back to the starting
point closest the ground or your body.
There are two varieties of phase one which can be applied.
Gravity Edge One
1. Raising the weights in a steady paced, timed fashion by counting to a specified
number while performing the repetition. An example of this is to count to three
while raising the weight and finishing the first phase of the repetition upon
reaching the specified number of “three”. The higher the number the slower you
will perform the movement.
Gravity Edge Two
2. Accelerating against gravity for the distance traveled by the weight during the first
phase. Here the goal is to be pushing the weight as hard as possible creating
acceleration from the starting point to the middle point. This is an excellent
technique to apply when using light weights as well as medium resistance. It is not practical or required to use heavy weights.
On the lowering or returning to the starting position take your time and feel the muscle as you count to four.
Gravity Edge Two is the competitive edge! It can help you to use less weight to achieve
better results with less chance of injury! Be careful as to not lock your joints at the end of the
accelerated movement! Near the end of the motion, approaching the half way point, let
the weight just “float” into place.
Even when performing cable exercises or machine exercises like nautilus machines for
example, we can apply these principles. If you are doing a cable exercise instead of
pushing a barbell or dumbbell away from the ground you are lifting a weight stack.