Monday, 23 June 2014 20:31
Training athletes for performance is definitely my forte, but summertime is here and everyone is talking about getting “shredded abs” and “bigger biceps”, so I decided to address the latter topic.
On a personal note, I’ve always had shitty biceps - whether it’s because of poor tendon insertion points or some other genetic factor - my biceps were always non-existent compared to my triceps. But, coming from a football background, I never really cared because my lack of biceps development didn’t negatively affect my performance on the field.
But now that I’m a washed-up meathead who’s approaching 40, I finally decided to give some priority to my biceps to see if I could get them to grow. After a few months of experimentation, I stumbled upon something that actually worked for me. Now I’m not saying this is the “be all, end all” of biceps training - and I'm certainly not saying my biceps are going to be mistaken for Arnold's biceps in his prime - but this is the first routine I’ve ever done that’s actually made a noticeable difference.
The “secret” to this routine’s success is that each of the three exercises overload different points in the strength curve and different heads of the biceps brachii.
Simply put, this routine attacks the biceps from every angle to ensure full development.
1A. Eccentric Chin-ups (close, underhand grip): 3 reps, 10sec. each lowering
1B. 1½ rep Incline Dumbell Curls: 6 reps
1C. Band Curls: 12 reps
Check out the video below and then I’ll explain more about the method behind the madness…
We further increase recruitment by prolonging the time under tension because of the slow (10 second) lowering.
We further increase recruitment by prolonging the time under tension by incorporating “1½ rep” sets.
(If you do not have a band, this exercise can be substituted with regular dumbell hammer curls.)
As you can see, each of the three exercises is performed with the upper arm in a different position. This is an overlooked component of biceps (and triceps) training, but training your arms at different angles is crucial if you’re trying to get them to grow!
I suggest performing my “3-6-12” biceps workout twice a week (2-3 days apart) for 3-4 weeks. Start with two tri-sets during the first workout and work up to 5 tri-sets by week 3 or 4. (You can perform this routine by itself or as part of a full upper body workout.)
Got YOUR tickets?!
PS – Like the tee I’m rockin’ in the video & pics? You can pick one up HERE.
Thursday, 12 June 2014 21:05
Q: I recently stopped doing skull crushers because they caused tremendous pain in my elbows. A trainer at my gym told me I should switch over to close grip benches because they caused less elbow strain. They are definitely less painful on my elbows but they kill my wrists!! What else can I do for my tris? I want to get my bench up so I don't want to wuss out and just do cable pushdowns. Any suggestions??? Kyle
It sounds to me like your close grip bench press grip is too close. This is an extremely common mistake I see all the time. When I prescribe close grip benches to my guys, I have them put their index finger on the smooth part of the bar (just inside the knurling).
That's as close as I'll have them go. I've found this grip best for both wrist & elbow health, as well as triceps strength and mass.
NOTE: My clientelle consists of larger-than-average guys, so "normal" sized guys (with shorter limb lengths) may be able to go a little closer and put their middle finger on the smooth part of the bar; but that's as close as I'd recommend for anyone.
Hope this helps!
Q: Louie Simmons always talks about the back and lats being the "launching pad" for a big bench and I tend to agree. My question for you is what is your favorite back exercise for specifically improving the bench press? Thanks for your insight coach.
I don't have one specific favorite upper back exercise for improving the bench press, but my favorite category of exercises would definitely be isometric holds.
Bench pressing properly involves creating torque at the shoulders, while pulling the scapula 'back and down'. I've noticed a tremendous increase in strength & stability on the bench after I started incorporating more isometrics into my upper back programming. Not only will your pressing numbers skyrocket, you'll add size & muscularity to your upper back - without the joint pain and stress that's associated with many other back movements.
Here are 3 of my favorite Upper Back isometrics for improving your bench press:
#1 - Prone Y-W-T's (Hold each position for 10-30sec. Rest 30-60sec. Repeat 3-4X.)
#2 - Double-banded Bent-over Rear Delt hold (Hold for 10-30sec, then rest for 10-30sec. Repeat 3-4X.)
#3 - Face Pull Iso-holds (Perform 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps, but hold each rep in the contracted position for 3-6sec. Rest 60sec. b/t sets.)
Start incorporating these exercises into your program and you'll no longer be embarrassed when someone asks, "How much ya bench?!"
Monday, 09 June 2014 20:17
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Thursday, 05 June 2014 18:00
I am extremely excited to announce the launch of DeFrancoShop.com! This is where you will find all of our new t-shirts and apparel.
We are now taking pre-orders for the NEW tees. (Please allow 3-4 weeks delivery time). We also have our classic black DeFranco's Training Systems tees back in stock and ready to ship ASAP!
Oh yeah, I have more GOOD NEWS...
We are back to shipping Worldwide!!!
Go check out our new tees and order now at DeFrancoShop.com!
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