Spiderman Curls for Bigger Biceps

Want the Ultimate biceps workout? Do you think you can handle it?

Darin Steen from Fat Loss Lifestyle has a great power exercise for you.

Keys to remember.  Go Slow, use light weights even though your ego won’t let you and focus.

Check out Darin at his site Fat Loss Lifestyle

Build A Bigger Chest in 3 to 4 Workouts or Less

Are your pecs and chest area lacking in definition and mass.  Check out Tom Venuto’s great chest building article.


Author Tom Venuto

Build a Bigger Chest in 3-4 Workouts or Less

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Author of the online  best selling program Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle.

If your pecs are a weak body part, or, if you’ve simply hit a progress plateau in your chest development, then this high intensity chest training program will pack slabs of muscle mass on your chest after just 3-4 workouts – and I guarantee it. This is a high intensity bodybuilding workout for advanced bodybuilders only. (Beginners don’t even think about it…)

I’m currently on workout 3 of 4 in this pec routine and the results have been so impressive that I decide to write it up for you before I even finish the final workout next week.

Considering I’m on a calorie deficit in a cutting phase, I’m especially impressed with the increase in my chest size and development after 3 workouts. You’re not going to gain much if any muscular body weight if you are in a caloric deficit, but NO DOUBT, you can improve the development of a muscle group even while cutting up. This is a perfect example. I’m going to return to this program again for sure on my next mass phase. This program is called…

Multi-Angular Rest Pause With Pump Finisher

Here’s how it works. You select two exercises. For exercise one (the main course), I chose a basic pec mass exercise that can be done at any angle from steep incline to flat bench. Thats the primary exercise you stick with for all 4 workouts. Incline Dumbbell Press was the natural choice. I set up on a fully adjustable bench that allows multiple angles of incline.

For exercise two (dessert), I chose an isolation exercise for a pump finisher, and it changes with every workout.

Here’s the sequence:

A1 Incline Dumbbell Press – steep incline – about 65-70 degrees
6 reps
rest 10 seconds

A2 Incline Dumbbell Press – medium (regular) incline – about 45 degress
6 reps
10 seconds

A3 Incline Dumbbell Press – low incline – about 20-25 degrees
6 reps
10 seconds rest

A4 Dumbbell Press – flat bench
6 reps

Now rest 2 – 3 minutes.

That’s one “set.” Technically of course, that is FOUR SETS, done in rest pause fashion, so lets call it one “round” for clarity’s sake.

Yes… that was round ONE. Now do it two more times.

Note: It helps a lot if you have a training partner change the bench angle so you can stay seated and keep the dumbbells in your hands. Doing it alone is slow and cumbersome.

For poundage, youre going to have to go MUCH lighter than usual. Although I don’t train heavy pecs anymore, last time I did, I was doing 6 reps with 125s on the incline. So for this program I took about 50-60% of that; 70 lbs on workout 1, 75 lbs on workout 2,and 80 lbs on workout 3. On the last one, I had to drop to the 75s to finish all 3 rounds and even then I needed some forced reps towards the end.

You may need to decrease the weight on the 2nd or 3rd round, but if at all humanly possible, do NOT reduce the weight during each round. Doing all four angles at the same poundage is the whole idea.

What may happen, especially if you even slightly overestimated your starting poundage, is that reps may drop with each angle change within a round. First angle – 6 reps is easy. second angle, a little harder, but still no problem. Third angle, you might only squeeze out 5 reps or hit honest failure on the 6th rep. 4th angle (flat), you might hit total failure on the 4th or 5th rep.

Now this is also where a training partner comes in. This routine should not be attempted without a spotter. Sorry, but you are a dork if you try to do this without a spotter. This program causes HONEST muscle failure (I’ll explain that in more detail shortly), so you need the spotter for safety, but moreover, you will need a spotter’s assistance to complete forced reps, at least on the final round or two, if not the first round. In general, forced reps should not be overused, but they play an important part of this program.

Ok, where were we? Oh yeah, you just finished your 3rd round. You might be finished! Yeah. some people will be DONE, KAPUT, ZONKED, BONKED, NUKED, GAME OVER, after 3 rounds of that (think about it – that was 12 sets, disguised as 3 sets!) However, for those who want the full course…. come with me and lets finish off those pecs with the pump (oh, you thought were already pumped… heh.. just wait…you’ll see what a pump is!)

The second exercise (exercise B) is going to be an isolation exercise.. ie., DB flye, cable crossover, machine flye (pec deck), etc., and you will perform 20-25 reps, non stop in piston-like fashion. use a steady quick tempo, but not so fast that you use momentum.

This isolation /pump exercise will change with every workout:

B1 Workout 1: standing cable crossover
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 2: machine flye or pec deck
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 3: decline dumbbell flye
2-3 sets 20-25 reps

B1 Workout 4: flat bench cable flyes in cable crossover machine
2-3 sets, 20-25 reps

That’s it! That’s the whole program. Three rounds of multi-angular rest pause, then finish your workout with 2-3 sets of 25 reps on a pumping, isolation movement.

This routine is performed within a standard bodybuilding type of split, so it should be done once in 5-7 days, no more. You would probably do another body part after chest,such as biceps or triceps, depending on how you organize your split routine.

I would recommend advanced bodybuilders use this program a couple times a year if and when they need a boost in chest development. This is not the type of program you would use all the time. You would burn out and overtrain.

There’s one more very important part of this routine – progression.

On the Incline Dumbbell Presses, you will increase the poundage with every workout. Keep in mind, you will not be able to complete all 3 rounds at all 4 angles for 6 unassisted reps. Its going to get harder each time, even as you get stronger. You may have to use a spotter more with each progressing workout. You may also find that on workout 1 or workout 2, you can complete all 3 rounds with the same dumbbells, but on workout 3, by the 2nd or 3rd round, you have to drop the weight or you’ll barely be getting 2 or 3 reps.

Now let me re-emphasize the importance of a spotter. Theres something thats going to happen when you do this routine that does not happen often. You will hit what my training partner and I call “HONEST FAILURE.” This means that your muscles literally fail, or give out right underneath you. Mind you, this is not something you would usually aim for, but that’s just the nature of this program and this is only a 4-workout high intensity “shock” type of routine.

When I say your muscles will give out, I mean that literally. On the last rep or two of 3rd or 4th angle, of the 2nd or 3rd round, your arms may literally buckle underneath you. That’s honest failure.

You see, there are several types of failure… First there is “sissy failure”.. that’s when there is a lactic acid burn or a fatigue in the muscle (you’re tired) and because it hurts or youre tired, that causes you to stop. Thats sissy failure (sarcasm).

Then you have positive failure. This is where you can no longer push the weight up in a concentric motion, but you are still able to lower the weight and exert an upward force against the weight. For example, you’re bench pressing and you hit the “sticking point,” but you are holding that bar at the sticking point (its not coming back down), and you’re still exerting force to push the bar upward, but the bar simply isn’t moving up!

Then you have honest failure. This is where the muscle simply gives out.. it buckles. you have reached concentric and eccentric failure. This type of failiure is rarely discussed. In fact I don’t recall anyone ever writing about it except for Arthur Jones and Ellington darden and the rest of the High Intensity Training (HIT) camp.

Rarely does any bodybuilder tread in this territory, and for good reason, as it is really not necessary and can be dangerous for anyone but a veteran who knows what the heck he is doing – and all the kidding aside for a moment, Im serious about this. Its no joke if your chest and arms give out from underneath you and you dump a 70 or 80 pound dumbbell on your face. (you do like your teeth, don’t you?)

However, as a technique you use on rare occasion for a shock routine that breaks through progress plateaus, that untrodden territory is there… for those who dare. There is something about this particular program (multi angular rest pause) that takes you there. You’ve been warned! Train hard, but be safe!

Now, go out there and get jacked!

Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Lifetime Natural Bodybuilder

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and freelance fitness writer. Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

Quad Builder-That Almost No One Wants To Do

The Greatest Quad Builder… That Almost No One Wants To Do

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

It’s axiomatic that the exercises which give you the best results are always the hardest ones to do. If you want a huge back… you row and deadlift. If you want huge legs, you squat… OR… you do THIS leg exercise – that almost no one wants to do because its one of the hardest of them all.

Which one am I talking about? FRONT SQUATS!

Front Squat Exercise

In my opinion, front squats are one of the absolute best quad builders. Back squats are a tremendous mass builder as well, but front squats introduce an additional level of challenge because they require flexibility, technique, and core strength because the bar must be held and balanced on the front of the shoulders. As such, the front squat does everything the back squat does and more.

One great advantage of the front squat, especially for someone like me, having previously suffered a low back injury (herniated L4), is that the torso can be held in a more upright (vertical position). Since there is less forward trunk inclination, this removes some of the stress and shear forces from the lower back. At the same time, this upright position is closer to a bodybuilding squat and throws much more emphasis on the quads and less on the hips. It is truly a superb bodybuilding exercise.

There are two styles of front squatting, the Olympic lifting style and the crossed arm style. I find that most athletes, and of course Olympic lifters, use the former, while most bodybuilders seem to prefer the latter. The barbell should generally be your weapon of choice, but for bodybuilders, front squats on the smith machine are an outstanding alternative. The Smith machine front squat takes some of the balance issues out of the picture, which allows the physique athlete to really focus on working the muscle rather than worrying about balance and stabilization. Be sure to rotate between both versions, however– barbell and smith machine – because long term overuse or dependency on machines may lead to stabilizer weakness or muscle imbalances and variety is never a bad idea in the physique game. Incidentally, the barbell front squat is an outstanding “core” exercise.

A third version of the front squat worth considering is the dumbbell front squat (especially the sumo or wide stance version). These can be performed holding a single dumbbell with both hands on the front of the shoulders, cupped between both hands (goblet squat) or with two dumbbells, one in each hand, resting on top of each shoulder. The limiting factor on these front squat variations is often the poundage, as holding heavy dumbbells can become unwieldy. This can be partially overcome by performing the dumbbell front squat last in a leg workout or second in a superset, or by manipulating tempo and range of motion so the exercise is made more difficult. The dumbbell variations are also a great choice for women who usually don’t require as much weight as men for stimulation.

I find that the front squat is particularly effective at developing the tear drop shaped vastus medialis portion of the (“lower”) quads, and you can emphasize this effect even more by elevating your heels on a board or a wedge. Elevating your heels is considered controversial and some say that this is damaging to the knees. I’m not convinced that this is the case with a slight elevation and very strict form and controlled tempo, although I would not recommend this method to anyone with existing knee problems. There is certainly a risk to benefit ratio of every technique variation, and you have to decide if the added potential benefit is worth the potential risk, depending on your particular situation (consult the appropriate medical or training professional if you’re not sure)

You can also emphasize the medialis and increase overall effectiveness by working FULL squats (breaking parallel) and only coming up three quarters (no locking out). Have you ever seen Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman’s workout videos? I realize that Mr Olympia’s bodybuilding video tapes are not “workout instruction” nor do they really have anything to do with us mere mortals, but I pay attention to everything in the world of bodybuilding, and I did find it very interesting to watch Ronnie front squatting 500+ pounds. I also found it interesting that he went rock bottom and he did ¾ reps without releasing tension for even a single rep. Although he certainly has some advantages over other bodybuilders, everything is relative and he has some ridiculous quads, even compared to other IFBB pros. Indeed, continuous tension ¾ reps are a tremendous technique to employ with the front squat exercise, regardless of whether you’re a novice or a pro. Be prepared to leave your ego at home, however.

In addition to the ¾ reps, try manipulating your tempo. It will limit your poundage even further, but what you sacrifice in strength you will make up in hypertrophy.  Whereas a regular rep might be 2011 or 3011 tempo, or even a full-out explosive concentric with a controlled eccentric, bodybuilders may want to try utilizing a tempo of 3020, or (even harder) 4030. With sets of 10 -12 reps, this will give you a minimum of 50-70 seconds of continuous time under tension. The lactic acid burn around the 10-12thth rep has to be felt to be “appreciated.” The only thing more difficult than continuous tension/non-lockout ¾ reps are continuous tension, non-lockout reps with a slow tempo. Truly a quad killer!

Note: 4-point tempo prescriptions are as follows:

3020 tempo =
3 = negative/eccentric action
0 = pause in stretch/bottom position
2 = positive/concentric action
0 = pause in contracted/top position

So if front squats are so good, why don’t more people do them? Simple – because they’re damn hard. Here is what I usually see happen: Someone will start front squatting (or try to), and they inevitably put on way too much weight. Their form is horrible, it feels totally uncomfortable and unbalanced, so our novice front squatter quits and writes off front squats for good after only one try, and heads back over to the leg press machine.

I usually advise them to unload the bar and master the form first with very light weights, but invariably, ego gets in the way, and 315-405 squatters and 1000+ pound leg pressers don’t want to be seen with a single “wheel” (45 pound plate) on each side of an Olympic bar while they patiently master the technique for a new exercise. Alas, they never learn to front squat, they go back to what is easy and familiar and they never gain all the benefits of this awesome exercise.

Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Lifetime Natural Bodybuilder

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and freelance fitness writer. Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle