IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #408:
Ultimate Row to Grow
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Ultimate Row to Grow
Q: What’s the difference between bent-over dumbbell rows and one-arm dumbbell rows [in Positions-of-Flexion mass training]? You have them as separate exercises in the POF X-Rep workout [in the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book].
A: For bent-over dumbbell rows you row with both arms at the same time. We suggest using chest support, such as an incline bench or special bench made for the exercise, but that’s not mandatory…
Bent-over dumbbell rows will give you a killer midback contraction at the top because your hands can move out as you pull the dumbbells up. With the two-arm move you’re better able to squeeze your shoulder blades together to contract your traps.
For one-arm dumbbell rows you work one arm at a time, free arm supported on the DB rack or a bench.
That’s classified as a stretch-position exercise for midback–but not that great for contraction. Why? The squeeze at the top is compromised due to a sideways torso shift–your upper body rolls to the non-rowing side, which impairs the midback contraction at the top; however, the stretch at the bottom is very pronounced–better than the two-arm version…
By working one arm at a time, you can lower the dumbbell down and over past the torso’s centerline. That inward arm angle at the bottom of the stroke forces max trap elongation.
So, if you want a total POF midback hit, 1) you get midrange midback work when you train lats; 2) do one-arm dumbbell rows for stretch; 3) do the two-arm version for contraction (with chest support, if possible).
If you only have time for one midback exercise, choose the two-arm version, as it provides some stretch at the bottom when the dumbbells move together. Then you drive them up and out for an extreme top-end squeeze. Either way, you gotta row to grow! Jonathan’s POF-built back proves that…
Q: I have trouble feeling my chest working on bench presses. I’m in phase 1 of Jonathan’s X-traordinary Size Surge Workout program, so my sets for chest are limited. Is it okay to do more bench press work sets, or should I add an isolation exercise like pec deck flyes?
A: First be sure you’re using the concentrated warmup sequence for big multi-joint exercises that we provided in a previous e-zine. For those who missed it…
Warmup set 1: 10 reps, 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down (60-second set)
Warmup set 2: Add weight and do 8 reps at a normal pace–one to two seconds up and about three seconds down. Also, don’t lock out–keep tension on the target muscle for extra blood flow after.
If you’re already doing the above and you still don’t feel your pecs on your bench press work sets, it’s time for an additional bloodbath technique, postactivation.
After your two warmup sets of bench presses, do one set of medium-intensity cable crossovers, cable flyes or pec deck flyes. Any isolated chest exercise that keeps continuous tension on your pecs will work…
Take a fairly light poundage and squeeze out 12 fairly slow reps, keeping tension on your pecs throughout the set. This should NOT be an all-out set to failure–the last rep should cause a burn in your pecs but should not be difficult.
After you’re done, you’ll feel a rush of blood to your pecs. Now they’re ready…
Rest about one minute, then do your first work set of bench presses. You should feel your pecs elongating and contracting on every rep. Interesting that some trainees get much stronger with this extra blood volume. Studies show that it can enhance power output by as much as 20 percent! [Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. 15:362-366]
You can use the postactivation-warmup technique on any bodypart. Simply do a slow higher-rep continuous-tension set of an isolation move after your warmup sets and before your first work set. It triggers more blood flow to grow!
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
[Note: High-intensity postactivation is one of the key techniques in the X-treme Lean High-Definition Workout that’s outlined in that FAT-LOSS e-guide, pages 76-78. The X-treme Lean e-book is included for a limited time in the money-saving Triple-Shredded Combo Offer along with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and X-traordinary Abs.]
Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
NEW: The X-traordinary SIZE SURGE Workout, Jonathan Lawson’s legendary two-phase mass program that packed 20 pounds of muscle on his frame in only 10 weeks. See all the changes he made to the original workouts, transcribed from his training journal. In printable templates so you can duplicate his incredible gains. You also get his eat-to-grow diet and streamlined no-frills supplement schedule, anabolic acceleration methods and loads of tips and tricks. Plus, an interview with a top-level bodybuilder who trains Size Surge style for incredible growth.
Winter-Workout Special: You can get all 3 of our latest best-selling e-books–The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout, The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout–at a limited-time discount price. Those contain all the workouts in our Winter-Workout Mass Plan, which is 1) Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout for two weeks, 2) the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout for two weeks, 3) a downshift week (stopping all work sets before failure), 4) the Heavy/Light 10×10 Mass Workout for 4 weeks. Click the covers below for more info.
Latest e-book release:
•The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout includes the latest eye-opening data on the key muscle fibers that have the most potential for growth (it’s rewriting physiology textbooks) and the best mass-building rep tempo. See how one legendary Austrian bodybuilder used Power-Density to build dominant, dramatic muscle mass, his combo-to-grow methods included. You also get four complete, printable workouts–one that takes only about 30 minutes per session–plus X Reps, POF and more. More details.
•Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout gives you everything you need to apply his max-mass system for incredible new gains–including all 12 printable workouts and a big Q&A section. More details.
•The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout contains a four-days-per-week, one-ultimate-exercise-per-bodypart program and also a heavy/light version, with heavy POF alternated with a one-exercise 10×10 routine. More details.
•The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout is based on the latest metabolic research so you can get bigger and leaner fast without long, mind-numbing cardio–you’ll burn fat and build muscle 24/7 with customized mass-building weight workouts. More details.
Click on the e-books for more information:
Newbies: If you’re a beginning bodybuilder, coming back from a layoff or a trainer who trains beginners, our new e-book, Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, is for you.
To follow the ITRC training program in “Train, Eat, Grow,” get a copy of the latest issue of IRON MAN.
This Special Report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman.
The IRON MAN Training & Research Team
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Our January issue has an over-40 theme with a mighty twist: 50-year-old pro bodybuilder Dave Goodin reveals his complete winter power-training program. It’s the perfect size and strength blitz to help you grow in the snow. Plus, we’ll have our annual Muscle-Science Roundup, with a review of the key studies from 2009 that you can use to get huge – and ripped – by spring. Also, Todd Jewel guides you to seam-splitting shoulders, and legendary drug-free flexer Bob Galluci gives you his old-school tools for sculpting mass. Find the January IRON MAN on newstands now! See the Table of Contents here for a full preview.